Friday, May 1, 2020

Random Thoughts: Trump is a Snake Whisperer

Tweets from April, 2020:
  • 2020-04-01: "Trump is a snake whisperer." -- Edward Countryman.
    What a great addition to the political dictionary, alongside "dog whistle."
  • 2020-04-01: A tradition in American journalism is that the reporter must not become the story. It's impossible to live up to that at a televised Presidential press conference. Trump thrives on his insulting interactions. One solution? Stay away. Don't let Trump make you a part of his shtick.
  • 2020-04-02: Yesterday was Census Day. Forgot to fill it out for your household? Not to worry. Do it today. It still counts. You still get credit. And so does your community.
  • 2020-04-02: Those toilet paper shortages probably are caused less by panic buying and hoarding than by our economy's fine-tuned supply chains being unable to rapidly adjust to the new normal.

After the jump, more random thoughts.

  • 2020-04-03: Quarantine Diary - Day 18. I didn't notice until 3 pm that I hadn't put on a belt this morning. I'm really letting myself go.
  • 2020-04-04: Quarantine Diary - Day 19: Home schooling math quiz. Daddy drank 1 glass of wine for breakfast, 1 with lunch, 1 for an afternoon pick-me-up, 2 with dinner, and 1 for a nightcap. How many glasses of wine did daddy drink?"
    Bonus question: Does it matter that daddy doesn't have any children at home?
  • 2020-04-04: The Politician (TV 2019): Ambitious high school student runs for class president as first step in life goal of becoming POTUS. Political satire with over-the-top, absurd elements and plot twists. Politics is properly skewered but questionable treatment of sexual orientation. B-
  • 2020-04-04: Three cheers for @OmgTacosTX.
  • 2020-04-04: WTF? "The only official in the entire government who has been publicly disciplined to date for mishandling the coronavirus is a Navy officer who acted to save his crew from an outbreak."
  • 2020-04-04: The nationwide lockdown is now zero days old.
  • 2020-04-05: "We're not a shipping clerk." -- President Trump.
    "As a doctor, I am willing to do whatever it takes to defeat this virus. Why isn't Trump?" -- a dermatology physician in New York City
  • 2020-04-06: The Death of Stalin (2018): Maliciously funny black comedy about Kremlin infighting following Stalin's death. More frat house farce than deadly serious power struggle. It helps if you know a little history of the times. If not, what you learn here makes a fun history lesson. B+
  • 2020-04-06: McKesson Corp. told White House in June that tariffs on medical gloves, masks, and other PPE would lead to shortages and "disruptions to patient care."
    We knew that Trump's love of tariffs led to higher costs for Americans. Now we learn we were less prepared for COVID-19 too.
  • 2020-04-06: Social distancing is working, folks. Keep it up. Keep it up. Keep it up.
  • 2020-04-06: Is anyone else thinking that Dallas County's move to fewer and larger polling places (voting centers) is not a good idea in a world where the new normal might be some form of social distancing? Texas can fix this. Vote by mail is the exact opposite of voting centers.
  • 2020-04-06: The empty skies after 9/11 allowed scientists to conduct certain climate change studies impossible otherwise. Now, COVID-19 might allow for earthquake studies impossible otherwise.
  • 2020-04-07: Republicans said impeachment was the wrong solution. They said Dems should use elections to get rid of politicians they don't like. Now we see how Republicans intend for that to work. Look at Wisconsin.
  • 2020-04-07: By all that is holy, why do news outlet continue to let themselves be props for a madman? They aren't a conduit of information. They are embarrassing themselves and tarnishing their reputation.
  • 2020-04-08: The GOP-dominated Supreme Court of Wisconsin met virtually Monday and decided to send voters out to the polls.
  • 2020-04-08: Ozark - Season 3 (TV 2020): Same dark story of dealing with a drug cartel. No more breathers for the audience. All characters are in danger, all subplots are life-threatening. Wendy shows she's as badass as Marty. Ruth steals every scene she's in. Emmy noms for both. B+
  • 2020-04-10: Baron Wenckheim's Homecoming: Aging baron returns to his hometown in Hungary, a town full of misfits, who vie with the baron for being the lead character, everyone turning his homecoming into a disaster, as is the lack of periods in the text, with sentences going on for pages. C-
  • 2020-04-13: Promises made, promises broken.
  • 2020-04-14: Pro tip to Donald Trump. On this date in 1968, LBJ dropped out of the Presidential race to "pursue peace" in Vietnam. You can drop out to pursue victory over COVID-19. You could be a hero.
    Not accepting any fact checking.
  • 2020-04-15: Quarantine Diary - Day 30: Grocery store shelves are still picked over. Had to settle for "I can't believe it's not Butter!" for the first time in my life. After using it at home, It turns out, I can believe it's not.
  • 2020-04-15: During this quarantine I'm catching up on old movies. I've now watched all 2000 prequels to Kubrick's masterpiece "2001: A Space Odyssey."
  • 2020-04-16: On the minus side, Trump's "plan" to reopen America looked more like aspirational fan fiction, but on the plus side, Trump himself at least looked like he took his meds today.
  • 2020-04-17: Tales from the Loop (TV 2020): Sci-fi with less focus on the science and more on the characters, lots of them kids, who live naturally in a world of time travel, parallel universes, robots, and machinery with a 1980s retro futuristic tech feel. Stories are slow but charming. B-
  • 2020-04-18: I fear that America learned the wrong lesson from Orwell's 1984. Koreans, otoh, know how to make Big Brother work *for* them, hoping to reopen society safely with surveillance and contact tracing. "Seoul's Radical Experiment in Digital Contact Tracing."
  • 2020-04-18: Q. "Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz aren't coronavirus experts. So why are they talking about it on TV news?"
    A. Because TV has lots and lots of air time to fill and many TV producers aren't exactly PhD's themselves.
  • 2020-04-19: One World:Together at Home. My unpopular opinion? Rockers should retire at 60.
  • 2020-04-19: Suggested rule change for safely reopening NBA: call fouls.
  • 2020-04-20: Blow the Man Down (2020): A small fishing village in Maine is the setting for a murder mystery, or two. Great characters, all deserving more screen time. You can't tell the good guys from the bad guys, as the plot unfolds or even after. Just how a great whodunnit should be. A-
  • 2020-04-21: Cornyn favors clinical trials. Cornyn has always favored clinical trials.
    "The past was alterable. The past never had been altered. Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia." -- George Orwell, 1984
  • 2020-04-22: Code 8 (2019): In a future of people with super powers, we still don't have universal health insurance, so our hero pays for his sick mother's treatment with a $10m drug heist. If you're going to make sci-fi on a small budget, you need fresh ideas, not a mishmash of old ones. D+
  • 2020-04-22: This is what "overreaction" looks like.
  • 2020-04-22: Don't blame the lockdowns for the economic crisis. Blame coronavirus. Ending the lockdowns won't solve that.
  • 2020-04-22: "A study of coronavirus patients in Veterans Affairs hospitals released Tuesday found more deaths among those treated with hydroxychloroquine than those treated with standard care." Now we know the answer to Trump's question, "What do you have to lose?" Your life.
  • 2020-04-26: Since we're all reading North Korean tea leaves, let me add that my prior would be weighted towards the probability that Kim Jong Un is quarantining himself from coronavirus, far from the capital, probably in a resort area.
  • 2020-04-27: Horse Girl (2020): Lonely woman sleep walks, hears voices, and has surreal delusions in a descent into mental illness, but it's all her truth. Part dark comedy, part thriller, but mostly psychological character study. Based on family history of Alison Brie, who shines. C+
  • 2020-04-28: Linda Koop says, "Safety is our No. 1 priority as Texas begins Phase 1 of re-opening our economy this Friday."
    Obviously, "Safety" is #2 after "Business", otherwise stay-at-home orders would last until we know it's safe to reopen, and that requires testing. Where are the tests?
  • 2020-04-28: Are hospitals allowing visitors again? That's how I'll know the doctors are deciding it's safe to reopen and not the politicians. Where are the tests?
  • 2020-04-28: Trump has a deliberate strategy of tarnishing the reputation of any institution Americans respect: national security, science, and now doctors. That is, any institution that might criticize him.
  • 2020-04-29: "Texas 26th amendment lawsuit: Seven states restrict mail-in voting through unconstitutional age discrimination." Expect Texas to respond to a unfavorable court ruling by eliminating mail-in voting for all. They really really don't won't everyone to vote.

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