TRUMP IMPEACHED!

May 31, 2020

Wendy Bell Has Spoken! The Crisis Is Officially OVER! Halle-Frickin-lujah!!!

Yes, yes, I know Yeats described this weekend (if not the past few months/years) pretty much to a T:
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
But instead of contemplating the possible end of the Republic, let's look at how Wendy Bell's still going to get some people killed. This was found yesterday on her Facebook page:
Covid is officially over. Signs on the floor are gone. Santized carts are no more. Limits on chicken, scratched.

Like the Israeli mathmetician said and our governor never heard... the cycle is 70 days. [Misspellings in original.]
Of course, she's completely and dangerously wrong.

The NYTimes has a page dedicated to Covid-19 statistics (numbers, graphs and so on) and as an intro:
Though the number of new deaths has been curving downward, the virus continues to circulate widely within the United States. As states move to partly reopen their economies, thousands of new cases are still being identified each day and true normalcy remains a distant vision.
And, as of this writing (May 31, 2020), The Times lists sixteen states and Puerto Rico where the rates are, contrary to Bell's ringing endorsement of normality, increasing; California, Virginia, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina, Utah, Arkansas, Puerto Rico, Maine, West Virginia, Vermont, Wyoming, Montana, and Alaska.

There are only seventeen states (and the District of Columbia) where the rates are decreasing; New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Connecticut, Louisiana, Rhode Island, Kentucky, Kansas, Delaware, Washington D.C., Oklahoma, South Dakota, Oregon, and North Dakota.

Every place else is described as "where new cases are mostly the same."

So about a third of the states are decreasing, about a third are increasing and about a third are "mostly the same."

How is that "officially over", Wendy?

Initially I thought (giving her the benefit of the doubt as I am nothing if not fair - even to vile and cruel human beings) that perhaps Bell meant that the high anxiety over the virus was over. But take a look at her next sentence:
Like the Israeli mathmetician said and our governor never heard... the cycle is 70 days. [Again, the misspelling is Wendy's.]
What could THAT mean?

This, from April:

A prominent Israeli mathematician, analyst and former general claims simple statistical analysis demonstrates that the spread of COVID-19 peaks after about 40 days and declines to almost zero after 70 days — no matter where it strikes, and no matter what measures governments impose to try to thwart it.

Prof Isaac Ben-Israel, head of the Security Studies program in Tel Aviv University and the chairman of the National Council for Research and Development, told Israel’s Channel 12 (Hebrew) Monday night that research he conducted with a fellow professor, analyzing the growth and decline of new cases in countries around the world, showed repeatedly that “there’s a set pattern” and “the numbers speak for themselves.”

While he said he supports social distancing, the widespread shuttering of economies worldwide constitutes a demonstrable error in light of those statistics. In Israel’s case, he noted, about 140 people normally die every day. To have shuttered much of the economy because of a virus that is killing one or two a day is a radical error that is unnecessarily costing Israel 20% of its GDP, he charged.

So you'll understand why the fence-sitting Bell would automatically agree with this non-medical expert.

Professor Ben-Israel claimed victory a few days ago:
An Israeli professor who made waves in early April for insisting that the coronavirus will play itself out after 70 days regardless of intervention levels says that he has been proved right, and that claims the virus will return in force for a second wave are just speculation.
However in the same article:
Many medical professionals have raised their eyebrows over Ben-Israel’s claims. The public health expert Nadav Davidovitch, asked to comment for this article, said he agrees with Ben-Israel’s sentiment that “hysteria” must be avoided but added: “He is an excellent scientist, yet he has no clue about epidemiology and public health.”
I am neither a mathematician nor a medical expert but I can add/subtract 70. So let's assume that what Wendy Bell inexpertly assured us is true - that the "cycle is 70 days" and that Professor Ben-Israel is true - that the number peaks in 40 days and "declines to almost zero" in 70.

Today is May 31, 2020 and 70 Days ago was March 22. So if today is the end of the cycle, then the beginning of the cycle must've been sometime around March 22, right?

So let's see how the numbers match this timeline from the NBC.

By March 22, there were already about 400 deaths in the US as people had been dying for about a month by that point.  So that can't be right, right? That couldn't have been the beginning of the cycle, right? With 400 dead already by that point.

So let's start from the other end. When did people start dying in the US?

NBC's timeline sets that at February 29. 70 days later was May 9. By that point about 73,000 US citizens had died.

Currently about 33,000 more people have died since then. With many many more to come. If the "peak" is 40 days, what's 40 days after February 29?

That would be April 9, when only about 16,500 people had died. Since that "peak" 83,500 more people have died. How is that a "peak"?

What am I missing here? The 70 day cycle (with a 40 day peak) doesn't square up with the data in the US.

But here's the danger: What happens when one of Wendy's faithful listeners believes her? What happens when that person doesn't do any social distancing? Why would they, right? The cycle is over, right? WENDY BELL SAID SO!

How many of her faithful followers are going to get sick because they believed her? How many of those will die?

If she's lucky the numbers will be close to zero. Let's all hope Wendy Bell is lucky.

May 28, 2020

Sean Parnell Kinda Sorta Corrects The Record, Maybe

Hey, remember this?

A few days ago, Donald Trump - a man who avoided military service by lying about his medical history, lied about the voting record of my representative in Congress, Conor Lamb. Trump also called Lamb, a retired Marine Corps Major, "an American Fraud." Trump also spelled Lamb's name (both, actually - first and last) wrong.

This was part of an endorsement of Lamb's presumptive opponent, retired Army Captain Sean Parnell.

After some very bad press for Parnell Chris Potter, the politics/government editor for WESA-FM tweeted this:
Here's the text of Parnell's statement:
In a Monday tweet, President Trump turned up the heat on Congressman Conor Lamb tweeting, "Sean Parnell is an American Hero. Conor Lamb has proven to be an American fraud, and a puppet for Crazy Nancy Pelosi. He said he would NOT vote for her for Speaker, and did. Will kill 2A. Voted to impeach (on nothing). A TOTAL & COMPLETE Sean Parnell Endorsement!" On Tuesday he deleted and and posted a new tweet with the correct spelling of Lamb's name.

It's easy to see how the President and others might think that Lamb voted for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker. Pelosi gave Lamb a pass on that vote but ever since he has been one of her most reliable supporters voting with her 92% of the time.
Take a careful look at how Parnell "corrects" the record:
  • He doesn't explicitly say that Trump misspelled Lamb's name, just that Trump deleted the tweet and retweeted it with the correct one.
  • He also doesn't explicitly say that Trump was wrong about Lamb's voting record (even though he was - completely) just that it's "easy to see the President and others" were wrong. Parnell never says that Lamb voted against Pelosi as speaker.
Instead of an active voice speaking in clear terms, we get weasel words and an incomplete correction.

And of course Sean Parnell is completely silent about how the draft-avoiding Trump called the retired Marine "an American fraud."

Completely silent.

This is Sean Parnell.

May 26, 2020

On Memorial Day Trump Calls Conor Lamb, A Retired Marine, "An American Fraud"

And he did it in this tweet:
And it came with a "TOTAL & COMPLETE" endorsement of his opponent, Sean Parnell.

Oh, and there's also the lie about Lamb's record. This part:
He said he would NOT vote for her for Speaker, and did.
No, he didn't.

And then there's the disrespect of spelling Conor Lamb's name wrong.

However, instead of defending his fellow serviceman, the Trump-endorsed Sean Parnell defended Trump instead:
No fair trying to deflect, Sean. Trump used the phrase "American fraud" without the qualifiers you so dutifully supplied and you also failed to correct Trump on his error about the vote for Pelosi being speaker. Surely you knew that was incorrect, right?

When can I add the part about how Donald Trump avoided serving in Vietnam by lying about his medical history (this according to sworn testimony from his one-time attorney Michael Cohen)?

So a Memorial Day insult of a retired Marine by a guy who avoided military service is even more absurd.

How far has this news reached?

The Trib:
On Memorial Day, President Trump called Marine reserve officer and Pennsylvania Rep. Conor Lamb an “American fraud” on Twitter.
KDKA:
President Trump took to Twitter to call Congressman and veteran Conor Lamb an “American Fraud” on Memorial Day, about a week ahead of the state’s primary.
Talking Points Memo:
President Donald Trump marked Memorial Day by calling Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA), a Marine Corps veteran, an “American fraud.”
The Week:
President Trump spent part of Memorial Day taking shots at Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Penn.), calling him an "American fraud," misrepresenting his voting record, and spelling his name wrong, all in one tweet.
This in an endorsement for Republican Sean Parnell and with every defense, he now owns a little piece of it.

May 25, 2020

Republican Candidate Sean Parnell has a problem with the NYTimes editorial board.

Let me explain what's going on here.

Sean Parnell is the presumptive candidate for the Pennsylvania's 17th Congressional District - Representative Conor Lamb's seat and yesterday, he posted this on his Facebook page:
Hey The New York Times editorial board,

You could have dropped this next week. It’s BS that you’d put this article out on Memorial Day Weekend.

The focus should be on veterans of every generation who gave their lives for our nation, not clicks for your paper.

It’s classless.
Here's the NYTimes editorial he dislikes. The title of the editorial is:

Why Does the U.S. Military Celebrate White Supremacy?

Sean has an issue with the piece "dropping" on Memorial Day Weekend though let's give him benefit of the doubt and assume that he doesn't have an issue with the topic itself.

But let's look a little deeper into the piece anyway.

After pointing out a history of racial toxicity in the US Military, the board starts a discussion of some of the 10 Army Bases named for Confederate Officers, explaining:
Apologists often describe the names as a necessary gesture of reconciliation in the wake of the Civil War. In truth, the namings reflect a federal embrace of white supremacy that found its most poisonous expression in military installations where black servicemen were deliberately placed under the command of white Southerners — who were said to better “understand” Negroes — and confined to substandard housing, segregated transportation systems and even “colored only” seating in movie houses.
The first base the board discusses is Fort Pickett, an Army National Guard base in Virginia.

In case you didn't know, George Picket resigned his commission in the Union Army (he was a Captain) in 1861 in order to fight for the Confederacy (where he eventually became a Brigadier General) and is famous for "Pickett's Charge", an ill-fated attack at the Battle of Gettysburg that resulted in 6,000+ dead Confederate soldiers.

He also oversaw the execution of almost two dozen Union soldiers in 1864. Fearing a war crimes trial, he fled to Canada until General Ulysses Grant stopped the trial's investigation. Is this a good candidate for a US Army base name? A guy who oversaw the execution American soldiers?

Then there's this from the board about Fort Benning, the second military base discussed:
The federal government embraced pillars of the white supremacist movement when it named military bases in the South. Consider, for example, Fort Benning, Ga., which honors a Confederate general, Henry Lewis Benning, who devoted himself to the premise that African-Americans were not really human and could never be trusted with full citizenship.

Benning was widely influential in Southern politics and served on the Supreme Court of Georgia before turning his attentions to the cause of secession. In a now famous speech in 1861, he told secession conventioneers in Virginia that his native state of Georgia had left the union for one reason — to “prevent the abolition of her slavery.”
Gen Benning saw action at the Second Battle of Bull Run, the Battle of Antietam, and the Battle of Gettysburg (among others). How many Union soldiers died due to those under Benning's command?

Then there's Fort Bragg:
Among the other Confederate officers honored at Southern military bases are merely undistinguished or flatly incompetent commanders like the irascible Gen. Braxton Bragg — “the most hated man of the Confederacy,” one biographer calls him. Bragg was known for pettiness and cruelty, along with the battlefield failures that eventually led to his being relieved of command.
Bragg commanded troops at the Battle of Shiloh, Battle of Chickamouga, and the Battle of Chattanooga (among others). How many Union soldiers died due to those under Bragg's command?

All three Generals; Pickett, Benning and Bragg, abandoned the United States of America for The Confederacy, fought for the cause of slavery and, in doing so, commanded troops that actually killed Union soldiers.

So on this Memorial Day I have to ask, what would be a good day to discuss the naming of these US Army bases?

I suppose it would be classless to celebrate, for one instance, a general who executed nearly a couple dozen Union soldiers. Or one who believed that African-Americans aren't fully human. Or any one who gave aid and comfort to an enemy (in this case the Confederacy).

But that's just me.

This weekend, Donald Trump played golf.

The text:

Nearly 100,000 Americans have died.

The death toll is still rising.

The President is playing golf.

May 17, 2020

Presidential Speeches - For Better Or Worse

Yesterday, this happened:


You can read the transcript here.

To those graduating seniors from the Historical Black Colleges and Universities, he said this:
But these aren’t normal times. You’re being asked to find your way in a world in the middle of a devastating pandemic and a terrible recession. The timing is not ideal. And let’s be honest — a disease like this just spotlights the underlying inequalities and extra burdens that black communities have historically had to deal with in this country. We see it in the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on our communities, just as we see it when a black man goes for a jog, and some folks feel like they can stop and question and shoot him if he doesn’t submit to their questioning.

Injustice like this isn’t new. What is new is that so much of your generation has woken up to the fact that the status quo needs fixing; that the old ways of doing things don’t work; and that it doesn’t matter how much money you make if everyone around you is hungry and sick; that our society and democracy only works when we think not just about ourselves, but about each other.

More than anything, this pandemic has fully, finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many of the folks in charge know what they’re doing. A lot of them aren’t even pretending to be in charge.
A few hours later, this was broadcast over all the networks:


You can read the transcript here.

That speech included a similar message to the nation's graduating seniors:
This pandemic has shaken up the status quo and laid bare a lot of our country’s deep-seated problems — from massive economic inequality to ongoing racial disparities to a lack of basic health care for people who need it. It’s woken a lot of young people up to the fact that the old ways of doing things just don’t work; that it doesn’t matter how much money you make if everyone around you is hungry and sick; and that our society and our democracy only work when we think not just about ourselves, but about each other.

It’s also pulled the curtain back on another hard truth, something that we all have to eventually accept once our childhood comes to an end. All those adults that you used to think were in charge and knew what they were doing? Turns out that they don’t have all the answers. A lot of them aren’t even asking the right questions. So, if the world’s going to get better, it going to be up to you.
And in between those two speeches, Donald Trump tweeted this:
One man spoke eloquently and intelligently. The other pasted his face onto a fictional president's body.

These are the times in which we live.

May 15, 2020

83,947 Deaths on Trump's Watch - More On Trump's Idiocy

From the Whitehouse:
We have tests that, two months ago, didn’t even exist. Our great companies came up with things — Abbott Laboratories and so many others. They came up with things that — Roche — they came up with things that nobody even believes. So we have the best testing in the world. It could be that testing is, frankly, overrated. Maybe it is overrated. But whatever they start yelling, “We want more. We want more.” You know, they always say, “We want more. We want more” — because they don’t want to give you credit. Then we do more and they say, “We want more.”

But we have the greatest testing in the world. But what we want is we want to get rid of this thing. That’s what we want. We want to get rid of this thing.

And don’t forget: We have more cases than anybody in the world. But why? Because we do more testing. When you test, you have a case. When you test, you find something is wrong with people. If we didn’t do any testing, we would have very few cases. They don’t want to write that. It’s common sense. So we test much more many, many times.
From Forbes:
In a speech on Thursday at Owens and Minor, a medical supply distributor located in Allentown, PA, President Donald Trump wondered whether testing for Covid-19 coronavirus is “overrated.” He then proceeded to say, “And don’t forget, we have more cases than anybody in the world. But why? Because we do more testing.”

Next, he clarified: “When you test, you have a case. When you test, you find something is wrong with people. If we didn’t do any testing, we would have very few cases.”
Hey, Don! So when you thought you might have syphilis, you didn't get tested, right?

Then there's this, from CNN:
President Donald Trump voiced frustration Wednesday at the nation's top infectious disease specialist after he warned a day earlier against reopening schools and businesses too quickly.

"I was surprised by his answer, actually," Trump said when asked about Dr. Anthony Fauci's warnings during televised congressional testimony that reopening states too quickly could have dire consequences.

"It's just -- to me it's not an acceptable answer, especially when it comes to schools," Trump said.
So if you DID get tested for syphilis and if you WERE told you had it, did you tell your Dr this? "To me it's not an acceptable answer."

Donald Trump world-class idiot whose incompetence and cruelty brought about the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans.

May 14, 2020

Art Is A Lie That Reveals The Truth - Trump Death Numbers

Baby Trump, with Kimmel's explanation:
Very funny!

But there's still 82,246 Americans dead on Trump's watch, according to the CDC.

And an estimated 51,018 dead on the Trump Death Clock, with this explanation:
In January 2020, the Trump administration was advised that immediate action was required to stop the spread of COVID-19. According to NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, “there was a lot of pushback” to this advice. President Trump declined to act until March 16th. Epidemiologists now estimate that, had mitigation measures been implemented one week earlier, 60% of American COVID-19 deaths would have been avoided.
He's responsible for a large percentage of the American dead.

This must never be forgotten.

May 12, 2020

More On Marty Griffin (He Hasn't Changed!)

From the twitter:
We should not be surprised that Marty's a (for lack of a better term) "gender-jaggoff." We should probably also not be surprised that he's been a "gender-jaggoff" for more than 6 years.

January 4, 2014 - in a rant against a NYTimes editorial on Edward Snowden, KDKA Radio's Marty Griffin began to rant against Chelsea Manning, but in a most peculiar way:
But the real take-away from Marty's rant is his collateral damage. In insisting that the Times wants a pardon for Edward Snowden (something we already know is untrue), Marty repeatedly asked why not a pardon for "Mr. Bradley?"

Who, you might ask, might this "Mr Bradley" be?

That would be Marty Griffin's snarky name for Chelsea Manning. Throughout the hour, Marty Griffin insisted on calling Manning a "he" throughout his rant. He (Marty) added that "Mr Manning" had some sort of "bizarre sex-change thing" going on. He then returned to using the masculine third person pronoun and "Mr Bradley."

Can't even use her last name, I guess.
Gender-jaggoff then, gender-jaggoff now.

But a few days later, this happened:
Hey, remember this blog post?

That's where I called out KDKA's Marty Griffin for (among other things) repeatedly using the name "Mr Bradley" to refer to Chelsea Manning - as well as using the inappropriate "he" to refer to her.

Well I happened to tune into his show today. Can you guess what I heard?

I heard Marty read my entire blog post on the air. It's what began his hour long discussion. And while he DID say a few nice things about this blog (that we're smart, well read, and so on - gee, THANKS Marty!) and while he DID say that he didn't intend anything disrespectful to the transgender community with his repeated use of the improper gendered pronouns, he tried to defend himself by saying that he didn't know that there even was a transgender community in Pittsburgh and that it's probably tiny anyway (so whatever offenses he may have committed shouldn't be counted against him). All the while [he invalidated] his defense by [his repeated use] of the word "tranny." [Last sentence edited for grammatical clarity]
Even when he  was "apologizing" for his transgender sins, he couldn't help being a jagoff.

79,756 Deaths. Reopening Too Soon = Needless Suffering And Death

From today's NYTimes:
Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and a central figure in the government’s response to the coronavirus, intends to warn the Senate on Tuesday that Americans would experience “needless suffering and death” if the country opens up too quickly.
And:
In an email to the New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg late Monday night, Dr. Fauci laid out what he intended to tell senators.

“The major message that I wish to convey to the Senate HLP committee tomorrow is the danger of trying to open the country prematurely,” he wrote. “If we skip over the checkpoints in the guidelines to: ‘Open America Again,’ then we risk the danger of multiple outbreaks throughout the country. This will not only result in needless suffering and death, but would actually set us back on our quest to return to normal.”
This is the "Open America Again" plan, in case you wanted to read it.

The Times described some of the criteria in the plan:
States should have a “downward trajectory of positive tests” or a “downward trajectory of documented cases” of coronavirus over two weeks, while conducting robust contact tracing and “sentinel surveillance” testing of asymptomatic people in vulnerable populations, such as nursing homes.
Of course, Trump (and, to a large extent, his supporters*) has already communicated that he's going to prioritize reopening the economy over the health and well-being of American citizens:
“Will some people be affected? Yes. Will some people be affected badly? Yes. But we have to get our country open and we have to get it open soon,” Trump said, directly acknowledging there will be a real, negative human cost in prioritizing an economic revival over a more cautious approach in favor of public health. But even as the president advocates for a return to normal economic business, the nation's governors remain in control of decision-making for their respective states.
*Locally, this would include: Senator Pat Toomey, Representative Guy Reschenthaler, Candidate for the House Sean Parnell, and KDKA Radio host Wendy Bell.

There is no one in this country who can both support Donald Trump and claim to be "pro-life." It's as simple as that.



May 10, 2020

ICYMI - This Is How SNL Ended Last Night



Bittersweet doesn't begin to describe.

Setting aside, if that were possible, the suffering attached to the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans in the last few months, this sketch illustrates one of the sadder things we've lost since March - the simple joy of being out and about. 

May 9, 2020

More On Michael Flynn And More On AG Barr

From the court transcript of 12/18/2018, Judge Emmett Sullivan said:
As such, the Court concludes that it must now first ask Mr. Flynn certain questions to ensure that he entered his guilty plea knowingly, voluntarily, intelligently, and with fulsome and satisfactory advice of counsel.

I cannot recall any incident in which the Court has ever accepted a plea of guilty from someone who maintained that he was not guilty, and I don't intend to start today. So I'm going to invite Mr. Flynn and his attorney or attorneys to come to the podium, and I'm going to ask the courtroom deputy to administer the oath to Mr. Flynn.
Flynn is then sworn in and the questioning began.
THE COURT: All right. And I will inform you, sir, that any false answers will get you in more trouble. Do you understand that?

THE DEFENDANT: Yes.
Then:
THE COURT: Do you wish to challenge the circumstances on which you were interviewed by the FBI?

THE DEFENDANT: No, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Do you understand that by maintaining your guilty plea and continuing with sentencing, you will give up your right forever to challenge the circumstances under which you were interviewed?

THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Do you have any concerns that you entered your guilty plea before you or your attorneys were able to review information that could have been helpful to your defense?

THE DEFENDANT: No, Your Honor.

THE COURT: At the time of your January 24th, 2017 interview with the FBI, were you not aware that lying to FBI investigators was a federal crime?

THE DEFENDANT: I was not -- I was aware.

THE COURT: You were aware?

THE DEFENDANT: Yeah.
Then:
THE COURT: Do you understand the nature of the charges against you and the consequences of pleading guilty?

THE DEFENDANT: I do understand, Your Honor.

THE COURT: And that was covered extensively by Judge Contreras. I've read the transcript. Are you continuing to accept responsibility for your false statements?

THE DEFENDANT: I am, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Do you still want to plead guilty, or do you want me to postpone this matter, give you a chance to speak with your attorneys further, either in the courtroom or privately at their office or elsewhere, and pick another day for a status conference? And I'm happy to do that.

THE DEFENDANT: I appreciate that, but no, Your Honor.
ALL OF THIS WAS UNDER OATH.

The Department of Justice has since dropped the charges against Michael Flynn.

There is only one conclusion to be reached here.

Donald Trump has corrupted the Department of Justice.

May 8, 2020

73,297 Deaths - CDC's "Total Deaths" And The Dangerous Move To Undermine The Number

Donald Trump is no slouch when it comes to hoaxes. He's pushed hoaxes regarding:
  • President Obama's birthplace
  • Global Warming
  • Vince Foster's Suicide
So we shouldn't be surprised if/when we see this:
President Trump has complained to advisers about the way coronavirus deaths are being calculated, suggesting the real numbers are actually lower — and a number of his senior aides share this view, according to sources with direct knowledge.

What's next: A senior administration official said he expects the president to begin publicly questioning the death toll as it closes in on his predictions for the final death count and damages him politically. [Bolding in original]
This has been something that's been gurgling up for a while. It's listed among the "Top 10 Covid-19 Conspiracy Theories" compiled by The Cornell Alliance for Science:
Another far-right meme is the idea that COVID death rates are being inflated and therefore there is no reason to observe lockdown regulations or other social distancing measures.
Rolling Stone has more on this:
One such theory making the rounds on social media is the idea that death certificates have been knowingly manipulated by medical examiners to inflate the number of COVID-19 deaths, part of a larger right-wing talking point that the government is using the pandemic as an excuse to infringe on American rights.
On April 27, There was this:
Trump this weekend retweeted a claim that the coronavirus mortality rate in the United States might be being inflated as part of a political agenda against him. He said Monday that the American death toll is, in fact, accurate.

“I can only say what we’re doing; we’re reporting very accurately,” Trump said, suggesting other countries’ data may not be so reliable. He added: “It’s very important to us to do very accurate reporting and that’s what we’re doing.”

But the tweet Trump promoted clearly suggested this was happening in the United States.
You can see the retweet here:
We're even seeing it locally. Take a look at this from The Butler Eagle:
“I feel personally they're trying to crash the economy. They're inflating the numbers with virus. They're saying anybody who dies with COVID-19 died from it,” [Winifred Mary] Quinn said. “In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is doing it to get federal funding. Our Gov. Wolf is doing that as well.”
So how does the CDC arrive at its number? From Rolling Stone we learn:
Current CDC guidelines are “to list COVID-19 as the underlying cause of death, because it was the disease which initiated the chain of events that directly lead to death,” explains Dr. Sally Aiken, president of the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME), who says she has received a slew of media requests on the subject over the past week. “[The] idea is that without these conditions, the outcome may have been different.” Other underlying conditions are listed elsewhere on the death certificate, under a section for “other significant conditions contributing to death.”

“This public-health data is beneficial to all of us, eventually giving us a handle on who is most likely to die of COVID-19,” says Aiken. “It is not a conspiracy and not a departure from typical practice.” She also adds that it would be “very difficult” to manipulate data, considering how many “checks and balances [there are] in the U.S. death-investigation system,” with medical examiners’ offices sharing reports of COVID-19 deaths with both the Department of Health and the Bureau of Vital Records. “So there are three groups continuously analyzing, vetting, and refining the reported death information,” she says.
The CDC states that:
Case notifications were received by CDC from U.S. public health jurisdictions and the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS).
And the data is moved to the NNDSS, according to this report:
CDC, in partnership with CSTE, operates NNDSS. Notifiable disease surveillance is conducted by public health practitioners at local, state, and national levels to support disease prevention and control activities. The system also provides annual summaries of the data.
Oh, and it's been around, in one form or another, since 1912. The data are collected locally, submitted to the NNDSS which compiles it for the rest of the CDC. Multiple layers, multiple checks.

So the burden of proof is on the death-denier. How was the data manipulated? How did "they" (whoever "they" are, here) upset all those checks and balances between the various Departments of Health/Bureaus of Vital Records and the NNDSS of the CDC? How do they (the death-deniers) know the manipulation occurred? What evidence do they have that the numbers are being manipulated?

If the answer from a death-denier begins with a "I feel that..." you should tell them immediately that it's complete and utter bullshit.

One last point from Rolling Stone:
There is, of course, no evidence that COVID-19 death certificates are being manipulated to inflate the death count — and needless to say, having someone with a doctor’s credentials publicly diminish the threat of COVID-19 is dangerous to the public good, to say the least, says Dr. Joan Donovan, research director at Harvard Kennedy Shorenstein Center. “This kind of speculation is driving toward two different outcomes,” she says. “One is very dangerous in the sense that if people think the death rate is being inflated, they may take on risky behaviors. The second would be that, if someone is convinced that the profit motives of the hospital outweigh the drive to keep them well, they may avoid the hospital if they think it won’t provide good care.”
Bottom line is this: Denying the CDC's number is going to get more people killed.

First time Trump asserts it, I am hoping some reporter asks him for solid evidence and when none is supplied, tells him how he feels about getting even more Americans killed.

This is where we are.

May 5, 2020

68,279 Deaths - NO ONE Who Agrees With Trump Can Ever Claim To Be "Pro-Life"

From ABC:
President Donald Trump said in an exclusive interview with ABC "World News Tonight" Anchor and Managing Editor David Muir on Tuesday that "it's possible there will be some" deaths as states roll back restrictions aimed at stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus, acknowledging that it was the choice the country faces to reopen and jumpstart the economy.
And:
In addition to the president's acknowledgement directly to Muir that it's "possible there will be some" deaths as a cost of reopening the country, the president also acknowledged during his visit to Arizona that there will be some who are "affected badly" by the decision.

“Will some people be affected? Yes. Will some people be affected badly? Yes. But we have to get our country open and we have to get it open soon,” Trump said, directly acknowledging there will be a real, negative human cost in prioritizing an economic revival over a more cautious approach in favor of public health. But even as the president advocates for a return to normal economic business, the nation's governors remain in control of decision-making for their respective states.[Emphasis added.]
Never again can the Republican Party claim to be the "Pro-life" party. Never again can anyone who supports this administration claim to be "pro-life." Here he is - right there, prioritizing economic revival over real human lives.

67,456 Dead. The Lincoln Project Calls Out Trump - And Trump Responds In The Only Way He Knows How

Last December a group of Republicans published an op-ed in the NYTimes under the headline:
We Are Republicans, and We Want Trump Defeated
The op-ed announced the creation of the Lincoln Project. It was initially a child of impeachment and it's mission read:
We do not undertake this task lightly nor from ideological preference. Our many policy differences with national Democrats remain. However, the priority for all patriotic Americans must be a shared fidelity to the Constitution and a commitment to defeat those candidates who have abandoned their constitutional oaths, regardless of party. Electing Democrats who support the Constitution over Republicans who do not is a worthy effort.
With arrival of the Coronavirus crisis they've been pointing out, in clarifying detail, Trump's deadly mismanagement of that crisis.  Here is their latest:


The text:
There’s mourning in America. Today, more than 60,000 Americans have died from a deadly virus Donald Trump ignored. With the economy in shambles, more than 26 million Americans are out of work—the worst economy in decades. Trump bailed out Wall Street, but not Main Street. This afternoon, millions of Americans will apply for unemployment, and with their saving run out, many are giving up hope. Millions worry that a loved one won’t survive COVID-19. There’s mourning in America, and under the leadership of Donald Trump, our country is weaker and sicker and poorer. And now, Americans are asking, if we have another four years like this, will there even be an America?
And, of course, the orange vulgarity took it all in stride:
A group of RINO Republicans who failed badly 12 years ago, then again 8 years ago, and then got BADLY beaten by me, a political first timer, 4 years ago, have copied (no imagination) the concept of an ad from Ronald Reagan, “Morning in America”, doing everything possible to....

....get even for all of their many failures. You see, these loser types don’t care about 252 new Federal Judges, 2 great Supreme Court Justices, a rebuilt military, a protected 2nd Amendment, biggest EVER Tax & Regulation cuts, and much more. I didn’t use any of them....

....because they don’t know how to win, and their so-called Lincoln Project is a disgrace to Honest Abe. I don’t know what Kellyanne did to her deranged loser of a husband, Moonface, but it must have been really bad. John Weaver lost big for Kasich (to me). Crazed Rick Wilson....

....lost for Evan “McMuffin” McMullin (to me). Steve Schmidt & Reed Galvin lost for John McCain, Romney’s campaign manager (?) lost big to “O”, & Jennifer Horn got thrown out of the New Hampshire Republican Party. They’re all LOSERS, but Abe Lincoln, Republican, is all smiles!
65,000+ dead and this is how he spends his time.

Oh and given the context, it's obvious that it's "Mourning..." and not "Morning..." in the ad. How could anyone not see that?

May 4, 2020

From The NY Times.

Today:
As President Trump presses for states to reopen their economies, his administration is privately projecting a steady rise in the number of coronavirus cases and deaths over the next several weeks. The daily death toll will reach about 3,000 on June 1, according to an internal document obtained by The New York Times, nearly double the current number of about 1,750.

The projections, based on government modeling pulled together in chart form by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, forecast about 200,000 new cases each day by the end of the month, up from about 25,000 cases a day currently.

The numbers underscore a sobering reality: While the United States has been hunkered down for the past seven weeks, significant risks remain. And reopening the economy will make matters worse.
And:
The projections confirm the primary fear of public health experts: that a reopening of the economy will put the nation back where it was in mid-March, when cases were rising so rapidly in some parts of the country that patients were dying on gurneys in hospital hallways as the health care system was overloaded.
I'll just leave that there for you to read.