Wednesday, March 25, 2020

No one considers it a shock that the vanguards of American Conservatives would freak out of the economy’s idling to the point they’d be screaming that the plebes need to get off their lazy butts and back to work. Devastating, largely unknown pandemic aside, they say the economy is so fragile that people need to immediately go to work and we’ll deal with the consequences later. We all knew this was coming, sure, but I’m a bit staggered it only took them a fortnight to completely lose their minds over it.

After dumping the previous bill for leaning too much on corporate giveaways, the Senate’s been able to get their shit together long enough to put together a bill that makes everyone happy. A few buttholes are still being buttholes about it, but we’ll get that. Right now, we’re looking at a 2 trillion dollar stimulus, the largest ever. It includes not only more oversight than a previous bill had – remember, $500 million at Steven Mnuchin’s discretion and he’d tell us where in six months – but does a lot more to help working folks that the fat cats. Up to $250 billion in families and the same to expand unemployment benefits. A further $250 billion will go to small business loans, and that’s just the start.

Nevertheless, the economy – which received those huge bailouts just 12 years ago – is in such a sorry state that billionaires are worried that somehow their combined $2 trillion dollars in assets won’t be enough to get them through the year. Furthermore, human dirty sponge Lindsey Graham and three other GOP senatorial lice are pitching a fit because the recent legislation introduced and getting almost unanimous partisan support might raise unemployment payments to $600 along with that one-time $1,200 check, and these jackanapes pretend that too many folks will use that as an excuse to not return to work. For some reason, they think employees can lay themselves off and, once introduced, unemployment insurance can’t be rescinded if someone’s proven to be abusing it. Bernie Sanders is doing what he can, bless him, but that’s how the GOP rolls.

We touched on this Monday, but the call to return to the salt mines from people who don’t actually have useful jobs has been picked up not only by such luminaries as Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick of Texas, but the president himself is jumping up and down over it. Maybe as a sop to the Evangelists to get them gooier for him he picked Easter, which is less than three weeks away. It’s also my birthday and I can’t imagine a worse birthday present than that.

Regardless, the problem with this is actual medical experts don’t consider this enough time needed to make sure the country can adequately deal with COVID-19 which, as we must remember, we still know so little about. Apart from how much damage the virus could cause, people forget that people affected by coronavirus take up hospital space that would otherwise be used treat for everything from heart attacks to car accidents. We are simply not prepared to handle this sort of emergency.

Meanwhile, the infected rate continues to expand almost exponentially, as does the number of folks dying from it. We’re up to 377 infected and three five deaths here in Mississippi, while states like New York and California are quickly becoming overwhelmed. My old New Orleans home is now apparently the fastest growing city in the world, no doubt due to the influx of drunken heatherns puking on the streets during Mardi Gras last month. On the upside, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it seems “social distancing” is doing some good in reducing the spread of the virus. We still don’t know how serious the situation is and just need a little more time to make sure that workers can actually go back to work and not, you know, die.

Moving on, there’s a reason I don’t waste much time with paid “political analysts” or, for that matter, concern myself with so-called big names in journalism. For one, political analysts in this day and age is an almost useless field and really doesn’t deserve much attention. Furthermore, since the ascendancy of Rush Limbaugh and the daily bleat from people no more qualified to comment on anything except they shout louder than anyone else, back peddling and dodging responsibility whenever their jibber-jabber is proven to be horse feathers. On that same thought, there’s a number of opinion sources I discard outright because their similar practices and being run by total dirtbags.

But let’s indulge for a bit. Third-rate fish wrapper The Federalist was touting an anonymous “doctor’s” opinion that throwing “coronavirus parties” was a ringer-dinger idea. The idea that, like some asshole parents do with chicken pox, people would get the virus, get over and be immune. Two problems. One, there’s no solid evidence that COVID-19 works like that and, indeed, there have been some cases of reinfection. Secondly, the “doctor” in question was an unlicensed dermatologist. This already bit some poor dumb bastard in Kentucky in the ass because some people will believe anything.

Another case came from the She-Wolf of the SS, er Fox News talking head Laura Ingraham touting a doctor working with Lenox Hill Hospital has said a certain malaria treatment would “cure” COVID-19, volunteered to be a test case, and tried like hell to get Dr. Anthony Fauci to say it would work during an interview. Problem with that is the doctor in question doesn’t work for the hospital, which fairly quickly dismissed the doctor’s opinion as being his alone. The beleaguered Dr. Fauci and FDA Commission Stephan Hahn have repeatedly started that no “miracle cure” exists and that particular malaria treatment hasn’t been run through the proper paces as of yet.

Fox News has actually issued a retraction but Ingraham hasn’t stopped her daily “Heil Trump” exercises long enough to admit she’s spreading buffalo chips. And that is why I’ll occasional cite Fox’s reporting as a news source but never, ever their talking heads. The news section has dropped in quality severely in the past 12 years, but they still walk a fine line of respectability.

We are in dangerous times. The president is not only blowing smoke up our collective asses about getting back to work, he’s withholding federal help from states whose governors have failed to properly genuflect and pay homage. His “Bible study leader” – whatever the hell that means – has blamed the whole thing on gay people because Evangelicals think more about gay people than they do Jesus.

Maybe the dumbest thing I’ve heard today is the U.S. scuttled a statement on COVID-19 issued by G7 because Trump insisted on calling it the “Wuhan virus”. All the while, the GOP in Congress are trying to slip in even more and larger bailouts for big business while at the same time trying to limit voters’ access to the polls. I touched on this the other day elsewhere, but there is enough loose change in this country that we can take a little breather to make sure going back to work won’t make things much, much worse.

Again, it’s very telling the ones screaming the most that people who already barely make enough to live on need to go back to work and damn the consequences are people who’d be good for only pet food if society collapses. Or they’re people who make more in an hour doing absolutely nothing than a 40-hour week worker will ever see in their life. The experts, the doctors and the scientists are all telling us to be chill, wait a bit, and take our time getting back to business. The ones who don’t care about anything but they’re money are willing to sacrifice the plebes to Moloch for no real good reason.

Something to study on. Maybe this is a sign that things need a little shaking up.

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