RNCC 2020: Night of a Thousand WTAFs

[NB: Check the byline, thanks! /~Rayne]

I didn’t watch the first night of the Republican National Committee’s Convention. No way am I giving the RNC any traffic via broadcast or cable TV.

I did, however, like many of you, experience it vicariously and filtered via Twitter (do click through the date links in the tweets below for full effect).

All I can say is: Holy crap, WTAF?

And this, WTAF?

I think the Republican Party left the planet without leaving a forwarding address and the grifting squatters who remain are trying to con the public into believing the GOP is still here, large and in charge.

This is totally performative, mere playacting at politics. They don’t even have a platform.

Which is what really gets my goat: the Democratic Party is fielding candidates for POTUS and VP who went through the full primary process and a raftload of debates, only to run against people who are pretending to be a political party instead of a brand of grifters.

The left is flinging hurtful shit between factions over which policy is the most effective or most popular or most ethical, while these self-medicated fronts for a transnational crime syndicate go through the motions as if this were an English-language telenovela or a Turkish romance series centered on an election.

Nikki Haley and Tim Scott both spoke tonight. I can’t recall a thing they said after these two characters performed their brand of drama. It’s kind of sad.

I am trying to maintain my sense of humor about this mess. I could only laugh when I realized the photo I wanted of Donnie Jr.’s squeeze could be obtained by searching Twitter using the term, “evita.”

I am also amused at how Twitter’s algorithm has suppressed the word “cocaine” this evening to keep it from trending. “Coked,” however, slipped through.


One thing I had hoped would show up in my timeline tonight:

The gloves are off, it seems.


This is an open thread. Bring your varying degrees of disgust to air out in thread.

175 replies
  1. Arthur M. says:

    Peter Sagal (“Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me…” on NPR) tweeted: “Mr. Falwell will no longer run the university himself, but will remain on staff to observe another person doing it.”

    • AndTheSlithyToves says:

      Since I don’t drink, I’m getting out the garlic, some crucifixes and a stake, just in case.

      • P J Evans says:

        Sharpen a bunch of barbecue skewers, soak them in garlic juice, wrap them with silver wire, and wait….

      • Savage Librarian says:

        Things that would be healthier for me than watching the RNCC 2020:
        baying at the moon, getting lost at sea, sitting on a nest of fire ants, filling up the tub and practicing walking on water, having my own nightmares…

  2. pablo says:

    Sorry Nikki Haley and Tim Scott, but your soul has left your body. Never Trumpers will control the GOP after whatever emerges from this primordial sludge.

    • Rugger9 says:

      The GOP will become marginalized, especially when “Q” is outed. However, to Joel’s point the primaries over the years have imposed a lockstep purity of thought where St Ronnie would be too liberal for them. The party won’t change, it will be replaced.

      I was thinking “Evita” too, but as my beloved noted Ms. Guilfoyle’s ankles were kind of chubby and why yell when there is no one there?

      Besides, DJT was apparently tinkering with the details all the way to show time (and probably still is) to maximize his exposure. Of course it’s a cluster___.

    • Nord Dakota says:

      Confession: once or twice a year I succumb to a pornographic yearning for Korean patriotic music and tune in to their Youtube channel.

  3. Tom says:

    To quote George W. Bush: “That was some weird shit.”

    During the video segment featuring the McCloskeys, Patricia McCloskey said at one point, “What you saw happen to us could just as easily happen to any of you who are watching from quiet neighborhoods around our country.” At first hearing, I was sure I heard Patricia say “white neighborhoods” and it was only after I replayed that bit that I realized she had actually said “quiet neighborhoods”. I couldn’t help but wonder whether other viewers might have misheard her comment as well but taken it as conveying a not-so-hidden meaning.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Yes, everyone sitting at home in their red-lined, gated community mega-McMansions, filled to the brim will ill-gotten gains and unsecured weapons ought to worry. The McCloskeys seem to be as afraid of progressive change as they are of people of color or a mob in the street, asking for bread and a right-of-way through their stonewalled privacy. All they offer is a glare and a cordite-filled brioche, which says they know they are pirates.

      • badbillie says:

        The shack they are defending from the hordes speaks volumes for them.
        I thought it was an equipment building at a golf course, they are classy

  4. Bobby Gladd says:

    In November 2016, Americans opted to have the cure be worse than the disease. 10 weeks from today, we find out whether the cure will have been fatal to our democracy.

    “In 2016, as the current generation of Fausts made their darkest bargain yet, surely some of them smelled a whiff of sulfur or heard a demonic cackle as they signed away whatever remained of their souls.” – Kurt Andersen, “Evil Geniuses”

  5. harpie says:

    I’m going to start today’s probable rant about POMPEO with this delicious news:

    At Merriam-Webster, yesterday:
    Trending: ‘Tartuffery’ Lookups spiked 80,000% [!!!] on August 24, 2020

    Why are people looking up Tartuffery?
    In an editorial published in The Washington Post on August 24, 2020, political science professor Daniel W. Drezner used a word that makes reference to a character in a 17th-century satire—and sent many readers to the dictionary.

    In an editorial that criticizes the diplomacy, leadership, and ethics of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, […]

    The essence of Tartuffery is believing one’s self to be so pious that one is above ordinary rules and regulations. Pompeo acts this way every time he wanders into an ethical gray zone.

  6. harpie says:

    Jacob Blake,
    a 29 year old black man,
    was shot in the back seven times
    in the presence of his three sons,
    by Kenosha, Wisconsin police
    in broad daylight:

    Jacob Blake is paralyzed from the waist down, his father says. [AP]

    8:45 AM · Aug 25, 2020

    AP: Father of a Black man shot by Kenosha, Wisconsin, police tells Chicago Sun-Times that son is paralyzed from waist down.

    • harpie says:

      Here it is from US News:
      Father Says Black Wisconsin Man Shot by Police Is Paralyzed
      The father of a Black man who was shot, apparently in the back, by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, says his son was left paralyzed from the waist down.
      Associated Press, Wire Service Content Aug. 25, 2020, at 8:48 a.m.

      […] though doctors don’t know if the paralysis will be permanent.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        No wonder Kenosha’s on lock down and the governor called out the Guard. The governor has to assure his state and the country that the investigation will be full and disinterested. If people think it’s becoming a whitewash, more than WI’s Guard will be working overtime.

        Based on the tape, it does not look like a righteous shooting. It looks like panic shooting. Multiple other options, including de-escalation, existed and they tried none of them. It also suggests that Kenosha is derelict in its recruitment and training.

        One of several reasons is that these two cops will have to argue that Blake’s behavior put them or someone nearby in imminent fear of death. And, yet, they failed to kill the supposed threat after firing seven rounds into his back from three feet away. Not much protecting or serving by any standard, not for Jacob Blake, and not for the kids in the back of his van.

    • Nehoa says:

      I think one way to address police violence, particularly shooting, is make it likely that the city or county that employs the police have to pay a huge amount when someone is shot, the amount to vary on degree of “righteousness”. If there is on average multiple millions paid out each time someone is shot, I suspect there will be a much greater emphasis on training, discipline, and use of non-lethal tools. If we leave the individual cops as the only ones that can be held accountable, then there will be resistance to accountability and change.

      • P J Evans says:

        The police unions and the organizations they run should be paying. Cities and counties are paying the costs now; police and sheriff’s departments aren’t.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I recommend a waterfall of bodies be made liable for police misconduct, to ensure that there are deep pockets to pay victims’ families. Individual officers and their unions should be made liable for some portion of victims’ claims.

        Republicans, for example, were ecstatic when pushing anti-union legislation after WWII, which made individual union officers and their unions individually and personally liable when it came to economic loss (hits to corporate profits) because of strikes, especially sympathy strikes. Sauce for the goose and all that. Of course, that would require reining in the S.Ct.’s expansive views on qualified immunity.

    • graham firchlis says:

      Jacob Blake shooting appears to be justified, based on newly available evidence.

      New video on youtube from a different perspective than the first. Shows the police wrestling Blake to the ground, on the psssenger side. We know now he was being arrested for a felony assault warrent.

      A crowd gathered and closed on the officers and Blake. As officers shifted focus to the aggressive crowd, Blake jumped up and ran around the front of the car. Cops in pursuit fired a taser to no effect. Blake continued to escape, pulling open the driver’s door.

      What the cops knew, and we know now, is that Jacob Blake has a violent criminal history. The Racine County Eye reported on Sept 22, 2015 that Blake had been arrested. He was reported to have brandished a gun in a bar altercation, then fled the scene.

      We know now that he attacked the cops after they caught up with him. A search of the van revealed a handgun hidden UNDER THE DRIVER’S SEAT.

      So when the wanted violent felon known to attack police and known to secrete a handgun under his drivers seat makes a dive under the seat, the officers are rightly in fear for their lives.

      The procedural error police made was failing to immediately handcuff Blake. They were distracted trying to move back the crowd.

      The publically available evidence is clear. There is deepseated racism in Kenosha, but this horrible event is not reflective.

      Confirmation bias is destructive, regardless of the cause.

      • Rayne says:

        Stop. Just stop. You haven’t shared a link to any local reporting with this comment. You’re also commenting on a case which is still unfolding and has yet to be fully investigated.

        And your content also completely disregards the fact Blake had children in the vehicle. What would you do to protect your children from police who aren’t likely to treat you kindly?

        Confirmation bias also pulls triggers and writes posts without adequate supporting documentation.

        • graham firchlis says:

          Can’t manage links, tried, one or more of my disabilities I suppose. Best I can do is provide sources in the text. Keyword searches:

          Jacob Blake new video

          Racine County Eye Jacob Blake Archive

          This case will be under formal investigation for a month or more. Hasn’t held back speculative comment here or elsewhere that now appears to have been shall we say premature?
          Context is everything. Now we have some, enough I feel to reach a sound conclusion.

          What would I do? What I’ve always done. What any rational person would do. Submit to lawful arrest. [ ACLU Arrest Recommendations ] Physical resistance only leads downhill. In the presence of children, all the more reason to stay calm and reassuring.

          The immediate response to that first video can’t be defended. There’s more clarity to come, once the audio files are cleaned up. At the least the current feedback affirmation loop participants should start allowing there’s more to this story, and put a pause on both damning the cops and burning down the town.

          Everytime I see Al Sharpton I also see Tawana Brawley, and the cops whose lives were destroyed. More patience and less propagandizing pressure for vigilante justice, she’d have fessed up sooner and nothing would have come of it.

          No body cams. Should be a federal mandate.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            If you don’t have a URL, give the date, time, title of article, something that might allow someone to find it on the net. (See below for my comment about how to cut and paste a URL into a comment.)

            “What would I do? What I’ve always done. What any rational person would do. Submit to lawful arrest.” Your confidence in police restraint is commendable, but I would guess that many people reasonably do not share it. Lots of police are professional and well-trained. Many, however, are racist and want to dominate the battlespace.

            The ACLU recommendations you cite are more nuanced, and include this warning: “The truth is that there are situations where people have done everything they could to put an officer at ease, yet still ended up injured or killed.” Imagine knowing that with your kids in the car.


            • P J Evans says:

              That’s remarkably like what the GOP-T wants people to think.
              I live in a major city, and firearms aren’t routinely used everywhere. (Even white people don’t give the cops 100% trust here.)

          • Rayne says:

            Nope. Not happening here. If you can’t copy-paste links you need to look into typing them out or using other assistive technologies. Do not rely on others here to do the work by dropping unsourced content.

            The attacks on Black Lives Matter / BLM is and has been an ongoing influence operation, latched onto in the wake of Ferguson to stoke racial tensions.


            And it’s not going to be permitted to be stoked here.

            EDIT-1: Your reply to earlofhuntington has been removed because it was another unsourced argument.

            EDIT-2: Take the hint and drop the subject.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        You’re correct that we need more evidence, especially about the weapon supposedly under the front seat of the van. But identify your sources beyond “youtube.” “Newamericandotcom,” for example, which posted a video like the one you describe, is a hard-right source wholly-owned by the John Birch Society. The “freerepublicdotcom” is a rightwing news aggregator. “Lawenforcementtodaydotcom” is rated as having a “far-Right” bias.

        Blake appeared to be walking – not running – around the front of his car in order to enter the driver’s side door. The officers are not seen switching from holding TASERs to their pistols. Someone shot with a TASER does not normally ambulate the way Blake did, nor should he have been allowed to. Even if he had a gun under the seat, the police would have had to have seen it or had reasonable suspicion he was reaching for it – before they shot him.

        Regardless, the arresting officers FUBARed this royally. They committed fundamental, not “procedural,” errors. Blake should have been immobilized, handcuffed, and walked to their vehicle – away from his children and passersby. Instead, he walked freely, while the police dimly followed him with their weapons drawn and pointed at him. Only after he was halfway inside his vehicle, his back to them, did they decide to do something. They opened fire, with his children in the back. Even assuming they had cause to fire their weapons, they fired seven rounds from three feet away and failed to kill Blake.

        If this was a planned felony assault arrest, with a warrant, I am dumbfounded the police didn’t say that yesterday, or have more officers on scene. JHC, they routinely serve non-violent arrest warrants with a SWAT team. Yet, the state AG is staying mum.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Oh, yea, if this was a planned arrest with a warrant in hand, what were the police going to do with the three kids in the back of a van on a hot day? Crack the windows, give ’em the keys? No wonder the state AG is keeping quiet. Too many unanswered questions.

          • Epicurus says:

            Towns and cities give more training to their high school sports teams than they do to their police forces or fire departments. This would change very quickly if the governing rule for police department accountability were the Yamashita Standard rather than personal indemnity. It should be a key component of the BLM movement.

  7. Vicks says:

    At first it was kind of interesting, there was a lot I didn’t know, like how many lives Trump has saved by inventing tele-health, but when it started getting political, I had to turn it off.

  8. punaise says:

    I generally respect and appreciate CA governor Gavin Newsom, so I have to dig deep to give him a mulligan for once having been married to Ms. Guilfoyle.

    • Rayne says:

      I needed the reminder that pairing happened. It’s a convenient example that human biology does stupid stuff our conscious intellect often struggles to suppress.

      • posaune says:

        This. Yes. One example is a carrier of the “trauma gene” (C677T) — epigenetic mutation resulting from a traumatic experience that is transmitted to offspring. Our adopted son carries this gene in its most severe form. We were stunned to learn upon testing that his expression was homozygous, from both biological parents (father has never been identified). Makes sense, though: abused child pairs with another abused child. Have to wonder about the Trump kids.

      • Mary M McCurnin says:

        Or she morphs into the person her current partner needs. Then she sucks the power out of them.

        And she is no dummy.

        “Guilfoyle graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, Davis, and received her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the University of San Francisco School of Law in 1994. While in law school, she interned at the San Francisco district attorney’s office, as well as doing modeling work for Macy’s and Victoria’s Secret.”

        • earlofhuntingdon says:


          Reminds me of the more subtle Ivy League summa graduates on Faux Noise, who pretend to be dim Suzy Homemakers.

        • Rugger9 says:

          Apparently Kim Guilfoyle and Kamala Harris crossed paths in SF according to Phil Matier of the Chronicle in a KCBS interview today. They did not get along at all, although Matier did make the note that Governor Newsom is still cordial with Kim and with DJT on the private level.

          So, the level of bitchiness (from Guilfoyle) went up just a bit more.

          • Molly Pitcher says:

            He is cordial because he knows he is dealing with someone who is mentally unstable and has $40M Californians to look after. He is smart enough to not poke the Russian owned bear but to ply him with smidgeons of honey to get what he needs.

            • P J Evans says:

              ‘d like a little less cordiality when it comes to environment quality. And that $%^&*!! delta tunnel for shipping water to the effing farmers in the driest part of the SJ valley, the ones growing crops mostly for export..

    • graham firchlis says:

      Can’t stand Gavin Newsom, don’t trust him a lick. Child of priviledge, he got where he is pushed along by the patronage of ultrawealthy mentors. He owes them, and can’t survive without them.

      Don’t be dazzled by shine and sparkle. The real Gavin seduced his best friend’s wife while she suffered an emotional breakdown during the couple’s divorce. Not his only major moral breach. Plumpjack didn’t explode as it did because he’s so competent at business.

      • punaise says:

        Other than the affair, most of the points are refutable to a large degree, but it’s not worth going down that rabbit hole. And let’s give him credit for being way out front on gay marriage as mayor of SF.

        I think he’s a smart and decent guy overall, and he did well to reign in his ambition after his foibles. Put in the hard work as Lt. Governor, didn’t go for the brass ring of Senator too early. Is he presidential timber? I wouldn’t necessarily go that far but I’d gladly to see him replace DiFi, Inc.

        • graham firchlis says:

          Replace DiFi is exactly what we’ll get. Surely we can do better.

          This is CA. We have many human rights oriented Democrats to choose from. We don’t need another CorporaDem, even in modern dress-up.

        • graham firchlis says:

          Rabbit hole is open online LA Times in a Sept 7, 2018 article. Documents Newsom’s rise with the aid and grooming of the SF Power Elite.

          Can’t do links sorry.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            If you can navigate this site well enough to post a comment, you can do links.

            The easiest way is to copy the URL from the top bar of an open web page. (Highlight – move the cursor while pressing “ctrl” then simultaneously press “ctrl” and “c”). Then paste the copied text at the end of your comment (“ctrl” and “p”).

            • vvv says:

              To do it one-handed, open page, left or right-click to highlight the link in address bar, right-click to “copy”, left-click the intended location, right-click “paste”.

            • graham firchlis says:

              Thank you for your suggestions. Were it that simple.

              Don’t want to be complaining. During my latest 3 month hospital stay my laptop was stolen, along with a lot of personal property. Bills, bills, can’t afford replacement. Gifted a smartphone, grateful for access but functions are a challenge. Vision limits, blunt fingers and essential tremor make simply typing on the tiny keys a tedium. Copy and paste on this device to this site thus far eludes me. Still working at it.

  9. Ken says:

    In case no one has remarked on it yet… Did both Kim and Jr. not crib the second halves of their “speeches” straight from Amway???

  10. Geoguy says:

    Common Dreams, Inc. has a take on Melania’s Rose Garden Massacre posted Saturday, August 22, 2020,
    “Be Best: Put Up A Parking Lot. Or Even Bester, A Cemetery!”
    by Abby Zimet, Further columnist.

  11. John Lehman says:

    Has anybody put Kimberly’s speech to it’s proper accompaniment…. “Deutschland, Deutschland über alles”?

          • Jenny says:

            Agree. She is insightful, direct and entertaining with a good sense of humor.

            Her comments about the Falwells.

            Not sure if these allegations would technically make Jerry Falwell what the French call a “voyeur”, part of a “ménage à trois”, or just a kinky cuckold.

            I do know, if true, would make him a holier-than-thou hypocrite. French pronounce it, “eepo-creet”.

            • Rayne says:

              I don’t personally care what they call the Falwells’ brand of kink. To each their own as long as it’s legal, consensual, and private.

              But the obnoxious hypocrisy of preaching one-man-one-woman marriage to the detriment of individuals who nature didn’t wire that way deserves every bit of fire it gets. We all know it’s not limited to sexual practices, either — there’s also other forms of oppressive diktats like anti-miscegenation.

              I’ve been thinking of a young friend who went to a rival Christian university, Bob Jones U, who fell in love with a student of a different race and the harassment they received from family about it, accusing them of dishonoring parents and family. Disgusting use of religion to batter people into compliance.

              • Molly Pitcher says:

                I never understood why hypocrisy wasn’t one of the 7 deadly sins. It is a particular enrager of mine. I am of the ‘don’t scare the horses in the street and leave children out of it school’ but sure as hell do NOT preach to me about my behavior which impacts you in no way.

                • Rugger9 says:

                  I should opine that it is there but indirectly, in that the bearing of false witness (i.e. lying) is a fundamental part of any hypocrisy.

                  Also refer to Matthew on the topic of those who ostentatiously wear their faith on their sleeve. Recall that the Pharisees were despised precisely because of their hypocritical actions.

                  • Molly Pitcher says:

                    Thank you for clarifying that for me. I find myself grappling with very uncharitable thoughts that the GOP raises in me and then the subsequent guilt for those uncharitable thoughts.

                    This is going to be a tough couple of months. Please let it only be a couple of months.

                • John Lehman says:

                  In this layman’s limited study of Christ’s life, He seemed to regard the hypocrites among the lowest of the low.

                • Parker Dooley says:

                  Dante had an opinion of hypocrites:
                  “Bolgia Six: Hypocrites are punished in this circle. They are forced to wear heavy lead robes as they walk around the circumference of their circle. The robes are golden and resemble a monk’s cowl but are lined with heavy lead, symbolically representing hypocrisy. Also, Caiaphas, the Pharisee who insisted on the execution of Jesus, is crucified in this circle, staked to the ground so that the ranks of the lead-weighted hypocrites march across him.”

  12. BobCon says:

    The ominous sign for me is that the horserace press is coming out in force. Josh Kraushauer of the Natoonal Journal and others are fixating on the storyline of “GOP sets these objectives/GOP achieves these objectives/how can Dems come back?”

    This kind of toxic reporting is going to eat the nation alive if it takes root over the rest of the campaign. They will do more to normalize 200K deaths and a crumbling economy than anything the GOP can do.

    • Rayne says:

      National Journal — that should tell you everything in a nutshell. There are outlets which have a vested interest in the status quo which will continue the toxic reporting models of the past because it has always worked for them.

      • BobCon says:

        It’s also easy, it makes it easy to do plug and play with reporters, and it minimizes editing resources. It’s safe because when the GOP comes for ref playing, they can point to the rest of the pack doing the same thing.

        More than anything else, it’s what killed the Kerry campaign in 2004. The press decided that the Iraq War fiasco was meaningless, what mattered was how forcefully the candidates looked when talking about it.

        The worn out tropes of “Trump’s base is solid” and “Divided Dems” are already in evidence on the nytimes.com as though the potent unity at the Democratic convention and the notable defections by members of the GOP sick of Trump don’t exist. The hacks are eager to follow the script the GOP has written for them and call it a day.

    • harpie says:

      That’s SO interesting! Look what Marcy just retweeted:

      1:53 PM · Aug 25, 2020

      Huh [screenshots/thread of many identical tweets]

      Here’s a response to that tweet:
      2:19 PM · Aug 25, 2020

      Replying to @JoshuaPotash
      There are tons of them. Search Twitter for the first two sentences in quotes. [screenshots]

      This is what the identical tweets say:

      I’ve been a Democrat my whole life. I joined the BLM protests months ago when they began. They opened my eyes wide! I didn’t realize I became a Marxist. It happened without me even knowing it. I’m done with this trash. I will be registering Republican. Giving Twitter a shot!

      Wow! I made my twitter and already have people following me! My story is simple. I was a BLM activist and it showed me everything I hated about myself. The whole movement is irrational and is racist. I can’t believe an entire party supports them. I can’t be a Democrat any longer.

      • vicks says:

        About as effective as the thousands of stock photos that quit the party during the days of #walkaway
        I don’t do the twitter, but someone start a #showmetheproof
        Shame on any media outlet who reports on these “people” that say they are lifelong democrats and doesn’t demand proof of life and voter registration.

        • P J Evans says:

          I’m a lifelong Dem, and I’m not quitting the party until it goes down the rabbit hole – and it was a possibility for a while.

      • John Lehman says:

        GRU, GRU, GRU,

        Where are you, GRU?
        Please give a clue, GRU

        You troll our sites
        You give us frights

        You mess with our vote
        And the fools gloat

        That weird name Q
        Is that really you?

        Does that classic dodger,
        That guy named Rodger

        Still work for you?
        Oh GRU?

        Now we’re really annoyed
        Don’t like being toyed

        …Aren’t you afraid…
        That you’ve been made?

        And guy named Vlad…
        Offers crumpets and tea?
        Hee hee hee

        You’ll get your due
        Oh GRU

  13. Fraud Guy says:

    Tried to watch the Guilfoyle speech. Could only get through by counting lies and misstatements.

    About 73, including parts of statements that were separately false.

    My favorite when she stated she is a 1st generation American, even though her mother was from Puerto Rico and immigrated to this country.

    • Parker Dooley says:

      If her mother was Puerto Rican, doesn’t that make Kimberly a second (at least) generation American?

  14. harpie says:

    F.D.A. ‘Grossly Misrepresented’ Blood Plasma Data, Scientists Say
    Many experts — including a scientist who worked on the Mayo Clinic study — were bewildered about where a key statistic came from.
    Aug. 24, 2020

    At a news conference on Sunday announcing the emergency approval of blood plasma for hospitalized Covid-19 patients, President Trump and two of his top health officials cited the same statistic: that the treatment had reduced deaths by 35 percent.

    Mr. Trump called it a “tremendous” number. His health and human services secretary, Alex M. Azar II, a former pharmaceutical executive, said, “I don’t want you to gloss over this number.” And Dr. Stephen M. Hahn, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said 35 out of 100 Covid-19 patients “would have been saved because of the administration of plasma.”

    Here’s the main scientist who called out the glaring ERROR:

    9:10 PM · Aug 23, 2020

    Replying to @EricTopol and @ScottGottliebMD
    In this statement, @SteveFDA claims 35 per 100 people treated with plasma would be saved. The Mayo observational data indicates that would be 3 people saved at 7 days, or 5 at 30 days. And that was via exploratory analyses. Not only blatantly wrong; an egregious public statement.[THREAD]

    [added] Topol from the article:

    Dr. Eric Topol, a professor of molecular medicine at Scripps Research in La Jolla, Calif. and a longtime expert in clinical trials, said that convalescent plasma has not yet shown the benefit that Dr. Hahn described — and that he should issue a correction.

    “He needs to come out with that, and until he does, he has no credibility as an F.D.A. commissioner,” Dr. Topol said.

    • harpie says:

      So, Topol is raising the alarm about this information at 9:10 PM ET, when FDA Spokesperson tweets this:

      9:27 PM · Aug 23, 2020

      Convalescent plasma has shown to be beneficial for 35% of patients. This risk reduction figure – shown in chart below – is from @MayoClinic data from expanded access program that was analyzed by FDAA for the emergency use authorization announced today. [screenshot]

      [same thread]
      9:59 PM · Aug 23, 2020

      To clarify, the @MayoClinic data compared those given convalescent plasma with a high level of antibodies from COVID to those given plasma with low levels.

      So 35% more patients survived by getting the higher antibodies convalescent plasma

      FDA Spox [Emily Miller] does NOT know what she’s talking about.

      • harpie says:

        This just did not seem kosher to me…Miller was being just too POLITICAL…I did some research, but got distracted…. The reason I’m bringing this up now, is because Marcy just retweeted this:
        3:32 PM · Aug 25, 2020

        Fun exercise: google “Emily Miller” “OAN”
        wow how weird [screenshots]

        so OAN appears to have scrubbed its site of all @FDASpox @emilymiller content
        cool cool very cool /
        “Helping the President,” an Emily Miller journalism story

      • harpie says:

        …was right about Miller.
        Julie Rovner, Chief Washington Correspondent Kaiser Health News, noticed a difference in FDA communications on 8/23:

        5:25 PM · Aug 23, 2020

        This is not a normal headline for a press release from the FDA and I have been getting FDA releases since the ReaganAdmin…
        [link to PRESS RELEASE: FDA Issues Emergency Use Authorization for Convalescent Plasma as Potential Promising #COVID19 Treatment, Another Achievement in Administration’s Fight Against Pandemic]

        A person named Emily Miller responded:

        8:44 PM · Aug 23, 2020

        Replying to @jrovner and @Acosta
        How so?


        Replying to @emilymiller and @Acosta
        FDA press releases don’t trumpet Administration achievements.


        Replying to @jrovner and @Acosta

        • harpie says:

          Emily Miller had “taken over” the FDA spokesman’s twitter account on that morning:
          8:34 AM · Aug 23, 2020

          Emily Miller here taking over this account on Sunday 8/23/2020 at 8:30am ET.

          Here’s Parker Malloy, yesterday, with more information on Emily Miller:
          12:36 PM · Aug 25, 2020

          Wait, since when has Emily Miller been the FDA spokesperson? […] [screenshots]
          – -She’s a nutcase […]
          – -Miller was a “journalist” who famously invented quotes [link]
          – -She was a huge proponent of this completely baseless conspiracy about Obama trying to confiscate all the guns [link] [etc.]

          So…just another Trump propagandist.

    • harpie says:

      On Monday evening, Dr. Hahn finally admitted he AND HIS SPOKESPERSON had disseminated INCORRECT information to the public 24 hours before.

      9:36 PM · Aug 24, 2020

      I have been criticized for remarks I made Sunday night about the benefits of convalescent plasma. The criticism is entirely justified. What I should have said better is that the data show a relative risk reduction not an absolute risk reduction.

      • Rayne says:

        Ayup. I have a partially written post which will include this, will go up later today.

        Dr. Hahn’s future in medicine depended on his backing off this, being younger than either Birx or Fauci and still having another +10 years he could work.

  15. Pablo in the Gazebo says:

    The all important ratings are in, and for those of us who refuse to watch the actual RNC they are just what we had hoped for. I suspect as the week goes on they will stay the same or get worse.
    I found them from some guy on twitter:
    Overnight ratings for night one of the conventions. Six networks combined, 10-11p ET:
    Democratic – 14.6
    Republican – 11.6

  16. Jenny says:

    Interesting experience from Republican to Democrat.

    I was a Republican, and I drew my red line too late. I’ll answer for my choices for years to come. Beth Fukumoto

    Former GOP Legislator – “I Drew My Red Line Too Late”
    Beth Fukumoto served three terms in the Hawaii House of Representatives, but the GOP forced her resignation after she publicly denounced President Trump’s policies and rhetoric. She’s now a Democrat and openly acknowledges what she calls her “political failings.” She tells Michel Martin what led to her resignation.

    • Savage Librarian says:

      Oh, the righteous yearning of aspirations to aspirate. Airborne glory to all the unholy spittle. Sounds like she has reached the apotheosis of meth-od acting.

  17. glenn storey says:

    I can’t take credit for this but – Jerry Falwell is resigning to spend more time watching his family.

  18. joel fisher says:

    I kind of like the idea of human nightmare Guilfoyle plaguing Jr’s life. This is the look Kim gets when Jr 1) Can’t find the car keys; 2) Doesn’t want to take her shopping; 3) Can’t get hard; 4) Left the toilet seat up; 5) Ate the last Ding Dong; 6) Forgot to pick up her laundry; 7) Hangs out with the Falwells; 8) Uses the guest towels; 8) Tries to dance; 9) Makes her fly commercial; 10) Etc., etc. etc.

  19. earlofhuntingdon says:

    A little credulous reporting from western Colorado. https://www.westernslopenow.com/news/local-news/new-mail-sorting-machine-at-grand-junction-usps-thrown-out/

    A viewer noticed a full red dumpster behind a Grand Junction P.O., and asked an employee what was in it. The employee said a “new” mail sorting machine. The P.O. itself later claimed the mail sorting machine “didn’t work,” it was “broken,” and “needed repair.” So they threw it out. Uh, huh. The article also says the machine was a used one from Seattle, and that they had spent two months installing it in Grand Junction. Ready for testing, it was thrown out instead.

    I don’t think the story is whether the machine is new. The story is PMG Louis DeJoy’s obsessive drive to make large amounts of hard-to-replace equipment unusable as quickly as possible. Rapaciously tossing assets without regard to their value is what senior executives do to put financial lipstick on the pig of a company they desperately want to sell. It’s not what you do to manage one of the largest public services in the world.

    • Vicks says:

      “Starving the beast” corporate style…
      Perhaps the escalation of activity is an indication, some believe the window of opportunity may be closing sometime between Nov 3 and Jan 20?

  20. Alan Charbonneau says:

    My wife had the convention on in the background. When Kimberly Gargoyle was screeching, I could hear it even though I was wearing noise-cancelling headphones.

    Also, I forgot that Steve Bannon was going to be a speaker before his arrest (though that seems to be a rite of passage, so it should have move him to a more prominent spot, not bumped him from the lineup).

    There were a couple of tweets from Jeff Tiedrich related to Bannon that I found rated a LOL

    Aug 20
    Steve Bannon stole money from racists. maybe that’s a public service. I’m fucking conflicted.

    Aug 20
    first they came for Steve Bannon, and I did not speak out— because seriously, fuck that guy

  21. Molly Pitcher says:

    Melania, Fidel Castro called and he wants his military fatigues back. Don’t smoke the cigars in the pocket.

      • harpie says:

        Text of the Notification:

        August 26, 2020
        On August 25, 2020 at about 11:45pm Kenosha Police, along with assisting agencies, responded to the area of 63rd Street and Sheridan Road for reports of shots being fired and multiple gunshot victims.

        The shooting resulted in two fatalities and a third gunshot victim was transported to a hospital with serious, but non-life threatening injuries.

        The shooting investigation is active an[sic] ongoing. No further details regarding the shooting will be released at this time. The names, ages and cities of residence for the victims are still being determined.

        If anyone witnessed the shooting, please contact the Kenosha Police Department Detective Bureau at 262-605-5203. Callers wishing to remain anonymous can contact Kenosha Area Crime Stoppers at 262-656-7333. Investigators are aware of the social media videos being circulated regarding this incident. If anyone has uncirculated video or photos, please call. ###

    • harpie says:

      If JJ MacNab links to it, I pay attention:

      7:08 AM · Aug 26, 2020
      [links to:]

      >>> [Observe WARNINGS]:
      2:47 AM · Aug 26, 2020

      Breaking News: Extended footage of the shooting in Kenosha. [VIDEO] [NYT link]

      WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO: Someone has reportedly been shot in the head during the #Kenosha demonstrations. Video via @ElijahSchaffer. [VIDEO]

    • Rayne says:

      This is why I am putting my foot down about unsourced comments. There are too many people looking for an excuse to use violence, and the violence only hardens mis-perceptions of the original events. That’s in no small part the reason for the disinfo/misinfo and violence: to obscure the truth before anyone can examine the facts.

      • Vicks says:

        The “good people with guns” bullshit is why this is happening.
        A white guy running with a gun on the streets of Kenosha is not breaking any laws, but if the fact he barely seems to get a second glance by law enforcement
        doesn’t open the eyes and scare the crap out of non-believers, nothing will.
        On a related note
        The “good people” of Kenosha have a right to protect their businesses and property.
        What are ways the state can stop them from doing something stupid?

    • harpie says:

      I also trust Wendy Siegelman, who retweeted this:

      7:44 AM · Aug 26, 2020

      If you’re wondering why the white kid who shot & killed multiple protestors could walk calmly to police immediately after without getting apprehended, here he is minutes earlier going up to their armored trucks to get water they offered him & his armed militia crew. [photo, VIDEO] [THREAD]
      I wasn’t even planning to cover much of the protests themselves. I came to talk to families and residents about a lot of what underlies all of this—the extreme economic inequality for Black people in Wisconsin, arguably the worst in the country.

      But it’s also important to document what’s happening immediately. I see the TV anchors come out in the morning, freshly primped and made up, focusing on burned buildings & broken street lights.

      What underlies the anger always gets lost, though many don’t ever intend to find it.

    • harpie says:

      10:37 PM · Aug 25, 2020 [I think these times are Eastern, not Central]

      I’ve never seen this. A law enforcement truck just came barreling toward demonstrators from behind in Kenosha. People immediately pelted the vehicle with bottles as law enforcement inside peeked out to return fire. #Kenosha [VIDEO]

      11:03 PM · Aug 25, 2020

      In an almost snakelike fashion, law enforcement push forward on their line and move people out of the park in front of the Kenosha County Courthouse. They’ve declared it an unlawful assembly. #Kenosha [VIDEO]

      From WaPo link above:

      By 10 p.m., after pushing protesters away from the fence, about 70 police officers in riot gear formed a line across the park outside the courthouse as clouds of tear gas continued to drift toward the crowd.

      Police pushed protesters to Sheridan Road after 11 p.m., where law enforcement in armored trucks blocked the street. Nearby, the confrontation brewed with armed men at the gas station. Within an hour, the street exploded into chaos and bloodshed as the gunshots rang out.

  22. BobCon says:

    The politidal media nareative is hardening — Politico, Axios, David Alexrod, NY Times are running variations on the narrative of “2016 all over again — Media/Dems are overconfident, Trump base unyielding, corruption worries aren’t resonating with ‘real’ Americans who are only distracted by pictures, don’t care about COVID anymore.”

    The problem is the pundits can’t identify any serious media outlets treating Biden like Clinton in September 2016. Polling explicitly contradicts the idea that Democrats are overconfident. The idiot political press can’t grapple with issues like where most people are on COVID, what the difference in undecided voters means, how outreach will work (or not) this year — and of course in the ultimate irony how poorly they understand everyday voters themselves.

    If Trump wins or if Biden wins, it won’t be because of what the political press says now. The only reliable political reporting will be post facto cleanup pieces which are then quickly overwritten by a counternarrative explaining why their tropes were actually right all along, nevermind the facts.

    • Vicks says:

      I’m not sure that “just like in 2016” is meant to include Clinton and as things stand, I’m not sure it’s possible for national news outlets to ever do reporting that accurately depicts how people feel about Covid.
      Aside from that, many of the points being made by the media are alive and well and most importantly, valid to those looking for an excuse to vote for Trump again.
      IMHO, it is going to be the people that have changed their minds about Trump that will decide the 2020 election. I think this group is larger than in 2016 and I believe that The Lincoln Project is targeting and working these voters hard, while the Trump campaign is among other things using black and brown people as props to give permission to this same group to “hold their nose and vote” for him.

      • Rugger9 says:

        It also makes clear that the MSM didn’t understand their role in 2016 properly. They still want a horse race so Chuck Todd has something to talk about and the NYT can pretend to be “objective” if not factual. As long as that situation remains in spite of occasional flares like Morning Joe and Anderson Cooper out of the Village, don’t expect change in that quarter.

      • BobCon says:

        What is driving so much is the stupid urge for narratives that serve as halftime coverage. The election isn’t the NFL and it can’t be quantified in standard ways like passing yards and fumbles.

        They’re unimaginative, insulated hacks and can’t help but assemble narratives the way three year olds put together eight piece jigsaw puzzles. If two pieces are missing they grab two others from another box and pound on them to try to make them fit.

        • Vicks says:

          Serious question.
          I’m trying to get my mind around what everyone expects from the media covering this election.
          I know I want to put an end to politicians on both sides feeling they can go on a friendly network and say whatever the hell they want.
          These aren’t celebrities being interviewed about their latest project and then pushed to answer personal questions, these are the people we send to Washington who’s actions and decisions affect the lives of everyone in this country.
          I don’t mean it in the same context as D Trump but until media outlets decide to reorientated them selves to the news business and start asking the questions that challenge or make those they are interviewing uncomfortable, I don’t see any better way of describing what we are getting from the media than “fake news”

          • Rayne says:

            I know I want to put an end to politicians on both sides feeling they can go on a friendly network and say whatever the hell they want.

            First, are you really going to go bothsides-ing this? Really?

            Second, are you advocating suppressing First Amendment right of free speech? Make the case for that; how does that work?

            • vicks says:

              If I want to hear an unchecked rant from a politician, I will turn on C-Span, when a trained journalist is doing an interview my expectations are different.
              How this expectation can be morphed into a free speech argument escapes me, the first amendment clearly gives anyone, including a politician the right to go in front of a camera and say whatever the hell they want, but the freedom of the press part of that same amendment isn’t there for filler, it specifically protects the journalists who dare hold these politicians accountable. This protection gives journalists an incredible power and in my mind an implied responsibility, and if bothsider-ism means I get pissed off at BOTH SIDES penchant to roll over and allow themselves to be used as political tools I guess you got me on this one.

              • Rayne says:

                You said, and I am pointing to it again, “I know I want to put an end to politicians on both sides feeling they can go on a friendly network and say whatever the hell they want.

                When was the last time you ranted here about anybody left of center saying “whatever the hell they want“? That’s the bothsides problem; you seem to think media hasn’t been part of the problem by letting right-wing pols say whatever they want uncontested, thereby encouraging them to be come more extreme over the last 2-3 decades. That was the entire point of Fox News’ creation, an entire network dedicated to airing unfettered right-wing ideology.

                Now tell me how you’re going to reshape broadcast and cable journalism’s approach to covering politicians regardless of their ideology without infringing on First Amendment rights.

                • Vicks says:

                  I’m sorry you lost me again.
                  I can’t answer your question on how I would “reshape broadcast and cable journalism” without understanding how you are imagining a journalist infringing on a politicians rights if they challenge what a politician is saying during an interview.

                  Just because the score on the amount of bullshit media outlets put out there is whacked, it doesn’t mean it’s ok when the left does it.
                  Calling that “both-siderism” is up to you.

  23. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Now that there’s been time for real reporting, it seems that Jacob Blake owned a knife and had one in his car. Under the front seat carpet. I have one or two in my car, too. One’s a leatherwhatsit with all those blades, convenient for fixing things in the wild. Takes two hands and forever to open. The other is a nice red one with a cross on it, given to me by a Swiss friend. It has lots of uses, mostly to cut off tags and to open bottles and the odd can – the latter limited to demonstrating to would be scouts that you can do this if you’re stuck in camp and can’t wait for the beans.

    Sadly for the frothy right, Mr. Blake wasn’t “armed” with his knife. He wasn’t carrying it, it wasn’t on his person. It was on the floor under the carpet. As a young Black man from the city, no one needed to tell him that you don’t bring a knife to a gun fight. Not when two officers have their weapons out and pointed at you. Not unless you want to commit suicide by cop and endanger the kids in your car. That doesn’t describe Jacob Blake.

    Officer Sheskey, however, seems to have assumed that Mr. Blake was as stupid and malevolent as Donald Trump. Because he used the knife-under-the-carpet as a reason to hold onto Blake’s shirt – me, I would have stepped back, out of knife-range – and panic-fire seven rounds into his back, without managing to dispatch the threat he was so worried about. Lots of people have lots of ‘splaining to do about all that.


    • Rayne says:

      The bullshit about the knife is an attempt to justify after the fact that that KPD attempted an extrajudicial execution of a man without due process while endangering his children who were in the car and not under the front seat carpet.

      After KPD had already failed to justify an extrajudicial execution them without due process for something their shooting victim had done in the past.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Agreed. It was important to rebut the false notion that having a knife is the same as being armed with it. Or, in this case, being suicidal enough to use it. As bmaz has implied, Blake needs a better lawyer so that he doesn’t admit anything without the proper context. And he needs a good criminal defense lawyer before he needs a good tort lawyer.

      The let’s try everything approach notwithstanding, the KPD are grasping at straws, which says it knows how much trouble it’s in. It should be. The racist rot and imperial policing techniques seem so ingrained. I suppose the place to start is here. Use public protest to demand greater transparency and accountability from elected officials and the police unions they often cower in fear of.

      • Epicurus says:

        Elected officials and police unions know, internalize and institutionalize two things. First, it is a 24/7 news cycle and something will come along very shortly (sometimes of their own making) to push any matter of embarrassment to the back burner. Wait it out. E.g. who knows what is currently going on with George Floyd’s killer? It’s already off everyone’s mind. Second, unions such as police forces in towns and cities know they are real people to the people in their communities and their neighbors/friends/Little League buddies will act and say in some form “they shouldn’t do that and I wouldn’t do that but they are our neighbors and friends and Sally’s soccer coach and they aren’t THAT bad”. It may be the most powerful social force in effect. One of Alinsky’s 12 rules for radicals is most appropriate:

        RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

        Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)

        I am willing to bet the Kenosha community is closing ranks in many ways to protect the Kenosha police dudes, effectively diluting this rule of Alinsky. In fact after listening to the Kenosha DA define his job and responsibility in this situation as narrowly as humanly possible, I have severe doubts Blake and the black community in Kenosha will get anything remotely close to justice.

    • Tom says:

      I have an old jack-knife and a folding blade Buck knife in the glove box of my car, mainly because you never know when they might come in handy if your car breaks down on some remote country road. In the way of potential weapons, I also have a lug wrench and a tire iron, though it would take a while for me to get to them.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        As you say, lots of opportunistic weapons in any car. Doesn’t mean you’re armed with them or intend to use them against police officers. As Rayne observes, these are flailing after-the-fact arguments meant to uphold virtual blanket immunity for police. That’s gotta stop. It causes immense harm to average Americans, especially to people of color. and it enables so much lawbreaking by elites.

        To a larger point about Democratic strategy, I agree that they need to keep Covid and the economy front and center. But you can’t attack Trump and Trumpism, and define yourself as something better, if you don’t also attack his corruption, his lawbreaking, and his criminality.

        It goes directly to what’s at stake: erecting something better during and post-Covid, or plunging into fascism. Trump knows that’s what’s at stake, because he is projecting those alternatives onto Democrats, while measuring himself for Il Duce’s boots.

      • P J Evans says:

        10-inch adjustable wrench in the bin between the front seats – at the bottom, so not easily gotten at.

  24. P J Evans says:

    Trmp finally finished his speech – an hour and ten minutes after he started. Reviews are coming in as “boring” and “needed editing and tightening up”. Also, he still has no clue how to read from a teleprompter and make it sound like a speech and not a early-grade-school book report.

    • Rayne says:

      His speech ran 3 minutes longer than Bill Clinton’s — that’s what he wanted, a longer speech to make up for his tiny dick and smaller brain.

      What a spectacular waste of time. Meanwhile, approximately 58 Americans died of COVID-19 during that profoundly craptacular speech.

Comments are closed.