Quote of The Week: “Can’t anyone here play this game?” ~ Casey Stengel, Major League Baseball Manager, sizing up the talent of his 1962 Mets

Quote #2 of the Week – “My mental health has failed. I don’t like being alone in Washington. Shadows on the ceiling in my apartment, there alone, shadows are so long.” ~ Michael “Hamletbreath” Caputo, HHS Spokesman and self-appointed science editor 

Week #192 of the Trump Era finds us once again stunned that Trump can do anything surprising at this point, but he’s been on a roll since the revelations of him calling dead American soldiers “suckers and losers.” Having corrupted the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, Trump finally corrupted the Centers for Disease Control, and Friday found public trust in both the CDC and Dr Anthony Fauci begin to erode as Trump has not only sidelined and muzzled the nation’s top scientists during a deadly pandemic, but now actively overrides and corrects their public statements to the public, releasing fictional health reports as genuine CDC information, over the objection of the CDC’s own scientists, who have been locked out of their own website.

And speaking of fictional narratives, top Assistant District Attorney Nora Dannehy quit the Justice Department rather than remain involved in U.S. Attorney John Durham’s investigation of the investigators who uncovered Trump’s crimes as part of Attorney General William Barr’s attempt to rewrite recent history, and to remove mention of Russia’s corruption of the 2016 election in Trump’s favor, while Russian mercenaries and military jets make war in Libya and operate from an American-built military base in Syria in the absence of a US President not personally installed by Vladimir Putin.

In an ongoing effort to provide consistency in governance, the Trump administration admitted on Friday to stripping millions of dollars from a New York City Fire Department fund that foots healthcare bills and end-of-life expenses for 9/11 survivors who are dying of cancers caused by the attacks and the Ground Zero rescue operation, promising “to try to put an end to” the heartless practice. To try to? Well, they say admitting one has a problem is the first step…

And speaking of misappropriated (stolen) funds, House Democrats are demanding documents about the Department of Health and Human Services’ $250 million contract with a marketing firm handling a campaign on coronavirus that is long on fiction and short on facts that Democrats say is being used to prop up Trump’s reelection campaign. 

That campaign brought him to Freeland, Michigan on Friday evening, where he admitted to his crowd that he plans to strip protections on preexisting conditions from their health care, and that he is using recreational drugs, those admissions coming in their usual form: vehement accusations against others, like the chocolate-smeared brat accusing his sister of being the one who raided the cookie jar. Not only did he say Biden was going to destroy the healthcare plan he helped Obama create and “is using drugs,” he added the whopper that the devoutly Catholic Joe Biden “will shut down your churches,” even as hardened drug pellets flew from the nose of a snorting President who never goes to church.

On Saturday, the Colorado Secretary of State sued the Post Office and Postmaster Louis DeJoy personally for his role in trying to destroy their electoral system, while we learned that political appointees at the Department of Health and Human Services have repeatedly asked the CDC to revise, delay and even scuttle weekly reports on the coronavirus that they believed were unflattering to President Trump. Unexplained was what one has to do with the other, since one is a virus and the other is a human being. Well, sort of, anyway.

Or perhaps they are related, since we also learned on Saturday that Trump ordered Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institute of Health, to issue a paper stating that his latest quack cure obsession should be green-lighted for widespread use, the unproven Convalescent Plasma Therapy, telling him “get it done by Friday,” which happened to be when he was making a campaign appearance and desperately needed some good news to announce, since everything else has pretty much gone to shit on his watch.

Ironically, “things have gone to shit” is Trump’s campaign strategy once again, along with the theme “only I can fix this.” Which is kind of tricky since he’s the one in power who fucked things up like no one has fucked things up before, and a proposition that has Schrödinger’s cat clinging to the chandelier in sheer terror.

On the plus side, his loyal base is buying Trump’s Time Machine Theory, that Joe Biden (!) transferred all of his future disasters back to Trump’s time so he can fix them for Sleepy Joe. If that doesn’t make any more sense written down than it does when said out loud, congratulations, you are not insane.

Unable to pass that test was Roger Stone, one of Trump’s oldest criminal associates, whose loyalty was rewarded just weeks ago by Trump with a commuted prison sentence. In light of the handwriting on every wall saying “BIDEN BY A LANDSLIDE” in bold font capital letters, Stone advised Trump to “confiscate ballots and seize power,” including soldiers shutting down polling places. Stone neglected to conjecture on the willingness of military personnel to carry out such a coup on behalf of the man who calls them “losers and suckers,” and their leaders “babies and idiots.”

Then again, thinking things all the way through is not for Republicans, they leave that chore to those stodgy people who think the future is real. Take Acting House Homeland Security Chad Wolf, for example, considered along with his rabid Deputy Ken Cuccinelli to be serving his post illegally according to the General Accounting Office. Weeks earlier, Wolf ordered US intelligence agencies to stop producing reports about Russian interference in the 2020 election, blissfully unaware that would earn him a subpoena to testify before the House Homeland Security Committee to explain this gross violation of national security.

Trump’s campaign trip took him to Nevada on Saturday night, where he warmed up for killing a lot of his supporters the next day at an indoor rally by holding a mini-rally at the Minden-Tahoe Airport in Nevada, packing 5,000 unmasked people into close quarters in an airplane hangar, many of whom would be carrying home invisible souvenirs for their loved ones, for some, the last “gift” they will ever receive.

On Sunday, another respected US Attorney jumped the SS Barr when John Choi resigned from the Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice, which surprised a lot of people. Who knew we have a Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice? At issue was this Administration’s failure to do anything on the legal front about racial injustice in this country except naming a toothless commission after it, in spite of the recent rise of the largest popular Civil Rights movement since the 1960s.

Then former New York City Mayor and 2-time presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg announced he was spending $100 million on political ads endorsing Joe Biden just in Florida alone, a State Trump considers crucial to his reelection, and the State he now calls home after having worn out his welcome in New York with local law enforcement.

And speaking of Trump wearing out his welcome, this was how Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak welcomed Trump to Nevada, where was holding his first indoor rally in 3 months, since he presided over 500 Covid-19 infections in Tulsa, Oklahoma; “Tonight, President Donald Trump is taking reckless and selfish actions that are putting countless lives in danger here in Nevada.”

The reckless action in question was a crowded rally in a Henderson, Nevada arena for 5,600 people inside and an estimated 20,000 outside the venue, with few masks worn and no safe social distancing maintained, putting Tulsa’s record of 500 Trump Rally Infections in serious jeopardy. The rally was against Nevada State law for the pandemic and carried a fine of $50 for every person over 50 admitted to any social gathering, but the city settled for fining the Trump 2020 Campaign just $3,000. The Trump campaign said they would gladly pay the fine, but the city of Henderson will never see it, now being on the bottom of a long list of municipalities shafted for their money by the Trump Campaign, many of them still waiting for reimbursement since 2016. 

Everyone who attended the rally to listen to Trump claim the Covid-19 pandemic was a Democratic hoax that was going away very soon had to sign a waiver absolving the Trump campaign from any liability if they catch the disease, which statistically, many of then are certain to do, and to bring it home to their loved ones, and 3% of those infected will die in service to Trump’s ego. That’s 15 dead from the Tulsa Rally, and handicappers following the Trump Super Spreader Tour say the smart money is on Nevada for topping that death toll.

He opened with his President for Life joke, “After we win four more years, we’ll ask for maybe another four or so!” as he described conditions happening right now (but really sent here from Biden’s unsafe future, don’t forget!) that will require his lifelong attention: things like “open war on law enforcement, left-wing riots and mobs,” U.S. Marshalls being used as his personal hit men, President Xi is my friend but China sent the virus on purpose, “the police love me” and all sorts of the usual lying gibberish, until  he dropped this juicy little tidbit about the USA needing (!) ”a fast trial death penalty.” No one had the heart to tell him that fast trial death penalties are already a thing, a regular feature of popular revolutions, and generally don’t work out so well for monied elites like Trump.

Monday saw Trump finally visiting California, currently suffering the most catastrophic series of fires in recorded history, fires for which Trump has repeatedly blamed on California itself for “not raking their forests,” an imbecilic statement he repeated on this visit, and once again ignored the fact that most of the raging fires are on Federally-owned land, where Trump has despatched exactly no Forest-Raking personnel since last year’s fires. To the lack of raking, add another culprit, “exploding trees.” No doubt he heard the term mentioned in news coverage of the fires and somehow assumed that exploding trees cause the infernos, instead of the other way around.

Then Trump insulted the intelligence of everyone in the room and further debased the office of the Presidency by refuting established science, rejecting the accepted fact that Global Warming is real and caused by mankind’s unchecked burning of fossil fuels, and is directly and catastrophically affecting our weather, causing more fires and hurricanes of greater intensity than ever before. “I don’t think science knows. It’ll start getting cooler. You just watch.”

Which prompted Joe Biden to call Trump “a Climate Arsonist,” while Trump’s oft-repeated threats to sabotage the upcoming election obliged the Biden campaign to assemble an extensive legal team to focus on voting and election issues, while Susan Sandler, a liberal philanthropist, thought this was a good time to announce her $200 million investment in racial justice organizations. 

Michael Caputo, on the other hand, thought this was the ideal day to go publicly bonkers in a Facebook video that went viral, accusing career government scientists of “sedition” in their handling of the pandemic, how “left-wing hit squads” were preparing for armed insurrection after the election, and exclaiming “If you carry guns, buy ammunition, ladies and gentlemen, because it’s going to be hard to get. You understand that they’re going to have to kill me, and unfortunately, I think that’s where this is going.” Wellokaythen, lad!

This is the same man who was hired to be the spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services, and who took it upon himself to hire assistant Science Professor Dr. Paul Alexander as his own Science Advisor (spokespeople for scientists speak for the scientists they represent and don’t get to have their own science advisors), both of whom took it upon themselves to disagree with the world’s most accomplished scientists and to censor and delay their public reports because the truth they were telling did not reflect the lies the President was earnestly spreading. To the surprise of no one, Caputo’s video meltdown led to him taking a “60-day leave of absence from his duties” (translation: he’s gone for good).

A Federal judge in Maryland on Friday ruled that Chad Wolf, who can’t keep out of the headlines, is likely unlawfully serving as Acting Secretary of the DHS and temporarily barred the Trump administration from enforcing new asylum restrictions on members of two immigration advocacy groups, according to court documents. Government Accountability Office found that Wolf and Ken Cuccinelli, the senior official performing the duties of Deputy Secretary, were appointed as part of an invalid order of succession.

In case anyone was wondering what’s going on with Trump’s concentration camps, on Tuesday we were treated to the news that our American Concentration Camps have hit the big time with the emergence of our very own Dr. Mengele, a gynecologist who was giving detained immigrants hysterectomies without their full consent in an ICE detention camp in Georgia, without being told why they are getting the surgery or (!) spoken to in their native language.

After the Trump Administration’s successful embargo on news about the ICE detention camps, using the excuse of Covid-19 security to stifle disturbing rumors of widespread sexual abuse of women and children and multiple deadly outbreaks of Covid-19 among detainees and guards, Nurse Dawn Wooten, could no longer remain silent about a scalpel-happy gynecologist who prescribed an inordinate amount of surgeries on young women, who he turned out to be sterilizing at the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia, operated by LaSalle Corrections, a private prison corporation (Motto: “providing corrections industry solutions to law enforcement agencies).

Dr Creepshow, Mahendra Amin, was also keeping track of the menstrual cycles of female detainees for his own twisted “experiments,” even after being ordered by a court to stop doing anything unrelated to their immediate health care needs, which tells us that Dr. Amin had already come to the attention of the authorities in a negative way, yet continued to be employed caring for Trump’s captives inside this corporate-run detention camp guided by, at best sketchy rules and a thinner sheet of Civil Rights than prisoners accused of crimes, and would still be surgically preying on young women if not for the voice and conscience of one nurse, who jeopardized her career to stop a monster.

Or, as headlines go in the ceaseless sensationalism that is the Trump Era, Page 8 of the newspaper, a 6 at best. Trump’s new schoolboy nicknames for political rivals got more ink than Mengele 2.0 did, and America is no wiser about the fate of tens of thousands of detainees in their charge during Covid. But we sure know about Sleepy Joe and Nasty Kamala.

Attorney General William Barr, who is fast approaching the dangerous threshold where he makes more headlines than Trump and gets fired, continues to wield the Justice Department like a spiked club in defense of a single client, Donald J. Trump, and on Tuesday decided to open a criminal investigation into (!) John Bolton’s tell-all book, months after its release (and relatively tame compared to the flood of Trump exposé books that followed). Since Barr cannot dispute a single accusation against Trump in any of the damning books, he chose to accuse Trump’s former National Security Advisor Bolton of the crime of releasing Classified Information, even after his manuscript had been vetted by the Feds and approved for publication. Apparently Mr. Caputo is not the only self-appointed editor in service to Trump’s public image.

In real life, it is certainly no State Secret that Trump is a pompous, incompetent buffoon who’s in way over his head and using the Presidency like cat playing with a Ping Pong ball. All one need do is observe the man with “there’s something really wrong with that guy” written all over him, and listen to the firsthand accounts of everyone who ever had any personal interaction with the man, all their accounts being unanimous about what an imbecilic racist dirtbag is Donald Trump.

But for now, he remains President Dirtbag, and will forever be remembered as the man who made a pandemic worse on purpose. So is comes as no surprise that his partner in electoral crime, Postmaster Louis DeJoy, hired four people who previously worked for his businesses to work with him in key positions at the US Postal Service, even though they, like DeJoy himself, had no Post Office experience.

Nor was it shocking for Trump to make a big deal of signing Middle East peace treaties in the White House in which he played no part in negotiating, when Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed peace treaties even though they have never been at war with one another, basically an exchange of diplomats and access to air space, while nobody mentioned the 800 pound gorilla in the room, Palestine.

Trump closed his Tuesday with a  televised Town Hall meeting, only with the twist that his questioners would all be undecided voters, who turned out to be, as suspected, as obstinate as they are uncommon. They were immune to MAGA Rally rhetoric, and Trump’s usual dumbass razzle-dazzle and litany of lies to open the festivities did not impress them, and President Dorothy knew he was not in Kansas anymore when they asked him lots of real questions requiring a reply longer than a slogan, like he was Joe Biden or someone. Trump still has no idea how this thing works, never mind identifying its moving parts.

Suddenly “exploding trees” impressed no one, and these people from mellow towns and quiet neighborhoods were not living in fear of left wing anarchist mobs burning down anything, nor were they sporting rebel flags or tiki torches. They were clearheaded normal people, worried about their families, their health, their jobs, their futures and their communities, but Trump had no answer for any of those concerns. Suddenly, his strategy of “being President is all the debate prep I need” is looking better and better for Mr. Biden, who will come prepared.

On Wednesday William Barr decided to interfere with yet another prosecution that would benefit President Trump politically when he told Federal Prosecutors in Seattle to consider “charging rioters and others (what others?) who had committed violent crimes at protests in recent months with (!) sedition.” The Attorney General then slammed the hundreds of Justice Department prosecutors working beneath him, equating them to preschoolers, in a defense of his politics-driven brand of justice, benefitting first and foremost the Trump Administration.

Decalaring war on his own Justice Department, Barr instructed his “preschoolers” (some of the most accomplished and respected individuals America has produced) to respect his right to intervene in investigations and to overrule career lawyers; “Name one successful organization or institution where the lowest level employees’ decisions are deemed sacrosanct, there aren’t. There aren’t any letting the most junior members set the agenda.” Well, the Department of Justice for one, where a great many “low-level” prosecutors have made legal history, men and women who are square enough to believe that their only “agenda” is the law. 

Barr further distinguished himself that day by interjecting himself into a today’s public health crisis, saying these exact words: “You know, putting a national lockdown, stay at home orders, is like house arrest. Other than slavery, which was a different kind of restraint, this is the greatest intrusion on civil liberties in American history.” Yes, he said slavery in comparison to fighting a deadly pandemic together.

Meanwhile, the Director of the CDC, Dr. Robert Redfield, turned his testimony before Congress into an urgent plea for a national masking mandate, telling America that universal masking for 8 to 12 weeks will be far more effective in reversing the death toll of one American every 86 seconds than any vaccines currently under development, and will make society safe again.

Trump immediately mocked Redfield, saying “I think he got the message maybe confused” (a world-renowned scientist with the latest scientific data at his fingertips) in his congressional testimony. Then to celebrate the return of Big Ten Football, Trump proposed that the Justice Department file criminal charges against the Mayor of Seattle, Washington, for something or other, it doesn’t matter. Barr will figure it out…

On Thursday, F.B.I. Director Wray warned Congress that a Russian disinformation campaign was targeting Joe Biden, same as it ever was, 2016 2.0, deja vu all over again. Wray also expressed alarm about violent extremist groups, “Racially motivated violent extremism, mostly from White Supremacists, has made up a majority of domestic terrorism threats.”

Congress also expected to hear more on these pressing topics from Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, but the Acting Secretary acted like he was above the law and refused to honor the Congressional subpoena, sort of refocusing everyone’s attention on the fact that a Federal Agency and a court of law agree that Wolf is serving in his job illegally, something that never happened before in regular (non-criminal) Administrations, not even once.

Then a former key part of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Olivia Troye, former HSA counterterrorism and coronavirus advisor to Coronavirus Czar/Space Force Commodore/Vice President Pence, who resigned in disgust in August, this day announced she is voting for Biden because of Trump’s “flat out disregard for human life.” and because “his main concern the economy and his reelection.” 

Her epiphany came after hearing Trump say “Maybe this COVID thing is a good thing, I don’t like shaking hands with people. I don’t have to shake hands with these disgusting people.” Of course his faithful heard that and assumed he meant people other than them, even though Trump made it crystal clear that he meant them when he responded to a question about the dangers of spreading Covid-19 at his undisciplined rallies.

He assured the questioner that he was safe, since the stage is “far away from the crowd,” and it never for one second entered his head that the questioner was referring to the health of people other than him. His continued social irresponsibility and those 200,000 deaths and counting tell us that no such concerns trouble his sleep.

It was Thursday when we learned that the CDC scientists did not write the recent controversial CDC revisions of testing guidelines and health protocols on their website, but the Shadows on the Ceiling Guy, Caputo and his amateur assistant Doctor Wannabe, over the objections of the scientists that Caputo insisted wrote the report. The CDC corrected the situation and insists that their future reports will not be compromised for political reasons.

Then two of The Ukraine Scandal Poster Boys were back in the news, when Rudy Giuliani’s twin Peter Lorre foreign mystery men who were instrumental in the Ukraine Caper that got Trump impeached, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, had new charges addd to their résumés, “soliciting a foreign national to make donations and contributions in connection with Federal and State elections,” as well as “aiding and abetting the making of donations and contributions by a foreign national in connection with federal and state elections.” 

Which may or may not make it onto the history books if Trump has his way, when he announced a pressing need for a new “pro-American curriculum” in the nation’s schools, claiming that (!) “today’s schools are teaching our kids to hate America.” Being that Trump is a guy who didn’t know which side was which in World War 1, and is unsure if Frederick Douglas is still alive, this job is certain the land on Jared Kushner’s desk, where ideas go to die.

Trump’s younger Fredo, Eric Trump, said he is willing to be questioned in connection with a criminal probe by New York State’s Attorney General into whether his father and the Trump Organization committed multiple felonies by overstating the value of assets to obtain loans and tax benefits, but only if it can wait until after the November 3 election. His father fought back (for headline space), escalating his attacks on “left-wing demonstrators” and “far-left mobs,” selling himself as a defender of American heritage against fanatics and arguing for his new “pro-American” curriculum, none of it making a burdensome amount of sense. 

He will get at least part of his wish. Trump will go down in history books, right up there with Caligula and the Black Plague.

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