Saturday, October 03, 2020

It all falls apart (UPDATED)

Here are some random thoughts about the current crisis. Don't ask me to put them in order. Nobody is capable of writing a well-structured essay after a day like October 2, 2020. And October 3 is also turning out to be a corker.
Senator Ron Johnson has Covid. Yes, the guy they call "Russian Ron," the guy who pals around with Russian agent Sergei Kislyak, the guy who routinely slings Moscow-manufactured mud -- came down with the bug. And now Amy Barrett's confirmation is in real jeopardy
Johnson is the senator who keeps trying to prove that Mike Flynn (Q's all-time fave!) is innocent -- even though he pleaded guilty. He's the guy who tried to smear Joe Biden with the usual bullshit -- something something Ukraine something something Hunter -- and ended up taking an egg facial
Here's Charles Pierce on Johnson: 
One major flaw in the plan, however, is the fact that Johnson has demonstrated repeatedly that he's a few bratwurst short of a tailgate. (In October of 2019, he put in an appearance on Meet The Press that will go down in history of mumbling as an unquestioned masterpiece.)
As we used to say in the '70s: God's gonna getcha for that.
Bill Stepien has Covid. If you don't recognize the name, he's Trump's new campaign manager. He replaced Brad Parscale, the big goon who went kinda wacky after learning that he's under investigation. (My understanding is that Parscale has been accused of stealing from Trump's massive campaign war chest.)

Stepien was, until recently, an aide to Chris Christie. Christie and Hope Hicks were part of the small group of people who helped Trump practice for his disastrous debate. Was Stepien there too? Apparently, he was in the White House on Monday. And now a quarantined campaign manager must run a campaign for a hospitalized president.
Does Christie have the bug? He says he's feeling fine. According to his most recent tweet, he was tested on Friday morning but has not yet received the results. He was previously tested on Tuesday: Negative.

Update: Christie has it. Remember, he appeared without mask on a roundtable discussion on ABC after the debate.
"Trump's Campaign Manager" seems to be a cursed position. Bannon's in trouble, Parscale's in trouble, Manafort's in jail, and Stepien has the bug. Only Lewandowski seems to have emerged relatively unscathed. 
Parscale is likelier than Manafort to go blabby. The better part of a billion dollars went missing, and Brad cannot have taken more than a small chunk of that booty. I'd love for him to come clean. 
Trump's doctor just gave a statement. Everyone seems to have had the same reaction: Here is the medical profession's answer to Baghdad Bob. Not a good sign. Nevertheless, the doctor did say that we are 72 hours into the diagnosis. That means Trump was diagnosed on Wednesday -- which means that he was probably feeling symptoms before that.
Why didn't Trump warn the Biden camp on Wednesday? Or Chris Wallace? 
How and when did Trump catch the virus? At first, the presumption was that the president got it from Hope Hicks, who helped him prep for the debate. A few observers have posited that transmission went in the other direction. 
As the day wore on, a new theory took hold: Perhaps everyone caught the bug at a "super-spreader" event held at the White House on Saturday. The guest of honor was Amy Comey Barrett, who has already had Covid 19 and thus may have some measure of immunity. 
All of Trumpworld was there. A surprising number of these Trumpified worthies have subsequently tested positive for Covid -- including Kellyanne Conway.  
(I'm sure that the fans of Q will find some way to blame Hillary instead of Trump's soiree.) 

Reckless. Chris Wallace and others have suggested that Trump and his entourage deliberately showed up for the debate too late to be tested, even though they damned well ought to have been tested. During the debate, the Trumpers refused to wear masks. 
If the Trump family intentionally avoided testing, we may fairly suspect that they felt that Covid was within their midst. They knew. Or at least they suspected. If so, their actions were worse than irresponsible.  

Wallace seemed pretty damned angry when he spoke about all this on Fox News. 
There's also the strong possibility that Trump, in a supreme display of irresponsibility, infected his donors. Look, he's a transactional guy. They gave him something, so he gave them something.
What was Hope's role during those debate prep sessions? I'm hardly the only one who has suggested that Donald Trump was on speed when he faced Biden. Just look at the video.  Do you truly need further evidence?
In previous posts, we've seen indications that Hope Hicks may have -- how to put it? -- a special insight into Donald Trump's use of amphetamines. There have been persistent reports that Trump asks his most trusted aides to pick up his "enhancers." Of course, I wouldn't dream of suggesting that Hope Hicks has provided such a service.
Trump has been associated with no less than three medical men who, rightly or wrongly, have gained "Dr. Feelgood" reputations: Joseph Greenburg, Harold Bornstein, and Steven Hoefflin.  Coincidence?
(Side note: Hoefflin -- the man who gave us Donald Trump's hair and Michael Jackson's face -- claimed to use a "steroid" that would give him a 200 year lifespan. Did he invent the Adrenochrome myth?) 

A history of drug abuse would definitely affect Trump's current coronavirus battle. To put it bluntly, his pre-existing health issues -- his co-morbidities -- decrease his chances of survival. 
Because Trump is a liar, we do not know the truth about his health. Although we have no official statement that he uses the heart drug Plavix, I find this report credible. The man takes daily aspirin, another blood thinner recommended to heart patients. He is obese, he eats crappy food, and he's in his 70s. No-one should be surprised to learn that he has cardio issues.  

Evidence suggests that Adderall and other amphetamines can worsen cardio problems
I am persuaded by the claims that Trump has a history of drug abuse. That's why I believe that he is in far worse shape than most realize. As this medical article puts it:

It’s called speed for a reason. Amphetamines, like Ritalin or Adderall, accelerate your heart rate. They send your nervous system into overdrive.

Guess what else it speeds up? The aging process.

That’s right. Pumping your system full of amphetamine makes you get older faster. It makes sense – you’re unnaturally forcing your heart to work extra hard, so it’s going to wear out more quickly.

Researchers suspected this truth, but wanted to find hard evidence to support their suspicion. And – surprise, surprise – results confirmed that amphetamine abuse does increase heart age. The research team also noted that previous studies showed amphetamine use interferes with stem cell functioning and healthy cell division, inhibiting tissue repair and increasing tissue injury.

In short, older hearts simply aren’t as strong. As the heart ages, it isn’t able to pump blood as well as it used to. Since amphetamine affects the entire cardiovascular system, arteries also lose optimal performance. They become thicker and less flexible, making your heart work even harder. The overall result is a weakening of your body and increased susceptibility to a host of health issues related to heart aging.
Doctors on teevee and the internet are saying -- as delicately as possible -- that a man of Trump's age and known health issues probably has somewhere between a five and twelve percent chance of dying during his battle with the coronavirus. His odds of survival are very good.
But my estimate is more pessimistic. Yes, I'm just a layman, but I'm also allowed to say things prohibited to a doctor on teevee. 
I think that Trump is in worse shape than we know. There must be a reason why this guy has gone to such lengths to lie about his health. There must be a reason why he consistently seeks out doctors of the "Feelgood" persuasion. That reason probably has something to do with drugs. The evidence strongly suggests that, over the decades, Trump has subjected his body to an absurd amount of stress.
The bill always comes due.
I honestly don't want to see Trump die. I want to see him tried and put in prison. May he subsist behind bars on a poor man's heart-healthy diet: Veggies, beans, tuna fish, oats, rice. 
We have become a nation of addicts. Even if you call yourself a libertarian, you have to address the consequences of substance abuse. Our leaders, our heroes, our enemies, our neighbors, our family members -- they are all living out their own versions of The Wolf of Wall Street
The battle between civilization and barbarism -- between democracy and fascism -- may become a battle between those who like wine and pot and those who like speed and opiates. 

Addiction takes many forms. Fast food and conspiracy theories are also addictive. I'm in recovery.
Joe Biden. Did you hear the entire speech he gave in Minnesota yesterday? Perfect. Inspiring. He wasn't my first or second pick during the primaries, but as of right now, I'm voting for Biden, not just against Trump. I hope to God that this good man survives the coming smears. 
And the Dems who ran against Joe -- even Bernie! -- are incredibly unified and on-message. The threat of fascism seems to have forced the Democrats to abandon their usual circular firing squad formation.

Some tweets. David Rothkopf...
Barr had better hope he has not contracted the disease. Because he has at least two obvious, serious, comorbidities. One is he is somewhat overweight. The other is that he is evil.
Kellyanne Conway, a former senior White House adviser, says she has tested positive for Covid-19 and is experiencing mild symptoms. She is at least the seventh person who attended the SCOTUS announcement in the Rose Garden who has since tested positive.

She was also seen standing quite close to Bill Barr. Oh, Kellyanne -- if you did what I hope you did, all is forgiven.

Virginia Heffernan:
Missing the old whimsical October surprises that were like Access Hollywood tapes or a press conference by James Comey
This October has already been full of surprises, and it's only Day 3. The public is ignoring stories that would have been massive in normal times: The DOJ crudely changed Peter Strzok's notes in order to frame Biden...Jacob Wohl is in serious legal trouble (FINALLY!)...a less-redacted Mueller Report came out...and we learned that, in 2016, Trump would not donate to his own campaign because he had become convinced that he would lose.

And more. So much more. Too much more. The mind cannot hold it all.
In a million years would Trump suspend his campaign if the situation were reversed? No, he would mock Biden, blame Biden & tell him to drop out. Without doubt.

He would say, I like candidates who weren’t infected.

He would say, what a weakling for going to the hospital

He would say, people are saying Joe is making it up for sympathy

The Hoarse Whisperer:

A group of people ignore a beloved woman’s dying wish and rush to take advantage of her death.

They hold an event to announce their corrupt plan...

...and then one by one they start falling ill.

Gotta admit, it’s all very Stephen King.


fred said...

There is an opportunity now for the Dems to control the Senate.

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

We go now to our live Traction News camera in the room of Benedict Donald at Walter Reed...