Memo to GOP: Shit Is Now Real. Adjust.

Not to alarm you or anything, but Dr. Anthony Fauci testified to a Senate committee today and said we’re in big trouble.

Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-diseases expert, gave a dire warning Tuesday in a Senate committee hearing held as coronavirus infections surge in many parts of the United States.

We are now having 40-plus thousand new cases a day. I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around. And so I am very concerned,” Fauci said in response to questioning from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on what the overall U.S. death toll is likely to be.

It’s official now; Americans are barred from Europe. Not that I was planning to go anywhere this year, but still, this ought to bother people. Just about everybody else can go to Europe, including very likely the Chinese.

Here is why we’re banned from Europe:

From CNN as of 6/30/2020. Source for data: Johns Hopkins University

A lot of beaches and other summer attractions that might have been opened by July 4 are now going to be closed, because governors opened their states way too soon; and because selfish, entitled Americans can’t be bothered to wear masks or maintain distance or even just bleeping stay home; and because Donald Trump is president. That last reason is the main one. (See David Frum at The Atlantic, “This Is Trump’s Plague Now.”) And I am truly sad for business owners who will lose a major part of their annual revenue because of pandemic closings. But, damn. It didn’t have to be this way. I don’t know what it’s going to take to get people to take this disease seriously.

See also James Fallows, “The 3 Weeks That Changed Everything,” also at The Atlantic, about the utterly catastrophic failure of the Trump Administration to respond to the pandemic. Note that it is still failing. It isn’t even trying now.

There have been several new developments in the Russian bounty scandal, including a new story from the New York Times about money transfers between Russia and the Taliban. The evidence for the bounty on U.S. soldiers may be circumstantial, but there’s a lot of it, and it appears that portions of the military and intelligence communities are taking this accusation seriously. Is it possible they are mistaken? Yes, but we don’t know that.

What is beyond dispute at this point is that (1) there is a credible accusation that Putin offered bounties to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, (2) that the White House was told about this months ago, and (3) the Trump Administration has made no response whatsoever except to deny that Trump knew about it. Today Trump has been frantically retweeting statements from John Ratcliffe — Director of National Intelligence and a former right-wing Republican wackjob congressman from Texas — declaring that Trump didn’t know about the Russian bounty story. Well, he knows now. Is he doing anything yet? Not so far.

See also Ben Mathis-Lilly at Slate — Trump Spent the Day He Was Supposed to Have Learned About Russian Bounties Praising His Own Response to the Coronavirus.

What was Trump doing on Feb. 27 instead of reading the brief? According to the transcript of a White House Black History Month event held that Thursday, his attention was mainly occupied by the idea that he hadn’t gotten enough credit for preventing a coronavirus outbreak in the United States. “We have a situation with the virus. We’ve done a great job. The press won’t give us credit for it,” he said, describing the United States’ response to the threat as an “incredible achievement” on which his administration was “doing incredibly,” “doing great,” had done an “incredible job” and a “fantastic job,” and was “prepared like we never have been prepared.” At the time, there were 15 known cases of the virus in the country, a number he predicted “will soon be down to three or four.” (There have been an additional 2.59 million COVID-19 cases reported in the U.S. since this prediction.) Said Trump: “It’s going to disappear. One day—it’s like a miracle—it will disappear.”

That’s what. In the meantime, Trump has stirred up some mini-scandals by retweeting videos with white supremacist messages. Like he doesn’t have anything else to do.

Yesterday Greg Sargent wrote a column describing what Trump’s allies think should be done to re-energize Trump’s campaign for re-election.

Trump and his top officials have sought to cast civil unrest as fundamentally left-wing in origin, badly distorting the true nature of the protests, and playing down the role of domestic right wing extremism in the disorder.

As one Trump ally suggests to Politico, things will improve once Republicans “start defining Biden” with “resources” and “consistent messaging.”

But note the underlying premise here: that the Trump campaign has not adequately communicated to voters that Biden would be too weak to control a country that’s spiraling out of control.

Throughout, the theme is that if the Right can just amp up the messaging to make Joe Biden look weak and demonize Black Lives Matter as leftist terrorists, then Trump can cruise to victory in November. Tucker Carlson, for example, is quoted as saying that the pandemic should be helping Trump’s re-election by showing the public that he was right about China. If it’s not helping Trump then the message needs to be clarified. Just the message. Not much we can do about that pandemic, I guess.

So my memo to the GOP is: Shit is now real. People can see that for themselves. You can’t bullshit it away.

Stuff to Read

Be sure to read Carl Bernstein’s From pandering to Putin to abusing allies and ignoring his own advisers, Trump’s phone calls alarm US officials. It begins:

In hundreds of highly classified phone calls with foreign heads of state, President Donald Trump was so consistently unprepared for discussion of serious issues, so often outplayed in his conversations with powerful leaders like Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Erdogan, and so abusive to leaders of America’s principal allies, that the calls helped convince some senior US officials — including his former secretaries of state and defense, two national security advisers and his longest-serving chief of staff — that the President himself posed a danger to the national security of the United States, according to White House and intelligence officials intimately familiar with the contents of the conversations.

The calls caused former top Trump deputies — including national security advisers H.R. McMaster and John Bolton, Defense Secretary James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and White House chief of staff John Kelly, as well as intelligence officials — to conclude that the President was often “delusional,” as two sources put it, in his dealings with foreign leaders. The sources said there was little evidence that the President became more skillful or competent in his telephone conversations with most heads of state over time. Rather, he continued to believe that he could either charm, jawbone or bully almost any foreign leader into capitulating to his will, and often pursued goals more attuned to his own agenda than what many of his senior advisers considered the national interest.

This is fascinating. For a long time it seems Recep Erdogan had Trump on speed dial, calling him twice a week for long chats. Trump was abusive to allies, particularly women leaders such as Angela Merkel and Theresa May.

Here’s a fun read — Who’s the most galling, captivating character on our screens this summer? It’s Karen — and she’s everywhere.

Greg Sargent, Why Fox News thinks the ‘cognitive decline’ attack on Biden will work

Fox News has been relentlessly pushing the line that Joe Biden might be suffering from dementia. … So why does Fox News think this contrast will play well for Trump?

You don’t have to look far for the answer to this. It came at the Tuesday briefing, from White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. Under questioning about whether Trump had read briefing papers reporting on intelligence concerns about Russia allegedly paying bounties to Taliban-linked militias, McEnany actually said this:


The very act of saying something so preposterous suggests high confidence that it will be widely believed by Trump supporters. If large swaths of the Trump-supporting Fox News audience are prepared to believe this, of all things, then there’s pretty much no chance that they’ll see the monumental flaws in Trump’s temperament that much of the rest of the country sees.

Trump’s approval/disapproval numbers keep getting worse for Trump, in spite of White House press secretary Barbie’s best efforts.

9 thoughts on “Memo to GOP: Shit Is Now Real. Adjust.

  1. Regarding Barbie – She's playing to an audience of one.

    DAMMIT JOE! When are you going to say that you expect officials in the government to testify if called by Congress. They don't work for Trump they work for the people. If you're fired for telling the truth, Joe guarantees they will get their job back. If you cover up for Trump, your job is in jeopardy in January. Trump appointees know they will see the door in January, but the career civil servant has no option if Congress asks for testimony.

  2. tRUMP will never, ever go below 27% on any poll, on any subject, due to his cult members:  His now mythical "Base." 

    No matter what evidence is presented to them, their's is the love, devotion, adoration, and passion that is greater even than the love between two human beings.

    It's the love of sharing love.  It's a love of conjoining minds and souls, to focus that devotional love onto their cult's leader:  Donald J. Trump, for this cult.

    When distilled down to the ultimate truth:  What the trumpa-lumps love, is actually their conjoined love to hate.  HATE, is what they find to love in tRUMP.  HE HATES the same people THEY HATE!!!!!

    They have drunk of the Kool-Aid, and they demand more!

    So, any and every thing you show them as proof of their Dear Leader's  ineptitude, idleness, laziness  stupidity, ignorance, bigotry, etc…, they will not, and cannot believe you or your facts!  

    To paraphrase what Karl Rove (allegedly) once said, "We're an Empire, and we create our own realities…

    And that's what the Republican's plan has been for decades:  To have followers who will still follow no matter what bullshit reality they tell them they're in. 

    And tRUMP is the culmination of those dreams.  He has his own hateful and hate-filled reality.  And now, for Republicans, this dream has turned into reality.

    So, are they mad about the pandemic?  The Russian bounty story?  The economy?  Race relations?  Financial inequality?

    HELL NO!!!!!!!!!!

    All that real, factual shit we're showing them?  To them, it's all "The Deep State's" bullshit.

    "The Deep State" wants to take tRUMP down.  So all that "evidence" you have?  It's all fake!  As fake as the "Fake News!!" 

    A truth can only come from Dear Leader tRUMP, one of his apostles, or tRUMP-approved media. Everything else, is fake!  But maybe, truth also comes from, "Q."

    And please don't get me started on that "Q" wormhole!!!!!


  3. I have read that McEnany is a graduate of Harvard Law School – that just sort of makes me scratch my head in wonderment.  Maybe I didn't miss anything by not going to Harvard myself.

    Rand Paul is mad that Fauci is such a Debbie Downer who won't let him play baseball.

    Retiring Sen. Lamar Alexander wishes Trump would just sometimes wear a mask to set a good example.  Hey Lamar, there's no way Trump can wear a mask at this point.

    • McEnany may be reasonably bright, but she’s been so programmed from birth that she can’t distinguish Republican talking points from the Voice of God. So she’s a remarkably reliable tool for the Right.

    •  Hey Lamar, there's no way Trump can wear a mask at this point.

      You're right in that regard, but at least Trump was kind enough to give Pence permission to wear one.

       I can hear that conversation now…Mr president, sir. Karen has been bustin' my chops about wearing a mask. She says she'd like me to be around for a while and get to see the grandchildren grow up. Things being what they are perhaps you could grant me a dispensation, maybe a waiver, or something that would keep her happy while satisfying my desire to show fealty to you and your extraordinary leadership. I promise I won't wear it any more than is absolutely necessary and will curtail my public visibility to events that meet with your approval. Thank you, sir. And by the way, Mitch, Mark, Matt and most other of your supporters have already capitulated to the evil lefty agenda of mask wearing, so my disobedience to your will might just go unnoticed. Thank you, sir!


    Here's more bufoonery from the orange asswipe. It boggles my mind to even try to understand how Trump makes his political calculations. Threatening to veto a defense spending bill to defend confederate generals borders on insanity. Unless it is just for making a noise of solidarity with his redneck racist base and being able to shift the blame of dishonoring racism to others.

    • I think he is entirely focused on those who adore him, pandering to them and gratifying his own ego in the process.  There is some thought that he knows the election is probably lost and is keeping his audience fed with red meat in anticipation of a future "Trump Show" of some sort.

  5. I am very very tired of winning.

    Please stop the winning right now, I can't' take any more of it, Mr. Trump.


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