Filosofa Is Snarking … AGAIN!

Just once I would like to wake up with a smile instead of a scowl on my face.  Just once I would like to get through an entire day without referring to certain of our ‘public servants’ as the scum of the earth pusilánime bastardos tirón con cara!  I thought that once we rid ourselves of the maniacal former guy, life would settle, but it seems that certain elements (whose salaries we pay) are determined to kill us with either ulcers or heart failure!  Hence I am still the Queen of Snark as my dear friend Ellen calls me, forever writing snarky snippets …


If you can’t trust the judge …

In my Sunday post titled “We Have Met The Enemy” I wrote about U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez who had struck down California’s 30+ year ban on assault weapons, comparing the AR-15 to a Swiss army knife.   There are a few extra details to that story, one that stands out for being a boldfaced lie.  In his 90-page opinion on this case, Benitez wrote …

“The evidence described so far proves that the ‘harm’ of an assault rifle being used in a mass shooting is an infinitesimally rare event. More people have died from the Covid-19 vaccine than mass shootings in California.”

Not, mind you, that more people have died from the disease, but that more people have died from the vaccine, which to put it bluntly, is NOT TRUE!  Such claims often come with citations to back them up, but Benitez offers none, probably because there isn’t one.  It’s bad enough that for the past four years we have had a president who lied to us at every turn, every day.  It’s bad enough that we cannot trust the people we send to Congress to be honest.  But when a f*cking federal judge out and out lies, then I’ve had ENOUGH!

A bit of history on Judge Benitez

When Benitez was nominated in 2003 by then-President George W. Bush, the American Bar Association deemed him ‘not qualified’.  California lawyer Richard M. Macias, writing for the committee, said …

“All too frequently, while on the bench, Judge Benitez is arrogant, pompous, condescending, impatient, short-tempered, rude, insulting, bullying, unnecessarily mean, and altogether lacking in people skills.”

The California Attorney General has promised to appeal Benitez’ ruling, and I hope the state wins on appeal.  But we do not need judges like Benitez!  We need judges who are fair and even-tempered … Benitez is neither of those things.


Dr. Fauci is NOT the enemy!

Dr. Anthony Fauci has dedicated his life to medical science and to the people of this nation.  In return, he is being vilified, his ouster from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), an institute within the National Institute of Health (NIH), is being called for by numerous members of Congress, including my own ignoble representative Warren Davidson.  Why?  Because as a result of a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FoIA), Dr. Fauci’s emails have been made public.  Okay, no big deal … except that there are certain people in this country who would rather create a conspiracy theory by taking statements out of context and making up crap to try to eviscerate Dr. Fauci.

Among those are the right-wing conspiracy-based television networks such as Fox, OANN, and Newsmax, but also certain members of Congress such as Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and others … you might notice it is all on the Republican side, for they are the ones who simply cannot resist a good bedtime story with either a wicked witch or an evil wolf!

These networks and their ‘guests’ have concocted a brand-new conspiracy theory that almost tops Margie Greene’s fake story about space lasers setting last year’s California wildfires.  The newest one is that Dr. Fauci and President Barack Obama approved and funded a program whereby the coronavirus (Covid-19) was deliberately engineered to infect people.  To what end they haven’t said, but you know that the fools on the right side of the aisle in Congress have jumped right onto this bandwagon!  Hawley, Cruz, Rubio, Davidson and others who are a bit intellectually deficient have called for Fauci to be fired immediately but wait … it gets even worse.

Don Junior … you remember him, the hanger-on eldest son that Trump never much liked … has decided now that Fauci might be murdered … and he f*cking laughed about it!  Now, every damn Trump supporter in this country owns at least a few guns, probably assault rifles among their collection.  And you know damn good and well that at least a few of them will take Junior’s words to heart, take it as a ‘call to action’, so to speak.

Dr. Fauci is 80 years old, has served this nation valiantly, and even put up with Trump throughout the first year of the pandemic … a feat that should earn him a medal of valour!  I have the utmost respect for and trust in Dr. Fauci, unlike those congressional boobs who wouldn’t know a virus if it smacked them upside the head.  If anything happens to Dr. Fauci, I will personally contribute to his family to help with the lawsuit that they will no doubt bring against Junior and the members of Congress who lied so abominably.


And speaking of brainless Republican lawmakers …

… There’s Mo Brooks, representative in the U.S. Congress from the state of … you guessed it … Alabama.  Alabama and Mississippi are the two most backwater states in the nation, so it should come as no surprise that Mr. Brooks and his wife aren’t heavy in the intellect department.

Mo was one of Trump’s biggest boot-lickers, and when it became clear that Trump had lost the 2020 election ‘bigly’, Mo was among the first to jump on that “voter fraud” bandwagon.  Brooks was the first member of Congress to announce his objection to the certification of the Electoral College results on January 6th and harshly criticized other Republicans in Congress for not aiding him in his efforts to overturn the election.

Well … over the weekend, Mr. Brooks was served with notice of a lawsuit filed by U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell of California, charging Brooks with ‘instigating violence’.  In part, the complaint by Swalwell reads …

“The peaceful transfer of power is a sacrament of American democracy. Donald Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr., his advisor Rudy Giuliani, and Congressman Mo Brooks, together with many others, defiled that sacrament through a campaign of lies and incendiary rhetoric which led to the sacking of the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021.”

Swalwell’s legal team had had difficulty serving Brooks and hired a private investigator to give him the papers, according to court filings.  Mo wasn’t home when the investigator showed up with papers in hand, so he left the papers with Mo’s wife, Martha.  Apparently, ol’ Mo wasn’t too happy ‘bout that and is going batshit crazy, claiming on Twitter …

“Well, Swalwell FINALLY did his job, served complaint (on my WIFE). HORRIBLE Swalwell’s team committed a CRIME by unlawfully sneaking INTO MY HOUSE & accosting my wife!”

Whoa, dude!  Accosting her?  Sneaking in?  I think not.  Long story short, nobody broke into Mo’s house or accosted his wife … why would they?

Mo & Wifey

Since the U.S. Senate, coerced by Mitch McConnell, has denied We the People the right to an investigation to determine exactly WHO was involved on the attack on our Congress on January 6th and in what capacity, We the People, at least those of us with functional brains, will support Eric Swalwell and others who are trying to get to the bottom of January 6thWe the People want (and have a Constitutional right) to know who helped fund and incite the attacks, we want to rid ourselves of the vermin still residing in the Capitol.  We know that Mo Brooks is one of the worst offenders and it is only right that he answer for his role in the events of that horrific day.

Snarky Snippets — Continued

Lest you thought I was finished being snarky with yesterday’s ‘snarky snippets’, never fear, I have not yet run out of things about which to snark.


Back in 2016, I wrote two posts (links below) about Ammon Bundy, the head of the Bundy clan of thugs who illegally occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon for 41 days.  He is a cattle rancher who has thumbed his nose at the law more than a few times.  And guess what?  He is running for governor of Idaho next year, despite the fact that at present, he is banned from the Idaho State Capitol for one year from last August after being arrested there twice in as many days.  Check out this newscast of his arrest(s) …

I don’t know much about Idaho, but if they elect this fruitcake as their governor, then I know it’s a state I will never want to even pass through on the way to elsewhere!  Oh, and Bundy was one of the people who was given a presidential pardon by the former guy … go figure.

Links to posts about Bundy and the Malheur standoff in 2016:

So … Who Is Right? or … Filosofa Takes on the Ranchers …

7 Thugs Go Free — Blind & Deaf Jury


The headline read:  Ivanka Plays Dumb in Sworn Deposition and I had to laugh!  Ivanka does not need to play dumb …


I briefly mentioned yesterday that there had been another mass shooting, this one in San Jose, California, but at the time I wrote that post, there were few details available.  We now know that nine people and one monster were killed, the monster being the shooter who, according to police, then turned the gun on himself.  Co-workers say that Samuel Cassidy, who was an employee at the VTA facility where the shooting took place, he had a seemingly split personality, and a neighbor described him as ‘reclusive’.

The victims of this shooting are:

  • Taptejdeep Singh, 36
  • Adrian Balleza, 29
  • Jose Dejesus Hernandez III, 35
  • Timothy Michael Romo, 49
  • Michael Joseph Rudometkin, 40
  • Paul Delacruz Megia, 42
  • Abdolvahab Alaghmandan, 63
  • Lars Kepler Lane, 63
  • Alex Ward Fritch, 49

The shooter’s father learned of his son’s involvement and death from a phone call by the media.

President Biden issued a statement saying …

“Enough. Once again, I urge Congress to take immediate action and heed the call of the American people, including the vast majority of gun owners, to help end this epidemic of gun violence in America.”

We all know that he might have better luck wishing for the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy to solve the problem of America’s gun culture, for Congress … at least the Republicans in Congress … have made it abundantly clear that they have NO intention of passing ANY form of gun legislation.

This makes 61 mass shootings in the U.S. in the month of May alone!  Get off your asses, Republicans, take off your damned blinders!  And voters – please note that your Republican members of Congress do not give one royal hoot about your life, else they would be working overtime to draft gun control legislation right this minute!  Instead, they are working to block any laws about guns.


Every Saturday, I receive a newsletter from Warren Davidson, the representative for my district in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Now, Warren is an ass, pure and simple – he is, after all, a Republican.  He’s also a member of the House Freedom Caucus, the most abominable of the lot.  But last Saturday’s newsletter had one point that made me literally want to smack Mr. Davidson upside the head:

“This week, I continued to build support for my new bill, the Fauci’s Incompetence Requires Early Dismissal (FIRED) Act. Introduced last week, this bill would place a 12-year term limit on appointees for Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a post Dr. Fauci has held since 1984. Americans agree that Dr. Fauci has sown more confusion around the COVID 19 pandemic than he has confidence.”

Warren Davidson, a man without a single shred of scientific or medical education, knows more than the most well-respected expert in the field???  Hopefully, his bill will fail to make it out of the meeting room, let alone into the chamber for a vote!  Surely even most Republicans have better sense than Davidson!


Some Positive Signs …

Okay, friends … Joe Biden has been in office for less than 48 hours, and already I see positive signs coming from the White House.  Let’s look at a couple …


Once again, science matters

Joe Biden promised to listen to the scientists and the experts, unlike his predecessor, and he is doing just that.  First off, he offered Dr. Anthony Fauci the position of Chief Medical Advisor, which Fauci gladly accepted.  It is encouraging to hear Dr. Fauci, the nation’s foremost infectious disease specialist, say …

“One of the new things in this administration is, if you don’t know the answer, don’t guess.  Just say you don’t know the answer. The idea that you can get up here and talk about what you know and what the science is … it is something of a liberating feeling.”

Yesterday morning, Dr. Fauci spoke to the executive board of the World Health Organization, and was able to tell them that the United States would not be following through with Mr. Trump’s demand to leave the group in the middle of a pandemic.  I, for one, breathe a sigh of relief for that one.

Isn’t it grand to know that our president doesn’t think he’s such a stable genius that he knows everything about … well, everything?  We can trust that President Biden will listen to the scientists, the experts, on such things as the pandemic and climate change.


And speaking of the pandemic …

President Biden unveiled his national strategy to conquer the pandemic, to save our lives.  If this sort of action had been taken a year ago, hundreds of thousands of lives almost certainly would have been saved.

The orders included new requirements for masks on interstate planes, trains and buses, as well as in all federal facilities.  I guess this means you, too, members of Congress!  He also calls for the creation of a national testing board and mandatory quarantines for international travelers arriving in the United States.

But Biden pulled no punches, he was brutally honest (oh isn’t that so refreshing?) when he admitted, “The brutal truth is it’s going to take months before we can get the majority of Americans vaccinated,” and when he said that US deaths from the pandemic will likely reach 500,000 by February.  Honesty.  From the president.  WOW!  Just WOW!


Transparency & truth … FINALLY!

Her name is Jen Psaki, pronounced SOCK-ee, and she is President Biden’s press secretary.  She is more than qualified for the job, having served in a number of communications positions in the Obama administration, including as a spokeswoman at the State Department, where she was comfortable delivering lengthy, policy-heavy briefings in a role often held by career foreign policy officials. And she was popular with Washington reporters.

She has already given her first press briefing, and while I only listened to a brief clip, the first few minutes, one word jumped out:  transparency.

“If the president were standing here with me today, he would say he works for the American people. I work for him, so I also work for the American people, but his objective and his commitment is to bring transparency and truth back to government, to share the truth, even when it’s hard to hear.”

It brings a tear to my eyes to hear the words ‘transparency’ and ‘truth’ spoken by the press secretary, after four years and five … or was it six? … different press secretaries all telling thousands of lies, accusing reporters of bias, or simply not communicating at all.


A short bit of a rant

I hate to sully an otherwise upbeat post with a min-rant, but I simply must vent a bit on this one …

I understand that ol’ Mitch McConnell has ‘suggested’ that the impeachment trial for Donald Trump be pushed back to February in order to give Trump time to prepare his defense.  I have only one question:  why should we be fair to the ‘man’ who put us through hell and caused us grief every single day for four solid years?  There can be no defense for the impeachment charge, the charge of inciting an attempted overthrow of a legitimate, fair, and honest election.

Oh sure, some high-priced lawyers will try to spin it, to put in in such a light that Trump’s words were not incitement.  But we all know better.  We all know that he had been planning that last-ditch attempt to silence the people of this nation and seize power as an authoritarian dictator for some time, and those people who stormed the Capitol on January 6th were his pawns, they were inspired to do his dirty work for him.  No, there can be no defense against what he did, so why wait?  Hold the trial now, convict him, and ensure that he can never again destroy this nation and our lives.

Donald Trump is guilty of treason, for he betrayed a sacred trust, broke his oath to defend the U.S. Constitution, and put this nation in grave jeopardy in more ways than one.  The charge of inciting violence is a mild one compared to what he could have legitimately been charged with.  He must be convicted on that charge, and as soon as possible in order for this nation to fully breathe easily again, in order for us to move on and begin to heal.

A Few Words Found …

You’ll remember yesterday afternoon when I told you I couldn’t find my words … I think I found some of them, but it seems this batch is smaller than I had on Sunday.  At any rate … I shall see what I can make with the words I do have and perhaps by tomorrow the rest will turn up somewhere.


On a personal note …

My granddaughter Natasha, aka Miss Goose, gave me her Christmas list last week and the very first thing on the list was … a donation to Black Lives Matter.  This kid … she’s 25 now … she just makes me so damn proud of her.  I feel tears welling every time I look at that list.  The next item on the list, of course, is a new computer (that I just ordered, but don’t tell her), followed by a couple of shirts and a long list of books.  But how many people do you know who start their wishlist with a donation to anybody, let alone such a worthy cause?  I just had to give some kudos here to a young woman with a heart of pure gold.


Oil.  Alaska.  Wildlife.  Asshole.

It would appear that Donald Trump plans to leave as his ‘legacy’ a 21st century “scorched earth” policy as he leaves the White House, hopefully forever.  Numerous things have come onto my radar that he and his nasty band of cronies are attempting to enact prior to January 20th.  For starters, the “Trump administration”, aka Donald Trump, announced yesterday that they are planning to rush through the sale of leases to oil companies that would achieve Trump’s long-sought goal of allowing oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.

The Wildlife Refuge … REFUGE, defined by Merriam-Webster as “a place that provides shelter or protection”.  Animals, some on the brink of extinction, would be murdered in order for oil companies to make more profit!  According to Adam Kolton, executive director of the Alaska Wilderness League …

“This lease sale is one more box the Trump administration is trying to check off for its oil industry allies.  But it is disappointing that this administration until the very end has maintained such low regard for America’s public lands, or the wildlife and Indigenous communities that depend on them.”

Disappointing?  No, it goes well beyond disappointment.  Disappointment is when your favourite restaurant is out of fish ‘n chips … this is infuriating, unconscionable, rage-inducing!

The Arctic refuge is one of the last vast expanses of wilderness in the United States, 19 million acres that for the most part are untouched by people, home instead to wandering herds of caribou, polar bears and migrating waterfowl. It has long been prized, and protected, by environmentalists, but Trump has boasted that opening it to oil development was among the most significant of his efforts to expand domestic fossil fuel production.

We. Don’t. Need. The. Damn. Oil.  Somebody please, turn a few dozen polar bears loose on this moron and let them have him for supper!  Truth is, it isn’t and never was about the U.S. needing that oil – it is and always was about the fossil fuel industry and their profits … men who already sit on billions of dollars of wealth, while some of us struggle to put food on the table.  DAMN you, Donald Trump … just DAMN YOU.


How to make the pandemic even worse … hire Scott Atlas!

In just under a week, the United States went from 10 thousand cases to over 11 thousand, and we are on track to hit 12 thousand within a few days.  Yesterday, we had 162,149 new cases, the day before 146,544.  We lead the world in both coronavirus cases and deaths.

Scott Atlas, who I have mentioned before, is the highly un-qualified senior advisor on the White House Coronavirus Task Force, a position that was once occupied by the very well-qualified Dr. Anthony Fauci.  Whereas Dr. Fauci’s entire career has been dedicated to the study of viruses and immunology, Atlas is a neuroradiologist … nothing to do with communicable diseases. Whereas Dr. Fauci cares about human life, Atlas cares only about licking Trump’s boots.

bootlicker

In the absence of federal guidance, states’ governors are taking the virus seriously and doing what needs to be done to keep the people in their state safe … or as safe as is reasonably possible.  One such governor is Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer who, concerned by the recent spike in cases announced Sunday a three-week pause on indoor dining, in-person learning and several other activities.  So, what did Scott Atlas do?  Rather than support the governor in her effort to keep people safe, he tweeted …

“The only way this stops is if people rise up. You get what you accept. #FreedomMatters #StepUp.”

Freedom matters … indeed it does, but somehow, being free once your dead, or lying in a hospital bed hooked up to a multitude of machines, somehow pales in comparison to being alive.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said Monday that Atlas’ call to action represented a “grave concern” and warned that it could provoke violence in the state …

“These public health orders are absolutely necessary to preserve human life.  But once again, here you have members of the Trump administration that are so much more hurtful than they are helpful.”

Atlas, a physician with no expertise in infectious diseases or epidemiology, has won favor in the White House in recent months by advocating against coronavirus restrictions and downplaying the disease’s threat.  He has also publicly attacked Anthony Fauci, accusing the nation’s top infectious disease expert of stoking fears about the pandemic for political purposes ahead of the presidential election earlier this month.  One of Trump’s worst choices, one who did not require Senate confirmation, and one who ought to be stoned in the public square for his hideous disregard of our lives, along with his boss!


Well … puff puff puff … it seems I found enough words to make a post, yes?  And now, I think to soothe my own jangled psyche, I will go find a song for this morning’s music post.

Just A Few Snarky Snippets

By all indications, Donald Trump is not working today, hasn’t worked since the election, in fact.  No word on what he is doing about the new surge of coronavirus cases, meetings with congressional leaders or cabinet heads, nothing.  The media, thankfully, is not covering his every word and move — they should have learned to ignore him long ago.  The silence is, as they say, golden.  On the other hand …

Joe Biden is already hard at work.  This morning he announced the members of his coronavirus task force, a group made up entirely of doctors and health experts, signaling his intent to seek a science-based approach to bring the raging pandemic under control.

Biden’s task force will have three co-chairs: Vivek H. Murthy, surgeon general during the Obama administration; David Kessler, Food and Drug Administration commissioner under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton; and Marcella Nunez-Smith, associate dean for health equity research at the Yale School of Medicine.

“Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic is one of the most important battles our administration will face, and I will be informed by science and by experts. The advisory board will help shape my approach to managing the surge in reported infections; ensuring vaccines are safe, effective, and distributed efficiently, equitably, and free; and protecting at-risk populations.” – President-elect Joe Biden

Note the bi-partisan composition of the group’s leadership.  The 13-member task force also includes former Trump administration officials, including Rick Bright, former head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, who, after being demoted, spoke out against the administration’s approach to the pandemic. Luciana Borio, director for medical and biodefense preparedness on Trump’s National Security Council until 2019, is also on the panel.

The group includes several other prominent doctors:

  • Ezekiel Emanuel, chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Atul Gawande, a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a professor at Harvard Medical School who is a prolific author.
  • Michael T. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.
  • Eric Goosby, global AIDS coordinator under President Barack Obama and professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine.
  • Celine R. Gounder, clinical assistant professor of medicine and infectious diseases at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine.
  • Julie Morita, executive vice president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a philanthropy focused on health issues.
  • Loyce Pace, president and executive director of the Global Health Council, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization dedicated to global health issues.
  • Robert Rodriguez, professor of emergency medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine.

Biden plans to call Republican and Democratic governors to ask for their help in developing a consistent message from federal and state leaders and will urge governors to adopt statewide mask mandates and to provide clear public health guidance to their constituents, including about social distancing and limiting large gatherings.

Joe Biden is actually going to DO something to try to help save lives!  What a novel thing for a president to do, eh?


Oh wait … I was wrong that Trump isn’t doing anything today.  Breaking news just in:  Trump has fired Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper.  Why?  Presumably because back in June, Esper disagreed with Trump’s plan to use active-duty military troops to quell Black Lives Matter protests in cities.  My best guess is that there will be more firings for petty, personal reasons … he has said more than once that he planned to fire both FBI Director Christopher Wray and Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, after the election.  He can’t actually fire Dr. Fauci, for only the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has that ability.


But back to Joe Biden, who is constructing rather than destructing, building rather than tearing down …

Biden and his team have planned a weeklong focus on health care, and Mr. Biden is expected to announce some key White House positions, including his chief of staff.  No doubt he and his transition team are also working on his cabinet picks, which they say will be announced later this month.


In other news, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Ben Carson, is the latest in Trump’s administration to fall prey to the coronavirus, after attending a pseudo-victory party at the White House last Tuesday night.  It’s interesting to note that Carson was a well-respected neurosurgeon in his previous career, before leaving to enter politics on Trump’s coattails, and yet he eschews mask-wearing and other precautions such as avoiding large crowds.  While I don’t wish the man any harm and do hope he makes a full recovery, I have to say he brought this one on himself.  There were some 200 people at that gathering … how many more of those, I wonder, will test positive this week?

Two Snarky Rants

I have only two snippets tonight, but both are serious.  The first is a threat to the lives of every person in this nation, the second is the single most abominable thing that we have seen in this election cycle to date.


Trump’s advisor doesn’t know … ANYTHING!

Dr. Scott Atlas, the highly UNqualified White House pandemic advisor, proved himself to be an even bigger fool than I first thought.  Atlas did an interview on Saturday with RT (formerly Russia Today), a Russian state-controlled international television network.  He later ‘apologized’, claiming not to have known that RT was a Russian media outlet backed by the Kremlin.  First off, even I know what RT is!  Surely he isn’t that damned stupid, and if he is, then why is he the person advising the Oaf in the Oval on something as critically important as the pandemic???

But what is equally galling is what he said in his interview.  Now, remember that Dr. Atlas is a neuroradiologist, NOT a virologist, an immunologist or a specialist in infectious diseases.  He has zero qualifications to address matters related to the pandemic – ZERO.  And yet, during his 28-minute interview with the Russian media outlet, he uttered such idiocy as …

“It’s tragic. There’s no question about that. But if you wanna know what’s happening right now, I think there’s a gross distortion that has sort of been typical of the reporting on this. And that is that there’s this frenzy of focusing on the number of cases when we see a lot of reasons to be sort of, you know, cautiously optimistic here rather than fearful.

The lockdowns… will go down as an epic failure of public policy by people who refused to accept they were wrong – were wrong, refused to accept they were wrong, didn’t know the data, didn’t care and became a frenzy of stopping COVID-19 cases at all costs.

And those costs are massive. And what’s happening here is that the argument is undeniable. The lockdowns are killing people but they’re not really impactful, the lockdowns.”

Now, while I am not an alarmist and have urged common sense and balance from the very beginning of the pandemic, I am a believer in listening to the experts … and Scott Atlas is NOT an expert in this field!

Contrast that bit of fluff to Dr. Anthony Fauci’s most recent statement …

“We’re in for a whole lot of hurt. It’s not a good situation. All the stars are aligned in the wrong place as you go into the fall and winter season, with people congregating at home indoors. You could not possibly be positioned more poorly.”

Dr. Fauci, who preceded Atlas as the White House pandemic advisor, is in fact an immunologist who has served as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984.  The numbers support Dr. Fauci’s statement and make a mockery of Atlas’ …

The U.S. now has at least 9,474,845 cases, the highest of any nation on earth, and 236,473 deaths as of this writing at approximately 3:00 a.m. on Monday. These statistics are the highest of any nation on the planet.  In the past week, the U.S. has broken records for the number of new cases on at least three days.

Atlas is promoting the idea of ‘herd immunity’, which the scientific community has already said and proven does not exist.  It does not exist.  There is no herd immunity, and even if there were, it would mean sacrificing those of us who are immune-challenged, who are older and with pre-existing health issues.  This is what Mr. Atlas is proposing because … wait for it … because it is what Donald Trump told him he’d like him to say.  Trump figured out early on that he could not dictate to Dr. Fauci, so he hired Mr. Atlas to do his bidding.  He might as well have just had Ivanka be his pandemic advisor, for Scott Atlas is nearly as big a twit as she is.


In the words of Forrest Gump, “Stupid is as stupid does”

Last Friday, a Biden campaign bus was travelling from San Antonio to Austin, Texas, when suddenly it was ‘joined’ by a group of approximately 100 vehicles, many of them pickup trucks sporting confederate flags and Trump signs.  The vehicles aggressively surrounded the Biden bus and accompanying vehicles in an attempt to slow it down and run it off the road.  Thankfully, neither Joe Biden nor Kamala Harris were aboard the bus, but it wouldn’t have made a bit of difference to these assholes.

Videos showed the vehicles lined up along the freeway in wait for the bus, then speeding up and surrounding it as pro-Trump onlookers cheered and laughed. According to people on the bus, the vehicles slowed and appeared to attempt stopping the bus altogether.  What might have happened if they had succeeded in stopping the bus?  Would they have stormed it and started shooting?  There is no doubt in my mind that every damn one of the people in those vehicles was armed to the teeth.

When the bus reached its destination in Austin, a crowd of Trump supporters surrounded the bus and continued the harassment. Fearing the threats would escalate, Democrats canceled the event in Austin as well as another in Pflugerville, Texas, later that day in the interest of public safety.  This, my friends, is the act of dictatorial hooligans and as far as I’m concerned, they should all spend the rest of their days in prison, for they are attempting to murder this nation.

I honestly thought the people of this nation … even the lowliest of them … were better than this, but obviously I was sorely mistaken.

But the group of fools and idiots isn’t even the worst of it!

Worse yet is that these assholes were so proud of what they had done that they posted about their exploits on social media, but did the police actually DO ANYTHING???  No, they did not.  THEY DID NOT GET OFF OF THEIR FAT ASSES TO DO A DAMNED THING.  But wait … you still haven’t heard the worst of it!

The local yokels may have refused to do anything, but the Federal Bureau of Investigation under Director Christopher Wray still, for the moment, takes their oath to the nation seriously and announced that they are investigating.  Which set off the HEAD IDIOT in the White House …

“In my opinion, these patriots did nothing wrong. Instead, the FBI & Justice should be investigating the terrorists, anarchists, and agitators of ANTIFA, who run around burning down our Democrat run cities and hurting our people!

You see the way our people, they — you know they were protecting his bus yesterday. Because they’re nice. So his bus — they had hundreds of cars, Trump, Trump, Trump and the American flag. You see Trump and the American flag. Do you ever notice when you see the other side — I don’t even see much of the other side.”

PATRIOTS????  DID HE CALL THEM … PATRIOTS????

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

feral wolf

Folks … anybody with a half-ounce of education, with a smidge of common sense, knows that this is NOT how a president talks.

Joe Biden’s response upon learning of the episode …

“Folks, that’s not who we are.  We are so much better than this. We’re so much better than this. It’s not who we are.”

THAT  … That is how a president speaks.

I was so incensed over Trump’s asinine words that I had to step away, for I was shaking and had three cigarettes lit at one time!  Donald Trump … is the most disgusting, hideous piece of flesh that I have ever in my life encountered, bar none, and why he was ever created is beyond me.  If he doesn’t lose this election by a significant number of votes, then I wash my hands of this nation and its people.  Done.  I’m done with this horseshit.

Snarklets

Many things crossed my radar yesterday, some relevant, some only annoying, none being worthy of more than a few sentences.  So, instead of my usual two or three mid-length snarky snippets, this morning I give you a handful of mini-snippets, henceforth to be known as ‘Snarklets’, to start your Friday off right!


Yesterday, it was announced that the cosmetic company, Estée Lauder, is planning to cut up to 2,000 jobs worldwide as it shuts stores and department store beauty counters after a slump in sales and profits during the coronavirus pandemic.  Well DUH … who couldn’t have predicted that?  I mean, seriously people, if we are not going out anywhere, why do we need makeup or perfume?  The only one who likely uses such at this time is Trump’s press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, who has no original equipment left on her face!


Dr. Anthony Fauci, the ONLY reliable expert in the U.S. on the coronavirus pandemic, underwent vocal chord surgery earlier this week.  Thankfully, Dr. Fauci is recovering well and will be able to speak to us again in a matter of days.  But this, my friends, is what happens when you have to deal day in and day out with the master shouter in the world!  You talk and you talk and you talk, seemingly to one who cannot hear the voice of reason, and pretty soon you lose your voice!  Best wishes for a very speedy recovery, Dr. Fauci … the world needs you!


What’s the worst thing you did when you were ten years old?  I cannot remember that far back, but apparently Joe Biden committed a cardinal sin at the age of 10!  According to Trump, he abandoned the good people of Pennsylvania at that tender young age!  That’s right, folks … Joe Biden was ten years old when his family moved from Pennsylvania to Delaware for his father’s job, but Biden somehow abandoned the people of that state when he moved with his family.  What choice did he have?  I’m thinking he had none, but leave it to Trump to find this move condemnable.

“He left. He abandoned Pennsylvania. He abandoned Scranton. He was here for a short period of time, and he didn’t even know it.”

Rant on, Trumpie … the more you talk, the stupider you appear.  Keep on talking, maybe people will finally realize it is toxic snake oil you are selling!


Two thumbs up and three cheers to Goodyear!!!  They have managed to piss Trump off royally!  It is reported that the tire company has forbidden staff from wearing Trump campaign gear, while allowing “Black Lives Matter” and gay rights attire.  Naturally, Trump went on one of his tirades and called for a national boycott of Goodyear.  We have a Goodyear account, and I’m thinking it’s time for new tires for both our vehicles!  For any who wonder, “Black Lives Matter” and gay rights are movements calling for civil rights, human rights for all, while Trump’s campaign is naught but a political campaign, pure and simple … and a racist, phobic one at that!


Since last Friday, I have received exactly one piece of mail, and that was a stupid advert from a tree-killer.  One piece of mail in 6 days.  Typically, I would have received on average 16-20 pieces of mail during that time.  It happens that I am expecting a few things, but I’ve stopped holding my breath, for the USPS is truly broken!  But, while I may be awaiting a bill or two, and an errant check, not to mention some junk mail, the situation takes on a much more sinister tone for Pauline Henderson, who owns Pine Tree Poultry in New Sharon, Maine.  You see, Ms. Henderson had ordered some 800 chicks from a hatchery in Pennsylvania with whom she had done business on many previous occasions.

But this time, due to the delays within the United States Postal Service … every single one of the 800 baby chicks arrived … dead.  And these weren’t the only ones.  Thousands of birds that moved through the Postal Service’s processing center in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, were also dead, impacting several farms in Maine and New Hampshire.  Who do you blame when the price of poultry and related products such as eggs rise?  Mr. Louis DeJoy and Mr. Donald F. Trump!  Murderers!  Let’s put these two in boxes and let them sit on the post office floor for days, sans food or water, and see what becomes of them!


And in Sesame Place, a Sesame Street theme park near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a 17-year-old park employee spotted two guests without masks, and politely asked them to cover their faces.  Instead, the man punched the teen in the face, sending him crashing to the ground and then to the hospital with a shattered jaw.  This is only one in a long string of such episodes where people felt their personal ‘right’ to endanger our lives included a right to cause bodily harm to others who are simply doing their jobs, trying to protect us all.

Let me ask you something, my friends … is this really the world you want to live in?  I don’t.  Never before in my 69 years have I hated humanity, or what passes for humanity, as I do today.  Never before have I thought that almost anything would be preferable to living amongst these … monsters.


And on a personal note … I have received more than 6,000 spam comments on this blog in just the past two weeks!  Every one of them is in Spanish, saying, “Muchas gracias. ¿Como puedo iniciar sesion?”, which means “Thank you.  How can I log on?”  They come from a different sender each time, none of which are valid, and are comments on older posts, comments on other comments, etc.  Fortunately, Akismet has caught them all, but it’s still a pain, for I can no longer scroll through spam to ensure that no valid comments have erroneously been labeled ‘spam’.  Two weeks this has been going on and I am sick and tired of it! It has happened before, but usually dwindles away in a matter of days. Does anybody know of a way to stop this intrusion?

I Tried Not To Be Snarky …

Tonight, I am angry.  Surprised, aren’t you?  I’m angry most nights, and in fact I wake up angry most mornings, if I’ve managed to sleep at all.  It’s inevitable … when your country is run by bloody fools who appear intent on destroying not only the nation, but most of the people in it, you’re gonna be angry, unless you’re among the ‘chosen few’ who are a) white, b) wealthy or else not too bright, and c) a bigot.  I’ve been trying to scale back a bit on my snarkiness, but … sorry, folks, I just can’t help myself ,,, it’s bubbling over.bubbling-cauldron


How to cut the military budget

I’ve long decried our giant military budget as unnecessary and an unconscionable waste of money when people are homeless and children are going to bed hungry at night.  Ours is by far the largest military budget in the world …

military budget

We spend nearly three times more than the next country on the chart, China, despite the fact that we have less than one-fourth as many people!

military-budget-2

It is foolish, and it is done largely to boost the already wealthy arms industry.  We do not need all the hardware, all the bombs, guns, tanks, and other crap we buy each year.  We do not need to be continuing the nuclear arms race, but rather finding safe ways to dispose of what we already have!  In fact, the biggest single threat to our nation is sleeping in the White House as I write this!  So much money … wasted … an ego trip for a July 4th or Memorial Day parade … while children starve.

But wait … Defense Secretary Mark Esper thinks he has found a way to cut back on the military budget!  Listen to this one … you’re gonna love it!  Esper has a proposal to cut $2.2 billion from our bloated military budget by cutting … military healthcare!  Senior defense officials say this move would imperil the health care of millions of military personnel and their families as the nation is in the midst of a pandemic that is spiralling out of control, largely due to Trump’s mismanagement and bungling.

What a brilliant idea … NOT!  Nope not brilliant, but fairly typical of the Trump entourage … it’s what we’ve come to expect.  Cut benefits and services that benefit the average Joe and expand profit margins for the already-wealthy.  Great job of falling in line, Esper … pathetic job of serving our troops and their families.


A most improper use of the White House … OUR White House!

robert-trumpDonald Trump’s brother, Robert Trump, died on Saturday, and Trump is supposedly considering holding his funeral at our White House!  NO, just effing NOOOOO!  That is not Trump’s personal property to do with as he wishes!  He cannot do this and if he does, he should be carted off to prison as soon as the funeral is done!

In addition to the fact that this cannot possibly be legal, is not kosher, and will cost We the People taxpayer dollars, there is the fact that Robert Trump was not a nice man, to put it mildly.  But then, why would we have expected otherwise … his last name was, after all, Trump, and his sire was the same Fred Trump who created the monster who sits in the Oval Office.  Robert may not have been quite as nasty as the one we know best, but make no mistake, he was a greedy, nasty man who would screw over his own family for a dollar.

And Donnie cared so much about his ‘baby brother’ that while Robert lay dying in the hospital, Trump phoned the hospital from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, to see how he was doing.  No, he couldn’t even be bothered to give up his Saturday morning golf game to visit his brother one last time!

Robert Trump was not even part of the Trump administration, had no official role in our government and was NOTHING to any of us.  Let the Trumps have his funeral elsewhere … at a funeral home or Mar-a-Lago … I don’t really care, but the White House belongs to the people and We the People do not want it used to hold a funeral for yet another grade-A jerk!


A medical sycophant, Dr. Atlas shrugged …

Trump finally found himself a doctor who would toe the party line … er, the Trump line … one who would say just what Trump wants him to say, unlike Dr. Anthony Fauci, a highly reputable doctor who told us what we needed to hear, not what Trump wanted him to tell us.

scott-atlasTrump’s latest medical “expert” is Dr. Scott Atlas, and he warns against “coronavirus overreaction and hysteria”, says the nation should reopen all the schools, restart normal sporting events, and has downplayed the need for students to wear face coverings or practice social distancing if schools do reopen.  “It is proven children have no significant risk,” says Atlas.  NO, SIR, it is NOT proven and in fact … how would you explain the children who have died or spent time in hospitals???  And … “overreaction and hysteria”???  More than a thousand people are dying every day of the coronavirus and this jackass has the unmitigated gall to say we are overreacting???  He would play with the lives of our children in order to appease the Oaf in the Oval???

He argues against more testing and recently he told Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, that science does not definitively support government mandates on wearing masks.  ‘Scuse me, Trump and Atlas, but I’ll take Dr. Fauci’s word for what we need to do, not yours!

A bit about Dr. Atlas …

  • His specialty is neuroradiology, not infectious diseases
  • He has never worked within the CDC nor in any official capacity as a medical advisor within the government, and has only served as medical advisor to the campaigns of Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney
  • He has argued for the elimination of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) aka Obamacare.
  • He is a frequent guest on Fox News

Do you see anything there that makes you inclined to believe Atlas over Dr. Fauci, or even Dr. Birx?  I sure as hell don’t.  First Trump promotes a drug that not only does not cure the coronavirus, but can cause life-threatening heart problems.  Then he suggests we drink bleach.  Then he says we should all go out and socialize more, send our children back to school, and not wear masks.  And now, he’s given us a quack and tells us to believe the quack over the real experts.  I think not.  Would somebody please muzzle this fool???

trump-muzzle


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We’re Better Than This … Or Are We?

More and more these days I am disgusted by the behaviour of some of my fellow humans in this country.  Okay, so we have fools in our government who believe it is okay to denigrate people, to tell lies and issue meaningless threats, but do we really need to emulate them?  I realize there have always been people for whom violence, or the threat of violence, was a way of life, an answer to all their problems, but today I’m seeing more and more of it.  How many times have we read in the past 7 months about someone threatening a store employee for merely doing his or her job, enforcing a store policy to wear a mask while inside the store?  So many that I’ve lost count.

Just last week, a man in Pennsylvania shot a clerk at a cigar store for being told he must wear a mask inside the store.  Then when police went to the man’s home to arrest him, he pulled an AK-47 automatic rifle and fired at police.  The man’s attorney, attempting to justify his actions, said he was “just not handling the pandemic well.”  And this is just one of many such incidents.  Is this, then, to become our new ‘norm’?  Come on, people … surely we’re better than this???


Kill the messenger?

The cruelty of humans never ceases to amaze me.  Dr. Anthony Fauci … you all know the name by now … is probably the most reliable source for information about the coronavirus pandemic.  He is, as I recently noted in another post, highly qualified and a top expert in the field of such things as infectious diseases and pandemics.  Those who respect science and the opinions of experts, listen to him.  Others listen to Donald Trump and his minions who have repeatedly and consistently denied that the pandemic is a big problem … nothing to see here folks, it’s all going away soon … and turned their backs on the recommendations of the experts, much to our detriment.  Okay, fine, but …

fauci“Getting death threats for me and my family and harassing my daughters to the point where I have to get security is just amazing. I never would have imagined in my wildest dreams that people who object to things that are purely public health principles are so set against it and don’t like what you and I say, namely in the word of science, that they actually threaten you. That to me is just strange… I wish we did not have to go through that.” – Dr. Anthony Fauci

Yes, my friends, people are actually threatening not only Fauci, but his family as well … threatening to kill them!  WHY???  Apparently because they don’t like his recommendations and/or predictions.  He recommends wearing masks, recommends certain areas of the country need to remain shut down, recommends schools stay closed, and predicts that the virus isn’t going to magically disappear as Trump claims it will.  So … if you don’t like what someone says, the answer is to threaten to kill them?  This is a sad, sad statement about the values, or lack thereof, of some people in this nation.  No, I don’t believe the majority, or even a significant number of people would do such a thing, but the fact that there are some people who would is appalling.


He didn’t like masks, so …

A Florida man, James Copenhaver, was dining at Ricky T’s Bar and Grille in Treasure Island, Florida, when he spotted a young boy wearing a mask, sitting at a nearby table.  Copenhaver himself was not wearing a mask, and apparently took umbrage at the young boy wearing one.  He walked over to the boy and told him to remove his mask.  He then asked the child to shake his hand, and the boy refused.  What he did next is yet another example of the cruelty of which humans are capable.  He grabbed the boy’s arm, leaned in close to his face and spat in the boy’s face, saying, “You now have the coronavirus.”

He wasn’t, however, content with that, but walked over to the nearest restaurant employee and attempted twice to punch the man … for what reason remains a mystery, other than that Mr. Copenhaver had apparently had a few too many drinks.

CopenhaverThe employee Mr. Copenhaver tried to punch managed to get Mr. Copenhaver outside, wrestle him to the ground and hold him until the police arrived, at which time he was arrested on charges of simple battery and disorderly conduct.

Who does this to a child???  Frankly, if somebody did what he did to my child, he would likely be lying in a hospital bed or a morgue right now.  Again, no I don’t think this is representative behaviour for the vast majority of people in this country, but … I do see it happening more and more frequently and I find it highly disturbing.


I repeat what I said in the beginning … this is no way to solve the many problems facing the people in this nation.  I really want to believe that we are better than this, but it gets harder by the day.

Who You Gonna Trust?

If you call a plumber to repair a leaky pipe, and he diagnoses the problem, hands you an estimate for a new piece of pipe and attachments plus his labour, you don’t typically tell him that he’s wrong and you don’t need a new pipe, only a piece of duct tape.  If you have pain in your side, you go to the doctor, and he tells you that you have appendicitis and need an operation, you don’t typically tell him that he’s wrong and you only need an antacid.  When things go wrong, we rely on experts to diagnose and fix the problem.  Experts have specialized education, training and skills that we lack, so we trust them to take care of the problems that occur, whether with our homes, our cars, or our bodies.

Within the administration of our federal government, we have experts in all fields from the environment to housing to public health and more.  Two of those public health experts are Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx.  Let me tell you just a little bit about them …

fauciDr. Fauci graduated first in his class from Cornell University Medical College with a Doctor of Medicine in 1966. He completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, now known as New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medicine. In 1968, Fauci joined the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a clinical associate in the Laboratory of Clinical Investigation (LCI) at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In 1974, he became Head of the Clinical Physiology Section, LCI, and in 1980 was appointed Chief of the Laboratory of Immunoregulation. In 1984, he became director of NIAID, a position he still holds as of 2020. In that role he is responsible for an extensive research portfolio of basic and applied research on infectious and immune-mediated illnesses. He has turned down several offers to lead his agency’s parent, the NIH, and has been at the forefront of U.S. efforts to contend with viral diseases like HIV/AIDS, SARS, the 2009 swine flu pandemic, MERS, Ebola and COVID-19.

He played a significant role in the early 2000s in creating the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and in driving development of biodefense drugs and vaccines following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Dr. Fauci has been a visiting professor at many medical centers and has received 30 honorary doctorates from universities in the U.S. and abroad.

Dr. Birx received a BS in chemistry from Houghton College in 1976, completing her undergraduate studies in just two years. In 1980, Birx earned an MD from the Hershey Medical Center, Pennsylvania State University.  From 1980 to 1994, Birx served as an active duty reserve officer in the United States Army. From 1994 to 2008, Birx was active duty regular Army, achieving the rank of Colonel.

birxFrom 1980 to 1989, Birx worked as a physician at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. In 1981, Birx completed a one-year internship and did a two-year residency in internal medicine. From 1983 to 1986, she completed two fellowships in clinical immunology in the areas of allergies and diagnostics, where she worked in Anthony Fauci’s lab. From 1985 to 1989, Birx was the assistant chief of the Walter Reed Allergy/Immunology Service. Birx started her career as a clinician in immunology, eventually focusing on HIV/AIDS vaccine research.  From 1986 to 1989, Birx worked at the National Institutes of Health as an investigator specializing in cellular immunology.  From 2005 to 2014, Birx served as the director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Global HIV/AIDS (DGHA), part of the agency’s Center for Global Health.

In January 2014, President Barack Obama nominated Birx to be the Ambassador at Large and U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator as part of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program.

I think there can be no doubt that Drs. Fauci and Birx are experts in the field of immunology, infectious diseases, and public health.  In the past week, Donald Trump has dissed both of these experts and their opinions.

Last week, Dr. Fauci testified before a House subcommittee that the U.S. has seen more cases than European countries because it only shut down a fraction of its economy amid the pandemic.  On Saturday, Trump tweeted …

“Wrong!  We have more cases because we have tested far more than any other country, 60,000,000. If we tested less, there would be less cases.”

This is akin to saying that if I just don’t go down to the basement where that pipe is leaking, it won’t be leaking.

And then came Dr. Birx’ turn.  On Sunday Birx said the US is in a new phase in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic, and that the deadly virus is more widespread than when it first took hold in the US earlier this year.  She also did not rule out the possibility that the nation’s coronavirus death toll could double by the end of the year to 300,000 and that most schools should offer only online learning this year.  Trump fired back on Monday …

“So Crazy Nancy Pelosi said horrible things about Dr. Deborah Birx, going after her because she was too positive on the very good job we are doing on combatting the China Virus, including Vaccines & Therapeutics. In order to counter Nancy, Deborah took the bait & hit us. Pathetic!”

And then …

“With the exception of New York & a few other locations, we’ve done MUCH better than most other Countries in dealing with the China Virus. Many of these countries are now having a major second wave. The Fake News is working overtime to make the USA (& me) look as bad as possible!  Much of our Country is doing very well. Open the Schools!”

Nancy Pelosi had criticized Dr. Birx last week, saying she had lost confidence in her for she was helping Trump spread disinformation about the progress … or lack thereof … being made in the U.S. in combatting the virus.  Historically, Dr. Birx has tended to paint a rosier picture than Dr. Fauci, less inclined to risk disagreeing with Trump, but she now seems to agree that the virus is spinning out of control here.

In contrast to Trump, Joe Biden took to Twitter in response to Trump’s tweet attacking Birx:

“It’s hard to believe this has to be said, but if I’m elected president, I’ll spend my Monday mornings working with our nation’s top experts to control this virus — not insulting them on Twitter.”

Now, I began with a brief overview of the credentials of both Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx.  Donald Trump has now denigrated both of these highly respected experts.  Take a look at the credentials of Donald Trump in the field of medicine and public health …

blank-pageYep, that’s it, folks … he has none.  Who you gonna believe, two highly qualified experts who have dedicated their lives to the study of medicine, or a television clown who has dedicated his life to screwing people?  To date, the U.S. has 4,862,174 reported cases, or 26% of the world’s 18,443,484 total.  We also have, as of this writing, 158,929 reported deaths, or 23% of the world’s 697,189 total.  And, most experts agree that the U.S. data is under-reported by at least 30%.  So no, my friends, we are not “doing very well”.  Donald Trump is wrong and the experts are right.  What a surprise, eh?  I strongly advise we believe the experts … our very lives depend on it.