Democracy Has Prevailed.

March 27, 2020

Chuck McCullough In The News!

I know, I know. The world is burning, people are dying, and the monster in the Oval Office is pausing a deal to purchase much needed ventilators because of (now wait for it) cost. Oh, and he also told the Governor of NY, who's begging for 30,000 much needed ventilators, "I don't think you need that many."

But I have to keep tabs on this story.

From the P-G:
The state Superior Court on Wednesday upheld the conviction of former Allegheny County Councilman Charles McCullough, whose case has a long and tortured history.

McCullough, 65, was found guilty of five counts of theft and five counts of misapplication of entrusted funds following a non-jury trial before Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Lester G. Nauhaus in 2015. He was accused of writing more than $40,000 in political contributions from the accounts of Shirley Jordan, an elderly widow he represented, without her permission.

McCullough was initially arrested in February 2009 and it took more than six years to get the case to trial. In November 2015, McCullough was sentenced to serve 2½ to five years in prison, but he still has not begun serving that punishment, as the sentence has been on hold pending appeal.
A few important dates:
Today is March 27, 2020. It means, then, that it's been:
  • 11 years, 1 month and 8 days since he was arrested 
  • 4 years, 7 months and 27 days since he was found guilty
  • 4 years, 3 months and 10 days since he was sentenced
And so this is where we are. I would like to point out something from the article:
McCullough said he had wanted to have a jury hear his case, but that he feared repercussions from Judge Nauhaus if he went against his wishes.
So look at some of the duration since:
  • Chuck's sentencing - longer than US involvement in World War II (3 years, 8 months, 26 days).
  • Chuck was found guilty - longer than the whole of World War I (4 years, 3 months, 14 days)
  • Chuck's arrest - longer than the entire run of Friends (9 years, 7 months, 14 days)
When his case has finally reached the end of appeals, I'm thinking that this will still be an issue for our good buddy Chuck. This is why:
Prosecutors said that and other statements McCullough made in his motion for recusal contradicted his statement under oath that no one threatened or coerced him to waive a jury in favor of a bench trial.
Here's the thing in simpler language. At the beginning of the trial McCullough said under oath that no one coerced him to accept a "judge only" trial. (Full disclosure: I was there, a few rows of courtroom chairs away.)  So by stating under oath that he feared repercussions from Judge Nauhaus, Chuck (in my non-attorney mind, at least) constructed two contradictory sworn statements. Logically, one has to be a lie.

And lying under oath is perjury.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled apocalypse.

March 26, 2020

Wendy Bell Made It Onto Talkingpointsmemo!

In this piece (reprinted from propublica) that was given this Headline:
Even After Trump Declared a National Emergency, Some Talk Radio Hosts Weren’t Convinced

In the last two weeks, several of the most-listened-to conservative hosts were telling millions of listeners that they should ignore the “hype” and that the coronavirus is no worse than the seasonal flu.
After discussions of conservative radio hosts Mark Levin and Mike Gallagher propublica wrote:
Other talk show hosts have likened the current pandemic to the H1N1 swine flu, which did not prompt school shutdowns or stay-at-home orders. For instance, a caller to Wendy Bell’s radio show on Pittsburgh’s KDKA on March 19 alleged the news media chose not to “hype” swine flu because it would have destroyed the economy during the burgeoning financial crisis. “Amen,” Bell interjected. She added, “It wasn’t just the media, though. It was a difference in president. So you have [Barack] Obama, who they fiercely defended.”

Bell continued: “Why the fervor to cover this like the plague when legitimately we lost 13,000 Americans? Where was the breathless coverage then? … Why wasn’t the market a complete disaster?” she told her listeners. Experts warn that the coronavirus is more lethal and appears to spread more easily than H1N1.

“You’ve got smart callers on this show, I’ll tell ya what,” Bell said before going to commercial break. KDKA has about 142,000 listeners, according to Nielsen.
When propublica contacted Bell for a comment, her truthiness was exposed:
Bell defended her stance in an email to ProPublica on Monday. “We’d had a total of 200 US deaths from Covid when I said that last week,” Bell wrote. “Compare the numbers. We’ve already had between 18,000 and 22,000 H1N1 deaths this flu season. And it’s been the deadliest for children (particularly ages 0 to 4) in decades.” In fact, as of March 14, there were 149 pediatric deaths from flu, the highest since 262 in 2009-10, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Where’s the panic? The stock market crash? The breathless news coverage? The strict preventive measures? People sheltering in place? The task force? The social distancing? Answer. There hasn’t been any. Why? Connect the dots. You can’t pin seasonal flu on the president. Covid? It’s what Democrats are doing, plain and simple,” she continued.
Yes, but you can pin this nation's response on this president.

For example, this is what he was saying when he could have been mobilizing/preparing the nation for the virus:

And let's not forget that this is a pandemic he was warned about back in January/February.

And now he's itching to ease the social distancing guidelines (to "Reopen America" by Easter). This will only lead to more suffering and more death - all of which will his fault.

I don't listen to Wendy Bell. Has she changed her tune in the past two weeks?


And Wendy if you're reading this and wish to comment, my email address is on the upper right - just click the word Dayvoe and you'll find my email address.

March 25, 2020

They Are Not Expendable

From Talkingpointsmemo:
For weeks, as the novel coronavirus has spread across the globe and infected hundreds of thousands of people, there have been the skeptics — those who say “social distancing,” while proven to slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives, isn’t worth the economic cost.

President Donald Trump has leaned into that view lately, becoming its most high-profile proponent. “We’re not going to let the cure be worse than the problem,” he said at a press briefing Monday. Later, referring to social distancing, he added that there would be “probably more death from that than anything we’re talking about with respect to the virus.”
TPM then goes on to list some politicians/pundits who agree with the orange vulgarity that sacrificing a few million American citizens in order for the rest of (one hopes) us to have a healthier economy sooner is justified.

For example:
On Sunday night, Fox News host Steve Hilton said it was easy for the U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci to encourage “overreacting” to COVID-19 — because “he’ll still have a job at the end of this, whatever happens.”

“Our ruling class and their TV mouthpieces whipping up fear over this virus, they can afford an indefinite shutdown,” Hilton, a former advisor to British Prime Minister David Cameron, said. “Working Americans can’t, they’ll be crushed by it. You know that famous phrase, ‘The cure is worse than the disease’? That is exactly the territory we are hurtling towards.”
This is the phrase to look for:
We can't let the cure be worse than the disease.
Which is exactly what Trump ALL CAPS! tweeted a few days ago:
He's looking to end the social distancing guidelines in order to somehow get the economy rolling again (which, he hopes, will look oh-so good for his re-election). A few million deaths?

Back to TPM:
In perhaps the harshest rendition of this argument, one that’s since been erased from the internet, the California attorney Scott A. McMillan tweeted about the “fundamental problem” of social distancing for the sake of the sick and vulnerable.

“The fundamental problem is whether we are going to tank the entire economy to save 2.5% of the population which is (1) generally expensive to maintain, and (2) not productive,” he wrote, soliciting a barrage of criticism for effectively waiving away the deaths of eight million people.
That's the question over there - whether it's worth saving eight million people if it means losing lots and lots of money.

Haven't these folks been calling themselves "pro-life"

Locally, guess who retweeted Trump's ALL CAPS! tweet?

Sean Parnell, pro-life Republican candidate looking to run against Representative Conor Lamb:

Does Candidate Sean Parnell think that doing everything we can to save as many people as we can now is actually WORSE than loosening those social distancing guidelines (and thus letting the virus spread further and faster?)

I'll let New York Governor Cuomo sum up the counter argument:
My mother is not expendable and your mother is not expendable and our brothers and sisters are not expendable and we’re not going to accept a premise that human life is disposable and we’re not going to put a dollar figure on human life.
Anything to say, Sean?

March 20, 2020

Monster Watch

At today's presser, NBC's Peter Alexander asks Trump, "What do you say to Americans who are scared right now?"

Now to a Clinton or an Obama, or hell, to W or Reagan, this would have been a softball question. It would have teed them up to be presidential and offer words of hope and calls for giving and bravery. Close your eyes, picture any leader answering this question. It isn't hard. I mean, shit! Mr. Rogers would have said to look for the helpers.

But this question wasn't asked of a human. It was asked to a MONSTER. A malignant narcissist who has not a shred of empathy or compassion. A man with skin so thin, anything short of obsequious fawning is taken as a threat to his very being.

So Trump lashes back and says, "I say that you're a terrible reporter, that's what I say...That's a very nasty question!"

He does not have the ability to mimic human behavior for any real length of time because he is a sociopath. A monster. He will kill us all.

March 13, 2020

There May Be Trouble Ahead

There may be trouble ahead.
But while there's music and moonlight
And love and romance,
Let's face the music and dance.

Before the fiddlers have fled,
Before they ask us to pay the bill,
And while we still have the chance,
Let's face the music and dance.

Soon, we'll be without the moon.
Humming a different tune, and then
There may be teardrops to shed
So while there's moonlight and music
And love and romance.

Let's face the music and dance.

March 12, 2020

Trump's Coronavirus Speech And What He Got Wrong (UPDATE)

First the speech:

And now a survey on what he got wrong.

There were also surprising — and significant — inaccuracies in the speech, which administration officials and the president had to clarify almost immediately afterward. Mr. Trump said in his address he would suspend “all travel from Europe to the United States,” but the ban in fact applies to foreign citizens. And while he said the measure would “apply to the tremendous amount of trade and cargo” across the ocean, the order in fact affects only people.
From the speech:
At the very start of the outbreak, we instituted sweeping travel restrictions on China and put in place the first federally mandated quarantine in over 50 years.
And from the Times:
But officials have since conceded that those efforts at containment have not prevented the virus from spreading within communities around the United States.
From ABCNews (about that travel ban):
First, the restriction does not apply to legal permanent residents of the U.S. or their families when they are returning from Europe. It also does not apply to U.S. citizens coming back from Europe, as Trump acknowledged.

As well, it apparently does not apply to Ireland, Romania, Croatia, Ukraine and several other European states. The proclamation released by the White House says the travel ban will affect the 26 European states in what's known as the Schengen Area. That's most of Europe, but not “all.”
Here's the proclamation mentioned above. It defines the Schengen Area as:
For purposes of this proclamation, the Schengen Area comprises 26 European states: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
And here's what the proclamation has to say about the travel ban:
Given the importance of protecting persons within the United States from the threat of this harmful communicable disease, I have determined that it is in the interests of the United States to take action to restrict and suspend the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of all aliens who were physically present within the Schengen Area during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States. The free flow of commerce between the United States and the Schengen Area countries remains an economic priority for the United States, and I remain committed to facilitating trade between our nations.
Remember, Trump said:
To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days.
There will be exemptions for Americans who have undergone appropriate screenings, and these prohibitions will not only apply to the tremendous amount of trade and cargo, but various other things as we get approval.
Wrong. The restriction on people only applies to "all aliens...physically present within the Schengen Area during the 14-day period" (and so there's no need to exempt Americans) and it apparently does NOT apply to cargo.

In fact, ABC reported:
The White House quickly clarified that the restriction on movement from Europe "only applies to human beings, not goods and cargo.”
So how bad was this speech?

Rod Deher of The American Conservative:
I don’t suppose I’m opposed to the European travel restrictions, but it’s much too late for that to do measurable good. They would have made a lot more sense two weeks ago. And exempting Britain from this ban is senseless. It sounded like he’s trying to frame the virus as an external threat. But it’s already here, and it’s rapidly spreading. This seemed more rhetorical than anything else — Trump trying to reinforce his image as a nationalist looking out for American interests
He said nothing about the critical-care crisis facing hospitals. I have found that this is a point that is not widely understood by the general public: that even if only a relatively small number of people are ultimately going to die from this virus, it stands to overwhelm our hospitals. This is why it is so very important for everybody to practice social distancing and the rest: to slow the rate of infection, and give our health care system the chance to cope. It is beyond comprehension why he didn’t make this clear to listeners tonight. I’ve had a number of conversations these past few days with people who aren’t following the story closely, and they are entirely unaware of this fact. The president blew an opportunity to explain that to the nation
Rick Wilson:
Erick Erickson:
Yea, that bad.

It's been pointed out that the speech was something UNDER 10 minutes long.

March 8, 2020

Chris Hayes On Trump And Covid-19

From this tweet:
I’ve been trying very hard to use our platform to communicate the facts and science of where we are in this pandemic. We do not want to stoke panic, because, again the *individual* risk remains low. Wash your hand. Have some canned food.


The news from Italy tonight clarifies just how enormous the systemic risk we’re facing is. And here’s the plain truth: Our federal government has failed and we are now, because of that failure, facing an enormous impending crisis. This is Katrina-level incompetence, if not worse.

Yesterday the President came out and admitted he is pressuring scientific and health experts to take steps that are worse for public health to artificially keep the numbers low.

This is sociopathic governance.

Now we have this story that the WH overruled health officials who wanted to warn elderly and immune-compromised people not to fly. But Trump wants the economic activity because he wants to be re-elected.

This is sociopathic governance.
Official: White House didn't want to tell seniors not to flyNEW YORK (AP) — The White House overruled health officials who wanted to recommend that elderly and physically fragile Americans be advised not to fly on commercial airlines because of the new.

(The VP’s press office has denied the story but unfortunately, given the record of this WH, there is absolutely no reason to believe them.)
All the facts we have access to suggest the following: Trump is attempting to cover up the full scope of the outbreak in order to boost his chances for re-election. HE ADMITTED AS MUCH YESTERDAY ON CAMERA.

In doing so, he is quite literally threatening public health. This Is incompetence and malevolence that will quite simply get a lot of people killed. I know that sounds harsh, but we have to start saying the clear and simple truth that is now evident.

I hope other people in the media wake up to this.