Wednesday, April 15th, 2020

From the Johns Hopkins live map, updated at 5:15 am:

There were 1,996,681 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world and 127,590 deaths.

In the U.S. there were 609,685 confirmed cases, thirty-one percent of the world’s total and 27,091 more than this time yesterday. 26,059 Americans have died from COVID-19, twenty percent of the world’s total and 2,410 more than this time yesterday.

7,905 U.S. deaths – thirty percent of the U.S. total – were in New York city.

In Wisconsin there were 3,555 confirmed cases, 127 more than this time yesterday, and 170 deaths, 15 more than this time yesterday.

101 deaths – fifty-nine percent of Wisconsin’s total, and 7 more than this time yesterday – were in Milwaukee County, where they had a total of 1,795 confirmed cases, fifty percent of all the confirmed cases in Wisconsin and 52 more than this time yesterday.

In Dane County, there were 344 confirmed cases, 4 more than this time yesterday, and a total of 12 deaths, no more than this time yesterday (there have been no new deaths in Dane County since Saturday).

jhu update #19 | 6:04 am CST
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Tuesday, April 14th, 2020

I’ve got to stop watching videos of the orange menace right before bed time. Or even after supper. Maybe at all. It’s not helping. I already know he’s a menace. I already know he comes up with a new way every day to demonstrate what a menace he is. Watching him do it does not add to my knowledge of how corrupt and awful he is, but it does keep me up at night.

But while I scanned through the news last night, my heart was gladdened when I saw the Wisconsin supreme court judge backed by Trump lost to his challenger, and I laughed out loud when I saw how the newly-elected mayor of Wausau, Wisconsin, reacted to the news of her victory:

image of twitter post: Katie Rosenberg tweeting Holy Balls

turbulent | 6:14 am CST
Category: current events, random idiocy, yet another rant
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From the Johns Hopkins live map, updated at 5:00 am:

There were 1,925,811 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world and 120,449 deaths.

In the U.S. there were 582,594 confirmed cases, thirty percent of the world’s total and 25,004 more than this time yesterday. 23,649 Americans have died from COVID-19, twenty percent of the world’s total and 1,540 more than this time yesterday.

7,349 U.S. deaths – thirty-one percent of the U.S. total – were in New York city.

In Wisconsin there were 3,428 confirmed cases, 87 more than this time yesterday, and 155 deaths, 11 more than this time yesterday.

94 deaths – sixty-one percent of Wisconsin’s total, and 6 more than this time yesterday – were in Milwaukee County, where they had a total of 1,743 confirmed cases, fifty-one percent of all the confirmed cases in Wisconsin and 33 more than this time yesterday.

In Dane County, there were 340 confirmed cases, 6 more than this time yesterday, and a total of 12 deaths, no more than this time yesterday.

jhu update # 18 | 5:29 am CST
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Monday, April 13th, 2020

I sincerely believed I would not live long enough to hear a president of the United States declare he has the absolute power to tell the individual states what they could and could not do.

Q: What provision in the constitution gives the president the power to open or close state economies, and then —

Trump: Numerous provisions. We’ll give you a legal brief, if you want.

Q: What happens if you say, ‘We want states to reopen’ but California or New York do not open?

Trump: Well, I think everyone wants to open. I guess, you know, that could happen, but I don’t think that would happen.

Q: It’s been states that have ordered schools to close, it’s been state that have ordered businesses like restaurants —

Trump: That’s because I let that happen, because I would have preferred that. I let that happen. But, if I wanted to, I could have closed it up. But I let that happen. And I like the way they’ve done it. And the seven that remained in a sort of semi-lockdown, if you look at those states, they’ve really done a very good job. They’re very much different from a New York, or from other places where they’ve been hit very hard.

Q: There are two consortiums of states today – California, Oregon, Washington on the west coast, northeastern states – in total representing one-hundred million people, who’ve said they’re going to cooperate and decide when to reopen —

Trump: Well, they can decide —

Q: Does that underminee what you’re trying to do?

Trump: No, not at all. Let me just tell you very simply, I’m going to put it very simply: The president of the United States has the authority to do what the president has the authority to do, which is very powerful. The president of the United States calls the shots. If we weren’t here for the states, you would’ve had a problem in this country like you’ve never seen before. We were here to back them up, and we more than backed them up. We did a job that nobody ever thought was possible. It’s a decision for the president of the United States. Now, with that being said, we’re going to work with the states, because it’s very important. You have local governments, they’re pinpointed; it’s really, you talk about, it’s like a microchip, they’re pinpointed. We have local government that hopefully will do a good job, and if they don’t do a good job I would step in so fast but, no, they can’t do anything without the approval of the president of the United States.

Q: Just to clarify your understanding of your authority, vis-a-vis governors, just to be very specific, for instance, if a governor issued a stay-at-home order —

Trump: When you say, ‘my authority’ – the president’s authority, not mine; because it’s not me. This is, when somebody’s the president of the United States, the authority is total. And that’s the way it’s got to be. It’s total.

Q: Your authority’s total?

Trump: It’s total. And the governors know that. You have a couple of bands —

Q: If a governor issues a stay-at-home order, could you rescind that order?

Trump: You have a couple of bands of ‘democrat’ governors, but they will agree to it. They will agree to it. But the authority of the president of the United States, having to do with the subject we’re talking about, is total.

Q: You said, when someone is president of the United States, their authority is total. That is not true. Who told you that is true?

Trump: Okay, you know what we’re going to do? We’re going to write up papers on this. It’s not going to be necessary, because the governors need us, one way or the other, because, ultimately, it comes with the federal government. That being said, we’re getting along very well with the governors, and I feel very certain that there won’t be a problem.

Q: Has any governor agreed that you have the authority to decide when their state opens back up?

Trump: I haven’t asked anybody, because I don’t — you know why? Because I don’t have to.

Q: But who told you that the president has the president has total authority?

Trump: Enough.

Q: On this question of constitutionality, I’m just wondering what changed your view, because —

Trump: No, nothing changed it. I know exactly what you’re going to say. Nothing changed it. The fact that I want to rely on states, or maybe will, or maybe have, and the fact that we’ve got — that’s one thing. The fact that I don’t want to use the power, that’s another thing.

Q: But you said, from the standpoint of the constitution, you thought it should to be up to the governors —

Trump: Yes, constitutionally, constitutionally, you can look at constitutionally, you can look at federalism, you could look at it any different way. John, the fact that I don’t want to exert my power is much different. We have the power. You asked, ‘Does the federal government have the power?’ The federal government has absolute power. It has the power. As to whether or not I’ll use that power, we’ll see. I would rather, John, I would rather work with the states because I like going down to a local government. That’s why with, I guess it’s now seven states, not eight, because South Carolina did you know they went away from what we discussed the last time, so that’s why I looked at the individual states. They’re doing a very good job, they’re really doing a very good job. I’d rather have them make the decision. Now, the fact that I’d rather have, that’s fine. But I have the absolute right to do, if I want to. I may not want to.

And just to put the icing on the cake, the vice president agrees with the president:

Q: It sounds like you think his power is a little more circumscribed than ‘total?’

Pence: In the long history of this country, the authority of the president of the United States during national emergencies is unquestionably plenary [complete power; without limitations; absolute].

I will not sleep well tonight. I’m not sure I will ever again.

tin pot | 9:19 pm CST
Category: current events, random idiocy, this modern world | Tags:
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From the Johns Hopkins live map, updated at 4:52 am:

There were 1,859,011 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world and 114,979 deaths.

In the U.S. there were 557,590 confirmed cases, thirty percent of the world’s total and 27,584 more than this time yesterday. 22,109 Americans have died from COVID-19, nineteen percent of the world’s total and 1,501 more than this time yesterday.

6,898 U.S. deaths – thirty-one percent of the U.S. total – were in New York city.

In Wisconsin there were 3,341 confirmed cases, 128 more than this time yesterday, and 144 deaths, 7 more than this time yesterday.

88 deaths – sixty-one percent of Wisconsin’s total, and 3 more than this time yesterday – were in Milwaukee County, where they had a total of 1,710 confirmed cases, fifty-one percent of all the confirmed cases in Wisconsin and 57 more than this time yesterday.

In Dane County, there were 334 confirmed cases, 7 more than this time yesterday, and a total of 12 deaths, no more than this time yesterday.

jhu update #17 | 6:12 am CST
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Sunday, April 12th, 2020

From the Johns Hopkins live map, updated at 5:38 am:

There were 1,787,766 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world and 109,691 deaths.

In the U.S. there were 530,006 confirmed cases, thirty percent of the world’s total and 28,391 more than this time yesterday. 20,608 Americans have died from COVID-19, nineteen percent of the world’s total and 1,831 more than this time yesterday.

6,367 U.S. deaths – thirty-one percent of the U.S. total – were in New York city.

In Wisconsin there were 3,213 confirmed cases, 145 more than this time yesterday, and 137 deaths, 9 more than this time yesterday.

85 deaths – sixty-two percent of Wisconsin’s total, and 8 more than this time yesterday – were in Milwaukee County, where they had a total of 1,653 confirmed cases, fifty-two percent of all the confirmed cases in Wisconsin and 78 more than this time yesterday.

In Dane County, there were 327 confirmed cases, 14 more than this time yesterday, and a total of 12 deaths, no more than this time yesterday.

jhu update #16 | 6:11 am CST
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Saturday, April 11th, 2020

From the Johns Hopkins live map, updated at 5:56 am:

There were 1,709,014 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world and 103,536 deaths.

In the U.S. there were 501,615 confirmed cases, twenty-nine percent of the world’s total and 35,316 more than this time yesterday. 18,777 Americans have died from COVID-19, eighteen percent of the world’s total and 2,091 more than this time yesterday.

5,820 U.S. deaths – thirty-one percent of the U.S. total – were in New York city.


On 4/11/20, 2,091 Americans died of COVID-19.
On 4/10/20, 1,878 Americans died of COVID-19.
On 4/9/20, 1,897 Americans died of COVID-19.
On 4/8/20, 1,918 Americans died of COVID-19.
On 4/7/20, 1,345 Americans died of COVID-19.
On 4/6/20, 1,145 Americans died of COVID-19.
On 4/5/20, 1,344 Americans died of COVID-19.
On 4/4/20, 1,101 Americans died of COVID-19.
On 4/3/20, 921 Americans died of COVID-19.
On 4/2/20, 1,056 Americans died of COVID-19.
On 4/1/20, 911 Americans died of COVID-19.


In Wisconsin there were 3,068 confirmed cases, 178 more than this time yesterday, and 128 deaths, 17 more than this time yesterday.

77 deaths – sixty percent of Wisconsin’s total, and 12 more than this time yesterday – were in Milwaukee County, where they had a total of 1,575 confirmed cases, fifty-one percent of all the confirmed cases in Wisconsin and 91 more than this time yesterday.

In Dane County, there were 313 confirmed cases, 6 more than this time yesterday, and a total of 12 deaths, 1 more than this time yesterday.

jhu update #15 | 7:02 am CST
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Friday, April 10th, 2020

It’s Day 27 of shelter in place at the O’Folks Home, counting from the Sunday after we flew back from Florida, and both of us are still pretty sure we haven’t contracted COVID-19. I’ve read that you can have it without showing any symptoms, but we’re both hypochondriacs so I’m pretty sure if we had it, we’d not only be symptomatic, we’d be symptomatic turned all the way up to eleven.

We’re almost positive neither one of us has had a fever, although I’m honestly not sure how high a person’s temp has to go to be considered a fever. Also, we didn’t have a trustworthy thermometer until day before yesterday; the one in our bathroom is dunno-howmany years old and when we used it, it tended not to give the same reading twice. The local drug store has been sold out since the pandemic started, and although B has been checking online since then, she didn’t find any for sale until recently. When they came in the mail (she ordered two, for backup) she popped one in her mouth straight out of the package and it seemed to work, so no fever but she’s probably got worms from not sterilizing the thermometer.

And neither of us has had a persistent cough or a respiratory problem that could be considered a symptom, beyond the post-nasal drip both of us have all through the winter season which seems to take forever to clear up, say until about June. Needless to say, we’ve both avoided pneumonia, too.

So yay for not catching the bug, but boo for having to stay at home for a month.

shelter in place – day 27 | 6:50 am CST
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From the Johns Hopkins live map, updated at 4:52 am:

There were 1,611,981 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world and 96,783 deaths.

In the U.S. there were 466,299 confirmed cases, twenty-nine percent of the world’s total and 33,861 more than this time yesterday. 16,686 Americans have died from COVID-19, seventeen percent of the world’s total and 1,878 more than this time yesterday.

5,150 U.S. deaths – thirty-one percent of the U.S. total – were in New York city.

In Wisconsin there were 2,890 confirmed cases, 78 more than this time yesterday, and 111 deaths, 8 more than this time yesterday.

65 deaths – fifty-nine percent of Wisconsin’s total, and 6 more than this time yesterday – were in Milwaukee County, where they had a total of 1484 confirmed cases, fifty-two percent of all the confirmed cases in Wisconsin and 23 more than this time yesterday.

In Dane County, there were 307 confirmed cases, 1 more than this time yesterday, and a total of 11 deaths, no more than this time yesterday (third day in a row of no new deaths in Dane County).

jhu update #14 | 5:45 am CST
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Thursday, April 9th, 2020

From the Johns Hopkins live map, updated at 5:03 am:

There were 1,490,790 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world and 88,982 deaths.

In the U.S. there were 432,438 confirmed cases, twenty-nine percent of the world’s total and 32,509 more than this time yesterday. The U.S. accounted for 14,808 deaths from COVID-19, seventeen percent of the world’s total and 1,897 more than this time yesterday.

4,571 U.S. deaths – thirty-one percent of the U.S. total – were in New York city.

In Wisconsin there were 2,812 confirmed cases, 234 more than this time yesterday, and 103 deaths, 10 more than this time yesterday.

59 deaths – fifty-seven percent of Wisconsin’s total, and 10 more than this time yesterday – were in Milwaukee County, where they had a total of 1,461 confirmed cases, fifty-two percent of all the confirmed cases in Wisconsin and 138 more than this time yesterday.

In Dane County, there were 306 confirmed cases, 17 more than this time yesterday, and a total of 11 deaths, no more than this time yesterday (second day in a row of no new deaths in Dane County).

jhu update #13 | 6:10 am CST
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Wednesday, April 8th, 2020

From the Johns Hopkins live map, updated at 6:04 am:

There were 1,446,557 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world and 83,149 deaths.

In the U.S. there were 399,929 confirmed cases, twenty-eight percent of the world’s total and 31,480 more than this time yesterday. The U.S. accounted for 12,911 deaths from COVID-19, sixteen percent of the world’s total and 1,918 more than this time yesterday.

4,009 U.S. deaths – thirty-one percent of the U.S. total – were in New York city.

In Wisconsin there were 2,578 confirmed cases, 67 more than this time yesterday, and 93 deaths, 8 more than this time yesterday.

49 deaths – fifty-three percent of Wisconsin’s total, and 4 more than this time yesterday – were in Milwaukee County, where they had a total of 1,323 confirmed cases, fifty-one percent of all the confirmed cases in Wisconsin and 19 more than this time yesterday.

In Dane County, there were 289 confirmed cases, 2 more than this time yesterday, and a total of 11 deaths, no more than this time yesterday.

jhu update #12 | 6:51 am CST
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Tuesday, April 7th, 2020

From the Johns Hopkins live map, updated at 5:07 am:

There were 1,359,398 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world and 75,945 deaths.

In the U.S. there were 368,449 confirmed cases, twenty-seven percent of the world’s total and 30,803 more than this time yesterday. The U.S. accounted for 10,993 deaths from COVID-19, fourteen percent of the world’s total and 1,345 more than this time yesterday.

3,485 U.S. deaths – thirty-two percent of the U.S. total – were in New York city.

In Wisconsin there were 2,511 confirmed cases, 191 more than this time yesterday, and 85 deaths, 10 more than this time yesterday.

45 deaths – fifty-three percent of Wisconsin’s total, and 6 more than this time yesterday – were in Milwaukee County, where they had a total of 1,304 confirmed cases, fifty-two percent of all the confirmed cases in Wisconsin.

In Dane County, there were 287 confirmed cases, 7 more than this time yesterday, and a total of 11 deaths, 2 more than this time yesterday.

jhu update #11 | 5:53 am CST
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Monday, April 6th, 2020

tremendous strides have been made
I think

the vaccines
we’ll have a report of that
but the vaccines

working together with other countries
we’re also working with other countries
many other countries
and we all want everyone else to be first

we’re very happy
but we are very far down the line on vaccines
we’ll see how that all works
Johnson & Johnson’s doing a great job
working very hard

a vaccine would be great therapy
a therapy
therapeutics would be great
we’ll see what happens

in the meantime
you may listen to what I said
about the two drugs mentioned


#TrumPoems are 100% verbatim, straight from the horse’s mouth – this one comes from yesterday’s press briefing. Now, maybe that’s correct, maybe it’s false; you’re going to have to check it out.

Trumpoem #9 | 6:21 am CST
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From the Johns Hopkins live map, updated at 4:50 am:

There were 1,280,046 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world and 69,789 deaths.

In the U.S. there were 337,646 confirmed cases, twenty-six percent of the world’s total and 25,401 more than this time yesterday. The U.S. accounted for 9,648 deaths from COVID-19, fourteen percent of the world’s total and 1,145 more than this time yesterday.

3,048 U.S. deaths – thirty-two percent of the U.S. total – were in New York city.

In Wisconsin there were 2,320 confirmed cases, 192 more than this time yesterday, and 75 deaths, 15 more than this time yesterday.

39 deaths – fifty-two percent of Wisconsin’s total, and ten more than this time yesterday – were in Milwaukee County, where they had a total of 1,190 confirmed cases, fifty-two percent of all the confirmed cases in Wisconsin and 114 more than this time yesterday.

In Dane County, there were 280 confirmed cases, 11 more than this time yesterday, and a total of 9 deaths, 1 more than this time yesterday.

jhu update 10 | 6:14 am CST
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Sunday, April 5th, 2020

Trump, selling a new kind of snake oil at tonight’s press briefing:

The other thing that we bought a tremendous amount of is the hydroxychloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, which I think, as you know, it’s a great malaria drug; it’s worked unbelievably; it’s a powerful drug on malaria and there are signs that it works on this, some very strong signs; and in the meantime, it’s been around a long time; it also works very powerfully on lupus, lupus, so there are some very strong, powerful signs; we’ll have to see because again it’s being tested; now, this is a new thing that just happened to us, the invisible enemy, we call it, and if you can, if you have a, uh, no sign of heart problems, the azithromycin, azithromycin, which will kill certain things that you don’t want living within your body, it’s a powerful drug if you don’t have a problem, a heart problem we would say; let your doctor think about it but, as a combination I think they’re going to be, I think they’re two things that should be looked at very strongly; now, we have purchased, and we have stockpiled, 29 million pills of the hydroxychloroquine, 29 million; a lot of drug stores have them by prescription and, also, and, they’re not expensive; also, we’re sending them to various labs, our military, we’re sending them to the hospitals, we’re sending them all over; I just think it’s something, you know the expression, I’ve used it for certain reasons: “What do you have to lose? What do you have to lose?” and a lot of people are saying that, when, and, are taking it; if you’re a doctor, a nurse, a first responder, a medical person going into hospitals, they say taking it before the fact is good but, what do you have to lose? They say, take it. I’m not looking at it one way or the other, but we want to get out of this. If it does work, it would be a shame if we didn’t do it early, but we have some very good signs, so that’s hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin; and, again, you have to go through your medical people, get the approval, but I’ve seen things that I sort of like, so, what do I know, I’m not a doctor, I’m not a doctor but I have common sense; the FDA feels good about it; as you know, they’ve approved it, they gave it a rapid approval, and, the reason, because it’s been out there for a long time and they know the side effects and they also know the potential; so, based on that, we have sent it throughout the country and we have it stockpiled, about 29 million doses, 29 million doses; we have a lot of it; we hope it works

Although he’s barely intelligible at the best of times, that could only have been an advertisement.

more snake oil | 9:12 pm CST
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Trump, selling snake oil at yesterday’s press briefing:

Last Saturday the FDA also gave emergency authorization for hydroxychloroquine and, the hydroxychloroquine is a, I hope it’s going to be a very important answer; we’re having some very good things happening with it, and we’re going to be distributing it through the strategic national stockpile; it’s going into the strategic national stockpile to treat certain patients, and we have millions and millions of doses of it, 29 million, to be exact; in addition to that, we’re making it, and we’re also getting it from various other locations and countries and, in one case, I called Prime Minister Modi of India this morning; they make large amounts of hydroxychloroquine, very large amounts, frankly, and I said, they had a hold because, you know, they have 1.5 billion people, and they think a lot of it, and I said I’d appreciate if they would release the amounts that we ordered, and they are giving it serious consideration; but they do make, India makes a lot of it; but we have already 29 million, if you look, and that’s a big number, 29 million doses, we’ve got millions of doses that are being made here and many millions of doses that are made elsewhere that are being shipped here, and it will be arriving; we’re just hearing really positive stories and, we’re continuing to collect the data but, I’ll just speak for myself, it’s been out for a long time; it’s a malaria drug; it’s also a drug for lupus and there’s a, there’s a study out that people with lupus aren’t catching this horrible virus, they’re not affected so much by it; now, maybe that’s correct, maybe it’s false; you’re going to have to check it out, but there’s a lot of very positive things happening with that; that’s a game-changer, if that’s the case

Even if this didn’t make him sound as if he and everyone he knows has bought up all the stock in companies that manufacture hydroxychloroquine (and it really does sound like that), how is it at all ethical for the president of the United States to go on television and repeat an unfounded rumor that people with the autoimmune disease lupus aren’t affected by COVID-19 because they’re prescribed hydroxychloroquine? He’s been selling this snake oil since mid-May, and now it’s going into the national stockpile? If this doesn’t turn into the biggest insider trading scandal of all time, I’ll eat my boots.

snake oil | 12:06 pm CST
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This is how the conclusion of Trump’s prepared remarks for yesterday’s press briefing were scripted:

I want to thank the American people most of all for the selfless sacrifices that they are making for our nation, and I want to encourage everyone to keep following our guidelines on slowing the spread. Sustaining this war effort is the patriotic duty of every citizen. While we may be more physically distant for a time, we’re closer together in the heart and in the spirit, and through this great national unity we will conquer the disease and restore our nation to its full and glorious might.

Setting aside for the moment how much that sounds like something Mussolini’s speech writer might have come up with, it would have been a pretty solid conclusion even if Trump had delivered it in his usual bored monotone.

Here’s how Trump’s ad-libs watered it down to a weird hash of run-on sentences, barely glued together with “but” or “and” or sometimes a vaguely muttered “um”:

I want to thank the American people most of all for the selfless sacrifices that they are making for our nation – I know it’s not pleasant, although some people have said they’ve gotten to know their family better and they love their family more than ever; that’s a beautiful thing; they’ve actually gotten to know them; they’re in the same house with their family for a long time; I guess it can also go the other way perhaps, but we don’t want to talk about that – and I want to encourage everyone to keep following our guidelines on slowing the spread sustaining this war effort is – and that’s what it is, it’s a war effort – it is the patriotic duty of every citizen while we may be more physically distant for a time we’re closer together in the heart and in the spirit and through this great national unity – it’s happening; we’re having a great unity developing that a lot of people didn’t think would be possible to develop like this – we will conquer the disease and restore our nation to its full and glorious might – and we’re doing really well, and I’m very proud of everybody out there; we’re very proud of you; it’s something that nobody could have ever projected; it’s been over 100 years that a thing like this has happened, and the problem with this one is that the contagion, it’s so contagious; nobody’s ever seen anything like that, where it’s so contagious; you can be feet away, and just talking to somebody, and catch it, you can catch it, you know how long it can live on surfaces; so things that nobody even thought of, the level of contagion; so we’re getting there; we’re going to make sure that it’s over soon; and just keep going; it’s not going to be long; and thank you very much.

Listening to it was even worse than having to read it. Most of the time he seemed bored, and frequently he seemed hardly lucid, like when rambled, “the problem with this one is that the contagion, it’s so contagious; nobody’s ever seen anything like that, where it’s so contagious; you can be feet away, and just talking to somebody, and catch it, you can catch it, you know how long it can live on surfaces; so things that nobody even thought of, the level of contagion.” That kind of babble from any seventy-three-year-old crank would make me slowly back away as I nodded agreement, “Sure, yeah, so contagious, it really is, well, it’s been nice talking but I’ve got to go …”

the end | 9:49 am CST
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From the Johns Hopkins live map, updated at 6:26 am:

There were 1,216,422 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world and 65,711 deaths.

In the U.S. there were 312,245 confirmed cases, twenty-six percent of the world’s total and 33,787 more than this time yesterday. The U.S. accounted for 8,503 deaths from COVID-19, thirteen percent of the world’s total and 1,344 more than this time yesterday.

2,624 U.S. deaths – thirty-one percent of the U.S. total – were in New York city.

In Wisconsin there were 2,128 confirmed cases, 116 more than this time yesterday, and 60 deaths, 9 more than this time yesterday.

29 deaths – fifty percent of Wisconsin’s total, and 5 more than this time yesterday – were in Milwaukee County, where they had a total of 1,069 confirmed cases, over half of all the confirmed cases in Wisconsin.

In Dane County, there were 269 confirmed cases, 17 more than this time yesterday, and a total of 8 deaths, 3 more than this time yesterday.

jhu update 9 | 7:16 am CST
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Saturday, April 4th, 2020

From the Johns Hopkins live map, updated at 5:52 am:

There were 1,131,713 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world and 59,884 deaths.

In the U.S. there were 278,458 confirmed cases, twenty-five percent of the world’s total and 32,885 more than this time yesterday. The U.S. accounted for 7,159 deaths from COVID-19, twelve percent of the world’s total and 1,101 more than this time yesterday.

1,867 U.S. deaths – twenty-six percent of the U.S. total – were in New York city.

In Wisconsin there were 2,012 confirmed cases, 264 more than this time yesterday, and 51 deaths, 13 more than this time yesterday.

24 deaths – forty-seven percent of Wisconsin’s total, and 8 more than this time yesterday – were in Milwaukee County, where they had a total of 1,023 confirmed cases, over half of all the confirmed cases in Wisconsin.

In Dane County, there were 252 confirmed cases, 14 more than this time yesterday, and a total of 5 deaths, 2 more than this time yesterday.

The April primary election will be held on the 7th because the GOP-controlled legislature blocked the governor from issuing absentee ballots to every eligible Wisconsin citizen and extend the deadline to return them so voters would be able to vote by mail.

Poll workers in more than 1,000 municipalities, the majority of whom are senior citizens, have refused to expose themselves to potential exposure to the coronavirus, prompting the governor to call out the national guard to administer the election.

jhu update 8 | 7:00 am CST
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Friday, April 3rd, 2020

From the Johns Hopkins live map, updated at 5:02 am:

There were 1,026,974 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world and 53,975 deaths.

In the U.S. there were 245,573 confirmed cases, twenty-four percent of the world’s total and 28,851 more than this time yesterday. The U.S. accounted for 6,058 deaths from COVID-19, more than eleven percent of the world’s total and 921 more than this time yesterday.

1,562 U.S. deaths – twenty-six percent of the U.S. total – were in New York city.

In Wisconsin there were 1,748 confirmed cases and 38 deaths.

16 deaths – forty-two percent of the Wisconsin total, and 4 more than this time yesterday – were in Milwaukee County, where they had a total of 869 confirmed cases, about half all the confirmed cases in Wisconsin.

In Dane County, there were 238 confirmed cases and a total of 3 deaths.

jhu update 7 | 5:42 am CST
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Thursday, April 2nd, 2020

From the Johns Hopkins live map, updated at 5:21 pm:

There were 1,011,490 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world and 52,863 deaths.

In the U.S. there were 242,182 confirmed cases, more than one-quarter of the world’s total and 28,810 more than this time yesterday. The U.S. accounted for 5,850 deaths from COVID-19, about eleven percent of the world’s total and 1,093 more than this time yesterday.

1,397 U.S. deaths – twenty-four percent of the U.S. total – were in New York city.

In Wisconsin there were 1,743 confirmed cases and 38 deaths. 16 deaths – almost half – were in Milwaukee County, where they had a total of 869 confirmed cases, about half all the confirmed cases in Wisconsin.

The southeast region of the state remains the hardest hit, with 1,184 cases and 23 deaths: Waukesha County has 120 cases, 1 death; Kenosha County has 67 cases; Ozaukee County has 47 cases and 5 deaths; Washington County has 46 cases and 1 death; and Racine County has 35 cases.

In Dane County, there were 238 confirmed cases and a total of 3 deaths.

jhu update 6 | 6:13 pm CST
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From the Johns Hopkins live map, updated at 4:21 am:

There were 941,949 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world and 47,522 deaths.

In the U.S. there were 216,722 confirmed cases, almost one-quarter of the world’s total and 27,089 more than this time yesterday. The U.S. accounted for 5,137 deaths from COVID-19, about eleven percent of the world’s total and 1,056 more than this time yesterday.

1,374 U.S. deaths – twenty-seven percent of the U.S. total – were in New York city.

In Wisconsin there were 1,573 confirmed cases and 28 deaths. 12 deaths – almost half – were in Milwaukee County, where they had a total of 780 confirmed cases, still about half all the confirmed cases in Wisconsin.

In Dane County, there were 232 confirmed cases and a total of 3 deaths.

jhu update 5 | 5:30 am CST
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Wednesday, April 1st, 2020

From the Johns Hopkins live map, updated at 5:05 pm:

There were 932,605 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world and 46,809 deaths.

In the U.S. there were 213,372 confirmed cases, almost one-quarter of the world’s total and 29,189 more than this time yesterday. The U.S. accounted for 4,757 deaths from COVID-19, about ten percent of the world’s total and 947 more than this time yesterday.

1,139 U.S. deaths – twenty-four percent of the U.S. total – were in New York city.

In Wisconsin there were 1,556 confirmed cases and 27 deaths. 12 deaths – almost half – were in Milwaukee County, where they had a total of 780 confirmed cases, still more than half all the confirmed cases in Wisconsin.

The southeast region of the state remains the hardest hit, with 1,059 cases and 19 deaths: Waukesha County has 107 cases, 1 death; Kenosha County has 54 cases; Ozaukee County has 46 cases and 5 deaths; Washington County has 44 cases and 1 death; and Racine County has 28 cases.

In Dane County, there were 215 confirmed cases and a total of 2 deaths.

jhu update 4 | 5:57 pm CST
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From the Johns Hopkins live map, updated at 5:14 am:

There were 873,767 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world and 43,288 deaths.

In the U.S. there were 189,633 confirmed cases, almost one-quarter of the world’s total and 25,223 more than this time yesterday. The U.S. accounted for 4,081 deaths from COVID-19, about nine percent of the world’s total, and 911 more than this time yesterday.

1,096 U.S. deaths – twenty-seven percent of the U.S. total – were in New York city.

In Wisconsin there were 1,412 confirmed cases and 25 deaths. 11 deaths – almost half – were in Milwaukee County, where they had a total of 710 confirmed cases, more than half all the confirmed cases in Wisconsin.

There were 214 confirmed cases in Dane County and a total of 2 deaths.

jhu update 3 | 6:07 am CST
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Tuesday, March 31st, 2020

It’s twelve hours since the last time I checked the Johns Hopkins live map; let’s see how the world’s doing. (This info comes from the update at 5:05 this afternoon.)

There were 855,007 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world and 41,654 deaths.

In the U.S. there were 184,183 confirmed cases, almost one-quarter of the world’s total. The U.S. accounted for 3,810 deaths from COVID-19, about nine percent of the world’s total. 932 U.S. deaths – almost one-quarter of the U.S. total – were in New York city.

In Wisconsin there were 1,412 confirmed cases and 24 deaths. 11 deaths – almost half – were in Milwaukee County, where they had a total of 710 confirmed cases – more than half all the confirmed cases in Wisconsin.

There were 214 confirmed cases in Dane County and a total of 2 deaths.

12 hrs later | 5:40 pm CST
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Asked whether Americans should be prepared for 100,000 people in the U.S. to die from COVID-19, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said point-blank, “The answer is yes.”

“As sobering a number as that is, we should be prepared for it. Is it going to be that much? I hope not. I think the more we push on the mitigation, the less likelihood it would be that number. But, as being realistic, we need to prepare ourselves that that is a possibility that that’s what we will see.”

the answer is yes | 6:43 am CST
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Missed yesterday’s covid-19 update. Oops.

The Johns Hopkins live map, updated at 5:30 this morning, indicated there were 800,049 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world and 38,714 deaths.

At the same time in the U.S. there were 164,410 confirmed cases, almost one-quarter of the world’s total. The U.S. accounted for 3,170 deaths from COVID-19, about eight percent of the world’s total. 914 of U.S. deaths – almost one-third of the U.S. total – were in New York city.

In Wisconsin there were 1,285 confirmed cases and 24 deaths. 10 deaths – almost half – were in Milwaukee County, where they had a total of 617 confirmed cases — just shy of half all the confirmed cases in Wisconsin.

The southeast corner of Wisconsin has been the hardest hit; beside Milwaukee County, Kenosha County had 30 cases, Ozaukee County had 36 cases and 3 deaths, Racine County had 21 cases, Washington County had 34 cases, and Waukesha County had 93 cases. Including Milwaukee County, the region accounts for 831 cases – 65 percent of all COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin – and 13 deaths – 54 percent of all deaths in Wisconsin.

There were 192 confirmed cases in Dane County and a total of 2 deaths (1 more than reported on Sunday).

missed | 6:38 am CST
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Sunday, March 29th, 2020

It’s Day 15 of shelter in place at the O’Folks Home, counting from the Sunday after we flew back from Florida. We are both still free of any of the red-flag symptoms of Covid-19, and I’m pretty sure we owe that to the fact that we’ve stayed in our little red house virtually 24/7 since our return. It’s not that we never leave; I go out periodically to stretch my legs and get some air, and we’ve both gone out a handful of times to buy necessary supplies. That’s pretty much it, though; we don’t eat out any more, we’ve stopped making trips to the convenience store for cookies or chips, and I haven’t been to a book store since we came back, not that they’ve been open.

My Darling B made a trip to the co-op for groceries yesterday. We usually shop at the Willy Street Co-Op, a small neighborhood cooperative in Madison where they seem to be doing their best to make shopping for groceries as safe as possible. They open at ten o’clock and the first hour is reserved for senior citizens and people who are immunocompromised. Two people stand at the door, counting noses, and let only 30 people into the store at a time. At eleven o’clock they start letting in anybody else, but allow only 50 at a time to enter. You have to stand three feet back from the counters and bag your own groceries.

After B got back from shopping, she burned her clothes and took a shower. Kidding. She didn’t burn her clothes, but she did immediately take a long, hot shower. Then we put away the dozen or so bags of groceries she brought home with her. I think we can hunker down with the food we have for at least a month, if it came to that. I don’t think it will. I think it’ll get bad, but not so bad we won’t be able to go out at all. But I might be wrong about that.

Day 15 | 12:00 pm CST
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Trump, insinuating at a press conference that medical professionals are squandering or selling the supplies being sent to them to deal with the pandemic:

“Many of the states are stocked up, some of them don’t admit it, but they have, we have sent just so much, so many things to them, including ventilators, you know, there’s a question as to hoarding of ventilators, some hospitals and independent hospitals and some hospital chains, as we call them, they are holding ventilators, they don’t want to let them up, we need them for certain areas where there’s big problems, can’t hold them if they think there might be a problem weeks down the road.”

“For years, 10- to 20,000 masks, okay, it’s a New York hospital, it’s packed all the time, how do you go from 10- to 20- to 300,000, 10- to 20,000 masks to 300,000 even though this is different, something’s going on and you ought to look into it as reporters, where are the masks going? Are they going out the back door? How do you go from 10,000 to 300,000, and we have that in a lot of different places so somebody should probably look into that ’cause I just don’t see, from a practical standpoint, how that’s possible to go from that to that and we have that happening in numerous places”

smdh | 5:58 am CST
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1,441 more people tested, 0.64 times more people than yesterday.

123 new cases, 0.84 more than yesterday.

14 new cases in Dane County, 0.56 more than yesterday.

No new deaths.

I get these numbers from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, which posts them on their web site at about two o’clock each day. A disclosure on the web page indicates these are the numbers reported at 9 pm the previous day, so there’s a seventeen-hour lag built into them.

At the same time that WI DHS was reporting no new deaths, the web site of Johns Hopkins University was reporting 17 deaths in Wisconsin.

alternate | 3:36 am CST
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Saturday, March 28th, 2020

2,239 more people tested, 1.3 times more than yesterday.

147 new cases, 1.1 times more than yesterday.

25 new cases in Dane County, 1.3 times more than yesterday.

No new deaths.

Nationwide, the 1st recorded death from COVID-19 was on 2/29.
The 1,000th death was 3/26, two days ago.
Today saw the 2,000th death from COVID-19.

rainy | 5:23 pm CST
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Friday, March 27th, 2020

1,692 more people tested, 1.05 times more than yesterday.

135 new cases, 1.1 times more than yesterday.

19 new cases in Dane County, 1.4 times more than yesterday

5 more deaths, 1.6 times more than yesterday.

ramping up | 3:17 pm CST
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Thursday, March 26th, 2020

1,616 more people tested, 364 fewer people than yesterday.

122 new cases in Wisconsin, 6 fewer than yesterday.

26 new cases in Dane County, 1.6 times more than yesterday.

2 more deaths, both in Milwaukee County.

less is more | 7:12 pm CST
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Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

Q: Mister President, you tweeted earlier, linking the closing of the country to your election success in November. Is this Easter timeline based on your political interests?

A: What do you mean, my election success?

Q: You said that the media wants the country to remain closed to hurt you —

A: Yeah, no, I think the media would like to see me do poorly in the election.

Q: Sir, lawmakers and congress on both sides of the aisle have said that reopening the country by Easter is not a good idea. What is that plan based on?

A: Just so you understand — are you ready? I think there are certain people that would like it to open not so quickly. I think there are certain people who would like it to do financially poorly, because they think that would be very good as far as defeating me in the polls. And, I don’t know if that’s so, but I do think it’s so that there are people in your profession that would like that to happen. I think it’s very clear that there are people in your profession that write fake news. You do. She does. There are people in your profession that write fake news. They would love to see me, for whatever reason, because we’ve done one hell of a job, nobody’s done the job that we’ve done, and it’s lucky that you have this group here now for this problem, or you wouldn’t even have a country left. Okay.

Source

barking | 6:11 pm CST
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1,980 more people tested, 1.6 times the number of new tests reported yesterday.

128 new confirmed cases in Wisconsin, 3.0 times the number of new cases reported yesterday.

16 new cases in Dane County, 1.2 times more than yesterday.

1 new death, reported in Dane County.

jump | 5:16 pm CST
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Tuesday, March 24th, 2020

corona virus in Wisconsin1,228 more people tested, 1.4 time more people than reported yesterday.

41 new cases, 1.2 times more than yesterday.

11 new cases in Dane County.

No new deaths reported.

Trump wants to lift restrictions by the end of the week because the economy’s not making enough money. Sick and dead workers don’t make money, you derp.

slow rise | 2:11 pm CST
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Monday, March 23rd, 2020

855 more people tested.

Thirty-five more confirmed cases.

One added death in Milwaukee County. No new positives in Dane County.

The governor ordered all non-essential services shut down tomorrow and told everyone to stay indoors.

Working at home again this week. I’m not sure how much I like this working from home. On the one hand, we don’t have to drive on the beltline, and we’re home the minute we clock off. On the other hand, our home used to be my refuge from the stress of work, and now it’s not.

#safeathome | 8:29 pm CST
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Sunday, March 22nd, 2020

1702 more people tested.

One-hundred more cases today over yesterday’s total, a thirty-six percent increase, can probably be attributed to more testing but is right in line with the daily thirty-three percent increase seen in other countries.

No increase in the number of deaths, thank goodness.

Source: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/outbreaks/index.htm

thirty-six percent | 3:54 pm CST
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Saturday, March 21st, 2020

COVID-19 in Wisconsin 281 positive 4 deathsI left the house yesterday to go shopping for groceries but I did not feel good about it. I’m not sure there’s any way to do that and feel good about it. Here’s what I mean:

For as long as this pandemic is raging, we should all be acting as if we are contagious and are spreading the virus everywhere we go. (A survivor of the SARS epidemic wrote: “Pretend that everything is covered with snot.”) You don’t have to come into contact with other people; you only have to come in contact with things: door handles, shopping carts, food packaging, the keypad on the credit card reader, the floor. You have to act as though you’re shedding virus on everything any part of your body touches. And you have to act as though everyone else is doing the same.

And I try. And I’ve noticed that, for every time I mentally pat myself on the back for not touching something unnecessarily, I slip up and touch something else unthinkingly. It’s just not possible not to touch anything. I’m going to touch things. So is everyone else. All the customers picking up packages to read the ingredients or brand or whatever and then putting it back on the shelf. All the workers in the store who put products on the shelves. The worker who rang up my purchases — she encouraged me to bag them myself if I wanted to, which I did, but she handled every single item.

All those people might not be sick. Maybe only one of them is. But we have to act as though we’re all infectious. We’re not doing that. We’re trying — I’m trying — but we’re only about fifty percent successful, at best. That’s not successful enough.

I did another thing we really shouldn’t be doing: I stopped at a local brunch restaurant to pick up breakfast sammies to go. Locally-owned restaurants are using social media to beg customers to order food for pick-up so their businesses don’t dry up and blow away, and while I agree that keeping your employees, y’know, employed is a laudable goal, by doing this we are not acting as though everyone is infectious. The guy who made our breakfast sammies and the gal who checked me out at the counter might not be contagious, but we should assume the exact opposite until the number of people dying of COVID-19 begins to drop.

That’s why we’re going to end up like Italy by the end of the month: a whole country with a runaway infection rate, confined to our homes in a last-ditch attempt to bring down the number of sick people flooding into hospitals.

out and about | 7:44 am CST
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Monday, March 16th, 2020

So we’ve just come back from a cruise. In hindsight, going ahead with our plans to cruise was probably one of the dumber decisions we’ve made, now that it’s become clear the nation was already diving headfirst into the calamity that is the novel corona virus pandemic. At the time it seemed as though we had a month or so before things got really serious; there were reports of outbreaks in Washington state and a few very localized communities and we talked ourselves into believing that’s all there was to it, but with little to no testing going on, we were only denying the reality of the situation.

And it was pretty easy to keep on denying anything was wrong. O’Hare airport was jammed shoulder-to-shoulder with travelers and the airlines weren’t taking any special precautions that were apparent to us. Fort Lauderdale airport was just as busy as O’Hare and the motel we stayed in appeared to be fully booked with people who were for the most part unconcerned about being in close contact with one another. I noticed a few people at the continental breakfast making good use of hand sanitizer, but they were just two or three out of dozens. We all happily climbed into crowded buses to take the short ride to the cruise port at ten o’clock.

We boarded in one of the early groups and although they warned us we would be subject to a stringent medical screening due to the pandemic, this amounted to little more than asking us to fill out a questionnaire and requiring us to submit to having our temperature taken. They used little plastic pistols which they pointed at our foreheads to take our temperature, and we’re a little doubtful about their accuracy — B’s temp was 91 degrees Farenheit, which I’m pretty sure is not possible for a walking, talking human being.

Sanitation is very important on a cruise ship, so the crew is used to keeping everything clean, and there was almost always someone standing guard at the entrance to the dining hall, squirting everyone’s hands with a jumbo-sized bottle of hand santizer. The people who ran the charter cruise we were on regularly reminded everyone to wash their hands and even played a couple of specially-recorded videos with catchy tunes to keep it at the front of our minds.

Nobody got sick on the cruise that I know of. Although a few people reported on social media afterwards that they were under the weather with sniffles or coughs, they attributed it to “cruise crud,” a catch-all description for the various bugs people suffer from after a cruise. B had a nasty case of cruise crud the first time we went cruising; we made sure we washed our hands more or less constantly the next two times and we avoided coming down with anything. If we’re lucky, it worked again this time around, too.

hindsight | 9:13 am CST
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Monday, February 10th, 2020

For once, he’s not lying.

tremendous fraud

tremendous | 5:19 am CST
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Monday, January 27th, 2020

People have been taking selfies since the camera was invented. Astronauts are no more immune to the temptation to snap photos of themselves while they’re on the job than the rest of us are. Here’s astronaut Jessica Meir, who is currently orbiting her home planet aboard the International Space Station, as she snapped a photo of herself that should be on the wall of every kid who dreams of becoming an astronaut some day:

Astronaut Jessica Meir

spacewalk selfie | 8:36 am CST
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Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020

Fare the well, Terry Jones, and thank you so much for all the laughs.

Terry Jones | 6:16 am CST
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Tuesday, January 21st, 2020

I fired up the snow blower for the first time last weekend.

I’ll say that again: For the first time this winter, I used my snow blower. In mid-January. It finally snowed enough to get the snow blower out of moth balls. It snowed a couple times before last weekend, but just barely. All but once I didn’t even bother to shovel it off the driveway. It’s been a disappointing year for snow, if you love snow. Which I don’t. I could easily do without it, and it looks increasingly like I’ll be able to do just that.

But not because of climate change, because climate change is a hoax.

Just kidding. Climate change is real and we’re all going to die.

Just kidding. We’re not going to die. It’ll only feel like we’re dying.

Don’t mind me. I just woke up. Haven’t even finished my coffee yet. Go back to sleep.

first blow | 6:18 am CST
Category: current events, random idiocy, weather, yet another rant
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Saturday, July 27th, 2019

Trump’s bigoted rants aren’t going to stop. He’s going to keep on ranting and he’s going to get more offensively racist with each rant. How much longer are we going to put up with a blatantly racist president?

DRT rants about Cummings 7-27-29

infested | 4:30 am CST
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Sunday, July 14th, 2019

The president of the United States ranting at brown and black people, telling them to go back to where they came from, is so cartoonishly racist that I never thought I’d live to see it, and yet here you go:

racist POTUS tweet 7-14-19

back where you came from | 10:55 am CST
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Monday, July 1st, 2019

A congressional delegation inspected facilities operated by the Customs and Border Patrol agency where asylum-seekers were being held in inhumane conditions. The delegation included Pete Aguilar (CA31), Joaquin Castro (TX20), Judy Chu (CA27), Madeleine Dean (PA4), Veronica Escobar (TX16), Sylvia Garcia (TX29), Joe Kennedy (MA4) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY14), Ayanna Pressley (MA7), Rashida Tlaib (MI13), Norma Torrez (CA35), Greg Stanton (AZ9), Lori Trahan (MA3), and Marc Veasey (TX33).

Joaquin Castro: “At the El Paso Border Patrol Station #1, women from Cuba, some grandmothers, crammed into a prison-like cell with one toilet, but no running water to drink from or wash their hands with. Concrete floors, cinder-block walls, steel toilets. Many said they had not bathed for 15 days. Some had been separated from children, some had been held for more than 50 days. Several complained they had not received their medications, including one for epilepsy. They asked us to take down their names and let everyone know they need help. They also feared retribution. We then went to the Clint Border Patrol Station that warehouses children and some parents. The tents outside, used during the surge recently, were dark and surrounded by chain link fences. The showers — mobile units — were dank, dirty and only too small in number for the hundreds of people there just a few weeks ago. And a boy, perhaps three years old, pressed his face against the dirty glass of a locked steel door. He smiled big and tried to talk to us through the thick glass. His family — or another — ate Ramen on the floor a few feet away.”

Judy Chu: “We just left the El Paso border patrol station … what we saw was appalling and disgusting. We talked to a group of women, detainees who said that they didn’t have running water, that one was an epileptic and she couldn’t get her medication. They were separated from their children. They’d been there over 50 days. One woman said that the border patrol agent told her if she wanted water, just to drink from a toilet … There seriously has to be some change.”

Madeleine Dean: “Just left the first CBP facility. The conditions are far worse than we ever could have imagined. 15 women in their 50s- 60s sleeping in a small concrete cell, no running water. Weeks without showers. All of them separated from their families. This is a human rights crisis. We were met with hostility from the guards, but this is nothing compared to their treatment of the people being held.
The detainees are constantly abused and verbally harassed with no cause. Deprived physically and dehumanized mentally – everyday. This is a human rights issue.”

Joe Kennedy: “Spent the morning in TX at Clint and El Paso detention facilities. Big takeaways — 1) CBP was very resistant to Congressional oversight. They tried to restrict what we saw, take our phones, block photos and video. Atmosphere was contentious and uncooperative. 2) Facilities are wholly inadequate. Cells maxed to capacity, concrete floors … It felt jail-like. No way to keep a child or innocent human being. Group of 13 women from Cuba were in tears when we spoke with them.”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: “Just left the 1st CBP facility. I see why CBP officers were being so physically &sexually threatening towards me. Officers were keeping women in cells w/ no water & had told them to drink out of the toilets. This was them on their GOOD behavior in front of members of Congress. After I forced myself into a cell w/ women & began speaking to them, one of them described their treatment at the hands of officers as “psychological warfare” — waking them at odd hours for no reason, calling them wh*res, etc. Tell me what about that is due to a “lack of funding?” Now I’m on my way to Clint, where the Trump admin was denying children toothpaste and soap. This has been horrifying so far. It is hard to understate the enormity of the problem. We’re talking systemic cruelty w/ a dehumanizing culture that treats them like animals. What’s haunting is that the women I met with today told me in no uncertain terms that they would experience retribution for telling us what they shared. They all began sobbing — out of fear of being punished, out of sickness, out of desperation, lack of sleep, trauma, despair.”

Rashida Tlaib: “We can’t just focus on the children anymore. I met grandmothers, mothers and fathers who are suffering. This is devastating. The look in one father’s eyes broke me. I can’t look away. A little boy not more than 4 years old asked me where his Papa was through a glass door. An Abuela hasn’t seen her grandson in 40 days & has no idea where he is. A woman, pregnant w/ her first child, just wants to be w/ her family in FL. A father teared up telling me that his wife, 8 yr old daughter & 14 yr old son have been sleeping on concrete floors in a tent for 4 days. They haven’t been able to shower, no real food (chips & juice boxes) & so scared of being separated.”

concentration | 8:39 pm CST
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Monday, April 1st, 2019

WARNING: SYSTEM OVERLOAD. VENTING IN PROGRESS.

Oh My God I don’t effing care how Kellyanne Conway and George Conway make their marriage work! How do garbage people like these keep getting headlines? It’s no wonder I gave up watching television news years ago!

It’s really not such a puzzle! Maybe they still love each other! Maybe the fact that George can’t stand Kellyanne’s boss is a turn-on that spices up their marriage! People have kinks that seem stranger to me! Although not as revolting, I have to say.

Or, maybe they hate each other! Lots of married people hate each other but stay married anyway! It’s so common as to be not remarkable at all!

Or, maybe they’re ambivalent and too lazy to pack it in. That’s not really so far-fetched.

See? Mystery solved! NOW STOP WASTING AIRTIME AND WRITING CLICKBAIT STORIES ABOUT THE CONWAYS!

no puzzle | 6:24 am CST
Category: current events, random idiocy, yet another rant | Tags:
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Sunday, February 24th, 2019

A few random thoughts about climate change, in no particular order:

I don’t “believe in” climate change. I’m not entirely sure what the phrase “believe in” means. It’s most often used in the context of “believing in” god or supernatural phenomena or something for which there is no hard evidence. Until I see some hard evidence, I don’t believe phenomena that are supposed to be supernatural. (You know what they call supernatural phenomena that is supported by hard evidence? Natural phenomena.) (I wish I could say I came up with that myself, but I didn’t. I believe Tim Minchin did, but I can’t find the quote right now.)

Which is why I don’t “believe in” climate change. Climate is not a supernatural phenomenon, and the changes which have been described by thousands of people who have been studying climate their entire lives are supported by hard evidence. I believe the evidence and I believe the warnings that our industrial activity has changed the climate, and I also believe that if we continue to be as active industrially as we have been, we will continue to change the climate in ways that will make our planet inhospitable to human life.

It really isn’t a hard concept to understand. Humans have been polluting the earth, air, sky and water we need to survive for as long as we have been walking the earth. When we were doing that in the ways that every other creature walking the earth did it, this wasn’t a problem, but when we started doing it on an industrial scale and the pollution started to mount up faster than it could decompose, then it became a problem. And because we have done, and continue to do, almost nothing to mitigate the problem, it has grown into a bigger problem year after year.

Those are facts. That is really happening.

And now, some things I believe should be happening to reduce the effects of climate change, but aren’t happening and, sadly, probably won’t happen:

I believe America should lead the world in converting to energy production that produces no carbon dioxide. I believe this is not only possible, and that it can be done in the near future, I believe this is the easiest thing we could do. It wouldn’t even be our “moon-shot” to mitigate climate change. The technology to do it has already been developed and proven, we only have to scale it up. I also believe this will not happen any time soon, if it happens at all, because narrow-minded greedheads like Trump are going to be in high office for the foreseeable future. No, I don’t have a time machine and I can’t foretell the future, but most countries in the world are being run by narrow-minded greedheads these days. It seems to be a trend.

I believe America should lead the world in converting to mass transit that produces no carbon dioxide. I believe this is also possible. I believe it could be done almost as quickly as converting to zero-emission energy production. And I also believe this will never happen because everybody likes their goddamn cars and trucks too much. Honestly, how does anybody justify driving to work by themselves in a truck the size of Nebraska? That ought to be criminal.

I believe American politicians should be engaged every single day with politicians from countries around the globe to find ways to lessen the effects of climate change. And obviously this will not happen because politicians are not really representatives of the citizens of the United States. Politicians do what lobbyists pay them to do, and the lobbyists with the biggest bucks are generally in favor of doing things that cause climate change. Oh shit, I stepped up onto my cynical soapbox. So sorry.

climate change | 11:44 am CST
Category: current events, Life & Death, random idiocy, this modern world, yet another rant | Tags:
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Wednesday, February 13th, 2019

Fare thee well, Opportunity, and we thank you.

#thanksoppy | 6:12 am CST
Category: current events, space geekery
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