Friday Talking Points -- October Schadenfreudefest

[ Posted Friday, October 2nd, 2020 – 15:59 UTC ]

It's October... surprise!

The thing about October surprises is that they're always, well, surprising. No one expects them, and no one can predict their coming. That's the nature of any true surprise.

Late last night, the political world began reeling from what could be the biggest October surprise in a generation (at the very least), as the White House announced that President Donald Trump and his wife First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19.

This was greeted in some quarters as not so much an October surprise as (to coin a term) an October schadenfreudefest. If there is any one individual who richly deserves to contract the coronavirus, after all, it is Donald Trump. Trump has pooh-poohed the virus from the very first, insisting that it will magically go away ("by April, when the weather warms up"), that it isn't that big a deal ("it's like the flu"), that testing is unnecessary, that it affects "almost no one," that most people get a mild case and recover, that many don't even know they've got it, that children "get the sniffles" (no big deal), that we've already defeated it ("we've turned the corner"), that it's all in the past, that getting the economy going again and getting kids back to school is more important than any imagined risk, and -- worst of all -- that wearing masks and social distancing and all that stuff is for sissies and definitely not for real macho men like him. Or to put it another way, the karma wasn't instant, but it caught up to Trump in the end.

We are now one day and one month away from the election. And now, for half of that time, the president will be quarantined in the White House. He will not be able to hold his beloved rallies, he will not be able to meet with fatcat donors, he will not be able to schmooze with his buddies in the Oval Office. He will be confined to his quarters, where he will likely watch even more cable news that he normally does. He can rant and rave about the unfairness of the universe all he wants, but most people will see it as an entirely deserved fate. When you mock all attempts to slow the spread of a pandemic and scoff at anyone who follows the pointy-headed experts' advice, then you deserve little-to-no sympathy yourself when the virus proves stronger than your attempts to pretend it doesn't exist.

If these were normal times, in fact, a president getting sick in the midst of a pandemic would actually be a huge political boost for his chances of getting re-elected. The sympathy vote would be enormous. But these are not normal times, nor is Donald Trump a normal president. For the entire course of the pandemic, President Trump has express virtually no sympathy for the millions of Americans who have come down with the virus, and hasn't even expressed any real condolences for the 210,000 American families (and counting) who have lost a beloved member. His own lack of sympathy for this entire time will now come home to roost in a big way, as few voters are likely to feel too sorry for Trump right now.

There is one good thing that could come of this, if Trump makes a giant U-turn and starts promoting wearing face masks and social distancing and preventative hygiene. If wearing a mask (a "MAGA mask" maybe?) becomes a test of his followers devotion to him, then this could wind up saving tens of thousands of lives in the upcoming months. That would indeed be a positive outcome.

Of course, from Democrats' perspective, another real positive outcome would be Trump losing in a landslide in November. It's hard not to see that the chances of this just went way up. For the past couple of months, Trump has tried to distract the country from the pandemic by bringing up anything he could that would fill up a news cycle. Any outrageous thing he said or did that pushed the pandemic out of the headlines was like political gold to him. And in a number of instances, this worked quite well for him. Americans are weary of the pandemic, but at the same time they've gotten somewhat used to the danger. Until a vaccine appears on the horizon, life isn't going to change much from where we all are now. There will be no normalcy for months to come -- everyone has pretty much accepted this by now. This helped Trump distract from the seriousness of the pandemic, but this isn't going to be possible anymore.

Trump's sickness has now become the big story. It reminds everyone that we have not turned any sort of corner, that the virus is still raging out there, and that we may indeed be on the brink of a new wave of infections caused by cooler weather (when everyone moves more indoors). Cases were already spiking across much of the country, mostly in states that largely avoided the first waves. Or, to put it another way, there simply is no safe place left anymore. Not even the Oval Office, obviously.

How will Trump weather quarantine? That's certainly an interesting question. The White House today admitted that he is actually exhibiting symptoms (they called them "mild"), so he's already not one of those asymptomatic cases. Will it continue to be mild for him or will it become more debilitating? Trump famously hates showing any kind of weakness at all, but if he is visibly weakened by the virus will this affect how his own voters see him? There are all kinds of unanswered questions, at this point. Serious symptoms, if they do occur, will likely appear over the course of the next five days or so.

This raises a new and serious question, as well. At what point does Trump become so feverish that he cannot be trusted to perform his duties? Of course, the word "feverish" could accurately be applied (metaphorically) to just about any day out of any week of Trump's entire time in office, but in this instance it would be literal. At what point does Trump become so disoriented and irrational that his cabinet starts re-reading the text of the 25th Amendment? All they have to do is have a majority of them sign a piece of paper, and Mike Pence will instantly become Acting President Pence for the duration. This may seem like a slim possibility, but we'll see how things go for the next week or so. It may become a necessity. So far, Pence has tested negative.

An even more far-fetched outcome would be if Pence falls sick too, and gets just as feverish as Trump. In that case, if the cabinet agreed (not very likely), then Nancy Pelosi would become Acting President Pelosi. That's about as schadenfreude-y as it gets.

No matter what happens, though, one of Trump's biggest campaign themes has now been obliterated. He was trying to gaslight the voters into believing that his response to the pandemic has been nothing short of amazing, and that he had done such a good job that everything was now back to normal once again -- except in states and cities run by Democrats, who were holding up reopening the economy just to stick it to Trump. We had turned the corner already, there was nothing left to worry about, and by the end of October Trump had planned to make some sort of announcement about the approval of a vaccine. Trump to the rescue! And we'd all live happily ever after (and, of course, vote to re-elect our Dear Savior).

That, as they say in Washington, is "no longer operative." It always was a fantasy story, but it was one that Trump was selling to a whole lot of voters. But how can he possibly even attempt to do so now, when he can't even hold his beloved rallies anymore? Trump could decide to go virtual and start addressing supporters and donors via computer, but once again this undermines one of his campaign themes -- that Joe Biden was a weenie for doing exactly the same thing. This time it will be Trump "hiding in the attic" (the president's personal residence isn't "in the basement" but rather on the top floor of the White House). So how will Trump square that with all the taunts he's been throwing at Biden?

Trump will be running a risk over the course of his sickness, even if he does embrace Biden's virtual campaign tactics. What happens if he appears on video and is visibly not well at all? He could look weak, he could look disoriented, he could even collapse in the middle of a presentation. This would, no doubt, change the way voters see him. It's hard to be a strongman when you're sniffling and having a hard time breathing, to state the obvious. Or can't even hold a rational thought in your head. These are all clear possibilities if Trump's symptoms become more serious.

But there's a further risk, because if Trump doesn't make public appearances, then people are going to be wondering just how sick he is. Nobody's going to believe any of the White House doctors or medical experts, because Trump has so politicized their ranks that all anyone expects from them at this point is sheer propaganda. Dr. Anthony Fauci examining Trump and reporting the results is about the only thing that most people would trust even a little bit. So if Trump disappears from public view for more than a period of a few days, the rumors will start flying that his sickness is a lot more serious than anyone is letting on. Which is a different kind of political risk for Trump.

Of course, no one with an ounce of compassion is wishing for it, but there's an even grimmer possibility to consider as well. What happens if Trump doesn't recover? What happens if he dies of the coronavirus? This close to an election, it would be impossible to remove his name from the ballots (although, admittedly, we have not checked the election laws in all 50 states -- which vary, state by state). Ballots have already been sent out to tens of millions of voters, after all. So the Republican Party would not even be able to replace Trump's name on the ballot with Mike Pence (or whomever else they chose). So what would a vote for a dead man mean, when it comes to the presidency? This is a situation that has never happened in American politics before (it has happened in governors' races and Senate races, but never the presidency). Which means nobody would really know what the correct procedure would be.

Assuming Trump does recover, though, the first political question will be what happens to the next two debates? The first is on the edge of Trump's 14-day quarantine, but would Joe Biden really agree to stand in the same room as a possibly-still-infectious Trump? Perhaps the debates will have to be held via Zoom -- which would certainly make muting Trump a whole lot easier for the moderator. About the only certainty if the next debates happen is that Trump won't be taking cheap shots at Joe Biden for wearing a mask. That clip (from this week's trainwreck of a debate) is already playing on a loop on cable news today.

Nothing exemplifies the failure of Trump to take the coronavirus seriously as perfectly as him catching it, one month from the election. His way failed, obviously. Pretending it was going to go away, was going away, or had already gone away was nothing more than folly. It was dangerous foolishness from the get-go. And now the proof is there for all to see.

President Donald Trump faced his worst crisis, and he simply was not up to the task. That is the clear message his positive test just sent to all voters in the country. He never took it seriously enough, and he is now going to pay the price for that callousness and obliviousness. He cannot gaslight this away as some sort of "hoax" anymore. Not when he's fighting it himself.

This is such a momentous turnaround in politics that we have chosen to just throw out all the early drafts of this column, where we reviewed the past week in politics. The worst presidential debate in American history happened this week, but we already addressed it in our earlier reviews. Plenty of other things were happening in Washington as well, but it all pales in comparison to the October surprise most of us woke up to this morning. So we'll have to wait until next week to return to our normal format.

The October schadenfreudefest most Democrats are experiencing right now is based on one simple fact -- Joe Biden's chances for victory just went up. A visibly-sick Trump is going to look weak, both physically and politically. Trump made an enormous bet on trying to wish the coronavirus pandemic away, and he just lost that bet in the most personal way imaginable. Trump's response to the pandemic is now, unquestionably, a huge failure. Those are the three things Trump never wants to be seen as -- weak, a loser, and a failure. It undermines his personal brand in the most devastating way possible. Whether at the margins or in droves, it will quite likely undermine his support with voters as well. Joe Biden already had a pretty comfortable lead in all the polls, and Trump's illness is only going to expand it. October surprises have a way of completely upending political races, and this one is going to be no different. It's hard to even see anything Team Trump tries to do (to generate their own anti-Biden October surprise) as even being able to change this new dynamic. With one month and one day to go before the election, we've already had the biggest October surprise of them all.


Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

Joe Biden certainly was impressively calm in the face of Hurricane Donald this week, in the first presidential debate. Biden showed he could not be rattled by Trump, no matter how rude Trump got. But we're only going to give him an Honorable Mention for his effort.

Because in our opinion Chuck Schumer had a better week. We wrote about this at length yesterday, so we're just going to cut and paste a bit, to explain:

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer managed a rather extraordinary feat this week -- he forced a Senate floor vote on a bill designed to become campaign ad fodder for Democratic challengers to vulnerable Republicans. This is notable, because normally the Majority Leader Mitch McConnell controls what gets floor votes, not the minority party. And it was even more notable because five Republicans voted for it out of sheer terror of it being used in an ad against them. Three others didn't take the bait, and can now expect such ads to begin airing soon.

The bill would have (if passed and signed into law by President Trump, which would never actually happen, it must be pointed out) banned the federal government from arguing in court to kill the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in court. This is important for three big reasons: (1) the Trump administration has already joined the lawsuit trying to overturn Obamacare in its entirety, (2) the case will be heard before the Supreme Court almost immediately after the election, and (3) Senate Republicans are rushing to get another Supreme Court justice confirmed before the election.

The bill got 51 votes for it while only 43 voted against it. These five Republican senators voted with the Democrats to bar the government from weighing in on the case: Susan Collins, Joni Ernst, Cory Gardner, Dan Sullivan, and Martha McSally. If you recognize some (or all) of those names, it is because they are in a fight for their political lives in the upcoming election. Maine's Susan Collins, Colorado's Cory Gardner, and Arizona's Martha McSally may all already be toast, if the polling proves to be correct. Joni Ernst in Iowa and Alaska's Dan Sullivan are in slightly better shape, but are both seriously threatened as well. So threatened that all five Republicans essentially just cast a vote in favor of Obamacare. Think about that for just a moment.

Three others, however, decided to risk the wrath of their voters and voted to allow the federal government argue that Obamacare should be totally and completely eliminated -- which, of course, means that people with pre-existing conditions (including the millions who have contracted COVID-19, assumably) would no longer be protected in any way. Insurance companies could just refuse to insure them, once again. The Obamacare marketplaces would disappear, leaving them all in the lurch. The three who gambled on this political position were Steve Daines of Montana, David Perdue of Georgia, and Thom Tillis of North Carolina. Of the three, Tillis is in the most danger of losing his seat, but the other two are also possible pickups for Democrats as well.

The ads, of course, will almost write themselves: "Senator Tillis voted to support overturning all protections for people with pre-existing conditions. I have [life-threatening illness], and my care costs [an obscene amount of money] per month, so this would be an absolute death sentence for me. Sometimes you hear the phrase: 'vote like your life depends on it.' Well, for me, it does. I hope you'll join me in voting for life -- my life and the lives of countless other North Carolinians -- by voting for Cal Cunningham." Democrats already played this card, during their national convention, so it's pretty easy to see that they're going to play it again everywhere they think it'll be effective.

This is rather extraordinary for two reasons: (1) Schumer got the vote in the first place, through a parliamentary maneuver that hasn't been successful in a decade, and (2) Schumer successfully split the Republican ranks on Obamacare one month before an election that may hand him control of the Senate. That is impressive. Which is why Schumer is our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week.

Republicans have tried for two election cycles to have things both ways. They still hate Obamacare and want to destroy it, but they have come to realize that they have to at least give lip service to "protecting people with pre-existing conditions," as well. However, merely saying it does not make it so. Donald Trump even went to the extreme with this gambit, by signing an executive order to "protect people with pre-existing conditions." It is meaningless, for two big reasons: (1) Obamacare -- which protects people with pre-existing conditions -- is federal law already, and (2) if Obamacare is overturned, the executive order won't do doodley-squat to protect anyone. That would require a replacement for Obamacare to pass Congress. And Obamacare was a careful balance of a complex juggling act of issues, only one of which was the protection for pre-existing conditions. You cannot just legislate that one part of it and ignore everything else, because (according to them) this would bankrupt the insurance companies. The whole solution is needed to solve this one part.

In the 2018 midterms, Republicans tried to pull the wool over the voters' eyes on pre-existing conditions. They failed miserably, since no one believed they cared one iota for anyone's healthcare. Democrats own this field, and they made enormous gains politically because of it. Democrats are looking for a repeat of this in 2020, using pretty much the same playbook. But this time around, Republicans are even more aware how much this issue is hurting them with the voters. Several close Senate races could hinge on it, in fact.

Which is why Chuck Schumer deserves the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award. By using his parliamentary trick to force Mitch McConnell to hold a vote, he widened a split in the GOP. He also provided an issue ready for harsh political ads to several Democratic candidates. Schumer may not be able to stop Trump's Supreme Court pick from getting confirmed, but this week he showed that he's still got plenty of ways to advance his own party's prospects.

[Congratulate Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on his Senate contact page, to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]


Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

We had one nomination for the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week, but in the end we decided it wasn't worth it.

In normal times, Joe Biden would have ruffled some feathers on the leftward side of the Democratic Party this week, by refusing to say anything nice about the Green New Deal and boasting of how badly he beat Bernie Sanders in the primaries.

But you know what? We don't care. In fact, we think it was probably a pretty good move for Biden to have made, politically. One of Trump's biggest lines of attack was going to be that Biden was some sort of puppet of the lefties, whose strings would doubtlessly be pulled by the likes of Bernie and A.O.C. once he got into office. Trump's been teeing up this attack for months, in fact. Biden distancing himself from such views, though, meant the attack simply could not land a blow on him. Trump flailed around to argue the exact opposite during the debate -- that by doing so, Biden had just "lost" the support of all the lefties.

The lefties I know, however, don't give a rat's patootie what Biden has to say about them now. They are going to vote for Biden come Hell or high water (both of which are distinct possibilities, the way this year's been going). There is literally nothing Trump could say or do to convince them otherwise.

Lefties have largely gotten beyond Bernie's loss. They have made their peace with the idea of a Biden presidency. They know full well that Biden will disappoint them on certain things over the course of the next four years, and they fully accept this, eyes wide open.

Because anything Biden does is going to be miles better than having Trump as president. Lefties were blamed (fairly or not) the last time around for "staying home" and not sufficiently supporting the Democratic Party's presidential nominee. This time around, they are determined not to have this happen again.

Sure, they'll be voting against Trump more than they'll be voting for Biden, but you know what? That vote counts just the same as one from a enthusiastic Biden supporter.

This all adds up to the fact that the lefties (at least the ones we know) know there's going to be some disappointment later from Biden, but they just don't care. Anything is better than Trump, after all. And if Biden can pick up some more support in the Midwest and other purple states by distancing himself from the Green New Deal, then that's just fine with them.

Which is why we're going to have to put the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week back on the shelf for another week.


Friday Talking Points

Volume 591 (10/2/20)

For once, we have restrained ourselves here. These may be the shortest talking points we've ever offered up, in fact (we'd have to check, but since there are 590 other columns to check, we're just going to go ahead and assume).

Just as with our introductory segment, all of these deal with the October surprise of Trump testing positive. Sure, other things happened this week and Joe Biden's got lots of good talking points to use out on the campaign trail, but instead we've decided to focus solely on snappy one-liners to deploy to talk about Trump's current situation.

Trump's positive test is a game-changer. It is going to force him to totally rewrite large parts of his campaign script. He will no longer be able to get away with distracting everyone from the pandemic, now that it has hit home for him.

So these are the things Democrats should be saying in order to drive this point home. Every one of these is short and sweet, and pretty easy to remember. For once, instead of a whole paragraph's worth of set-up, none of these require any explanation or details whatsoever. So here is the most-succinct list of talking points we think we've ever written, to address Trump testing positive for the coronavirus.


   Protect and defend

This is the ultimate rhetorical question to ask, because nothing else boils it down quite so neatly:

"How can Trump protect other Americans when he can't even protect himself?"


   Don't hold your breath

Remember Tuesday? It wasn't that long ago. That's when Trump taunted Joe Biden for wearing a mask in public -- something Trump has done repeatedly throughout the campaign. Perhaps he'll change his tune now? It's worth asking.

"Maybe now Trump will stop making fun of people who wear masks."


   A message for all his supporters

Mr. Macho just got it -- so can you. So be careful.

"See? If Donald Trump can get the coronavirus, then anyone can get it."


   I'm just going to click on this icon, here...

This could force a change in a big way, and for the better.

"A presidential debate over Zoom would certainly help, since the moderator will have a 'Mute' button."



He didn't just fail on a personal level, it's much bigger than that.

"Trump's pandemic response has been an utter failure from the start right up to him contracting the virus himself. In fact, it's hard to even imagine a bigger failure."


   What goes around comes around

Time for this chicken to come home to roost. This should be the response to any criticism of a lack of sympathy for Donald Trump.

"I feel just as sorry for Trump as he has felt all along for the other seven million Americans who got COVID-19, or for the 210,000 families who lost one of their own to the virus."


   The ultimate Trump insult

Saved the best for last. This can be used generically, or specifically if a video of him visibly affected leaks out in the next couple of weeks.

"Boy, Trump sure does look weak, doesn't he?"

-- Chris Weigant


Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground


103 Comments on “Friday Talking Points -- October Schadenfreudefest

  1. [1] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:


    Obviously, this was written before the news broke that Trump has been taken to the hospital.


  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You were early!

  3. [3] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Too early for the Thom Tillis announcement too.

  4. [4] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    I'm thankful that the "free Melania" meme can now be put to rest forever.

  5. [5] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    'Oh, Saint Peter
    At the gates of heaven
    Won't you let me in?
    I never did no harm
    I never did no wrong
    Ah, oh, Gabriel, let me blow your horn
    Let me blow your horn
    Oh, I never did no harm
    Did no harm
    I've only been this young once
    I never thought I'd do anybody no wrong
    No, not once, oh no'

    Well well well...So he can die easy...Well well well


  6. [6] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Does anybody really care why Chelsea Clinton is no longer friends with Ivanka? It seems rather obvious.

    I'd like to know why she was friends with her in the first place.

  7. [7] 
    TheStig wrote:

    The President currenty has a low grade fever and fatigue...and maybe some other undignified respiratory and digestive symptoms. The White House medical facilities could treat him perfectly well. As I see it, moving him is designed to protect the White House Staff who do most of the actual work, such as it is. Trump's workday is mostly taken up watching Fox Network, Tweeting and some ancillary Fork and Spoon Operation. He can do all this at Walter Reed. Moving the hunderds of WH staff would be a much bigger operation....and far more disruptive. In fact, removing the boss may greatly ehance WH productivity! WH Staff infections (no pun intended)) can be isolated at home or in hospital on a case by case basis.

  8. [8] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    Now is the time to pay attention to the federal register. This is the perfect cover for all sorts of nasty shenanigan's to take place.

  9. [9] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    Wasn't it Walter Ried that completely botched Kennedy's autopsy?

    I'm fairly sure it was LBJ, Kennedy's most likely killer, who sent his cadaver there.

    Has Pence hit LBJ button?

    Only time will tell.

    Be sure to stay tuned to your local aluminum hat frequency...



  10. [10] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    if biden wins and dems take the senate, which at the moment is looking at least possible, do you think schumer would force a vote to admit every single district or territory who wanted it as a state?

    DC, PR, USVI, samoa, guam and marianas would raise the total number of senators to 110.


  11. [11] 
    dsws wrote:

    as the White House announced that

    Have they taken up ventriloquism?

    And if they start wearing masks, how will we tell when they're lying?

  12. [12] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    Wasn't it Walter Ried that completely botched Kennedy's autopsy?

    Do you mean the pre-autopsy autopsy or the official, not-based-on-the-best-evidence autopsy?

  13. [13] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Oh, no. N-N-N-Noo!

    I am done with this. Ah, just when I think I've finally got all of that out of my system ...

  14. [14] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    How is the "Covid in Chief"?

    We'll never know.

    or have to wait and see...


  15. [15] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    If some of the reporting coming out is true that Hope Hicks self isolated on AF-1 on the return flight after receiving a positive result is true, it would represent a monumental yet not shocking deviation from science.

    Aircraft by their nature are positive airspaces, meaning in epidemiological terms that they are for the protection of one person in a high risk environment.

    In cases where a high risk person needs to be isolated from others in a low risk environment negative pressure spaces are used, meaning that air is removed from the isolation space at a velocity greater than it enters.

    So.... reminds me of a song.

    HH in a cabin on an aero plane is gonna isolate and hope she gets better.
    She ain't got time to take a personal plane.
    Lonely days are gone.
    All she knows is she is going home and gonna feel better.
    The white house just dropped off your quarantine letter.

    If the yahoos in charge of the trumpistration response were on their game, they would have required HH to be repatriated separated from AF-1 and those on board and not allowed to utilize shared transport for the repatriation.

    But they didn't... so I will not be surprised to see a cluster develop over the next few days.

  16. [16] 
    SF Bear wrote:

    I think Listen When You Hear #57 from the last column nailed it. This is a hoax so he can abdicate and escape to Russia. But questions arise #1 Why would Pence pardon him? Pence only gets to be President for a couple of months then he is dead meat, no republican would want to touch him in the future. He owes Trump nothing, and if Trump abdicated his one chance for a future went out the door with him. #2 Pence could only pardon him for federal crimes, NY and CA could bankrupt him and if there is a God in heaven also nail him on some criminal charges. But can they do any of this if he is absentia? I am sure he is loading up every dollar he can find on Air Force One to take with him. However the NYT reports he is not at all liquid so he will be totally dependent on the kindness of strangers. How long will Putin support him if he is no longer a force in US politics? If he were Tweeting from Moscow would any of the Proud Boys still want to follow such a loser?

  17. [17] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The body was altered before the official autopsy, to paraphrase Chief Pathologist Dr. Hume and FBI agents Sibert and O'Neil.

    Here's the actual quote from the FBI report written by the two agents attending the official autopsy based on utterances by the chief pathologist:

    Following the removal of the wrapping, it was ascertained that the President’s clothing had been removed and it was also apparent that a tracheotomy had been performed, as well as surgery of the head area, namely, in the top of the skull.

    The doctors in Dallas didn't perform any surgery in any area of the president's head.

  18. [18] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    The first news I saw this morning was that Trump had developed a fever and cough and been taken to Walter Reed "for a few days."

    I've never been so pleased to hear of someone developing symptoms. It would've been a cruel Fate indeed if he'd just had mild sniffles (which would more likely be due to snorting Adderall) or, worse still, been asymptomatic. If he had, he would've used it as proof that he was right all along that it was no big deal. For the sake of other lives, that lie needed to be debunked and there's no better way of doing it than for the liar-in-chief to get really ill.

    I don't want him to die though. I want him to lose the election in a landslide, then be indicted, tried, convicted and jailed for the rest of his life.

  19. [19] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    Both Thom Tillis and Mike Lee have tested positive and need to remain in quarantine for the next 10 days (when did it get shortened to 10 days from 14 days?).

    Neither of them were on the AF1 flight with Hope Hicks but both were at an Off-White Residence function for Amy Coney Barrett.

    Both of them are members of the Senate Judiciary Committee which normally has 12R to 10D but with two away sick, the numbers are now even: 10R-10D. You can be sure that the Dems will use their sudden increase in power to prevent Coney Barrett getting out of committee!

    I haven't checked but I think it likely that the other 10 GOP members of that committee were also at that same function so more than two of them may test positive over the next couple of days. Just one more would mean the Dems will have a majority on that committee and there's no better way to use that majority than by promptly throwing out Coney Barrett as a candidate for RBG's seat on SCOTUS!

  20. [20] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    Really? We have to rehearse the JFK conspiracy theories, for no particular reason? I love JTC's [9] contention that VP Johnson was packing a rifle from the (Schoolbook Depository; grassy knoll; other) when he pulled the trigger and blew his boss's brains out.

    Getting back to the matter at hand, I feel torn between my loathing of the president, and my feeling that I should not glory in another person's agony. I'm extremely grateful for Chris's point #6:

    "I feel just as sorry for Trump as he has felt all along for the other seven million Americans who got COVID-19, or for the 210,000 families who lost one of their own to the virus."

    That's my feeling. He's not responsible for all the illness and death - no president could have prevented the virus from entering the U.S. But he's responsible for the illness and deaths of very large numbers of people who could have been saved had the president, leading the federal govenment, taken the kinds of steps that previous administrations had identified as absolutely necessary in the face of a global plague. Tens to a hundred thousand, at least - who he's showed basically zero compassion or feeling for.

    Now he has it. Enjoy, sir.

  21. [21] 
    Kick wrote:

    Kellyanne Conway... come on down.

    The contact tracing seems to be leading to the White House event in the Rose Garden event on Saturday, September 26, for Amy Coney Barrett. Bill Barr was there blowing his nose and shaking hands. It doesn't matter if some of them have tested negative today; they could still test positive later:

    * No social distancing.
    * Very few masks.
    * Packed into the Rose Garden.
    * Hugging each other and blowing their noses and shaking hands.

    Even after the death of Herman Cain, likely in connection with the pathetic Tulsa rally, Cult 45 and the useful idiots turned a blind eye to reality and continued right on denying the facts of the severity of the situation. Eight months into the pandemic! Wake up, morons!

    Maybe they'll catch on now; I doubt it.

    Anybody who feels sorry for Trump, please review this tape wherein he mocks his opponent for becoming ill:

    Four years ago today.

  22. [22] 
    TheStig wrote:

    According to CNN Trump is a lot sicker than reported earlier. Labored breathing given his age and comorbidities puts him at very high risk. Covid testing at the White House has been ...wait for it....lied about. Trump wasn't tested before the debate.

  23. [23] 
    Kick wrote:

    Trump's current campaign manager, Bill Stepien, got arrested... oh, wait... that was the prior three campaign managers for Trump. Stepien tested positive for coronavirus.

    I hear there are three White House reporters that have also tested positive.

  24. [24] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    It's only fair that they treat the orange moron with hydroxycholoroquine (SP?), or whatever that voodoo stuff was that he kept recommending for everybody else.

  25. [25] 
    Kick wrote:


    DC, PR, USVI, samoa, guam and marianas would raise the total number of senators to 110.

    Oh, I like the way you think: 56 states! 112 Senators!

    With all those extra states, you'll definitely need to add about 70 federal judges and... oh, say... 2 Supreme Court justices.

    I'm kidding... I think. :)

  26. [26] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    CW wrote,

    There is one good thing that could come of this, if Trump makes a giant U-turn and starts promoting wearing face masks and social distancing and preventative hygiene. If wearing a mask (a "MAGA mask" maybe?) becomes a test of his followers devotion to him, then this could wind up saving tens of thousands of lives in the upcoming months.

    Puh-leeze, don't give the bastard any good ideas!

  27. [27] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    I mean, he could make a fortune pushing "MAGA masks"

  28. [28] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Alrighty! Trump catching Covid was hopefully a FTP that half wrote itself. I say this because the insanity has made you crank out sooo much more content than those days of being bored by politics.

    Remember how July and August was the ideal time for the Punditocracy to take vacation? Because it was such a "slow news" time of year?

    Anyways, Mr. Weigant, the BREVITY of this week's FTPs make me surrender the only CRITICISM I've ever held about your outstanding work product:

    This week's FTPs are far more useful than the others because they're so SUCCINCT and TO THE POINT. I don't know what FTPs are meant to accomplish but "short and sweet" TPs are the only ones that I could deploy with any hope of effectiveness in AN ACTUAL CONVERSATION WITH A TRUMPANZIE.

    I get it: honing each weeks TPs down into "gotcha" quality sound bites would require considerably more Herculean effort than you already expend. And it oughta land you a way-better paying position with the Biden campaign. But (as I learned being a bassist in a Trash-rock-And-roll-Devil-worship band...

    "Less is MORE."

    Just sayin'

  29. [29] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    "It's the space BETWEEN THE NOTES that makes the notes TASTY!"

  30. [30] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Once again, shout out to Weigantia!

    This Comments section is so much more pleasant without the Troll formerly known as Michale! If he doesn't pay off the"percentage of black votes Trump wins" I'll personally cover them if you 86 the, er, person.

  31. [31] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris Cuomo had a great line tonight ... it's official, there is a cluster in the White House. Ahem.

  32. [32] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Too bad the WH doesn't do cluster investigations.

  33. [33] 
    chaszzzbrown wrote:

    Reading the estimable Bob Wachter's recent medical sleuthing, it sounds like this isn't one of the ones where Trump has just mild to no symptoms.

  34. [34] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    Kick [21] - a fine comment containing both humor and useful information!

  35. [35] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    My nomination for MDDOW is none other than Chris' senior U S Senator. I read that only two Senators were maskless for an entire hearing of the Judiciary Committee: Mike Lee and Diane Feinstein. I haven't read anything further (and can't locate the link - an Internet search presented me with a boatload of Breitbart-type "gotcha" photos of her strolling through an airport without a mask).
    If this is true, Sen Feinstein is a terrible example for her fellow Californians and for all Americans.

  36. [36] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    poor donald

  37. [37] 
    John M wrote:

    [31] Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    "Chris Cuomo had a great line tonight ... it's official, there is a cluster in the White House. Ahem."

    I thought Melania, Ivanka and Kellyanne got together and made sure everybody's clusters were cut off??? :-D

  38. [38] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Back to being impersonal, again. Oh, well ...

    If I was the AG - or the Chief Justice, for that matter - I'd be getting tested every day and would definitely be in quarantine for the next 14 days.

  39. [39] 
    Alin wrote:

    The Karma virus is a bitch

  40. [40] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Everybody at the WH event for the judge on Saturday should no be in self-quarantine for two weeks. while they are waiting for test results.

  41. [41] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Even if the test negative today, they should remain in quarantine for two weeks and get another test, especially if symptoms ensue.

    This isn't rocket science.

  42. [42] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    Everybody at the WH event for the judge on Saturday should now be in self-quarantine for two weeks, while they are waiting for test results.

    Even if their test is negative today, they should remain in quarantine for two weeks and get another test, especially if symptoms ensue.

    This isn't rocket science.

  43. [43] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    I've never cheered for a virus before, in our time of covid, anything's possible.

    According to Trump's doctors, (who sound completely corrupted in the presence of the master corruptor), he's up and doing handsprings and jumping through hog's heads of fire.


  44. [44] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    This isn't rocket science.


    Are you sure about that, lol.


  45. [45] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And, according to his doctor, Trump tested positive on, ah, Wednesday.

  46. [46] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    That's bad news for Biden and hundreds of other, all of whom should now be in quarantine.

  47. [47] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    I'm reminded of an interview I stumbled onto on CNN. Chris Cuomo was interviewing Mary Trump. In the closing remarks she augered that Trump is a classic nihilist, Cuomo went on to fail completely in his definition of nihilism, she went on to coin it perfectly... Trump in loss and failure will take down everyone with him.

    If what I'm hearing is true, that prick was Johnny Appleseed with CV19 for at least 24 hours.

    Great call Mary Trump.


  48. [48] 
    TheStig wrote:

    In the fine tradition of Presidential health briefings we are receiving a stream of muddled bullshit. Not quite lies, but far from the unvarnished truth.

  49. [49] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    Ground zero for the Off-White Residence outbreak was definitely the garden party. Wrote about it here:

  50. [50] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Nice piece, Mopshell!

  51. [51] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:


    The Karma virus is a bitch

    No, the COVID-19 virus is a bitch....Karma is BEAUTIFUL!

  52. [52] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Just a reminder... while everyone was thrilled that Biden tested negative after Trump announced he was positive, we cannot breathe easily until Biden tests negative a full week after the debate. The incubation period for the virus is up to 7 days, so Biden should be self quarantining, IMHO — If for no other reason but to demonstrate how a real President acts responsibly out of his concern for others’ wellbeing!

  53. [53] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:


    Liked your article on KOS! Great job!


  54. [54] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:


    Trump's current campaign manager, Bill Stepien, got arrested... oh, wait... that was the prior three campaign managers for Trump. Stepien tested positive for coronavirus.

    Oh, be patient...his time will come...well, if he lives through this it will!

    I cannot decide if we should believe that Trump is doing much better or much worse than how they are telling us he is doing! I figure that it has to be one of the two, simply because we KNOW they ain’t telling the truth! If he is reported to have died, I bet the family will move to have him cremated immediately... that way an urn of sand from one of his golf courses can lay in state while Trump makes a run for it! I realize that this sounds silly, but you know that Trump remembers the ratings that OJ pulled when he had Al Cowlings try to make a run for the border in the white Bronco...if he’s going down, then THAT is the way Trump will want to go down!

    If he truly is sick, with the off-the-charts level of narcissism that he suffers from, Trump will be even worse at being a patient than he has been at being president. He’s used to having doctors who will lie to him to stroke his ego. I actually feel sorry for those having to reassure him every five minutes that he isn’t dead... yet.



  55. [55] 
    Kick wrote:

    Interesting morning today, y'all. Guess what I did?

    * Received my paper ballot in mail yesterday.
    * Made my choices by filling in little circles today.
    * Placed ballot in white "inside envelope."
    * Placed inside envelope in "carrier envelope."
    * Decided to bypass effed up USPS and hand deliver.
    * Donned N95 mask, dressed comfortably for possible line.
    * Arrived early. No line at all!
    * Immediately was seated to show my ID and get verified.
    * Signed my name and filled out Line 6.
    * Deposited my verified ballot that will be counted before election day.


    So suck it Trump and the GOP and your pathetic attempts at disenfranchisement of citizens and hijacking of America's democracy.

    I could have voted for one of you suckers and losers, but I like people who weren't cadet bone spurs, captured, compromised and cowards, and I like people who pay taxes! :P

  56. [56] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    SF Bear,

    Thanks for the comment! It just all seems too convenient for all of this to happen immediately after Trump’s last opportunity to knock Biden down in the polls by getting him to screw up and make a badly worded comment that can easily be twisted and used against him failed to happen! Especially when you consider that it was Trump whose comments were so damning to his own hopes for re-election that were the main take away from the debate. Dropping out before the election is the only way Trump can avoid losing the election. He can blame the virus and he can laugh at Pence when he loses — just as long as he does not lose.

    The more I have been discussing Trump’s exit strategy with others, the more I have come to realize that Trump’s gonna have to use his knowledge of our national secrets to try to buy himself a safe place to hide out. It’s the only thing of value that Trump has to offer that might outweigh the fury that our nation will unleash on whoever offers him refuge. I cannot see Saudi Arabia being willing to risk its relationship with us for Trump. Russia and North Korea are the only two that might believe Trump is worth the trouble...but even they might think it will do more damage to our country to make him face the drama of a criminal prosecution. It just matters what all Trump actually knows that our government doesn’t want anyone else to know.


  57. [57] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    The Stig [22]

    Trump wasn't tested before the debate.

    Makes you wonder if his late arrival to the debate was not done intentionally to avoid being tested, doesn’t it?

    It always makes me a little sad to say that and know that it’s not being said hyperbolically.

  58. [58] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    As to [56] by Listen...
    It's properly conspiratorial, but once again the theory makes the error of thinking of the president as if he were a normal human being who is talented enough to be president.

    In short, what "knowledge of national secrets"? What stuff that "Trump knows"?

    What, do you think he was listening to those briefings? Do you think he understood them, to the degree that he was listening? Do you think the North Koreans and Russians haven't long ago assessed him as a hopeless imbecile when it comes to technical or complicated knowledge? Do you think they don't realize that he will probably lie to them and/or blithely BS them during the debriefings?

    Your conclusion, then, makes more sense than its build-up. He's worth nothing to them, and his being forced to stand trial and serve time in the U.S. would be way more demoralizing to our country than their accepting him as a turncoat refugee from justice.

  59. [59] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    Darwin will take it from here, folks...

    Thanks for coming out.


  60. [60] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    To quarantine or not to quarantine that is the question.

    It all boils down to the testing regimen, we do not know exactly what testing Biden, Pence and the WH complex are using. Is it strictly the rapid tests? or are they using the rapid tests to cover off on daily testing with weekly or bi-weekly PCR lab tests?

    I would hope they are not relying on the rapid tests alone, but rather are using a combination of lab tests and rapid tests to achieve results that guarantee the virus is caught before shedding occurs.

    Two important factors are at play here assuming they are using both types of tests. First is the rapid test, given that the government is being rather opaque, we do not know what product they are using so the assumption we are left to go with is that out of the 10 rapid antigen tests that hold EUA approval we are forced to assume that they are using either the Abbott labs ID NOW or the BD Veritor systems as they are the only two on the market that are readily available, the tests from Quidel, Cephid, Mesa and Abbott BINAXNOW are all bought up by the HHS through the end of the year. The other 5 tests I have not named here suffer from being either very expensive or have accuracy issues.

    Given the choice of the ID Now or the Veritor tests the ID Now platform wins as it has a accuracy and sensitivity rate that is 95% or better and skews towards delivering false positives (yes, it received some bad press but when used as directed, swab and analyze none of the buffer crap, it is highly accurate). The Veritor system only has an accuracy rate of 84% and again skews towards false positive results. It is important to note that with any of the rapid test products if a positive test result happens a follow on PCR lab test should be administered and the individual should isolate until the return of PCR lab test results return a negative. and if you want to really go overboard a second PCR test should be administered 48 hours after the first negative result is returned.

    Let's do some givens here: debate was the 29th, depending on the actual first positive of trump it was either the 30th or the 2nd ( I lean towards rapid test results on the 30th, PCR confirmation on the 2nd, it would be within the timeframe for a big lab to return results ). WH opaque information sharing makes it impossible to identify P-0 for the WH cluster. In either case it is highly probable that trump was not shedding at the debate, but, again we do not know the testing regime.

    So... Let's move on to responses.

    Pence, who the heck knows... He should isolate or come clean about his testing regimen. I lean towards isolate as he has been in close proximity to positive individuals in multiple circumstances and for enough time to have been given the 'Rona. I am going to make the assumption here that his team is relying on the rapid test results VS. a PCR lab test result and that they are not employing a dedicated small lab to get quick (6 to 8 hour) PCR results. This means that once a rapid test shows positive he could already be a spreader.

    Biden on the other hand has press alluding to rapid testing for those in close proximity to him on a regular basis, unfortunately they have also been less than transparent about their response plans. If he has had a PCR LAB test 48 hours after potential exposure then I lean towards letting him run about. But, if they are relying on rapid tests, this means that once a rapid test shows positive he could already be a spreader and should isolate. Given Biden's age and embrace of science I suspect that he is employing the combination method.

    The takeaway here is, find a lab that can return PCR results utilizing what I call the big kids PCR tests within 6 to 8 hours at a cost of 80 to 225 bucks. Support that with daily or every other day rapid tests to certify health status in a way that minimizes infection vectors.

    At the end of the day both sides now need to come clean about their COVID protocols vis a vie campaign appearances. From what is publicly facing, one side has a better plan than the other.

  61. [61] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Actually, what it comes down to is that Biden was too close to Trump to not quarantine for two weeks.

  62. [62] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    Late-breaking news provides another nominee for MDDOW:
    'A story published by the website indicates Cunningham, who is running against Republican Sen. Thom Tillis, "engaged in the extramarital activity with the wife of a fellow veteran."

    The website identified the woman as Arlene Guzman Todd. Her husband is Jeremy Todd, who served 15 years in the Army, according to information from website said.

    Cunningham is married to Elizabeth Cunningham and has two children. He said in a statement that he will not drop out of the Senate race.'

  63. [63] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


  64. [64] 
    TheStig wrote:

    A joke from the Nixon era fits Trump like a piece of Lego fits into another piece of Lego:

    "What did the President know and when did he stop knowing it? "

    I have finally tracked where I first heard it : National Lampoon Lemming Review.

  65. [65] 
    TheStig wrote:

    From The Washington examiner:

    Meadows added that Trump has made "unbelievable improvements from yesterday morning."

    Chief of Staff Meadows is correct - I don't believe a word of it. Give some hard data to back this rosy assessment up, or just shut up.

  66. [66] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    Good read, Mopshell! I'll look for your work when I seek out my weekly This Modern World fix.

  67. [67] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Dunno if I posted these Lincoln Project vids, Focus Group, The Collapse, and I'm Smart.

    Enjoy, Weigantia!

  68. [68] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Are we all ready for the CW Sunday Night Music Festival and Dance Party!

    There'll be plenty of time tomorrow to cover the idiocy in the WH.

    I have to grab the usual salmon dinner first, then I'll be back with some great Canadian bands!

  69. [69] 
    Kick wrote:


    Oh, be patient...his time will come...well, if he lives through this it will!

    Heh. Here's hoping they'll all be fine for their multiple future court dates.

    I cannot decide if we should believe that Trump is doing much better or much worse than how they are telling us he is doing!

    He can't be sick if it's all a "Democrat hoax" designed to ruin his reelection, right? He's such a lying piece of horseshit. We expect politicians to spin the facts, but a POTUS who is a pathologically lying con artist who will lie about anything and everything, even dumb things like crowd size? Pathetic.

    Trump will now use his COVID-19 infection to claim his expertise in all things regarding SARS-CoV-2 and spin whatever story he thinks will win him reelection. Count on it. It's sad that the gullible Trumpanzees will fall in line like useful idiots and believe and repeat whatever bullshit he spews out of the Orange Blowhole like the unreasoning rubes they are.

    Remember how the Right wingers used to refer to Michelle Obama as "Mooch"? At least she paid income taxes for decades and still does. Trump? Hasn't been paying taxes because he shows massive business loses year after year for decades yet still claims to be a "great businessman." Trump is the real "Mooch" who actually doesn't put America first because he cheats on his taxes... just like everything else he does.

    If he is reported to have died, I bet the family will move to have him cremated immediately... that way an urn of sand from one of his golf courses can lay in state while Trump makes a run for it!

    He won't die... because Moocher Trump has the best healthcare that our tax dollars can buy.

    I realize that this sounds silly, but you know that Trump remembers the ratings that OJ pulled when he had Al Cowlings try to make a run for the border in the white Bronco...if he’s going down, then THAT is the way Trump will want to go down!

    You're right. How does Moocher Trump not get in his SUV and go for a drive with the world watching? Seems like something he'd definitely do for attention.

    If he truly is sick, with the off-the-charts level of narcissism that he suffers from, Trump will be even worse at being a patient than he has been at being president. He’s used to having doctors who will lie to him to stroke his ego. I actually feel sorry for those having to reassure him every five minutes that he isn’t dead... yet.

    You saw his doctors already lying for him and having to correct the record. Same shit, different day.

    Big hugs. Keep your ass safe. :)

  70. [70] 
    Kick wrote:

    Do I have a song for that post at [69]?

    Keep Yourself Alive

    Fun Fact: Microsoft Surface Duo uses the intro to "Keep Yourself Alive" in their current commercial:

    Microsoft Commercial

  71. [71] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    I imagine that the orange one has a bad case of the Coronavirus Blues, so here’s:

    Serves You Right To Suffer

  72. [72] 
    Kick wrote:

    Be nice, JFC ;)

    The Rolling Stones

    Sympathy For The Devil

  73. [73] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'm guessing that the American people have had it up to their eyeballs so let's raise a little hell with Trooper ...

  74. [74] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'm feelin' kinda patriotic tonight so it's all Canadian, all the time. We have been blessed with some of the best artists in the world so, this could be a long night!

    Here is Corey Hart as me move from the west coast to Montreal and Never Surrender ...

  75. [75] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Tonight is a wonderful time to fall in love with April Wine as we travel all the way over to the east coast and Nova Scotia ...

  76. [76] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Who's your favourite Canadian band ... I'm taking requests! :)

    And, I need another drink ... who's tending bar this evening ...

  77. [77] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    One might say that Blue Rodeo, formed in Toronto, is the Canadian version of the Eagles. In any case, here is one of my favourite Blue Rodeo tunes, Try ...

  78. [78] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Back to the west coast with Chilliwack and one of their biggest hits on both sides of the border ...

  79. [79] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    Cheery little number...


  80. [80] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I think I can top that, JTC, with something from the Mother country ... can you believe we're going to have to wait until April for No Time To Die. Sigh.

  81. [81] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    We can't forget the prairies so here is Tom Cochrane of Red Rider fame doing Life is a Highway ...

  82. [82] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Do I have a song for that post at [69]?

    Why, yes. Yes you do!

  83. [83] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Kansas is a great track from Neil Young's newly released 45-year-old album, Homegrown ...

    Homegrown is an essential addition to your Neil Young collection, by the way. :)

  84. [84] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  85. [85] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Who doesn't love Trimuph. No, not THAT Triumph. I mean the hard rockin' guitars and Don't Waste My Time!

  86. [86] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Please Forgive Me ... back to the west coast with Bryan Adams ...

    Who let the dog in?

  87. [87] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You guys must have a favourite Canadian band ... MtnCaddy!?

  88. [88] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, I guess I should throw in a couple or three of my favourite Prism tunes ...

    Here comes Another World - change is comin' if not another generation. Heh.

  89. [89] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Gowan's A Criminal Mind is Canadian Classic. And, since Lawrence joined Styx in 1999 following the departure of Dennis deYoung, A Criminal Mind gets a second life as a Styx song ...

  90. [90] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    American music, You can hear it all over the world. Right now, somewhere, this minute there's a radio playin' on, And it's playin' that rhythm and blues, hot dresses and high heeled shoes, with the Ikettes kickin' and the Four Tops singin' that Same Old Song ...

  91. [91] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    And, in keeping with the Canadian Americana theme, Tom Sawyer ...

  92. [92] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    C'mon. That's such a difficult question, hello? The best I think I can do is narrow it down to my Top Two. Knowing I'll hate myself the moment I hit Submit Comment.

    Rush. Neil Young.
    Neil Young. Rush.

  93. [93] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Very fine and impressive choices, MtnCaddy! :)

    I couldn't get all of them in tonight so, the rest will have to wait for another Sunday night ...

    Take good care and stay safe!

  94. [94] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    ***Dept. of Lincoln Project***

    Our Fight

  95. [95] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Yeppers, Elizabeth. You do the same.

  96. [96] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    ***Dept. of Lincoln Project***


    Gee, I didn't know that LP takes on Repug Senators in Alaska

  97. [97] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:
  98. [98] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Trump’s putting the Secret Service agents lives at risk with his disregarding his need to be quarantined as long as he is infected. His drive-by rally in front of Walter Reed was just to feed his hungry ego and put his agents lives at risk. They should demand full hazmat suits with respirators be worn as long as he is infected. If that isn’t allowed, they might as well not wear their Kevlar vests... those things are useless against the real threat.

  99. [99] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Heya Elizabeth! This, from an Atlantic article
    Republicans gripped by dread as multiple crises swirl.

    A senior Republican congressional official spoke for many by arguing that the handling of the issue over the weekend was “incredibly worrying,” but that it was too early to judge whether the issue further jeopardizes Trump’s reelection chances, the Barrett nomination or GOP control of the Senate.

    “Do people show sympathy because he’s sick and is trying to battle through this?” he asked. “Or do they say, ‘You’re the president and if you had taken common sense precautions there’s no way you would have gotten sick.’ If it becomes, ‘You are reckless and this is the metaphor for how reckless he was,’ then we’re facing a tsunami. But it’s too early.”

    The official added one caveat, a scenario that he believed would crush the GOP on Nov. 3.

    If the White House lied about the timeline and he went to events and was around people knowing he was Covid-positive,” he said. “I think that is the single biggest thing that would resonate with regular people in terms of how irresponsible he was — if he put other people in danger.”

    He added, “That could turn this into a death spiral.”

  100. [100] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    This, at once both depressing and hopeful, from an Atlantic article Trust Is Collapsing in America.

    I'll let y'all know how the article turned out, I guess...

    When you look back on it from the vantage of 2020, moral freedom, like the other dominant values of the time, contained within it a core assumption: If everybody does their own thing, then everything will work out for everybody. If everybody pursues their own economic self-interest, then the economy will thrive for all. If everybody chooses their own family style, then children will prosper. If each individual chooses his or her own moral code, then people will still feel solidarity with one another and be decent to one another. This was an ideology of maximum freedom and minimum sacrifice.

    It all looks naive now. We were naive about what the globalized economy would do to the working class, naive to think the internet would bring us together, naive to think the global mixing of people would breed harmony, naive to think the privileged wouldn’t pull up the ladders of opportunity behind them. We didn’t predict that oligarchs would steal entire nations, or that demagogues from Turkey to the U.S. would ignite ethnic hatreds. We didn’t see that a hyper-competitive global meritocracy would effectively turn all of childhood into elite travel sports where a few privileged performers get to play and everyone else gets left behind.

  101. [101] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    Don Harris wrote:

    If any plane the president is on becomes Air Force One, does Walter Reed Hospital become Walter Kant-Read Hospital when Trump is there?

    THE BEST THING about these troubled times is that they bring out the Wickedly Spot-on Political Commedian within you, Brother Don. I must cry out, "Hosanna, Brother Don, hosanna!

    THIS is what YOU should be doing...not OD!"

    Think this through with me, Bruh: We both know that OD is fundamentally a good idea. You disagree with me that it needs refining, whatever. But...because there are thousands of Americans who think likewise about OD...

    Let them apply THEIR talents to OD. You outta refine YOUR special talent for standup or written political comedy, eh?

  102. [102] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    nypoet22 [10] -

    That's an interesting take. But some of them might face population challenges that DC and PR don't. DC has something like 700K in it -- far more than the 400-500K that Wyoming has -- and PR certainly is above that. But Guam? And the Virgin Islands? Would they even have enough for a minimal House district? I don't know the answer to that, but it'd be worth looking into.

    Also, don't just assume that they'd all be Democrats, either. The Pacific ones in particular rely on the US military for almost all their money. So it might mean adding GOP senators....

    goode trickle [15] -

    "Just a song before I go, a lesson to be learned / Traveling twice the speed of sound, it's easy to get burned..."


    Kick [21] -

    Nice link, thanks for the reminder.

    MtnCaddy [26] -

    This isn't my original idea. I read an article... oh, probably a month ago... that expressed astonishment that Team Trump hadn't put a MAGA mask up on their site for sale -- it could have brought in $$$ millions for the campaign, and the author called it "political malpractice" not to have taken this obvious step. So the idea is already out there -- and, don't worry, Team Trump hasn't jumped on the idea as a good one, so I doubt they will now.

    [28] -

    Really? "Less is more" bass in a "Trash-rock-And-roll-Devil-worship band"?? I would have thought the exact opposite.


    Kidding aside, I wrote this for the readers (and you're certainly not the only one) who long for the early days of this column (read any of them with a volume number lower than 100 to see) when the TPs were indeed a lot shorter and snappier.

    I like short and snappy myself, but sometimes the zinger needs a buildup of context to be effective.

    Also, in the Trump era, there's just SO MUCH to cover each week that issues that would have been discussed elsewhere in more depth (leading to shorter TPs about them) are pushed aside by OTHER crises of the week. So the TPs are the only place to address them, and I've got to do it "cold."

    But, like you said, I thought I'd write one FTP column for the purists that love the bumpersticker-length talking points. Glad you enjoyed it!


    And, yes, I fondly remember cranking out a "Silly Season" introductory column at the start of each August, to explain why the next month would be thin political news -- and long to return to those halcyon days...

    LizM [31] -

    Chris Cuomo had a great line tonight ... it's official, there is a cluster in the White House.

    OK, now THAT was funny!


    italyrusty [35] -

    I fully agree, especially considering DiFi is now pretty damn old herself...

    What was she thinking?!?

    Alin [39] -

    Democracy Now played (as a background song) today on their broadcast "Karma Chameleon"... heh...

    I would've gone with "Instant Karma" myself...

    Kick [55] -

    Well done! Huzzah!!!

    italyrusty [62] -

    Oh, you can bet this is in the running for next week's MDDOTW. Couldn't believe the disappointment I felt when I saw it... sigh....

    Don Harris [100] -

    No, it becomes "General Hospital One," because Trump's always about the teevee ratings, even on daytime teevee...


    OK, that's it for this week...


  103. [103] 
    John M wrote:

    [104] Chris Weigant wrote:

    "nypoet22 [10] -

    That's an interesting take. But some of them might face population challenges that DC and PR don't. DC has something like 700K in it -- far more than the 400-500K that Wyoming has -- and PR certainly is above that. But Guam? And the Virgin Islands? Would they even have enough for a minimal House district? I don't know the answer to that, but it'd be worth looking into.

    Also, don't just assume that they'd all be Democrats, either. The Pacific ones in particular rely on the US military for almost all their money. So it might mean adding GOP senators...."

    The minimum population for statehood as set by Congress for the Northwest Territory back in the 1780's was 50,000. That law has never been changed.

    Only Puerto Rico and D.C. have active pro statehood movements from a grassroots origin of their own residents.

    There was talk from Marin Barry when he was mayor of D.C. of combining the Virgin Islands with D.C. to make a state, since the objection was that D.C. was too small in physical size. But there has never been any indication at all from the people of the Virgin Islands that they are at all interested in changing their tax exempt territorial status.

    American Samoa are the only territory that are not even American citizens. Because of tribal land ownership rules on the island, they are also not interested in changing their status. There has been talk of American Samoa joining the state of Hawaii, rather than becoming a state by itself, but again that has just been talk.

    In a 1982 plebiscite, Guam chose by a plurality vote commonwealth status(forty-nine percent). Statehood received twenty-six percent of the vote; status quo ten percent; while free association and independence each received four percent. A runoff chose commonwealth (seventy-three percent) over statehood (twenty-seven percent) as the preferred status. Guam then wrote a commonwealth constitution and petitioned Congress for a change in status. But Congress never took any action and the petition went nowhere.

    The Northern Mariana Islands are currently a commonwealth, like Puerto Rico. It's people are American citizens. They share both a culture, native language, and racial makeup with the people of Guam, since they are all part of the same island chain. They are much smaller in size though. There has also been talk of combining the the Marianas with Guam as one state, but again it has been just talk, as there is no grassroots push for a further change in status. Also, there is still bad blood lingering between the people of Guam and the Marianas, as Guam supported America during World War 2, and the Marianas supported the Japanese.

    So we are left with only 2 real prospects for new states: Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.

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