Friday, October 09, 2020



Singer/songwriter stuff, like back in the old days. I like it.

•  The otherwise inexplicable decision by White House osteopath Sean Conley to clear Tubby to start infecting the masses tomorrow makes sense if you realize that, as recent American political history and my Roy Edroso Breaks It Down White House sketches show, Trump is a mob boss who has surrounded himself with weak incompetents, not because he doesn't know from quality, but because he prefers wash-outs he can threaten into doing his most deranged bidding. Like, who would hire Wilbur Ross -- voted Most Likely to Fall Asleep in Cabinet Meetings by Factotum Magazine -- except someone who wants a senile old crook whose discernment is so enfeebled that he would go in front of TV cameras and make a fool of himself in defense of Trump's tariffs? Likewise, who here thinks their own doctor would tell them, sure, you've had COVID-19 a week, why not go give an unmasked speech to thousands of umasked people and tell 'em I said it's okay? 

•  Speaking of pitchmen and Roy Edroso Breaks It Down -- subscriptions to which are still available and cheap! -- allow me to share today's White House sketch, "Key Mar-a-Lago," as My Free Gift To You. Things are no doubt grim at the White House, and don't think it hasn't had an effect here in the District -- Kia and I biked around Capitol Hill the other day, and the line at the Engine Company 8 firehouse for after-work COVID-19 testing went around the block. Not that Tubby gives a shit, but normal people know the virus gets around. But go ahead and enjoy the thing -- what can we do but laugh? (Besides vote in unprecedented numbers.)

•  The week has been so full of garbage takes it's hard to pick favorites, but David Brooks' mewling that "America Is Having a Moral Convulsion" in The Atlantic is pretty rich. This bit in particular is classic Brooks:

When Americans were confronted with the extremely hard task of locking down for months without any of the collective resources that would have made it easier -- habits of deference to group needs; a dense network of community bonds to help hold each other accountable; a history of trust that if you do the right thing, others will too; preexisting patterns of cooperation; a sense of shame if you deviate from the group—they couldn’t do it. America failed.

Yes, in Brooksland they're always spiritual and communitarian, these things that make up ideal American life and its traditional "habits of deference to group needs," huh? But in the real world, you know what helps? MONEY. Because you can't live without it, and the U.S. sent us a pittance months ago. Later Brooks mopes:

By August, most Americans understood the failure. Seventy-two percent of Danes said they felt more united after the COVID-19 outbreak. Only 18 percent of Americans felt the same.=

Guess why? Here's Denmark's action plan:

A total of DKK 285 billion (US $42 billion) has been appropriated in a number of “relief packages” to support businesses and workers until June. This spending represents almost 13 percent of the Danish GDP, making the Danish plan one of the most expansive in the world...

The government will support 90 percent of wages of hourly workers who are sent home up to DKK 26,000 ($3,800) a month and salaried workers will get 75 percent covered up to DKK 23,000 ($3,350). The salary guarantee program is organized through the Danish three-party-negotiation system, which consists of the government, unions, and employer organizations. Small independent companies outside the system will also be eligible...

It's amazing that in this country the top commentators on social conditions are people who've apparently never had to pay for a bounced check.   

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