“Esper irked the White House Wednesday morning when he appeared in front of cameras to proclaim his opposition to deploying active-duty troops to respond to protests around the country — a move that many saw as a break with the president.”

If Esper refuses to carry out the orders of Mad King Don, there is always a Robert Bork somewhere, willing to take the job and do anything he’s told to do. Look for Trump to give Barr double duty as the AG and the acting Secretary of Defense, because Barr gives zero fucks about whether an order is legal or ethical.

The stats: Coronavirus mapped and quantified:

ADDED 6/4: STUDY: Hydroxychloroquine does not prevent healthy people from getting COVID-19. There was never any reason to think that it would, but now I guess it’s official.

ADDED 6/4: Wednesday’s numbers: The number of new cases was 121k, the third highest of all time.

In terms of fatalities, it’s not Three Blind Trumps any more. Now it’s the four Trumpsmen of the Apocalypse.

1. Brazil 1269
2. USA 1083
3. Mexico 470
4. UK 359

No other country topped 300 fatalities, but India hit its all-time high with 259, a dire omen of a raging epidemic in that country of 1.4 billion people.

In terms of total daily fatalities per capita, Sweden again led the way, as has become its habit, while Brazil and the UK again finished second and third. Eight countries had more than three Wednesday fatalities per million population. Armenia made its first appearance on the list.

1. Sweden 7.3
2. Brazil 6.0
3. UK 5.3
4. Chile 4.6
5. Armenia 4.1
6. Peru 3.9
7. Mexico 3.7
8. USA 3.3

Note that 18 US states plus the District of Columbia had fatality rates high enough to make that list. That included both Carolinas and some other states outside of the original hot spots: New Hampshire, Nebraska, Arizona, New Mexico, Mississippi and Iowa. Five US states had fatality rates higher than the highest country in the world.

The USA is still a long way from defeating the virus. We hear each night on the news that Brazil has been devastated by COVID-19, but New Jersey’s fatality rate on Wednesday was more than double Brazil’s.

The table below shows the USA’s daily COVID fatalities. Increases over the previous week are highlighted in red. Because of last week’s Monday holiday, you have to view Tuesday/Wednesday of this week and last week as combined periods. Doing that shows that the fatality rate is running about even with last week, as has been the case for several days.

4 Weeks Ago 3 Weeks Ago 2 weeks Ago Last Week This Week
Friday 1,897 1,687 1,595 1,293 1,212
Saturday 1,691 1,422 1,218 1,036 1,015
Sunday 1,153 750 865 617 638
Monday 1,324 1,008 1,003 505 730
Tuesday 2,350 1,630 1,552 774 1134
Wednesday 2,528 1,772 1,461 1,535 1,083
Thursday 2,129 1,715 1,418 1,223

UPDATED 6/3: From the “No shit, Sherlock” department: Sweden finally admits it screwed up. “The architect of Sweden’s controversial lighter lockdown policy for dealing with coronavirus has for the first time conceded the Scandinavian country should have imposed more restrictions.”

From May 27th: Sweden over-Trumps the Trump Trio

Sweden’s stay-open strategy appears to have been a complete failure in every respect, because (1) it has the highest current fatality rate in the world over the past two weeks; (2) the most recent numbers are not moving in the correct direction; (3) herd immunity is far in the future (only 7% of the residents of Stockholm have developed antibodies); (4) “the economy will be just as badly hit as its European neighbors, if not worse.”

ADDED 5/31: France says, “Oops. Maybe we had the coronavirus before China!” “If confirmed, this is evidence that the virus was spreading in Europe well before COVID-19 had been officially identified in China.” At the same time, Chinese scientists have cast doubt on the theory that the virus originated in that famous wet market.

The South China Morning Post, citing Chinese government data, reported that the first documented case of someone in China’s suffering from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, occurred Nov. 17. The new French data suggests that their first case dates back to November 16th!

The mystery deepens!

ADDED 5/30: Vietnam pulled off the ultimate miracle. They had 97 million people, a long border with China, daily flights from Wuhan … and a COVID-19 death total of ZERO! Not one death. Not even one elderly person. How did they do it? All of my guesses were wrong. I figured it was being bathed in the blood of Jesus, having the localities bid against each other for PPEs, downplaying the virus as an alarmist hoax, shilling for unproven drug cures, investigating bleach cocktails, telling the regional governors to open their areas back up without meeting the criteria set by the health ministry, having the highest national officials refuse to wear masks, and holding large rallies as late as March. Damn, I was SO close! It turns out the true solution was for their prime minister to place his idiot son-in-law in charge of co-ordinating the medical supply chain. That would have been my next guess!

UPDATED 5/30: The number of American fatalities caused by the spread of the coronavirus pandemic seems to be understated by about 20,000 to 30,000. “Many Covid-19 deaths were simply listed as some variant of ‘respiratory failure’ or ‘multisystem organ failure.’” “U.S. deaths soared in the early weeks of the pandemic, far exceeding the number attributed to covid-19” At least two states, Florida and South Carolina, are suspected of falsifying the COVID numbers.

UPDATED 5/30: Another 2.1 million workers filed new unemployment claims last week. That’s another very high number, but there is some good news. The number of continuing claims dropped by 4 million, therefore the number of unemployed people seems to have dropped. That’s a ray of hope, but an analysis of the coronavirus pandemic’s effects on the labor market estimates that 42% of recent layoffs will result in permanent job loss.

ADDED 5/27:

ADDED 5/24: A massive new study puts the kibosh on hydroxychloroquine. A study of 96,000 hospitalized coronavirus patients on six continents found that those who took the drug had a significantly higher risk of death compared with those who did not. People treated with hydroxychloroquine were also more likely to develop a type of irregular heart rhythm, or arrhythmia.

“It’s one thing not to have benefit, but this shows distinct harm. If there was ever hope for this drug, this is the death of it.”

ADDED 5/22: American billionaires got $434 billion richer during the pandemic

UPDATED 5/22: An MIT study, Will Coronavirus Pandemic Diminish by Summer?, had previously suggested that 90% of transmission occurs within a narrow temperature band (37 to 63 F) and a limited band of absolute humidity. The scientists did not claim that transmission ceases outside those temperature and humidity bands, but that the spread occurs more slowly. A newer study from Harvard also shows that summer weather is beneficial, but the study also stresses that weather can’t stop the spread without additional proactive measures from humans.

“Our projections suggest warmer temperature, more humidity, and moderate outdoor UV exposure may offer a modest reduction in reproductive number; however, upcoming changes in weather alone will NOT be enough to fully contain the transmission of COVID-19.”

ADDED 5/21: Black Americans are dying of Covid-19 at three times the rate of white people

ADDED 5/20: The big question comes up again – Can people be reinfected by COVID-19? Thirteen sailors on the Teddy Roosevelt, all considered to have recovered and all having tested negative at least twice, have exhibited symptoms again after returning to duty, and have tested positive. “Whether the afflicted sailors were reinfected or still had the virus after multiple negative tests remains under investigation.”

ADDED 5/19: New polling shows that 49 of the 50 governors have a better approval rating than Trump for their handling of the pandemic. The one exception: Kemp of Georgia. Republican governors dominate both the top and the bottom of the list, with all the Dems in the middle: six of the top seven are Republicans; seven of the bottom eight are Republicans.

ADDED 5/16: President Trump actually said this in opposition to “overrated” testing: “When you test, you find something is wrong with people. If we didn’t do any testing, we would have very few cases.”

UPDATED 5/9: In a bizarre irony, hospitals are making mass lay-offs in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. The institutions are suffering financially because they have had to eliminate all the most profitable parts of their business in order to treat corona victims. In all, 1.4 million health care workers lost their jobs in April, 135,000 of those in hospitals.

ADDED 4/29: New evidence reveals: “Coronavirus infections greatly outnumber confirmed covid-19 cases, potentially by a factor of 10 or more.” My guess it that it’s somewhere between 3-to-1 and 6-to-1. The USA has a ratio of about 18 cases per death. The proper ratio, based upon South Korea and other countries, is probably between 50 and 100 cases per death, indicating a fatality rate between 1% and 2%. That’s a wide range because the calculation is an oversimplification on my part. There are many factors going into the fatality rate, and it’s not necessarily fair to compare areas, but my guess is probably in the right ballpark.

NEW 3/28: The data reveal that covid-19 is much more dangerous for men. The data are consistent from country to country: men make up 72% of the intensive care unit admissions in Spain, 73% in France, 75% in Norway, 71% in the UK. While researchers cannot yet determine how much of the gender disparity can be attributed to behavioral components, it seems clear that the significance of the gap across cultures means that there must be some biological explanation.

March 9:

March 4: A lot of people will have this, and it’s very mild. They will get better very rapidly. They don’t even see a doctor. They don’t even call a doctor.”

Feb 26: “We have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better, just by, you know, even going to work. Some of them go to work, but they get better.”

Feb 26: We’re going to be pretty soon at only five people. And we could be at just one or two people over the next short period of time..”

Feb 26: We’re going down, not up. We’re going very substantially down, not up..”

Feb 26: The 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.”

Feb 24:

The Dow was at 27,960 that day. One month later it was at 18,592.

Jan 24:

Jan 22: We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.”

“Derek Chauvin, arrested Friday on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, 46, was newly charged with an additional, more serious count of second-degree murder, according to court documents filed in the case.” The other three officers were charged with aiding and abetting Chauvin’s crimes. Each of them faced as many as 40 years in prison if convicted.

The Minnesota Attorney General has requested that bail be set at $1 million for each of the four former officers, court documents showed.

“Former defense secretary Jim Mattis compares Donald Trump to NAZIS, accuses him of ‘mockery of the Constitution’ and ‘abuse’ of power and slams ‘military leadership’ for taking part in ‘bizarre photo-op'”

But apart from that, he was quite complimentary.

“Mad Dog” Mattis, a hard-nosed former general in the US Marines, and once the most respected member of Trump’s cabinet, has not been critical of his former boss until now, but he made up for his long silence with some strong criticism. The president. not known for his thoughtful acceptance of criticism, fired back.

At last, a politician delivers on a promise of transparency.

“As they discussed the impact the coronavirus was having on the country, the 66-year-old politician began to remove her clothes … (She) did not realise that her webcam was still running, prompting screenshots of the mishap to circulate on social media.”

Her dad, a Civil War veteran, was 83 when she was born. Unable to read or write, she suffered from from mental disabilities and therefore qualified for federal financial support as a “helpless adult child of a veteran.”

Odd fact: At one time or another, her father fought for both sides in the Civil War.

The other half can’t imagine how that could be possible.

Bringing to mind that great folk song:

“An Irishman, I am, I am, I drinks me Irish booze …
and if you don’t like me Irish song, I’ll throw up on your shoes!”

By the way, I hate to disappoint my fellow stereotypists, but the Irish do not lead the world in per capita alcohol consumption, despite their best efforts. Pussies. They drink a lot, but not as much as Czechs or Germans. They also trail behind Lithuania and Moldova, and consume about the same amount of alcohol as the French or most Eastern Europeans.

Key passage:

Not only was the knee on George’s neck a cause of his death, but so was the weight of the other two police officers on his back, who not only prevented blood flow into his brain but also air flow into his lungs.”

“Dr. Michael Baden, one of the pathologists who performed the independent autopsy said, ‘Mr. Floyd had no underlying medical problems that caused or contributed to his death.'” Baden also made no mention of fentanyl or meth.

Note that Baden is 85 years old, and is quite a controversial character, having testified for the defense in the OJ and Phil Spector trials, and having produced some disputed results in other high-profile proceedings.

This completely contradicts the final report of the Hennepin County Medical Examiner. The press release of the medical examiner reads: Cause of death: Cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression; Manner of death: Homicide; How injury occurred: Decedent experienced a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officer(s); Other significant conditions: Arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease; fentanyl intoxication; recent methamphetamine use.

As you may know, nobody knew where the hell he was for a decade.

Mr. Serious, aka Greg Gomez Pead, “is living an anonymous and humble life in one of Sydney’s most affluent suburbs … in a modest two storey home.”

He looks like a normal suburban person, very fit and handsome for his age! (63 when the pics were taken, 66 now.). Yahoo lives alone except for a Jack Russell terrier. (Adorable pic of him and his puppy!)

So Young Einstein is now Elderly Einstein? Tempus Fugit. (And I guess Patrick Fugit as well.)


Side Track:

Man that Jack Russell guy sure gives away a lot of dogs. Lots of people seem to have his old pets.

Kidding aside, Jack Russell was a real guy, and he did have a lot of dogs.

If you have George Soros on your betting stub, you are a winner! Man, that didn’t take long.

If you have “the Jews,” you didn’t exactly win, but the book will pay off as a “place” bet.

And you know it’s true, because former game-show host Chuck Woolery tweeted that George Soros was the source of the civic unrest and had funded “violent anarchy against American cities.” I’m sure you know that the code of honor of game show hosts requires them to reveal the correct answer at all times.

Man, that Soros has a long reach. He’s everywhere!

To be fair, various left wingnuts have exactly parallel theories about how the riots are being incited by white supremacist crazies.

To date, note of these theories have been supported with evidence. It’s just the usual spinning and bloviating. The bloviator-in-chief chimed in with “80% of the RIOTERS in Minneapolis last night were from OUT OF STATE.” Minnesota’s governor agreed with that number. The actual number among those arrested was 14% (5 out of 36). Of course, Trump never was too slick on math. He’s the guy who thinks that 17×6= “eleven twelve.”

Of course they are right about me coming in from out of state. I am in Minneapolis now, not to encourage the riots, but merely to profit from them. I only came for the looting, as I do every time there is a significant weather disaster that causes a city to be abandoned, or anarchy in the streets that distracts the police. During that last hurricane in Miami, I really scored some sweet 4k TVs.

I do agree with this Trump tweet:

A ‘Karen’ is someone who throws a tantrum over any slight or inconvenience, often, but not necessarily, for racist reasons. Karens call the police on harmless non-whites and always ask to speak to the manager. They never mind their own business about somebody breaking a rule, even if the offender represents no problem of any kind.

Bill Maher explains:

The article mentions that some people consider the Karen concept sexist, but it isn’t really. While a Karen is usually an entitled, white suburban mother, anybody can be a Karen. For example, in that confrontation between the black birdwatcher and the angry white dog walker, they were both Karens, although the woman called the police for no reason, lied to them, and did so to report a harmless black man, which means she went FULL Karen.

But even a young black man can be a Karen because this is a country of equal opportunity. It’s such a great country that a Karen can even become President.

The autopsy also mentions intoxication, confirming the store clerk’s description of Floyd as “awfully drunk.” The autopsy does not specify the cause of the possible intoxication, so it may not be alcohol. Floyd had substance abuse in his past.

“Mr. Floyd had underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease. The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death.”

That will not make it impossible to convict the police officer, but it will certainly make it more difficult than if Floyd had died of asphyxiation caused directly by the restraint technique. The DA will presumably argue that the officer’s unnecessary force exacerbated the pre-existing heart conditions, that the officer had a long record of complaints against him, that the officer continued unnecessarily to restrain the man for 2 minutes and 53 seconds after he had passed out, and that George would be alive now except for officer’s excesses. The defense will say that the man was a muscular 6’6″ career criminal who was intoxicated and resisting arrest, so the police took measures to protect themselves. Each side will try to keep the unsavory history of the two men out of evidence. In Floyd’s case the prosecution will argue that Floyd’s history of armed robbery and home invasion is not a mitigating circumstance because the officers could not have known about Floyd’s criminal past at the time of the deadly restraint. (The officer’s previous complaints may well be relevant.)

The rest will be up to the jury.

UPDATED: The Washington Post did quite a thorough summary of the case, although it’s a bit annoying that it seems to be narrated by some kid whose voice hasn’t changed yet.

Full transcripts

“Recently more and more high school boys and girls are engaging in immoral sexual deviance, and the Central Committee of the Korean Workers’ Party has issued a directive calling for strong measures against them.”

Oh-oh. What could strong measures be in the North Korean context? I’ll bet it’s more than grounding them.

He once again violated their terms of service, and they once again refused to ban him or block his Tweet. Instead they posted:

“This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible”

Twitter users are not taking it well that Trump’s personal account gets this preferential treatment, and are calling for him to be banned.

Note that Trump had previously referred to the heavily armed (white) Michigan protesters as “very good people,” while he referred to these unarmed people as “thugs.” He does love to drag out the racist dog whistles. Why doesn’t he just call them the n-word and be done with it.

Meanwhile, get ready for his meltdown when he wakes up!



While Trump is batshit crazy to threaten to go full Kent State on the protesters, he also seems to be correct that the situation in Minneapolis is out of control. George Floyd protesters set a Minneapolis police station afire, and protesters set fire to several buildings in the Lake Street corridor, many of them housing small businesses with minority owners. The Minnesota National Guard mobilized more than 500 soldiers to Minneapolis and St. Paul.


Related story: Twitter is also fact-checking the Chinese

Two of Trump’s close GOP allies in Congress signaled Wednesday a willingness to strip the social media giant of the special speech liability immunity it receives.”

What he doesn’t seem to have thought through is that the speech liability immunity is what allows them to have a Donald Trump Twitter account in the first place. If they become legally liable for every crazy thing he says on the platform, they would have no choice but to delete his account completely. The Joe Scarborough murder accusation, something that could not possibly be true, is the most recent example. Twitter had given Trump plenty of latitude with this because they are protected from liability, but if that protection is removed, Twitter would be legally liable for Trump’s obviously false accusations, meaning that the woman’s family and/or Morning Joe could sue them. They would basically be forced to delete his account, or at least to delete that and other legally actionable tweets.

Trump seems to think Twitter has singled him out for unfair treatment, and he is absolutely right. What he doesn’t seem to grasp is that it has been unfair in his favor. Twitter has been giving him preferential treatment for years. He has composed hundreds of Tweets that would have caused Joe Average to be banned permanently, but he has never even been given a temporary blackout.

“Ewing, the men’s basketball coach at Georgetown University, who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008, revealed Friday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus and was being treated at a local hospital.”

He scored more than 24,000 points in his career, 28th highest in NBA history. He scored more than 23,000 of those points for the Knicks, making him their all-time career leader in points. He also holds the team records for career rebounds and blocked shots. His single season high of 13.5 win shares has been topped only by Clyde Frazier in Knicks history.