Going Viral

I’m trying to organize my thoughts concerning the president’s Covid19 diagnosis and the explosion of cases in his wake.

Right now, my mind is a piece of poster board, with words cut out from magazines, pasted haphazardly all over it.

The words from my better angels are things like compassion, concern, worry, and sympathy.

But unfortunately, my better angels are being drowned out by another, not so angelic feeling.

I am furious with the president of the United States.

I am furious that on February 7th, during a phone conversation with journalist Bob Woodward, he stated that the coronavirus was airborne and “more deadly than even your strenuous flus.”

Bob Woodward (R) and Carl Bernstein (L)-Two of my personal heroes.

On February 26, the president said, “Whatever happens, we’re totally prepared.” And, “In fact, we’ve ordered a lot of it (PPE) just in case we need it. We may not need it; you understand that. But in case—we’re looking at worst-case scenario. We’re going to be set very quickly.”

Months later, the Associated Press did an audit of contracting records and found that, “federal agencies largely waited until mid-March to begin placing bulk orders of (supplies).”

And although the White House had known for almost two months how serious this virus is, on February 28 he declares, “This is their new hoax” referring to Democrats who he says are “politicizing the coronavirus.”

Politicizing the coronavirus.

In what Trump later excuses as an attempt to not cause panic, on March 4, he states, “So if, you know, we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work—some of them go to work, but they get better.”  CDC and other scientists have consistently warned against going to work while ill.  He later denies downplaying the situation, and insists he “up-played” it.

Finally, on March 16, the president seems to admit the danger the nation is facing, “This is a bad one. This is a very bad one. This is bad in the sense that it’s so contagious. It’s just so contagious. Sort of, record-setting-type contagion.”

One week later, “We have to go back to work, much sooner than people thought.”    

But on April 4, he says, “During a national emergency, it’s just essential that the federal decision-makers cut through the fog of confusion in order to follow the facts and the science.”

Follow the facts and science.

On April 17, the president tweets, “Liberate Michigan!”.  He also urges Virginia and Minnesota to reopen.  All three states are helmed by Democratic governors.

He spends the next few months sidelining and belittling scientists and epidemiologists while promoting medical advice from a bedding salesman and an MD who believes in magic.

In early August during an interview for HBO, Trump states, in response to the shocking number of deaths, ‘They’re dying…it is what it is’

On October 2, after months of modeling disdain to American citizens for crucial mitigation advice, while simultaneously paying it phony lip service, the president announces he and the First Lady have Covid19.

So now, our president has it.  It’s unnerving that the nation’s leader has a potentially fatal infection.

I am grief-stricken and outraged at the path of death, destruction, and hate-filled division he has sown throughout this country.

I’ve written for newspapers for almost a decade and have never endorsed any causes except kindness, humor, and birthday cake.  But this country is in grave danger.  So, I am begging you Gentle Reader; while we still have a chance, vote this deceitful, narcissistic bully out of office. 

Four more years of this person will irreparably pervert the heart of what makes us, us.

Thanks for your time.

Contact me at d@bullcity.mom.

It’s Time

At this moment in history, our government is in the clutches of zealots.

Extremists believe they have all the answers.  There’s no doubt, gray, or ambiguity and anything which supports these convictions is just and true.  Only they know what’s best—for everyone.

But, the object of adoration varies by individual.  

For many the guiding light is money.  Enriching oneself on the peoples’ time has become an achievement deserving of great pride.  This is why Richard Burr could trumpet the party line that Covid19 was a liberal construct while dumping millions in pandemic-vulnerable stocks.

Don Jr, Eric, Ivanka, and Jared make billions from proximity to power.  Skids are greased, access is dangled, and government business is steered to fill family coffers.  In the past, the enriching oneself in this way was guarded against with multiple layers of oversight.  Today it’s considered smart husbanding of one’s resources.

Many in Washington worship power and perks.  They will contort themselves, their convictions, and reality itself to win the next election.

That is why GOP members of Congress appear on television, and with straight faces insist that the president, who tells an average of twenty whoppers a day, is an honest man who’s never lied to the American electorate.  It’s why Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declares that his witness-free impeachment hearings were legitimate. 

For some, the religion is a fundamental Christian doctrine with a large dash of prosperity theology.  It drives men like Vice President Mike Pence to grant bigots the freedom to deny goods, services, and even life-saving care if their beliefs tell them to.  It’s why Senator Marsha Blackburn makes false medical statements on the floor of Congress to strip away women’s reproductive rights. 

And then we have the orange man in the White House, Donald Trump.  A self-styled strong man who admires ruthless dictators but who also turns off the lights and hides in the basement when things get scary.

At which altar does the president worship?

As he makes clear daily, he is the founder and pontiff of the cult of himself.

Trump advises owners about football players who protest racism and police brutality by taking a knee.  “Get that son of a b—- off the field” because “OLD GLORY is to be revered, cherished, and flown high”.  He demonstrates his own reverence by nauseatingly fondling the flag like a middle schooler at a boy/girl party spending their first seven minutes in heaven.   

Calling protesters “thugs” and threatening “vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons” he sees no irony in then standing in the Rose Garden and stating “I am your president of law and order and an ally of all peaceful protesters.” punctuating his words are the sounds of explosions to clear those peaceful protesters away from the White House so he can walk to a church and scowl while awkwardly clutching a bible and shushing the press.

Unleashing the military on law-abiding American citizens on American soil was orchestrated by Attorney General William Barr, an acolyte who’s turned the Justice Department into the president’s personal hit squad.  Barr perverts justice and subverts truth all to satisfy the whims of a small, ill-informed man whose yardstick for those who serve him comes down to one essential feature; personal loyalty—constitution and qualifications be damned.

If there was ever any doubt concerning the president’s loyalty fetish, he made it abundantly clear in his recent tweet when Alaska senator Lisa Murkowski publicly revealed her doubts about supporting his second term: “Get any candidate ready, good or bad, I don’t care, I’m endorsing — If you have a pulse, I’m with you,”.

As long as you’re with him—and not one second longer.

Thanks for your time.

Contact debbie at d@bullcity.mom.

Spoiler Alert

All over the country, animal shelters are being emptied.  Our pandemic-caused sequestration gives pet parents time to train new family members and give the animals ample time to train new owners.

This phenomenon also gives people living alone companionship.  This is an undisputed good thing coming from this worldwide humanitarian crisis.

But not every person’s first instincts are to selflessly work, donate, give blood, and sew masks.

And the fact that people all around the country are sewing masks for first responders frightens and angers me.  The lack of critical PPE and respirators in this country can be traced directly back to arrogance, lack of interest, and the trend to substitute one’s uneducated judgment over that of scientists.

Weeks were wasted with golfing trips which dumped money into personal coffers and pep rallies that massaged the ego.  During these weeks, alarm bells were being sounded by affected nations, epidemiologists, and even intelligence officials.  The warnings were ignored.  Inaction was rationalized by calling the facts a nefarious plot by political foes.

South Korea.

The opportunity for early, mass testing, the key to China’s containment and South Korea’s overall low infection rate was lost.  The World Health Organization had a reliable test that was being put into use.  Our nation did not request, nor was offered the test because historically, the US creates its own test.  But we did not. 

There are still, three and a half months later, not enough tests for every suspected patient.  Because of this, no one has an accurate number of patients and resulting deaths or has true indications of where the next hot spot might be.

Partisan commentators and worried billionaires are pushing for mitigation efforts to be ceased in order to restart the economy.  Safely hidden behind walls of money, they declare that if patriotic, the old, sick, and working-class would be willing to sacrifice themselves on the altar of capitalism.  When lives are weighed against personal fortune, the monied have decided the lives of the less fortunate are forfeit.

Texas Lt Governor Dan Patrick

Public health briefings have become multi-houred campaign rallies with stews of misinformation, redirection of blame, and blustering attempts to spin the truth 180°; every reckless word powered by ego and fear.

An international bully pulpit is wasted by holding a daily master class on bullying.

With such an attitude from the top, a large segment of the population feels free to ignore measures put into place to reduce infection.  Police regularly break up pandemic parties attended by the deluded and defiant. 

Large church services draw hundreds of the faithful, presided over by leaders who point to freedom of religion while acting in ways that deny science and mirrors the tragic religious response to plagues of the dark ages.

Individuals have every right to risk their own lives.  But a pandemic makes every life dependent on the actions of every other.  The careless actions of the hubristic and cavalier put to risk the elderly and the immuno-compromised.

But there are angels.

Postal workers, truck drivers, and food purveyors are showing up to work every day so that we can get food and other necessary items to sustain our self-imposed seclusion.

And ill-equipped and overwhelmed health care professionals keep working.  Risking their own lives, missing their own families, and breaking their hearts daily, they keep working.

Politicization of the facts, eschewing science, and ignorant magical thinking has multiplied the damage and death this virus will cause.  It should infuriate any honest, rational human.

But the heroics of those who choose not to turn away and keep helping even when they’ve barely anything left to give should humble and inspire us all.

Thanks for your time.

Contact debbie at d@bullcity.mom.