Lies, Damned Lies, And Statistics

[ Posted Wednesday, April 29th, 2020 – 17:23 UTC ]

No matter how you measure it, America has failed to meet the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic even half as well as other countries around the world. Consider the fact that we only have five percent -- one-twentieth -- of the world's population, but we now have a full third of all the coronavirus cases worldwide. That one fact alone shows how badly we've done when compared to just about everybody else on the planet.

We just topped one million cases, and we've now seen more coronavirus deaths in a matter of a few months than all Americans who died in the Vietnam War. We seem well on our way toward 100,000 deaths total, for just the first wave of the pandemic. A good way to see this is to think about all those bell curves in the "flattening the curve" charts. If we're approximately at the peak of the pandemic right now, then we're at the top of the bell curve. But being at the top of the curve means we're only halfway to the end, so doubling the number of deaths we have now is likely going to be close to the final total. The overall infection rate will decline (hopefully) and the number of deaths per day should also begin to decline, but we've still got a long way to go and the totals will reflect this fact.

Meanwhile, according to President Donald Trump and his team of sycophants, we're doing great! Fantastic! Tremendous! In fact, our coronavirus response is the envy of the world! Our testing is phenomenal, better than anyone else's! The whole thing is a great success story!

Gaslighting on this scale has simply never been seen before from a United States president, with the only possible recent exception being the lies we were all told during the Vietnam War (see: the Pentagon Papers). But the only way to refute such self-aggrandizing lies is with the truth. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was on the PBS NewsHour last night, and when Judy Woodruff asked about what the Senate should be doing when they reconvene, he was pretty unequivocal in calling for some real-time hearings into all the things that have been going wrong or mishandled during the crisis:

But I will tell you, if we're going to come back, if [Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell] is going to force us to come back, it's -- the decision is his -- then we ought to be using the time productively.

It seems what he wants to do is have us vote for or have hearings on a judge who is sort of a crony of his, someone who used to work on his staff who was rated unqualified by the A.B.A.

People are hurting. People are dying. We ought to use this time to exercise our oversight authority and have hearings. They will be nationwide, published on TV, or if not on TV, certainly audio, over these issues.

Why are we not doing a good job on testing?

We ought to have [Dr. Deborah] Birx come by -- we ought -- Birx come by.

We ought to have [Dr. Anthony] Fauci come by. And in a hearing, Judy, it's not like when the president gets a question from a reporter, and he can just make fun of the reporter. The senators can hone in, ask a lot of questions, figure out what's wrong.

And these hearings have often importuned an administration to act. We ought to do the same thing with small business. We ought to do the same thing with unemployment insurance. If we're going to come back, we should use the time the have hearings that will help solve this crisis, not on judges or irrelevant appointees.

. . .

One of the big problems here is, this administration -- we can make good laws, but the executive branch, the president and his people, are in charge of executing them. And they're executing them poorly, awfully.

And that's why we need these kinds of hearings. I want [Treasury Secretary Steve] Mnuchin to come before the Senate this week and to say, why isn't the money going to small business? Why isn't the E.I.D.L. program, $60 billion, which is direct to S.B.A., not through a bank, not getting out?

These are the questions that have to be asked.

It's hard not to agree. The failures are piling up, and if we don't examine them then we will not be able to learn from the mistakes made and correct midstream in order to avoid some future mistakes. Normally, this would happen organically, through pushback in the media. But Trump is not a normal president and is impervious to shame.

Any normal president would hold briefings during a crisis and let the experts speak. If problems arose, they would get asked about the issue by reporters and it would spur them to pay more attention to developing problems. A few days later, the president could then say: "Well, since the issue was raised, we looked into it in depth and found that X was the real bottleneck, so we're going to eliminate that step and do Y instead. This will hopefully make the process much better."

That's a hypothetical normal president, however. What we've got is pure gaslighting that has yet to be fully exposed. Even when reporters bestir themselves to ask pointed questions, all they get is further gaslighting. I noticed a good example of this recently, since I've been begging White House reporters to ask this very question for a long time now (for over a month, in fact).

On March 6, Donald Trump visited the C.D.C. and spoke to the press. This was when he uttered the biggest lie yet: "Anybody that wants a test can get a test. That's what the bottom line is.... But as of right now and yesterday, anybody that needs a test -- that's the important thing -- and the tests are all perfect, like the letter was perfect. The transcription was perfect, right?" But during the same appearance, the promise was made that 4 million test kits would be available by the end of the following week. On the same day, in a separate appearance, Vice President Mike Pence said that there would only be enough capacity to perform 2.1 million tests in the following week.

During the next seven days, C.D.C. and state health labs processed "about 25,200 COVID-19 tests."

Four days later on March 10, Mike Pence upped the ante with his biggest lie yet: "Over a million tests have been distributed -- before the end of this week, another 4 million tests will be distributed."

That would have been by the weekend of March 14. Last Friday, April 24, Pence finally got to proudly proclaim that "5.1 million Americans have been tested for the coronavirus." This was six weeks after he had promised the very same thing. This is a spectacular failure, you have to admit.

Two days ago, at the White House daily briefing, Pence was finally directly asked about this disparity by an intrepid reporter who had just sat through another flood of empty promises from Trump and Pence and the rest of the team:

Q:  Yeah. I'm just wondering -- this sounds incredibly promising -- Walgreens, CVS with the drive-through tests, the diagnostic [inaudible]. But we sat here in the Rose Garden, back on March 13, and these companies were here, some other companies were here. By my count, only 69 drive-through test sites have been set up by the companies that were here.

I'm wondering if you -- and, of course, Mr. Vice President, back in early March, you said we'd be at 4 million tests by the following week. We're just now got there [sic] in the last few days.

So what have you learned about what went wrong, you know, a month and a half -- or over the last month and a half or two months? And what's going to go right, now? What lessons have you learned from the mistakes over the last, you know, month and a half or so?

VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE:  Jon, I appreciate the question, but it represents a misunderstanding on your part and the -- and frankly, the -- a lot of people in the public's part about the difference between having a test versus the ability to actually process the test.

I mean, the truth was, when the President tapped me to lead the White House Coronavirus Task Force two months ago, we saw the production of lots of test kits going into the marketplace.

But as the President has said many times, what he understood early on was the old system would never be able to process the tests at the massive volume that we would need in the midst of an epidemic. And that's why the President brought together these extraordinary commercial labs that you've heard from today. Literally, sat them down in the Roosevelt Room and said, "We need you to turn all of your energies loose on doing the kind of high-speed testing that would be necessary for us to reach the numbers we're at today."

And so there was no disconnect at all. There were -- there were lots of test kits out there, Admiral, and frankly, there still are today. There are literally millions of tests that could be run in the old-style, slow laboratory that are still conducting tests today, whether it be at the CDC or at state laboratories.

But what the President brought about with this public-private partnership, has brought us to the point where we've done 5.4 million tests to date. And literally, you just heard that, by next month, it could -- we could be doing as many as 2 million tests a week all across the country to give the American people confidence that we can reopen and get our economy moving again.

Q:  So when you said 4 million tests, seven weeks ago, you were just talking about tests being sent out, not actually being -- being completed? I'm a little confused.

PENCE:  Jon, I think -- precisely correct. That in my first week on this job, we were informed that H.H.S. -- I believe IDT was the vendor, Admiral Giroir -- that had distributed a million, was distributing another 4 million. And we believe they did.

But again, those were tests that, frankly, but for the President's leadership, we'd still be waiting on those tests to be done in many cases, because they were tests that were designed to be run in the old laboratory model. But early on, at the President's direction, we brought in these incredible commercial labs. We partnered with these extraordinary retailers. And now we stand here today, literally -- one day last week: more than 200,000 tests in a single day. About the time that we were making those comments, we -- we'd done less than 25,000 tests in the entire country.

But we've met this moment with American ingenuity, with the incredible companies that are represented here. And we couldn't be more proud.

When you strip away all the fawning (and erroneous) stroking of Trump's ego, Pence is saying that 5 million tests were actually shipped out by March 14, and that they essentially just sat on the shelves over the course of six more weeks. Which, if true, would be a massive failure on its own, but also, if true, would mean that it was all the governors' fault, and not the Trump team's fault. Which is why it is such a suspect claim, especially given Trump and Pence's propensity for gaslighting on the subject of testing throughout the crisis.

The Trump administration has used every trick in the book to explain away their massive and continuing failure on testing. They've moved the goalposts so many times the entire field is pockmarked with their past promises which have never come true. They've gaslighted on how many tests have been done, only to be wildly incorrect when the actual numbers are reported. They've overpromised -- repeatedly, on an almost daily basis -- where we'll be "next week" or "real soon now." Currently, Trump and his toadies are promising 2 million tests per week, or maybe it's 5 million tests per week (this number, like all the others, appears to be somewhat fluid). But we're nowhere close to that. We currently seem to be testing about 200,000 per day -- a significant improvement from the disastrous early days, but still far short of where the experts say we need to be to really be collecting accurate data.

Astonishingly enough, though, Pence isn't even the biggest fabricator in the bunch. That prize would go to the admiral he was talking about in that excerpt above. Here's what Newsweek had to report about the testing numbers coming from Giroir, late last month:

Several governors have complained for weeks that equipment shortages, competition between states and failed federal government leadership have all factored into the massive discrepancies in coronavirus testing availability. And in perhaps the most striking example of a testing kit data "gap," U.S. Assistant Health Secretary Brett Giroir declared that 10 million test kits were distributed to labs nationwide in the first two weeks of March alone.

Speaking March 21 at the White House, Giroir told reporters that 17 million tests would be added to the 10 million he claimed were already in circulation.

Giroir promised a whopping 27 million tests by the end of March. As of this writing, we're currently at a little over 6 million tests performed. At the current rate of testing (200,000 per day), it would take us another 105 days to get to where Giroir promised we'd be one month ago. His promise wouldn't become reality until August 12, to put it another way. Even using the administration's claim that we'll soon be doing 2 million tests per week, that would still make it mid-July before we got to where Giroir promised we'd be at at the end of last month. And, of course, we're nowhere near reaching the ultimate promise that Trump made almost two full months ago, where: "Anybody that wants a test can get a test."

This is why Chuck Schumer's right. He's likely not going to get the hearings he wants in Mitch McConnell's Senate, but he may get his wish granted from Nancy Pelosi's House. If Pence is right (highly doubtful, but still remotely possible), then we should investigate why 5 million test kits (or was it 10 million? or 27 million?) sat around unused for weeks on end at the height of the crisis. However, if Pence is lying through his pearly-white teeth once again, then it would certainly be productive to find that out, too. And the only way we're going to find out the real truth is when the scientists and doctors and experts are called before Congress and put under oath. Get them away from the press briefings where they are constantly looking over their shoulder at Trump (and his massive ego) looming behind them. Ask them pointed questions. Ask them to provide real numbers and documentation to back them up. Until that happens, we're never going to find out what is really going on. Because it's now obvious that even asking direct questions to Mike Pence is going to produce nothing more than another fresh layer of gaslighting. Who knows, maybe by next month they'll be promising 100 million tests "by next Tuesday." At this point, it wouldn't surprise me in the least.

-- Chris Weigant


Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant


62 Comments on “Lies, Damned Lies, And Statistics”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Sometimes, it's politics be damned.

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And, I've been binging on Homeland. It's not an excuse but, it's all I got. :)

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    First, to old business..


    . Kavanaugh was known to drink until he blacked out during the timeframe from when the allegation claims the assault occurred.

    Actually, that's not factually accurate.. But why let facts ruin your perfectly good wet dream..

    He claimed to have no memory of the assault ever happening...

    And all of Blasey-Ford's friends and family ALSO claimed no memory of the party that the bullshit assault happened at.

    Hell, Ford couldn't remember getting home or where the alleged party was..

    So, if your using no memory as a "proof" that Kavanaugh was a black out drunk, then yer more frak'ed in the head then I first thought.. :D

    And THAT says something...

    Kavanaugh, having admitted to drinking until he blacked out on occasion

    Facts to support?? No?? Of course not..

    Biden was not a black out drunk during the time period in which this allegation lies. So when he says he didn’t do this, I have no reason to doubt his memory or his word.

    Beyond the ALL WOMEN ARE TO BE BELIEVED, a mantra YOU supported to the hilt when it wasn't a Dumbocrat being accused..

    The mere fact is, Biden has a history of this sort of thing... This is the first of many rape criminal complaints that Biden will receive..

    Irregardless of all that, YOU were the one who said that President Trump was going to be removed from office via the Dumbocrats and their faux impeachment coup..

    You have absolutely ZERO credibility here.. :D

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:


    Shut the fuck up, Kick. Your contributions here, along with Michale's own gems, have helped to make this place what it has become. You can be proud, too, I guess.


    The difference between Victoria and I is that I accept my responsibility in how things are here..

    Like a coward, Victoria shirks her's and always blame someone else...

    Good call, Liz... :D

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:



    michael j. stern in USA Today goes over some of the things that are fishy about tara reade's story. these things don't necessarily make it false, but they do give any reasonable person pause when it comes to believing what she says on the subject.

    Just as there were "fishy" things about blasey-ford's story...

    But everyone here believed her without question.

    Hell, everyone here believed JULIE SWETNIK, hook line and sinker!! And THAT really says something bad about ya'all...

    So, why is it that ya'all swallow any bullshit story when it's an -R person accused but never believe any real rape criminal complaint when it's a -D person accused???

    THAT's the question that needs to be answered...

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    University Of Delaware board members, who are keeping Biden's Senate records secret, have close ties to the former VP

    EXCLUSIVE: Numerous top officials on the board of the University of Delaware, which is refusing to release Joe Biden's Senate records despite an earlier promise to do so, have close personal and financial ties to the former vice president, records reviewed by Fox News show -- and the chairman of the board even bought Biden's house in 1996 for $1.2 million, reportedly a "top dollar" price given its condition.

    The documents suggest a significant conflict of interest as Biden faces increasing pressure to relinquish the documents that could contain information relevant to Tara Reade's sexual assault allegation against him.

    Biden dropped off 1,875 boxes of “photographs, documents, videotapes, and files” and 415 gigabytes of electronic records to the University of Delaware in 2012. The university initially said it expected to make the records “available to the public two years after Biden’s last day in elected public office.” In April 2019, just hours before Biden announced his current presidential bid, the university changed its mind, and said the papers wouldn't be released until either December 31, 2019 or until two years after Biden “retires from public life,” whichever comes later.

    If Joe Biden is completely innocent, he would release those records...

    The mere fact that they were promised to be released and then that promise was reneged on proves beyond ANY doubt that Joe Biden has a history of sexual assaults and rapes..

    What are you afraid of Joe?? What are you hiding???

    Be a man... Release the records....

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    From WAPOOP, if you can believe it.

    The new Tara Reade revelations make it imperative that Biden address the allegations directly

    Even WaPoop, who couldn't hit sand if they fell off a camel, agrees with me and JL that Biden NEEDS to address the Tara Reade Rape Criminal Complaint...

    Only a total dipshit moron would believe that Joe Biden can remain silent on this..

    Which is, with a few notable exceptions, everyone here...


  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    I wrote two weeks ago that those who take allegations of sexual harassment and assault seriously “cannot simply dismiss Reade’s claims out of hand,” adding, “I don’t think what Reade claimed happened, yet the evidence is murky.”

    Reade said last year that Biden had touched her in ways that made her feel uncomfortable, but it was not until more recently that she alleged Biden had assaulted her in a Senate office building hallway, pushing his fingers inside her vagina. The Biden campaign has said the incident “absolutely did not happen.”

    Since then, a few more data points have emerged that tip the balance of evidence some important degrees in Reade’s direction. They make it imperative that Biden address these allegations directly, rather than through a spokesman, and that the Biden campaign do its utmost to unearth whatever information may be contained in his Senate archives relevant to Reade’s claims.

    And therein lies the rub...

    MANY facts have been released that favor Tara Reade's version of events..

    Especially the FACT that Joe Biden *CONTINUES* to ignore the issue...

    And yet, people STILL don't want to believe Reade's version of events..

    Which is ironic considering how much ya'all invested in believing Blasey-Ford who turned out to be nothing but an opportunistic bitch...

    Once again, the facts clearly show that all that is at play here is the old -D vs -R bigotry...

    No other conclusion is supported..

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    The statements by LaCasse are far more troubling. Her on-the-record remarks come in addition to an account by another friend of Reade’s, who declined to be named, that Reade told her about the assault at the time. Reade’s brother told The Post that she had told him that Biden behaved inappropriately by touching her neck and shoulders. But it was not until several days after the initial interview that he added in a text that Biden had put his hand “under her clothes.” The brother first told ABC that he had heard Reade’s account of the assault only this spring, then texted to “clarify” that she had told him that in 1993.

    That another person has now come forward, without any apparent motive other than to support a friend — LaCasse told CNN she is a “very strong Democrat” who plans to vote for Biden — is a big deal.

    It is also a mess — for the Biden campaign; for voters struggling to figure out what to make of these allegations; for those, including the women on Biden’s list of potential running mates, who have argued for taking such claims seriously. Biden has not been accused of any similar misconduct during his decades in public life. There are inconsistencies in Reade’s story, including her contention that she filed a complaint with congressional authorities. If she had, it would have automatically triggered an inquiry that would have been known to — and remembered by — Biden’s staff.

    There are no 2 ways about it.. The Biden campaign is hurting.. It's hemorrhaging support and goodwill.. And it will continue to hemorrhage until such time as Biden addresses the issue completely and honestly *AND* releases all his records from that time...

    "These are the facts of the case. And they are undisputed."
    -Captain Smilin' Jack Ross, A FEW GOOD MEN

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    A definitive resolution is going to be hard to come by. But Biden needs to answer the legitimate questions about the allegations. More important, he needs to authorize and encourage the University of Delaware, the repository of his Senate papers, to do what is possible, even in the midst of the pandemic, to scour the available records for information about Reade’s short tenure.

    Release the records, Joe... What are you afraid of?? What are you hiding??

    Man up and do the right thing...

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    No matter how you measure it, America has failed to meet the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic even half as well as other countries around the world

    As with practically everything else the Left tries to compare the US to the rest of the world, it just doesn't work..

    The United States is unique... The only remaining superpower with vast responsibilities all over the world..

    Of course it's going to LOOK like other countries are doing better..

    That's because other countries have the luxury of concentrating on THEIR issues alone.. The US has to concentrate on OUR issues and every other country's issues...

    This is simply more America bashing via President Trump hate....

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    But let's get back to Tara Reade... It's a MUCH more fascinating of a topic...

    The total derailment and decimation of a Democrat Primary campaign..

    Again, this comes from the NY GRIME!! If ya can believe it...

    Democratic Frustration Mounts as Biden Remains Silent on Sexual Assault Allegation

    Activists and women’s rights advocates have urged Mr. Biden to address a former aide’s allegation that he sexually assaulted her in 1993. His lack of response has angered them.

    Who was it who said last week that Democrats are gonna get pissed if Biden continues to hide from Tara Reade??

    I did!! :D Well, to be fair, JL and Chris Cilleza said similar things... So, they deserve credit too..

    But Joe is going to continue to ignore this.. Or, possibly, put up some milquetoast crooked-finger rant, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman.." type BS...

    How long til the Democrats go back to Bernie, hat and hand and beg Bernie to re-activate his campaign???

    Naw, I don't think that will happen.. Democrats hate Bernie even more then Joe Biden, Rapist...

    Going to make for a VERY interesting summer.. Who will Democrats recruit?? :D

    Stay Tuned...

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    Then Mr. Biden’s team heard about the advocates’ effort. According to people involved in the discussions, the group put the letter on hold as it began pressuring Biden advisers to push the candidate to make a statement himself before the end of April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Along with liberal organizers, they urged him to acknowledge the importance of survivors and the need for systemic change around issues of sexism and assault.

    Nearly two weeks later, Mr. Biden and his campaign have yet to make that statement, and the advocates have not released their letter. The Biden campaign has said little publicly beyond saying that women deserve to be heard and insisting that the allegation is not true; privately, Biden advisers have circulated talking points urging supporters to deny that the incident occurred.

    As two more women have come forward to corroborate part of Ms. Reade’s allegation, the Biden campaign is facing attacks from the right and increasing pressure from the left to address the issue. And liberal activists find themselves in a tense standoff with a candidate they want to support but who they say has made little attempt to show leadership on an issue that resonates deeply with their party’s base.

    “It’s difficult for survivors to see that a woman who has more corroborating sources than most survivors have in similar situations is being tossed aside and actively being weaponized by cynical political actors,” said Shaunna Thomas, a founder of UltraViolet, a women’s rights advocacy group that is involved in the effort to push the campaign. “It would be an incredible moment of leadership for Joe Biden to show up.”

    Agreed.. If Biden "shows up" and actually has an impactful response, he might survive this..

    But some lame denial is going to do more harm than good..

    Joe Biden has to "show up" in every sense of the term..

    Will he have the moral courage to do so??

    I mean, keep in mind.. Biden pooh-poohed away all the other sexual assaults with some lame "I come from a different time" bullshit.. But, of course, Democrats lapped it up and gave him a pass..

    I don't ever recall a time where rape was socially acceptable...

    Biden is not going to be able to 'aww shucks, you know me' his way out of this...

    Anyone who doesn't agree is living in fantasy land..

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Biden campaign talking points, which were first reported by BuzzFeed News, instruct supporters to describe the candidate as a “fierce advocate for women” who has never faced any “complaint, allegation, hint or rumor of any impropriety or inappropriate conduct.” The talking points also inaccurately suggested that an investigation by The New York Times this month found that “this incident did not happen.”

    In a statement issued Wednesday, The Times noted that the investigation “made no conclusion either way.”

    One person who received a version of these talking points said it was pulled back by the campaign several hours later because the campaign was revising its strategy. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity to disclose the private communication.

    As I predicted, the Tara Reade rape criminal complaint is have a serious effect on Biden's campaign...

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    resa Undem, a pollster who specializes in surveys on gender issues, said that so far the allegation hasn’t dampened support for Mr. Biden among Democrats. But that could change quickly, she said, depending on how Mr. Biden and his campaign handle the evolving situation.

    “If the election was held today, I don’t think he’d lose any support,” she said. “But this is a huge deal that’s not going away. The story is going to be on the hypocrisy, and that is the No. 1 thing voters loathe.”

    Yep... Hypocrisy is the BIGGEST problem Democrats have.. It's right up there with corruption...

    Democrats WALLOW in hypocrisy..

    One only has to look at their racist beliefs.. They were the Party that gave us the KKK and now they claim to be against racism when, in fact, it's simply racism of another color..

    Hypocrisy, thy name is Democrat Party...

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    Already, the allegation against Mr. Biden has caused top female allies — including several widely considered to be vice-presidential prospects, like Stacey Abrams of Georgia and Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota — to face questioning about whether they stand with Mr. Biden after the allegation. Privately, some female Democrats are growing frustrated with being put in the position of answering for Mr. Biden when he has remained silent, and male progressive leaders, even outspoken allies in combating sexual assault, have not been pressured to address this point.

    Yep.. By his silence, Biden is really pissing Democrats off..

    That is why they are re-assessing Biden's suitability as the Democrat nominee...

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    Last year, Ms. Reade was one of eight women who came forward to say Mr. Biden had kissed, hugged or touched them in ways that made them feel uncomfortable, but she did not raise the assault allegation then.

    Joe Biden has a pattern....

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    Two women also came forward in an article this week in Business Insider to corroborate parts of Ms. Reade’s account.

    One of the women, Lynda LaCasse, a former neighbor of Ms. Reade’s, said in an interview with The Times on Tuesday that Ms. Reade told her around 1995 about her encounter with Mr. Biden. Ms. LaCasse said she and Ms. Reade had been discussing their experiences with abuse and violence when Ms. Reade mentioned Mr. Biden.

    “She said that he put her up against the wall and he put his hand up her skirt and he put his fingers inside her,” Ms. LaCasse said, adding that Ms. Reade “was devastated. She sounded really upset. She was crying.”

    Ms. LaCasse, who is now 60 and lives in Oregon, said she was a Democrat and supported Mr. Biden. But she said she wanted to come forward because “that doesn’t take away from what happened.”

    The second woman, Lorraine Sanchez, a former colleague of Ms. Reade’s in the mid-1990s, said she recalled Ms. Reade describing an incident of harassment by her former boss. She provided a statement outlining her account to The Times.

    Tara Reade has something that Blasey-Ford only dreamed of having..

    Substantiation.... Witnesses who recall the same things that Reade recalls...

    OK, that takes care of the NY Grime article..

    On to NPR...

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    New Information Emerges Around Biden Sexual Assault Allegation

    As an aside, it's amazing that it's many of the die-hard Left Wing rags that are pounding the Biden campaign hard..

    I guess that just reflects how serious this is and how much danger the Biden campaign is in...

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    More political pressure on Democrats

    Reade's allegation has put Democrats in an uncomfortable spot, torn between defending the presumptive Democratic nominee and believing all women who make allegations against any powerful men.

    This additional information is renewing attention on Biden's behavior and has put pressure on the presumptive Democratic nominee to respond, which he has not yet done directly. At the same time, President Trump's allies have been eager to pounce on the allegations and amplify them, accusing the media of downplaying the story relative to allegations against Republican men, particularly pointing to the frenzy around allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation process.

    What have I been saying???

    This is NOT going to go away... This is Joe Biden's Monica Lewinsky... It's going to grow and grow and grow until Biden is all wrung out from trying to defend the indefensible...

    The only question is will Biden quit or will Democrats toss him...

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    Alyssa Milano offers Biden unsolicited advice on how to handle allegations

    Actress and notable #MeToo activist Alyssa Milano wrote an op-ed Wednesday attempting to explain her ongoing support for former Vice President Joe Biden despite the developments in the sexual assault allegation from his former Senate staffer, Tara Reade.

    In a piece titled "Living in the Gray as a Woman" that was published by Deadline, Milano wrote about how the #MeToo movement "changed" her.

    She wrote that there are some instances that are obvious: Weinstein and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. She wrote Kavanaugh’s "actions, told consistently over decades by his victim (and supported by her polygraph results), were clearly wrong." He denied the allegations.

    She wrote that there is a concern that advocates start to see things as black and white.

    "Except it’s not always so easy, and living in the gray areas is something we’re trying to figure out in the world of social media. But here’s something social media doesn’t afford us– nuance," Milano wrote.

    "The world is gray. And as uncomfortable as that makes people, gray is where the real change happens. Black and white is easy. Gray is the place women can come together out of the glare of the election and speak our truths, our doubts, our hopes, our convictions and test them against the light and the dark," she wrote.

    It's really funny..

    The **ONLY** "gray areas" are when Democrats leaders are accused...

    Clinton rapes Juanita Broderick... "Gray Area"...

    Biden rapes Tara Reade... "Gray Area"...

    President Trump?? Justice Kavanaugh... Perfectly black/white..

    It's UNCANNY...... :eyeroll:

    It's obvious to ANYONE who has more than 2 brain cells to rub together that the ONLY thing at work here is a Democrat Party agenda...

    You people are not fooling anyone.. 'cept maybe yerselves...

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    Here is the entire situation, broken down factually and succinctly...

    Joe Biden will NOT be President Of The United States....

    There is a real and serious question if Joe Biden will even be the Democrat Party nominee...

    You heard it here first...

    Surgeon appt this morning then taking the wife to the beach, since we missed doing it on her b-day...

    See ya'all in a bit....

  23. [23] 
    John M wrote:

    [11] Michale wrote:

    "As with practically everything else the Left tries to compare the US to the rest of the world, it just doesn't work..

    The United States is unique... The only remaining superpower with vast responsibilities all over the world..

    Of course it's going to LOOK like other countries are doing better..

    That's because other countries have the luxury of concentrating on THEIR issues alone.. The US has to concentrate on OUR issues and every other country's issues...

    This is simply more America bashing via President Trump hate...."

    POOR EXCUSE! The USA can't walk and chew gum at the same time!!! Give me a break! YOU have NO CREDIBILITY here MICHALE, NONE WHATSOEVER!

  24. [24] 
    dsws wrote:

    being at the top of the curve means we're only halfway to the end, so ...

    There is no reason to expect the curves to be symmetrical. If the response had been late, but perfect when it finally came, then the curve would follow a logistic (sigmoidal) curve until the effect of the intervention was felt, and then fall to zero almost instantly. That's an unrealistic extreme case, but it shows the logic of the situation.

  25. [25] 
    TheStig wrote:

    On the subject of Lies,Damn Lies and Statistics, it is worth pointing out that there are three commonly used ways of quantifying Covid deaths through time.

    Method 1.

    (Number of deaths/population)*100

    This gives the lowest percentage (single digits). This is how businessmen and economists seem to view the epidemic.

    Method 2.

    (Number of deaths/number infections)*100

    This gives an intermediate percentage and may be how your mayor or governor sees the epidemic.

    Method 3

    (Number of deaths/closed cases)*100

    This gives the highest percentage (double digits). This how an Intensive Care Unit sees the problem. Also the patient and family of the patient in ICU.

    None of the three methods is exactly right or wrong, but many are used without explicitly stating which method was used, which is very wrong.

  26. [26] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    math-> english

    the lowest percentage is how many of the world's overall population die

    the middle percentage is how many people who catch the virus die

    the highest percentage is how many people who are hospitalized with the virus die.

    do i have that right?


  27. [27] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    i think you've left out an important step we need to take to fix the covid crisis. here is the correct order:

    1. get everyone pie
    2. fix campaign finance
    3. stop people from dying

    now that we've got our priorities straight, let's start baking!


  28. [28] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    barring major illness, biden WILL be the democratic nominee.

    depending on how badly donald continues to screw up his response to the current crisis, biden MIGHT win the presidency.

    either way, you and i would both get to vote for the winner ;)

    feel better,


  29. [29] 
    dsws wrote:

    Trump is in the worst political danger yet.

    Dan Quayle didn't misspell "potato". That was whoever compiled the list he was given.

    Al Gore didn't claim to have invented the internet. He said he had sponsored the bill that was crucial in letting DARPAnet become the internet as we know it. And that's true.

    And so on. The political damage of a narrative is entirely dependent on it being bogus.

    Trump has been teflon because basically all the bad stuff said about him has been true. When details haven't been quite right, the truth has been worse. But Trump didn't tell people to inject bleach and stick a UV light up their where-the-sun-don't-shine. I listened to the remarks being described that way. They wouldn't particularly be rated as exemplary oration in a campaign for municipal drain commissioner, but they were closer to presidential than anything I've heard from him before.

    The overall point is that there's reason to hope that, somewhere among all the potential therapies that researchers are looking into, there may be something that will turn out to make a big difference. Coronaviruses aren't durable like norovirus: maybe some therapy will be discovered that takes advantage of that, and decreases the effective replication rate within the body. The human body is much more translucent than we normally think of it as being: if you're in a dark room and you put your hand over a bright flashlight, a surprising amount of light comes through. Coronaviruses are somewhat more susceptible to degradation by light than most of what we're made of, and less able to repair damage than cells are. So maybe the right color of light at the right intensity, applied through the skin, will be a useful therapy. Not particularly likely, but it's an example showing that a vaccine isn't the only possible medical breakthrough that might turn up.

    To get that interpretation of Trump's remarks, you have to fill in some gaps and give some benefit-of-the-doubt (which he hasn't earned). But at least it's possible to do so in this case. And politics always gets stuff wrong, so if anything comes back to bite him, this will be it.

  30. [30] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Trump has so completely shown his incompetence, so out done katrina that after this is over the word katrina will be regulated to historical footnotes. The USA does in fact have it's fingers all over the world. That also means it has active intelligence all over the world. Trump had coronavirus warnings in his daily intelligence briefings in January. Multiple times. Trump disbanded White House National Security Council’s Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense, it's pandemic response team and command infrastructure. His incoming staff pretty much ignored the pandemic exercise that was part of a group of exercises the outgoing administration is required to run the incoming administration through. Trump tried to cut funding to the CDC multiple times, thankfully Congress returned the funding. Trump states about coronavirus:

    "What a problem, Came out of nowhere."

    "I would view it as is something that just surprised the whole world,"

    "Nobody would have ever thought a thing like this could have happened."

    Nobody? The last two administrations built up a robust biodefense to specifically deal with a pandemic very similar to this one. That's the truly sad part. Trump did not have to think. The thinking had all been done for him. Give the order, problem dealt with. If dealt with well, take credit. If not, blame the last two administrations and promise to improve. He was given a win/win on a silver platter but so completely incompetent that he wiped all that off the table...

    Trump once stated:

    "I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters."

    That is where Biden is now. Because Trump, through his own incompetence, has killed more than one on 5th Avenue. Literally.

  31. [31] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The WHO knew and the good people of the WHO shared that knowledge with the world through their technical guidance, beginning on 10 January, and by direct engagement with governments and scientists from around the world.

    The US had at least 19 people at the WHO or in contact with the WHO from the beginning.

    Next time, listen to the WHO.

  32. [32] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Also, the WHO needs your help if you are able to donate to the global solidarity response fund.

  33. [33] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You know, in view of the "pause" on US core funding to WHO to the tune of $500M which was to be used to provide life-saving healthcare interventions such as child immunizations for people who live in the most vulnerable places and in the most destitute circumstances in the world.

    This "pause" is ,in a word, despicable. More so because we are talking about the God-damned United States of America, for crissakes!

  34. [34] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    What movie is that last bit from?

  35. [35] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    The local Miss Tenderheart has not the slightest grasp of the economic concept of 'limited resources'. There are far more people who "live in the most vulnerable places in the most destitute circumstances" in the world than Americans can ever hope to rescue. Perhaps the neighbors to the north could assume that responsibility, whatdaya think?

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    "There was never any record of this, there was never any record. And that nobody ever came forward or nobody ever came forward to say something about it apart from the principal involved."
    -Nancy Pelosi

    Actually, there ARE records from the time and they detail the rape criminal complaints against Joe Biden..

    But Joe Biden is refusing to release those records..

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:


    POOR EXCUSE! The USA can't walk and chew gum at the same time!!!

    Of course you consider it a poor excuse.. You hate America...


    Yea, that's what ya'all Trump/America haters keep saying..

    'Cept the FACTS clearly show that ya'all are **ALWAYS** wrong when it comes to President Trump..

    How did that Russia Collusion delusion work out for ya??


    How did that faux impeachment coup work out for ya??

    EPIC FAIL...

    It's ya'all who have no credibility when it comes to President Trump..

    Yer just too stoopid to see it... :D

    But, when President Trump wins re-election then you too shall know the FACTS and reality..


  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:


    barring major illness, biden WILL be the democratic nominee.

    It wasn't so long ago, you were ready to concede that Bernie was going to be the nominee.. :D

    And, you can bet that this Tara Reade rape criminal complaint is taking it's toll on Biden's health.. :D

    depending on how badly donald continues to screw up his response to the current crisis, biden MIGHT win the presidency.

    Time will tell.. :D

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    The House speaker cited Biden authoring the Violence Against Women Act when he was in the Senate as a testament to his character.

    Yea?? How many women causes did Harvey Weinstein support??

    How many women causes did Bill Clinton support??

    Of course Biden et al supports women's causes.. Gives him an ongoing supply of young edible women he can rape and sniff...

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    The local Miss Tenderheart has not the slightest grasp of the economic concept of 'limited resources'. There are far more people who "live in the most vulnerable places in the most destitute circumstances" in the world than Americans can ever hope to rescue. Perhaps the neighbors to the north could assume that responsibility, whatdaya think?

    Yea, let's see Canada take over *ALL* of the US world wide responsibilities...

    HA, I say.. HA!!

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    Biden campaign, Democratic supporters criticized by unlikely group: liberal Hollywood

    The Tara Reade rape criminal complaint is *NOT* going away...

    Biden campaign continues to get hit from all sides over it...

    Why is Biden not addressing it??

    Why is Biden not releasing his records to support his claims he is completely innocent here??

    No answer???

    Yea, that's all the answer that is needed...

  42. [42] 
    TheStig wrote:


    The lowest percentage is the fraction of a population who have died from the disease up to some point in time.

    The middle percentage is the fraction of people who have caught the disease and died from the disease at some sampled point in time. Individuals with the disease who die will later in the outbreak are counted as alive.

    The highest percentage only uses closed cases - that is, cases where an infected individual is classified as having either recovered from the illness or died from the illness. It is an estimate of "if I get sick, how likely am I to get well."

    The second and third approaches give the same result after the epidemic is over.

    The above is slightly simplified - "but close enough for government work."

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    Top House Democrat: Tara Reade allegation against Biden 'needs to be investigated seriously'

    Joe Biden is feeling the noose tightening...

  44. [44] 
    dsws wrote:

    The highest percentage only uses closed cases - that is, cases where an infected individual is classified as having either recovered from the illness or died from the illness. It is an estimate of "if I get sick, how likely am I to get well."

    If I'm reading it right, it may substantially overstate the death rate. There is a period when a patient is at risk. Patients who die are noted as having died. Patients who remain at risk are not included in the denominator.

  45. [45] 
    dsws wrote:

    What allegations should be enough to disqualify a candidate for high office?

    We can't expect a party's apparent positions to be entirely free of hypocrisy, because a party includes millions of people, who don't all agree. We can't expect an individual to be completely consistent, because people learn and change, both individually and culturally. For example, I think it's ok for me to say that I should have taken the allegations against Bill Clinton more seriously than I did. But an individual should have a more or less coherent position at any particular time.

    We should not regard just any accusation as disqualifying. If the accuser has never been to the region where the offense is alleged to have happened, and wasn't even born until five years after the supposed event, then we should feel free to disregard the accusation.

    On the other hand, there's no entitlement to a nomination. If we narrow our options a bit more than necessary, that's ok. The standard for disqualification should be much easier for an accuser to meet (equivalently, much harder for the accused to overcome) than the standards of process and certainty that we expect to be met in criminal prosecution. Incarcerating someone innocent is a grave wrong. Picking one nominee instead of another is not.

    There are few enough people who have worked as subordinates of any potential candidate, and false accusations are rare enough, that we should lean fairly heavily in favor of believing the accuser. I think that I would want Biden to withdraw from the race, even if I thought he were otherwise a good candidate.

  46. [46] 
    TheStig wrote:


    No classification system is perfect.

    To clarify, the mortality risk is computed as:

    (Number Dead)/(Number Dead + number recovered)

    If a patient dies of infection after being released as recovered, that patient has been mistakenly classified as recovered, which effectively underestimates the probability of a fatal case outcome.

    The WorldOMeter, Bing and Johns Hopkins COVID19 tracking site all tabulate this statistic. The US figure as consistently been within the range of 35% +/- about 5%. Make what will of that what you will.

  47. [47] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Can you please stop with this nonsense!

  48. [48] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You're worse than Michale.

  49. [49] 
    SF Bear wrote:

    EM (50) What nonsense? Who could possibly be worse than Michale?

  50. [50] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    how about 'almost as bad as'?

  51. [51] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    What nonsense?

  52. [52] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The fixation on the 30-40 percent nonsense. What have you got to say about that?

  53. [53] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Several governors have complained for weeks that equipment shortages, competition between states and failed federal government leadership have all factored into the massive discrepancies in coronavirus testing availability.

    Another problem that seemed to be widespread for only states with Democratic governors was the issue of FEMA and the Fed’s taking custody of supply and equipment orders that the states were instructed to make because Trump believes if he refuses to do anything, he’ll be able to put all the blame on the states if there is a problem. One question: WHERE did those orders that FEMA hijacked end up?

    It also seems like Native Americans should not have let it be known that they were offended by Trump referring to Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas”. Tribes were supposed to receive $8billion in virus aid, but none of that money has made it to the reservations for some “unknown” reason. “Runs-with-his-head-up-a-buffalo’s-ass” as Trump is known on most reservations, continues to show why he is unfit to lead!

  54. [54] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Biden should request that the same FBI agents that investigated the claims against Justice Kavanaugh investigate the claims against him — following the same procedures that were used previously (like not questioning either party directly prior to clearing the accused!).

    Biden is innocent! Case closed.

  55. [55] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    As Bill Gates likes to say, if only the US had reacted in January and February as other countries did, the US wouldn't be in the mess it is today. Which is to say that it is in no shape to contact trace. As problems go, I'd say you've got one here.

    Gates is careful not to politicize this non-response as it most definitely should not be politicized.

    Like the WHO, Gates can talk the head off a blue monkey about what needed and needs to be done by the US government but, the US government must choose to listen and act, accordingly.

    Science, solutions, solidarity.

  56. [56] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Biden is innocent! Case closed.

    How does one provide a defense in light of that?

    But, I couldn't agree more, Russ!

  57. [57] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I won't soon forgive Chris, that is for sure.

  58. [58] 
    TheStig wrote:

    56- Liz

    When you are done with your ignorant scolding, look up:

    Method for calculating death-to-case ratio on the Center For Disease Control website - if you can spare a moment.

    The web address is:

    The death-to-case ratio section is roughly halfway down the page. The treatment is not long and the math is simple.

    The COVID19 tracking pages hosted by WorldOMeter, Johns Hopkins and Bing all post death to case ratios updated several times a day. Let them know how upset you are about them doing that.

  59. [59] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    From [10] NPR’s story :New Information Emerges Around Biden Sexual Assault Allegation

    Reade's allegation has put Democrats in an uncomfortable spot, torn between defending the presumptive Democratic nominee and believing all women who make allegations against any powerful men.

    Last I checked, there was no requirement that Democrats MUST believe ALL women who make allegations against any powerful man! Do they deserve to be heard? .Yes, they should have an opportunity to make their allegations known and investigated if an investigation is possible... But that doesn’t mean I have to believe them!

    If a twenty year old female claims George Washington raped her last weekend when she visited his grave, why would I feel that I needed to believe her? This is the media’s stupid problem of thinking that to be “impartial”, they have to report clearly dishonest comments as if they deserved merit. It’s not taking sides to point out the truth.

    There is nothing wrong for the press to point out that what Trump refers to as “fake news”, the rest of the world calls “the truth”. That is not being partisan; it is refusing to promote dishonesty.

  60. [60] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, TS, this certainly is the right column for you, I'll give you that. :)

    Tell me, what do you actually glean from your 35% death to case calculation?

    I'm all ears, so to speak.

  61. [61] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    i'm not as adamant as liz perhaps, but i do think method 3 has a huge validity problem due to the specific complexities of covid-19. yes, people who think they are recovered and then die of it are one form of mis-count (covid-related stroke cases are one large, systematic under-count of that type). another large, systematic error has occurred due to people not getting that sick, presuming it is the common cold and not reporting the illness at all.

    overall, there's just too much sampling error for method 3 to reach any reasonable validity threshold.


  62. [62] 
    Kick wrote:

    The difference between Victoria and I is that I accept my responsibility in how things are here..

    There's not a damn thing you can say about anyone on this forum that changes that rock-bottom stench hole that you are definitely responsible for getting yourself bitch slapped into, but it's fun to watch you flailing in the repetitive pathetic attempts at it. *laughs*

    So to recap: There's not a damn thing you could ever say to anyone here that will change either our sunny dispositions or your pathetic bitch slapped miserable stench hole. :)

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