Election Day Countdown: 5 Days

There are five days left until Election Day.

More than 228,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 to date. Most of these deaths were wholly preventable had the Trump administration responded appropriately to the pandemic back in January-February.

But there is an additional excess of deaths — persons who didn’t die of COVID-19 but who would not have died had there not been such a lousy national response to the pandemic.

My sibling may have been one of those excess deaths eight weeks ago.

Please, no condolences are necessary. I’d rather not chew up comment space with them and my sibling would be annoyed.

What I would much rather see is a discussion about the additional burdens on Americans the Trump administration has placed on them because Trump didn’t want to spook the market ahead of the election.

And because the Trump administration thanks to Trump’s monstrous hack of a son-in-law Jared Kushner decided that issuing federal aid to blue states wouldn’t help Trump’s re-election odds.

~ ~ ~

I wrote in August about the additional hassle the pandemic and Trump’s governance failures have caused my family because every health care activity requires more effort, more resources.

My father’s situation took nearly a month longer to resolve than necessary and with increased risks from complications. We were lucky his condition resolved with very little intervention after months of therapy and monitoring.

He had insurance to cover the majority of expenses and adequate savings to handle out-of-pocket expenses. But this is not the case for far too many Americans who’ve lost their jobs because of the uncontrolled pandemic. They will be digging themselves out of financial holes for too long if they happen to need health care this year or next.

All because Trump couldn’t be the president this country needed.

All because Trump is a malignant narcissist who is only worried about his own skin and his enablers are only worried about their own.

~ ~ ~

The insult added to injury is that COVID patients die alone. Their families can’t be with them in COVID ICU.

The Lincoln Project made a short effective ad which comes close to conveying the heartbreak of not being able to be with a loved one during their health crisis, but surprisingly the otherwise aggressive team pulled their punches by not making it absolutely clear death comes without the solace of familial touch.

And again, it’s not just COVID patients affected. My sibling died without their family around them because they couldn’t have visitors who may bring COVID into the ICU.

One family member per day could go in during limited visiting hours. One family member could tell them what we felt for them and tell them it was okay to go.

They died alone because of goddamned Donald fucking Trump.

~ ~ ~

My sibling was one of the excess deaths we don’t talk enough about as unnecessary collateral damage.

They had a health condition which under normal circumstances was and had been manageable.

But because of COVID they were extremely worried about contracting the virus in public spaces. They didn’t seek their regular health care as they would have had there not been an uncontrolled pandemic. Living in a red state which adopted Trumpian COVID denialism exacerbated the situation.

They died for lack of adequate health care about twenty years too soon.

All because of useless and corrupt Donald fucking Trump.

~ ~ ~

Listening with gritted teeth to yet another of Trump’s wretched displays of poor temperament for the office of the presidency, I thought of a Biblical quote. It’s been popularized in Spider-Man comics as the Peter Parker principle; the character is cautioned by his Uncle Ben with a paraphrase of Luke 12:48:

To whomever much is given, of him will much be required; and to whom much was entrusted, of him more will be asked.

Donald Trump has had so much opportunity given to him because of his privilege as a white man of European descent with accumulated family wealth, even if ill-gotten. He pissed it all away. Even if it was merely converted through laundering from immediate wealth to untouchable wealth, it was turned from treasure to trash.

He’s done the same with this country’s treasure — its relationships with other countries, its economy, its aspirations from founding to become a better country, the light of the world, a city on a hill.

He’s converted whatever he could grab with his stubby little fingers into personal wealth which has disappeared into the same corrupt ratholes more than a billion dollars of personal wealth has vanished.

He’s gathered around him a cabinet and executive staff who are just as corrupt.

In spite of all the trust they have been given, access to our blood and treasure, they have frittered it away.

If it were only economic damage they wreaked they would eventually be forgotten and their conservative enablers would find a way to forgive their wretchedness.

But they are stealing from us what cannot be measured in dollars or hours of labor.

They are stealing and destroying the most precious moments we have, the ones when nothing else on earth matters.

And while roughly a million Americans mourn loved ones lost to wholly preventable spread of COVID, Donald fucking Trump gaslighted all of us about the disease:

The body count doesn’t lie, you miserable slack-assed excuse for an executive.

~ ~ ~

I will come to terms with the loss of my sibling as will the rest of my family. This month we’ll muddle through the first awkward and painful holiday with one too many plates, a few too many beers, and one too many empty chairs.

But I will never be able to get over the anger I have over the loss of those last minutes we could have shared with my sibling saying goodbye.

I will never forgive the hundreds of thousands of farewells which American friends and families could only make by phone if at all.

Call me bitter, I don’t fucking care. But I hope when time has its inevitable way as it does with us all, that Donald fucking Trump dies alone and he’s aware enough to know it as darkness falls.

Until then I will settle for his ass being kicked to the curb at the polls.

~ ~ ~

If you’ve already voted, thank you. If can help others vote, please do so.

57 replies
  1. Eureka says:

    Towards the discussion you requested, Rayne:

    An Uncle has spent the last three months bouncing from home to hospital to LTC to hospital to different LTC to hospital, dying and weakening evermore. Cousin thinks he will die imminently (I expect that call any day/hour now). Many of these transfers require new quarantines due to the uncontrolled pandemic. His wife, at home, has Alzheimer’s but is still oriented to basics, like her husband of over 70 years — and is slipping because she cannot see him but rarely and episodically. She’s had to be extra medicated but still has had fits where she wonders where he is, is he having an affair (with that gal in the ambulance who took him away)? (And tearing things up all over the house trying to get to her money (which is no longer) in her purse to try to go see him.) It’s hard to encapsulate the hell this has been on my cousins (and A & U), and how the COVID-era interactions have worsened A & U’s conditions and cousins’ caregiving efforts, but it’s all that. (Like they can’t take her to the grocery store to keep her oriented to those aspects of life, and a former enjoyment at that.) And then how to conduct funeral services (even if nothing formal, I cannot even travel to comfort them or be with them).

    So I get and give lots of calls for cousin to unload.

    RIP life as we knew it.

    It’s funny timing, your invitation of this discussion, as someone recently invited me to unload. It’s one of those things where one cannot even recall all of the, “Oh, and here’s THIS giant thing going on, too”(s). All due to the uncontrolled pandemic, exacerbated by lack of a COVID relief package.

    And I had mentioned this to bmaz some weeks back — but HCW in some settings have already been getting their asses kicked even before “the Fall wave”, and in places not on the map as dire spots. It’s been like the worst of “flu season” (which, being a season — with a couple really bad months — is tolerable only to the degree that it is temporary). So now they are going into actual flu season, and high COVID season, under incredible drain and stress. As worried as I was this spring, I don’t know how we are going to get through this six months of winter.

    Where will all of the sick people go? Who will run the frog hospital (h/t Lorrie Moore)? I am torn up by these states/locales being like “Oh, whatever — we’ll triage by age, or willy-nilly transfer really sick, unstable people miles or states away from their loved ones.” I know some of them don’t have much choice, but others do: there are ample behavioral ameliorators.

    Even Putin just made a national mask mandate, FFS. [And you’re getting an RIP sibling from me, anyway, dammit.]

    • bmaz says:

      Yeargh. Sorry to hear about all that. If the Covid was not clamped down on hard initially, and it never was because Trump, the situation was always headed down this path.

      It does not make it any easier though. The declining years of our parents and family was already difficult enough, it did not need this.

    • klynn says:

      Rayne, I am so sorry for your loss. So very sorry. Eurecka, this hit home. I get what your cousins are going through. Add in a death that covid denied your being by bedside for, followed by a covid two-person funeral and it completes the picture.

      • Rayne says:

        Thanks, klynn. The memorial service was a month later and it was stressful and awkward in spite of everything done to reduce risk of COVID and yet make everyone comfortable. Imagine having a service limited to 20 persons spread out across a church, followed by a luncheon of individually-wrapped servings of sandwich/salad/snacks/desserts served by masked and gloved family, eaten while broken into pods based by risk levels and locations from which persons had come for the service.

        The only thing which approached normal was the interment. At the graveside outdoors we could take off our masks if we stayed in our socially-distanced pods.

        Damn Donald Trump all to hell.

        • harpie says:

          I WILL NEVER forgive Trump
          OR the PUSHERS who through their
          INFLICTED him on US.

          I’m sorry for your loss, (((Rayne))).

        • klynn says:

          I’m glad you were able to gather somehow. We were not, due to the state the internment was being held. It was not the farewell my mom deserved. I hope we can honor her better in the year to come.

          • Rayne says:

            Very sorry you weren’t able to have a nicer send off for your mother; I hope the additional time will allow you and your family to prepare for a more meaningful celebration of her life. The month we had to prepare did make a difference, we weren’t rushed.

            We were lucky — ha, lucky — my sibling hadn’t passed weeks earlier or we would not have been able to gather at all. COVID cases had died down enough in early September to make travel to northern Michigan fairly safe at the time, but we still didn’t take any chances coming from downstate where there was more COVID at the time. Lucky again — sigh — that it wasn’t later in the season since there is already snow in the Upper Peninsula where we held the memorial and laid my sibling to rest.

            All those families and friends, though, who’ve not been so lucky, who are having to deal with far more challenges at end of life — heaven help them.

    • Rayne says:

      I feel all of that, Eureka. I wish I had some helpful advice but I don’t — we muddled along as best we could, and we didn’t have the additional challenge of dealing with sundowning Alzheimers as your family does. bmaz knows we had one wrinkle with legal matters afterward which was serendipitously resolved; I hope you’ll have serendipitous help when you need it most.

      Anybody else reading this should make arrangements to get a flu shot now. Spare the system as well as yourselves by reducing risk of serious illness. I had a flu shot in mid-February because I worried about getting sick during an explosion of COVID cases; it was only a couple weeks later that Michigan was inundated with COVID. I’m getting another flu shot yet this month because the vaccine is only effective for a season. There are quite a number of places to get free or extremely low cost flu shots this year.

      Please, no excess deaths among our community here.

    • Ruthie says:

      My niece, with a first grader and twin 3 year olds, was diagnosed with probable thyroid cancer late in the spring. It is generally very treatable, but of course one never knows. Her mother is my favorite by far of all my siblings, and we’ve been close since she was a teenager (my niece). Despite my husband being super anxious, beyond what was truly warranted IMO since we live in NH and they live in ME and both states never had significant outbreaks, I decided to make a visit without masks. I, myself, was also worried, but I couldn’t not go. It was so emotional, knowing that, even if it was unlikely, I might never see her again. When I got home my husband was absolutely furious with me, adding to an already stressful experience.

      Last month she had surgery, and biopsies showed that it was in fact cancer, but luckily hadn’t metastasized. We can all breathe a sigh of relief that she looks to be out of the woods, but if not for COVID I would have offered to stay with her after my sister left to help her through recovery. It still makes me want to cry, because I know that someone else almost always has it worse. There are people whose cancer has metastasized, and people who don’t have health insurance, or supportive family close by. That’s when the rage comes.

      • Rayne says:

        One of my BFFs has been through similar experience this summer — their mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. Mask wearing is a must because of their parent’s compromised immune system and they’re one of her care providers. When my BFF visits me, we both wear masks and maintain social distance. It’s uncomfortable for both of us, we’ve already highly limited our social contacts, but I can’t imagine risking their parent’s life when they already had a major health crisis.

        I don’t know what we’ll do now that colder weather has set in; we were able to enjoy a movie outdoors one evening using my new projector when the weather was good. I’m shopping for a small firepit and a tiny wood stove to heat a garage space. We may be able to safely visit in a garage with the door wide open.

        Hope your niece continues to recover after surgery.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          My heart just breaks reading all your stories. My father died of Covid five months ago; my sisters and I no longer talk about having a memorial service. Nowadays we fantasize about seeing each other again, maybe in northern Michigan, which seems both ever farther away and less safe. It’s impossible for me disentangle the bullies with their assault rifles from the depredations of a virus willfully set loose on us by the likes of Jared Kushner with his blue-state strategy. I feel like I’m crawling to the finish line of one marathon knowing we will all need to start another one STAT. Godspeed to my friends here, who have helped keep me on the course.

  2. Mitch Neher says:

    I strongly suspect that Hillary Clinton would have done an outstanding job at responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

    So much so that most folks probably would have just shrugged their shoulders as if it was only to have been expected that Hillary Clinton would have knocked any global pandemic out of the park, as it were.

    Instead we’ve been nationally emasculated by the hysterical eunuch known as Donald John Trump.

    • Ruthie says:

      I have no doubt that she would have *tried* to respond, and that she has the capacity to do so efficiently and effectively. That being said, the right wing howler monkeys would have been out in full force, whipping their side into a frenzy and blocking her at every turn. Surely you don’t believe the disregard for the lives of their own followers they’re displaying originates with Trump? It not only predates his presidency, it will outlast it as well.

    • Rayne says:

      You know that Clinton would not have done an outstanding job at handling the pandemic for the U.S. alone — the pandemic response team wouldn’t have been terminated in 2018 and it would have aided WHO and the rest of the world’s governments in controlling the spread of COVID before a vaccine could be produced.

      I fear we would have had Trump as a rebound from her presidency anyhow because the same monsters who trash Michigan’s Governor Whitmer would have done exactly the same thing and worse to Clinton, piling on top of decades of character assassination.

      And we wouldn’t have been ready for the next pandemic, pushed out by another four to six years.

      • Chris.EL says:

        Trump — utterly useless; bad mouthing Senator Harris and what a horror she’d be as president if something happened to Joe. (OMG unspeakably horrible man DJT.)

        John Brennan tweets:

        “No one deserves a more thorough drubbing on Election Day than Donald Trump.

        Well, maybe Lindsey Graham does,

        & Mitch McConnell,

        & Thom Tillis,

        & David Purdue,

        & Joni Ernst.

        Oh, heck, all Trump lackeys deserve to be tossed out.

        Vote Biden/Harris & flip the Senate.”

  3. Bobby Gladd says:

    Per Johns Hopkins this morning:

    519,285 new U.S. Covid19 cases in the past 7 days. Daily average, 74,184. Trending up rapidly.

    But, hey, “we’re rounding the corner, it’s going away (@realDonaldTrump).”

    According to @WHOSTP, Trump has defeated the pandemic.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      To add to the irony and evil of Trump’s narcissistic claims – Covid is a hoax to frustrate my re-annointment – all of Europe is experiencing another wave. Ireland and France face new lock downs. Germany needs one. Johnson’s government continues to bungle the UK response, and adds more division between haves (the South) and have nots (the North). The Netherlands, with only 17 million people, is experiencing 10,000 new cases a day.

      If that’s turning the corner…never mind. Thanks, Rayne. My thoughts go out to you.

      • Rayne says:

        I’ll disagree with your characterization of the UK’s situation. Johnson isn’t bungling the UK’s response just as Team Trump isn’t bungling ours. At this point more than 10 months since the world first learned of the pandemic risk, after other countries have successfully managed to control or eliminate COVID, Johnson’s and Trump’s approaches are mass murder by a mixture of nonfeasance and malfeasance.

        And thanks, EoH. Stay safe.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          I stand corrected. BoJo and Cummings (with their patrons ever in mind) are “bungling” the Covid response as much as they are bungling Brexit. As with Kavanaugh’s concurrence in the PA voting case, the watchword is not “Rosebud” but malice aforethought.

      • harpie says:

        Why does Trump NEVER mention CANADA?

        9:40 PM · Oct 28, 2020

        I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. There is one place in the world where a map of #COVID19 cases & deaths reveals a straight line, with a huge amount of disease on one side, very little on the other. Where? The 3000+ mile border US/#Canada It’s stark. […] [THREAD] [screenshot]

        Yes, that line is STARK.

    • Rugger9 says:

      What’s interesting about the declaration of victory is that Hogan Gidley insisted he didn’t write it when pressed in an interview, and brunette McEnany tried to spin away from it. So, no one outside the WH bubble is buying it.

      Pence was busy touting the successful economy while all of the market lost over 3% yesterday and is down below September levels already. If DJT doesn’t even have that, he’s toast.

      Speaking of DJT he’s continuing the tour, running roughshod over McSally (who is doomed for re-election) in his AZ campaign stop. It’s pretty clear DJT doesn’t think women are worth anything unless they can do something for him.

  4. P J Evans says:

    Three of my parents’ siblings are still around, and two of their cousins, all over 80 and one well past 90. I can only hope that they’re staying well, because they’re too far away to see or visit.
    (My sis is in dicey health herself, but she’s been that way for years.)

    And I’m waiting for scheduling on the removal of my IV port – I did the preliminary bloodwork Tuesday afternoon, and the main test result is only good for a week. Should have come out six months ago, but Things Happened.

    • BobCon says:

      Good luck with that, that’s a long time ti have that on hold.

      My parents are in decent health (knock on wood) but they’re really unhappy that they’ve had no serious family time since the beginning of the year, and they report that’s true for a lot of seniors in their community.

      There has been some reporting on how Trump’s COVID failure has hurt him among senior voters, but there is still room for how badly Kushner’s nakedly shameful calculation that he could ignore Blue voters fell apart. He completely failed to understand how family relationships work and how seniors were going to be isolated no matter where they live.

      With luck senior voters supply the margin for Biden in Florida and some other states, and we’ll send the soulless robot packing.

      • P J Evans says:

        Mostly it was a matter of maintenance: the port has to be flushed out (with heparin) every couple of months, to keep it from clogging. Getting the port out is the last surgery for this – and it wasn’t a big deal going in; they used local anesthesia and the radiology room for that.

        • P J Evans says:

          The hospital called a little while ago: it’s scheduled for Monday after next, with a virus test next week – they’ll be calling back on that.

      • Ruthie says:

        Alas, my 88 y o mother is all in on Trump, as are many of my siblings. In fact, my mother, formerly a RN, is so dismissive of the risk that she flew (!!!!!!!!!) from FL to MD to visit my brother then he drove them to KY to see one of my sisters’ new house! Without masks if I had to guess. WTAF?

  5. Alan Charbonneau says:

    I have it easy by comparison, but I’m still pissed. In a few weeks, I’m having brain surgery at MD Anderson in Houston, though I live in Austin. I will be in the hospital for 5 to 7 days and, due to covid, my wife will not be able to visit.

    I’m more upset for her than for me. Others are facing much worse problems, so I don’t feel sorry for myself, but I do feel badly for my wife of nearly 30 years and I do feel royally pissed at our president. I think he will be crushed in the election, but as Lucian Truscott IV wrote, defeating Trump won’t heal the damage he inflicted upon us this year.

    “The year of constant sorrow: Defeating Donald Trump won’t heal the damage of 2020”

    • Rayne says:

      Very sorry to hear you and your wife are facing this health challenge during this pandemic. I’m glad you’re going to MD Anderson; my dad was looking at going there for treatment if his situation hadn’t resolved itself.

      The physical, emotional, spiritual, psychic injury Trump has and continues to inflict on us can’t be measured; it feels comparable to a civil war without the violence of kinetic warfare. There’ve been a couple references to a ‘cold civil war‘ I take seriously; the threats of white nationalist violence reveal how warm this has become under COVID’s additional pressure.

      How we will collectively lance that long-festering boil without triggering violence will take all our patience and then some, and our reserves are thin when we deal with challenges like your health care issue or my family’s loss.

      Thanks for the link to Lucian’s essay; I’ve been meaning to read it and I’ll make the time for it right now. Also need to follow him on Twitter.

      Do keep us posted on your surgery if you can. Hope it goes smoothly in spite of the circumstances.

      • Alan Charbonneau says:

        As brain surgeries go, it’s fairly easy. I had an acoustic neuroma (benign tumor) discovered in 2003. Most people have them form in the auditory canal and the pressure from the neuroma causes them to slowly lose hearing. They go to the doctor for hearing loss and the tumor is discovered when it is mall, like 7mm or so.

        Mine was growing outside the auditory canal and was about 2/3 the size of a golf ball when an MRI for neck pain revealed it (the neck pain was unrelated arthritis). It had to be addressed as it was pressing up against my brain stem (the brain stem looked like a question mark instead of an exclamation point).

        There are four nerves that go through the same area, the auditory nerve, the facial nerve, and two vestibular (balance) nerves. The tumor was wrapped around all of them and to spare my facial nerve, they only removed 2/3 of it in a 14-hour procedure.

        It started regrowing and I had radiation 7 years later, but it is still growing and once again, pressing against my brain stem. This time they are taking the entire thing as I have developed severe Bell’s palsy and the facial nerve is no longer functional – the right side of my face looks like a flat tire. That will make the surgery simpler and quicker 6 to 8 hours instead of 14.

        The 5-7 day stay is longer than my,original,surgery due to the vestibular nerves being removed. Last time they went through my inner ear (leaving me permanently deaf on one side) and that affected my balance for 1/2 a day at most. This time they are expecting my balance to be a much larger issue.

        I was going to have facial reanimation surgery next month to regain my smile. They will take a muscle from my thigh, implant it in my face, and plug the massager (chewing) nerve into it. That’s been postponed until February due to the MRI showing tumor growth and the resulting surgery.

        I’m 66 and at my 40th high school reunion there were at least 35 of my classmates (class of 500) who were deceased, so I have little to complain about. I am not at all worried about the outcome, but the emotional toll on my family concerns me.

        The Truscott article is timely. I have read almost all of his articles this year and this one touches on the ways in which the ordinary, everyday interactions of people have been crippled by this administration. I think you will find it touching and insightful.

        • P J Evans says:

          balance is something you do want to keep, and yeah, brain stem is necessary!
          (You’ll be needing at least a cane.)

    • BobCon says:

      Good luck with that. I took my son to get non-critical surgery a few months ago, and I will say I was very impressed by how seriously the hospital took COVID up and down the line.

      Fortunately I think hospitals were already in the mindset of infection control since they have been rooting out bugs like Staph, and they have a lot of experience in training employees and communicating with visitors and patients. It’s a shame they’ve gotten such subpar support from Trump, Kushner and the rest.

      • Alan Charbonneau says:

        Thanks. I’ve had two minor outpatient surgeries this year (arthritis, elbow surgery & carpal tunnel). The hospitals and staff were great as was the covid awareness.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Good luck with the surgery. You sound like an old hand, but brain surgery can make anyone nervous. I had a tumor removed (resected) twelve years ago; a pituitary macroadenoma, it grew back and my neurosurgeon went back at it with stereotactic radial surgery the next year. The original operation was on September 11, and while they were wheeling me to the OR the hospital loudspeaker announced a minute of silence to commemorate the 2001 attacks. We all stopped in the corridor. I could tell the nurses and doctors were remembering people they had known and lost. We will consign a hundred times as many Americans (and more) to this “invisible enemy.” When are we going to stop for even a minute to consider the loss?

          • Alan Charbonneau says:

            Yeah, I am treating this as no big deal but my wife begs to differ. This time around, there won’t be a possibility of regrowth as they’ll take it all. Still, I’m 17 years older than the first time, so how well I recover is still unknown.

            As to the covid dead, yes it’s hard to fathom. In the worst part of the Vietnam war, 1967-1969, I read about American deaths of 200 or 300 a week and it tore me apart, now we get 1,000 per DAY.

            I have disliked many politicians in my life and even used the word “hate” to describe my feelings. But Trump is really the only politician who I’ve actually hated. If he had a heart attack and checked out I wouldn’t miss him, but I’d much rather he die in prison.

    • graham firchlis says:

      Best wishes, Alan. You are right to be positive. I’ve tracked outcomes for quite a few invasive acoustics, mercifully uncommon, and all eventually regained balance as their brain rewired to integrate the single remaining inner ear signal source with sight and tactile senses. A learning curve, no less, no more.

      And with your gracilis transplant too, another significant learning curve. (One postsurgical Bell’s patient passed on reconstruction, opting instead to grow a huge full face beard. Looked like Old St Nick, to his grandkids delight.) Positive mental attitude makes all the difference.

  6. Jenny says:

    “When a person chooses not to vote, they literally became a ward of the will of others.”
    Danielle Egnew

  7. Pajaro says:

    Once the administration changes the country really needs a panel assembled to gather information, evidence and testimony on the widespread lawlessness of Trump’s administration. These crimes demonstrate the weaknesses in our laws and institutions and they must be reviewed, prosecuted, and fixed. None of this ‘Don’t Look Back’ B.S.!
    Watch for a ‘burn it down’ attitude by the losers in the lame duck, it could get very bad. Trump must not be allowed to escape the country, or if he does he should be hunted down and returned. I hold out little hope for either party reform, but we really must get big money out of politics.
    Time to go out in the brisk cold outside and watch the last of the snow melt. Thank goodness for Sandhill Cranes flying overhead all day.

    • punaise says:

      None of that “turn the page” shit. Not even a Truth & Reconciliation Commission. We need real accountability with real consequences to clear out the rot. Eric Swalwell and/or Adam Schiff will lead this charge: a Presidential Crimes Commission.

      • rip says:

        Much broader than a “Presidential” Crimes Commission. Most of the (Я)epuglicon congress critters as well as their enablers and funders need to be hauled into depositions.

        And there need to be commensurate penalties. And COVID excess deaths are not the only crimes they have committed.

  8. punaise says:

    Here’s a clever ad from the Biden campaign, seen at TPM.

    Rayne, je suis desolé…

    My almost 92 y.o. mom is hanging in there, in gentle decline in safe / comfortable confinement at her congregate living facility. I doubt she could survive covid, so we are pretty careful with our limited visits. As a longtime civic-minded volunteer (former CA LWV president, etc.) she was proud to fill out her ballot, which I will bring to a Dropbox this weekend.

  9. ThoughtMail says:

    A conversation, overheard:

    Individual 1: Who wants to tell the religious fundamentalists how their favorite things work out: that, as soon as they choose a godless, lying, lawless, racist conman as their messiah, a plague shows up?

    Individual 2: They think the plague showed up because of the rest of us godless, heathen, baby-killing, lesbian/gay/trans/whatever, gun-haters got too much power. They want to force us to go back to church, stay in heterosexual marriages and have more babies, and only the rich people can have secret affairs, “D&C”s (not abortions), and foreign bank accounts for their money.

    Individual 1: Fair point. They might be right. But with all the money I’m saving by not going to church, I’m holding out for the new Ferrari the church promised me I would get by going there.

  10. Epicurus says:

    Rayne, Obi Won Kenobi speaks out to and for you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OwM3WGx9x0. Final losses and significant injuries are devastating so everyone please take comfort where and when you can.

    In addition to Rayne’s Spiderman biblical reference I often think of a biblical quote those in all three branches of the government should internalize. “My father’s mansion has many rooms. I go to prepare one for you.” Most everyone forgets the Declaration of Independence third part – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. “To secure these rights” is in essence preparation of a room for each citizen.

    Somewhere along the line Republicans chose the path of limiting choices across the spectrum and in doing so limiting securing of rights, such as “life” in a pandemic. There aren’t any rooms in the Republican mansion for you and me. They choose exclusion over inclusion. Trump and the dark side are where we have been headed for a long time. I voted to cure that. Hope it worked.

  11. Nehoa says:

    To Rayne and the commenters above who have lost family and friends to Covid-19 my condolences. To lose those you care for is awful, but particularly when it could have been prevented.
    As Peterr said in a post a few months ago, a virus doesn’t care. It just does what is designed to do. Trump is like a human virus. He just doesn’t care. No ability to feel anything about others. It is all about what he wants.
    But I would extend the blame for this situation to CJ Roberts and the other conservative justices. Citizens United and the gutting of the Voting Rights Act set the stage for Trump’s rise, and for the cowardice and radicalization of the Republican Party. Trump must be defeated, but we can’t stop there.

  12. posaune says:

    I am sorry for your loss, and I can’t help but say that. Thank you for being here.
    I lost my best fried at work last month, a fellow architect, friend since grad school together. Likely covid. We shared the same birthday and our love of opera. Work life won’t be the same.

  13. Molly Pitcher says:

    Alan, You are in my thoughts, I find your attitude very inspiring and destined for a positive outcome.

    Rayne, I am sure your family appreciates what a strong person you are, particularly in such an awful situation. I agree with all of your Trump disgust. What has stunned me is the percentage of the electorate who are his rabid supporters.

    I expect a country this large to have it’s share of despicable individuals like Trump, but I never guessed how many people would actually stick with him. Trump will eventually leave, hopefully for an orange jumpsuit, but I fear we are stuck with everyone who crawled out from under the rocks, emboldened by his recklessness, criminality and selfishness, for years to come. They are the ones who scare me.

  14. harpie says:

    Election Day Countdown: Day 4
    Early Morning Trump Tweets

    1] 2:32 AM · Oct 30, 2020

    Way ahead in Texas!

    2] 2:40 AM · Oct 30, 2020

    Biden will destroy the United States Supreme Court. Don’t let this happen!

    3] 2:57 AM · Oct 30, 2020

    If Sleepy Joe Biden is actually elected President, the 4 Justices (plus1) that helped make such a ridiculous win possible would be relegated to sitting on not only a heavily PACKED COURT, but probably a REVOLVING COURT as well. At least the many new Justices will be Radical Left!

  15. harpie says:

    Internal Documents Reveal COVID-19 Hospitalization Data The Government Keeps Hidden
    October 30, 20205:01 AM ET

    […] The documents show that detailed information hospitals report to HHS every day is reviewed and analyzed — but circulation seems to be limited to a few dozen government staffers from HHS and its agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institutes of Health, according to distribution lists reviewed by NPR. Only one member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Adm. Brett Giroir, appears to receive the documents directly.
    But what’s missing for this kind of planning, he says, is “exactly the information” that appears in the internal report.[…]

    • harpie says:

      [This is what that was supposed to look like after the first paragraph]

      […] Hospitalization data is invaluable in looking ahead to see where and when outbreaks are getting worse, says Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. “Right now, as we head into the fall and winter surge,” Murray says, “we’re trying to put more emphasis on predicting where systems will be overwhelmed.”

      But what’s missing for this kind of planning, he says, is “exactly the information” that appears in the internal report.[…]

    • harpie says:


      […] “It’s very challenging for states to get the multistate view of things,” she says. “It’s just a lot easier when there’s a knowledgeable third-party who can pull the data together, make them consistent across states and actually tell the story of what the information shows.” Typically, she says, this role would be fulfilled by the CDC, but the agency was stripped of its role in collecting COVID-19 hospital data in July. […]

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