Shortcut to the full report for Saturday.

The global number of new cases was up 18% over last Sunday.

The USA’s number of new cases was up a terrifying 30% over last Sunday.

France was the big story of the day, with 52,000 new cases in one day – more than India, which has 21 times as many people. (If India had the same rate, it would have has a million new cases in a day.)

Biden, you monster!


Earlier, “President Trump mockingly warned at his rally in Nevada late Sunday that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden would ‘listen to the scientists’ if elected.”

Gee, I wonder what happened to countries that did follow the science.

Oh …

“The Chinese economy grew 4.9% between July and September, as China becomes the first major economy to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Only the best people.

Scott Atlas is a radiologist. He has no training in virology, epidemiology, public health management, statistical analysis, or any other field that would be relevant to the COVID crisis. It appears that he knows far less about viral diseases than laymen who have been cramming on the subject. You would be better off listening to a witch doctor. They always wear masks. And at least garlic poultices and incantations can’t do any harm. It is also believed that Atlas is nudging President Trump in the reckless direction of using a herd immunity strategy with no vaccine on the horizon.

As the director of the CDC pointed out bluntly, “Everything he (Scott Atlas) says is false.”

To repeat the math on herd immunity: scientists estimate that successful herd immunity would require about 2/3 of a population to carry antibodies. In the USA that is about 220 million people. At least 1.4% of Americans who contract the virus are expected to die from it (currently about 700 dead per day, and 50,000 infections per day), so the death toll would be three million.

And that’s if it works.

It probably won’t work because the immunity seems to be short-lived, which means that, lacking a vaccine, a population might never get to a point where 2/3 of the people have antibodies, because by the time the last people are infected, the immunity might be wearing off in those infected early. Let’s suppose that the antibodies last only four months. In that case, the only way to achieve herd immunity is to get antibodies into 220 million people almost instantly, and the only realistic way to do that is with a vaccine. Infecting 220 million people through community spread in three months may not even be possible, but if it were, the health care system could not possibly handle the number of hospital patients that would emerge from the strategy.

At this point I don’t know the actual average duration of immunity, nor does anyone else. Top researchers throughout the world are still learning about COVID-19. But if it is truly as short-lived as four months, we will have a decidedly difficult time with the logistics of fighting it – even with a vaccine, let alone by community spread.

“Throughout a pandemic that has now landed squarely in the West Wing, Trump officials — who routinely shunned masks — declined to institute thorough safety protocols to protect the White House press corps, according to interviews with reporters who now face the prospect of a rapidly escalating outbreak in their daily work space.”

I’m not sure this article really has the answers, but their success has been astounding.

Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand have about 250 million people between them and to date they have a total of 244 covid deaths for all five nations added together, despite the fact that three of those countries have borders with China. Laos and Cambodia have no fatalities at all, although Laos borders China.

  • Taken together, those five nations have one death per million population. The USA has 624 deaths per million – and rising.
  • The United States, with 330 million people, has more than 200,000 covid fatalities. If it had the same rate as SE Asia, it would have 320 fatalities in total – an amount that it actually had every seven hours yesterday!

That may not be a fair equivalence, but in more realistic terms we could compare the USA to Canada. If the USA had the same fatality rate as Canada, it would have about 80,000 fatalities rather than 200,000. That’s 120 thousand deaths that could have been avoided.

So far.

Righteous math! As I have noted previously, we have now lost more people to the coronavirus in a few months than the U.S. Army lost fighting Hitler in the full 3 1/2 years of the war in Europe and the Mediterranean.

So by Trump’s logic, Hitler affected virtually nobody in the USA.

The predicted death toll for the virus through the end of this year is almost identical to the number we lost in the entire second world war, including all branches of service in all theaters of operation.

So says their prime minister, Franz “Papa” Smurf, from the tiny stump he lives in.

Personal note: I have lived in both Austria and Wisconsin. They are extremely comparable. Both locations have about 45% of their land forested. Both places have crappy weather and both populations are pretty much always drunk on beer.

The major difference is that Austria is far more densely populated in the non-forested areas, so Wisconsin has a higher ratio of trees to people. Despite that, you may be surprised to learn that Wisconsinites do not live like Keebler elves in forest cities. That would imply that Austrians do not live in forest cities either, given that they are actually more urban than we are in Wisconsin in terms of population density.

You might think that. You would be wrong.

Austrians do live in quaint forest cities, mostly inside of hollow logs, or in hastily constructed tree houses made by clumsily lashing together the rotting wood they sweep up from the floors in their forests. They spend the day getting drunk under rickety wooden bridges where they hope to capture a passing billy goat to eat for dinner. Those are just the irrefutable facts, as pictured in the photo of the Vienna skyline seen below.


Right. A suitable award for the guy who once exchanged belligerent nuclear-implied threats with his future lover and fellow member of the Silly Hair Club For Men, Kim Jong Un.

Well, to be fair, he would actually deserve it more than Obama, who was given the award for his courageous action in not being George Bush.

“This thing is a killer if it gets you. If you’re the wrong person, you don’t have a chance. So this rips you apart. It is the plague.”

Man, what a panicky wuss! This must have been said by some wimp like Chris Hayes or Joe Biden.

Oh, wait. It was Donald J. Trump, April 13, to Bob Woodward

“Four days after his conversation with Woodward, Trump posted his infamous string of tweets urging people to “LIBERATE” Minnesota, Michigan, and Virginia — states with Democratic governors who had imposed public health measures to slow the spread of Covid-19 — despite the fact he clearly understood the deadliness of the pandemic.”

Yup, because Churchill always downplayed a crisis – like this:

“We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind…many, many long months of struggle and of suffering.”

— Winston Churchill address to the nation, May 10, 1940

Not comparable, you think? The United Kingdom lost 449,000 military and civilian casualties in six years in WW2. The current forecast for one year of COVID-19 is for 410,000 fatalities in the United States.

And of course Winnie greatly encouraged deceiving the public:

“It was necessary above all to warn the House and the country of the misfortunes which impended upon us. There is no worse mistake in public leadership than to hold out false hopes soon to be swept away. The British people can face peril or misfortune with fortitude and buoyancy, but they bitterly resent being deceived or finding that those responsible for their affairs are themselves living in a fool’s paradise.”

— Winston Churchill, “The Second World War”

LaPorta is a former Marine.

“Prior to journalism, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a infantry rifleman. From 2006 until 2014, Mr. LaPorta worked in multiple leadership billets, serving as a infantry squad leader, a combat marksmanship instructor and an intelligence cell chief. He deployed multiple times to Afghanistan.”

LaPorta did not believe Goldberg’s story when he read it. Then he started calling his contacts and found it that the story was accurate down the line. There are now six sources confirming the story: four of Goldberg’s, two of LaPorta’s. (They may overlap, so the total may be as low as four, but no lower.)

As I understand it, Gen. Kelly has declined to comment publicly on the story.

Some of those “losers and suckers” simply didn’t have the options afforded to Trump. There was a draft through the Vietnam era. Many of those conscripted in Vietnam, for example, were poor kids who had no money for college, and had no access to a pliable family doctor who could excuse them for bone spurs. They simply had to go, as Trump would have, had he not had a zillionaire father.

It’s also important to understand how such comments by a U.S. President might undermine his own authority. Those “losers and suckers” had many reasons for doing what they did, but the immediate and direct reason for both draftees and volunteers was that they were obeying orders from a line of command that ultimately traces back to the commander-in-chief. Trump is basically arguing that obeying the President is for “losers and suckers.”

In his brilliantly crafted response, Trump lied and said he never called John McCain a loser. (He did – and tweeted about it!)

Full disclosure on personal bias: I never served in the military, only because of a high lottery number. I was thrilled to avoid Vietnam, but I am highly grateful to those who serve on behalf of my country, thus taking risks to make my life safer. In fact, one of my sons is a career military man currently serving as an O-5.

…. and, according to them, that’s why they should not be released.

Based upon this novel legal theory, law enforcement should only be allowed to investigate the totally innocent, since any evidence exposing the guilty would cause them irreparable harm.

Oddly enough, all candidates for the presidency in modern history have released their returns and it caused them no harm of any kind. Gee, I wonder why Trump is so special.

Really? What was your first clue?

He has no principles. None. None. You can’t trust him. His goddamned tweet and lying, oh my God. The change of stories. The lack of preparation. The lying. Holy shit. It’s the phoniness of it all. It’s the phoniness and this cruelty. Donald is cruel.”

On another subject:

“He doesn’t read. I did his homework for him.”

Her assistance didn’t seem to help much. Even with his sister completing his home assignments, Trump was still a mediocre-to-poor student.

Trump seems never to have come across that famous proverb about people who live in glass houses. One of his professors, long before Trump entered politics, called him, “the dumbest goddam student I ever had.”

AOC’s response was to the point:

The alleged Trump report card pictured above is a ridiculously bad forgery. Donald and I were both students at Fordham University in calendar year 1966. Here is what the grade reports looked like in that era.

And here is what the grading system looked like in the late 60s. (It was identical in 1966, except without the “P”

So the problems with the forgery are:

1) It is anachronistic. Nothing looked that sophisticated in 1964-66.
2) Many of the grades on that report did not exist at Fordham then. In that era, there was no A-, B-, C-, D+, D- or F+. Many of the old-time teachers didn’t even like the new-fangled “plusses” and awarded only A, B, C, D, F.
3) The course numbering is wrong. In that era, the second semester of an intro course at Fordham would be numbered 12, not 102. That changed in the 67-68 year, but Trump was gone by then.
4) All real grade reports from Fordham in that era are clearly dated “Jan” or “June” of the appropriate year, marking the month after the conclusion of the semester, as shown above. The fall semester of 1966 would be dated “Jan 67,” as shown above. The spring semester would be dated “June 66.”

Feel free to share this in any way you like.

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I will certainly be happy to compare grade reports with The Donald for that 1966 year, and will be pleased to add a large side-bet to the winner (me).

In fairness, Trump was not a D student at Fordham (as pictured by the fake grade report). Two people who saw his grade reports said they were in the C+ to B range. That’s not bad, but Mary Trump points out in her book that Trump’s sister did all his home assignments for him, so I suppose he would have not done that well on his own.

Shortcut to the full report for Saturday:

The USA’s national indicators are still looking much better than they were before this week:

  • New cases are down about 8% from last Saturday. That is the fourteenth consecutive day of declines, and the 17th decline in the past 20 days.
  • Fatalities are also down, about 13% less than last Saturday. That’s the fifth decline in the past six days.
  • The first decline in new cases began twenty days ago, and the first decline in new deaths began six days ago, precisely 14 days later.
  • Hospitalizations dropped again, and are at the lowest point since July 9.

It is important to note that these current declines are not happening because we ARE doing so well, but because we WERE doing do poorly. Even after that short-term improvement, the USA is still one of only four countries in the world in the red zone for both its new case rate and its new death rate. The four countries are Peru, Colombia, Brazil and the USA. This is not a list we want to be on. We have to do better.

There is also a major negative to consider, America’s testing rate. Positive tests are now more than 8% of all results. Ten states in the USA were above 12% on Saturday.

Note further than five states in the USA are in deep trouble because ALL of the following are true: (1) their new cases rate is higher than any country in the world; (2) their new fatality rate is higher than any country in the world; (3) their rate of positive tests is above 12%. Those states are Mississippi, Florida, Nevada, Georgia and South Carolina.

Because that’s how they roll:

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has said in a televised address that Iran will expand its nuclear program and will not negotiate with the United States. Ayatollah Khamenei also said that Iran would maintain its close alliances with militia groups in the region that it uses as proxies.

They say they will manage to evade the sanctions by signing a deal with China, which can fill all its international trade requirements.

(NOTE: The sanctions have done what they were intended to do. Iran’s economy is in shambles.)

There are at least two possible definitions of the ambiguous term “mortality rate”:

1. The percentage of people who die after contracting the disease.

2. The percentage of all people in a country who die from the disease.

The USA does poorly on both scales.

The worldometers.info data lists 218 countries and territories.

  • The USA ranks 150th in “percentage of people with the disease who die.”
  • The USA ranks 209th in “deaths per million population.”

The USA does beat several European countries in both criteria: Belgium, UK, Spain, Italy, France and Sweden, but it will pass most of those in “deaths per million population” in time, because they have brought their numbers way down, while the USA is soaring ever upward.

Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia have ZERO fatalities, while the USA has more than 140,000. (Vietnam has nearly 100 million people, a long border with China, and NO fatalities.) Because of the brilliant job Eastern Asia has done in controlling the pandemic, anybody with a reasonable grasp of the international numbers, or even the slightest lick of common sense, would know without actually running the numbers that the USA can’t be anywhere near the best in any mortality calculation. Needless to say, Trump has neither of those qualifications.

““Trump’s Ukraine-like transgressions existed across the full range of his foreign policy — and Bolton documents exactly what those were, and attempts by him and others in the Administration to raise alarms about them.”

Nothing to see here. I’m sure that the President will issue a carefully reasoned and prudent point-by-point response, eschewing ad hominem argumentation to focus calmly on nothing but the facts.

Trump opposes renaming US military bases named after Confederate leaders

In contrast, General Petraeus wrote:

“These bases are home to soldiers who swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. The irony of training at bases named for those who took up arms against the United States, and for the right to enslave others, is inescapable to anyone paying attention. Now, belatedly, is the moment for us to pay such attention.”

A better topic for discussion: I know it’s really impossible to do so, but ignore slavery for a moment and pretend these people fought for some just cause. Even if we forgive that unforgivable sin, we still have to ask, “Why did the US ever have military bases named after men who led troops against the US military?”

Attorney General William Barr said Monday that Washington, D.C. protests were so violent that the U.S. Secret Service recommended President Trump be moved to an underground bunker at the White House.

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Trump denied that the Secret Service recommended he move to the bunker for safety reasons. Brian Kilmeade asked him: “Mr. President, they didn’t say to you, ‘You have to go downstairs. My responsibility’s your welfare.’ ?”

TRUMP: “No. They didn’t tell me that at all, but they said it would be a good time to go down. Take a look because maybe sometime you’re going to need it.”

Righteous stats!


Some exit polls do show that Trump got 8% of the black vote but the same polls show him with 10% of the liberal vote, so Trump did worse with black voters than he did with liberals – and you know how much liberals love him!

Also, as usual, she has her facts wrong. Romney got about 6% of the black vote, and he did so running against a black man! That was much better than the 4% garnered by John McCain in 2008.

Also, while some polls show Trump scoring as high as 8% with black voters in 2016, others show that Trump got that same 6% as Romney – not running against a black man, but against a widely disliked white woman.

And Trump pulled 0% among black women!



That Mittens! What a wimp, taking an anti-racism stance. Guy needs to man up if he wants to be a true, macho Republican.

To be fair to Mitt, maybe he’s just out of practice at kicking black asses. There just aren’t many to kick in Utah. Maybe he doesn’t even realize that some people aren’t white.

“Oh, dear, are they saying black LIVES, with a v. I thought they were talking about black LIES – you know, like little white lies and big black ones.”