Thursday, April 2, 2020

Random Thoughts: After South Carolina

Tweets from March, 2020:
  • 2020-03-01: Expect Trump to suddenly get interested in Hunter Biden again after South Carolina.
  • 2020-03-02: Anyone notice how Biden, Klobuchar, and Buttigieg are all going to be in Texas today, the day before Super Tuesday? With so many states to choose from, Texas is the big prize. Quite a turnaround from the usual flyover status candidates give the state in campaigns.
  • 2020-03-04: The Souvenir (2019): Student filmmaker and her sketchy boyfriend. He exploits her and she apologizes too much. Instead, run away! Movie has an arty look and feel. Lots of long takes with mirrors and windows and reflections. See the movie poster. It all feels pretentious. C-
  • 2020-03-05: The state of American politics in five words: "Democracy is not a meritocracy." -- Jennifer Rubin

After the jump, more random thoughts.

  • 2020-03-05: Plano's new coach Cody Moore: "This play, go play-action with a deep pass to the corner of the end zone...On second thought, run the ball. Or whatever", tossing his clipboard on the ground and walking off the field.
  • 2020-03-05: Vox says the Trump campaign is using Facebook ads to mislead people about the census. Two weeks ago, I noticed the same misleading ads in direct mail.
  • 2020-03-07: The ambiguity in the lyrics of the Beatles "A Day in the Life" makes for compelling poetry. It's why my photography is unsatisfying. There's no ambiguity. I seem to be constitutionally unable to abide ambiguity.
  • 2020-03-07: "The more you struggle to make it lifelike the less like life it becomes. But since a work of art is an illusion anyway, if you heighten the illusory quality, then you come closer to the effect of life." -- Alberto Giacometti
  • 2020-03-07: Check your spam folder. If you've received any email from China, delete it immediately and spray your computer monitor with a disinfectant that's known to be effective against coronavirus.
  • 2020-03-07: "The Coronavirus Could Put an End to Handshakes." Replacing handshakes with fist bumps has always seemed like a prudent change to me. But I wonder, has anyone tried to calculate how much good, if any, it would really do?
  • 2020-03-08: The Dems have spent the whole primary season highlighting the fact that so many Americans don't have health care. The Republican administration is now telling Americans with coronavirus symptoms to "call their doctor." One side is clearly not listening to the other.
  • 2020-03-09: Lower gas prices at the pump is good news for consumers in most states. Except Texas. Layoffs in the oil fields could hurt the local economy a lot more than the gas pump savings help.
  • 2020-03-09: I first thought Ted Cruz self-quarantining for 14 days was a good thing. Now I wonder. Cruz being able to dedicate himself to Twitter 24x7 for two weeks sounds like torture for the rest of us.
  • 2020-03-09: Seriously, I applaud Ted Cruz for self-quarantining. Of course, he can afford to because as a member of Congress he'll get paid while at home. Too many American workers lack paid sick leave. Sad! Maybe Ted Cruz can think about that while he's at home.
  • 2020-03-09: Quotes from the movie Jaws:
    Scientist: "This Was Not A Boat Accident."
    Police chief: "You're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat."
    Mayor: "You Yell Shark And We Have A Panic...For Christ's sake tomorrow is the fourth of July! And we will be open for business."
    Which character is Trump?
  • 2020-03-11: It's been said, about past elections, that Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line. This election is different. Democrats fell in line quickly and fully, thanks to antipathy towards Trump.
  • 2020-03-12: I am calling for a total and complete shutdown of all communications out of the White House until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.
  • 2020-03-12: There's always a tweet. This one from 2014.
  • 2020-03-12: NCAA cancelled March Madness. In other news, in Washington, DC, March Madness continues unabated, following February Madness following January Madness...
  • 2020-03-13: Emma. (2020): Young matchmaker for clueless aristocrats thinks it's all fun until hearts start breaking. Stoic looks, penetrating gazes, private smiles, and hidden meanings. Who would guess a 200 year old Jane Austen novel would be the source for the year's best rom-com? B+
  • 2020-03-13: Is it too late for all states to allow vote-by-mail for any reason in time for the November election?
  • 2020-03-13: "I would rather be governed by the first 2,000 people in the telephone directory than by the Harvard University faculty." -- William F. Buckley, 1961.
    I'm feeling that way today about the Trump administration.
  • 2020-03-15: Government by whim from the top down by a man who never organized a school field trip now trying to deal with a pandemic.
  • 2020-03-16: Just returned from Tom Thumb at Arapaho and Shiloh. Shelves are low in quantities of everything, but we found some items of everything, except toilet paper. No panic. No urgency. No crowds. Just kind of an eerie feeling shopping during a pandemic.
  • 2020-03-17: I've paid less attention to presidential primaries this year than I usually do. But after the last few weeks of pandemic worries, I find it oddly comforting to glue my eyes to the primary results coming in.
  • 2020-03-18: Peterloo (2019): Cavalry massacre of a peaceful crowd petitioning for the right to vote in Manchester in 1819. Lots of speeches and too little character development, but sets and costumes and cinematography are great. Its story is important. Voting rights is our fight today. B-
  • 2020-03-18: Headline: "Abbott resists top-down response." A shorter, just as accurate headline would be "Abbott resists response." Our governor's lack of response is endangering lives.
  • 2020-03-18: Wisconsin Badgers win simulated NCAA basketball tournament.
  • 2020-03-19: "Rather than heed the warnings, embrace the planning and preserve the structures and budgets that had been bequeathed to him, the president ignored the risk of a pandemic" -- Suan Rice.
  • 2020-03-20: "Chinese leaders had been criticized for their handling of the situation and lack of transparency about the disease's progression." Did you ever notice the Trump administration accuses others of their own failings? As if that exonerates them somehow?
  • 2020-03-20: We're all getting to see what the Rapture looks like, except in this case, ironically, it's the science-believing people who have disappeared from our streets. #COVID19
  • 2020-03-20: Socialism was always a word with a slippery definition.
  • 2020-03-21: What are the worst crises faced by America in your lifetime?
    5. JFK assassination
    4. Great Recession of 2008
    3. 9/11
    2. Cuban Missile Crisis
    and the new #1
    1. Coronavirus
  • 2020-03-21: There's always a tweet. This one from Jan 24. Apparently it's no longer operable. Like Orwell's 1984, the gaslighters would now have us believe we have always been at war with EastAsia.
  • 2020-03-21: As concise a list of Trump's personal traits that make him unfit to hold office in time of crisis as I've seen.
  • 2020-03-22: Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot (2018): Alcoholic hits rock bottom when he's paralyzed in a drunken crash. Movie shows his climb back up, thanks to his sponsor at AA, Lao-Tzu, and cartooning. Joaquin Phoenix in another unforgettable role. Jonah Hill's best work. B-
  • 2020-03-22: I naively remember when the threat to human life on earth was decades away in the form of global warming. Good times.
  • 2020-03-22: I can't disagree. He's immune to learning.
  • 2020-03-23: Just a technical Constitutional question: shouldn't a spending bill like this trillion dollar bailout originate in the House, not the Senate?
  • 2020-03-23: Don't believe Trump when he says no one could have seen this coming. Trump wasn't just not looking. He was actively blinding his eyes. "Trump administration nixed key CDC job in China months before coronavirus outbreak."
  • 2020-03-23: This is the pro-life party.
  • 2020-03-24: My utmost respect and thanks to Mayor Paul Voelker and the Richardson City Council for doing the thought thing, the right thing.
  • 2020-03-24: It turns out the death panels were implemented by Trump Republicans, not Obamacare (which Trump is still suing to kill, by the way).
  • 2020-03-24: "Trump accused Democrats of trying to use the stimulus to pursue other legislative priorities." Yeah, just like GOP. Govt is going to spend a trillion dollars to shore up the economy. Where will the money go? To GOP favored corporations or to Dem priorities? Need compromise.
  • 2020-03-24: "White House agrees to allow oversight of huge coronavirus loan program as $2 trillion Senate deal nears." Who would have thought that the Democrats' demand for oversight should have to be a hard won concession from GOP. #BothSidesIsm
  • 2020-03-24: Trump to New York: Drop Dead.
  • 2020-03-25: Collin County's mixed messages are a disaster. "All workers are essential." Businesses can stay open but have to practice social distancing, unless it's hard. Frisco mayor doesn't see "overwhelming differences" with Dallas County. Really? My advice? Stay out of Collin County.
  • 2020-03-25: Watch what they do, not what they say.
  • 2020-03-25: Jerry Falwell Jr reopens Liberty University campus. Remember when conservatives mocked universities for creating so-called "safe spaces." One student says Liberty University is "creating a space where students can come and be stupid."
  • 2020-03-25: Quarantine realization: looking back with my wife at old family photos, I realize that if we had met in high school, she never would have dated me. Thank goodness for social distancing, 1960s style.
  • 2020-03-26: The priorities of Fox and Friends.
  • 2020-03-26: I get the "customers cannot wait in the dining room" but can they go into the dining room to place their order? Or do they have do that by phone or Internet?
  • 2020-03-26: "Study: Two Spaces After a Period May Be Better Than One." This was from 2018. Social distancing benefits during pandemic removes any remaining doubt.
  • 2020-03-26: This is what you get when you give power to a political party that believes that "government isn't the solution to our problems, government is the problem." You get problems that we don't even prepare for and then turn into crises when we delay our responses to.
  • 2020-03-26: And the tea-partiers are biggest defenders of this massive bailout for corporations and critics of any worker-oriented stimulus.
  • 2020-03-27: By "confusion" he means bad faith arguments that the warnings about the Covid-19 threat were overblown. In short: warnings sounded; social distancing implemented; threat mitigated.
  • 2020-03-27: Tiger King (TV 2020): Grudge between exotic big cat zookeepers turns into true crime story of arson, a missing husband and murder-for-hire. Bigger than life low life characters starring a "gay, gun-carrying redneck with a mullet," a tiger lover and reality TV star wannabe. B+
  • 2020-03-27: Any Democrat who is grateful that this pandemic happened on Trump's watch is a fool. It it had happened on Obama's watch, Obama would have taken it seriously and Republicans would have, too (in order to blame Obama). There would still be arguing, but all would take it seriously.
  • 2020-03-28: Why Trump's playbook won't work this time. "Hush-money payments won't make COVID-19 go away. He cannot distract people from the global pandemic. He can't wait it out until the next news cycle, because the next news cycle will also be about the pandemic."
  • 2020-03-28: Many worst-case scenarios for coronavirus fail to include the possibility of another four years of Trump.
  • 2020-03-28: "Trump signed the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill, but says he won't comply with transparency measures."
    Who or what will stop him? Our Constitutional system is broken.
  • 2020-03-28: It's time to update Sen. Everett Dirksen's famous line: "A trillion here, a trillion there and pretty soon you're talking about real money."
  • 2020-03-28: Headline: "If the South can't straighten out its coronavirus response, there won't be a college football season." I see what you're trying to do here. ;-)
  • 2020-03-29: Estimates of the number of Covid-19 deaths in US that we can expect range from 36,000 and 1.1 million. The biggest variable is our reaction. Will we be more like Dallas County or more like Collin County? Will we have the fortitude to keep measures in place long enough?
  • 2020-03-29: During a pandemic that's not under control in the US, there's nothing too petty to occupy our President's time instead.
  • 2020-03-30: The English Game (TV 2020): The FA Cup in the 1880s, cotton millworkers vs Old Etonians, with class warfare, mill strikes, and a lot of romantic melodrama by Julian Fellowes. Predictable storyline and subplots but if you liked Downton Abbey, you'll like this. B-
  • 2020-03-30: One thing Trump supporters like about him is that he says out loud what other Republicans know you should never admit.
  • 2020-03-31: Has there been any uptick in bank robbers taking advantage of the pandemic? No one would be suspicious if you walk into a bank wearing a mask.
  • 2020-03-31: To Dallas County and the City of Richardson: now that Gov. Abbott has refused to impose restrictions needed for public health, our lives are in your hands. Hold the line.
  • 2020-03-31: How many weeks into this pandemic are we when President Trump looks like he's seeing the "flatten the curve" graph for the first time? Maybe he is.
  • 2020-03-31: The boy who cried "Infrastructure Week."

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