Shortcut to the full report for Wednesday:

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

  • New cases are down about 18% from last Wednesday. That is the eleventh consecutive day of declines, and the 14th decline in the past 17 days
  • Fatalities are down about 10% from last Wednesday. That’s the second decline in the past three days.
  • The first decline in new cases began seventeen days ago, and the first decline in new deaths began three days ago, precisely 14 days later.
  • Hospitalizations and the testing positivity rate are flat, albeit at outrageously high levels.

It is noteworthy that both the USA’s new case rate and its new death rate are in the red zone, which means that we have to work even harder, even though we can claim some short-term successes.

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.)

Or as I might normally describe it:

Bill Clinton – usual shenanigans

Bubba says he was never on the island at all. Now Clinton, unlike Trump, will never just fabricate some total bullshit. Bubba’s go-to move is the old “parsing my words” trick, so you know he probably has some kind of sophistry up his proverbial sleeve. It’s probably some crap like this: “Yes, my shoes were on the island, but I never took them off while outdoors, so my body technically was not.”

Or he could be telling the truth.

Nah.

Trump suggests postponing the election. Obviously this is not consistent with his stated belief that he’s actually ahead in the polls.

Even if he had the power to do that (he does not), it would not work out as he planned. His term of office expires in January, whether there is an election or not. That is also true of the House and 1/3 of the Senate.

The Constitution reads, “The terms of the President and the Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January.”

On January 20, with no President or Vice-President or Speaker of the House, the Chief Justice would swear in the Senate’s President Pro Tempore as the next President of the United States. Since the Senate would, at that time, have 35 Democrats and 30 Republicans, and since the position is elected by the Senate, the President would be a Democrat. By custom, the Senate has elected the longest-standing member of the majority party to the post, but that is not a legal or constitutional requirement. Given the unique hypothetical scenario, the most likely choices would be Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris. (Bernie is not well liked and is only kinda-sorta a Democrat, while Cory Booker would not be eligible since his term would have expired in this theoretical scenario.)

So even if Trump did manage to delay the election, he would most likely have the humiliating experience of watching the inauguration of his arch-enemy, President Pocahontas. (Or perhaps worse in his eyes, a woman of color!) Of course, they would only be able to hold office until the actual election is conducted, at which time the winner would be inaugurated.

I might also note that I don’t think either of those women would be particularly lenient in the pardon department when Trump is eventually sentenced for his crimes. I think they would not hesitate to ship him off to the calaboose. He’d be much better off taking his chances with President Joe Biden, who is a soft-hearted cuss.

NOTE #1: in some states the governor may appoint a replacement senator in the case of a vacancy. Therefore, the GOP might be able to hold on to the Senate, depending on the appointments between Jan 3 and Jan 20, in which case the new President of the USA would be the Republican President Pro Tempore of the Senate. Heaven only knows who they would choose.

NOTE #2: Various scholars argue that the states can proceed with House and Senate elections even if there is no Presidential option. In that case, the Speaker of the House of Representatives could become President. The House is under no legal or constitutional obligation to choose a member as its Speaker, so the temporary President of the USA could literally turn out to be anyone. It might be Pelosi, but it could even be Crooked Hillary! (If I were in the House, I might consider trying to get the body to elect James Comey as its Speaker! But that’s just me.)

Cain was considered at an increased risk for coronavirus due to his age and history with cancer.

“As a co-chair of Black Voices for Trump, Cain was one of the surrogates at President Donald Trump’s June 20 rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma — which saw at least eight Trump advance team staffers in attendance test positive for coronavirus. Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh has told CNN that Cain did not meet with Trump at the Tulsa rally. Cain had posted a photo of himself at the rally, seated closely among other attendees without a facial covering.

Earlier this month, Cain appeared to support the decision not to require masks for Trump’s July 4 celebration event at Mount Rushmore. ‘Masks will not be mandatory for the event, which will be attended by President Trump. PEOPLE ARE FED UP!’ Cain’s Twitter account posted in a tweet that appears to have since been removed.”

He tested positive for COVID-19 on July 29, 2020, a day after he appeared before the House Oversight Committee without wearing a mask.

In the words of Stephen Colbert, playing his Colbert Report character:

People have said to me, ‘Stephen you gotta understand, you don’t even know your history. You’re dumb. You’re dense. You’re a mental midget with the IQ of a butter dish whose mind is a black hole that sucks all surrounding thought into it in an infinite singularity of pure stupidity. Stephen I’m surprised you can even dress yourself. I bet you have to rub peanut butter inside your lips to remember to open your mouth to breathe. I have never met, and I hope never to meet, a man so pervasively, astoundingly, unyieldingly ignorant.’

To which I say, ‘Well, then you haven’t met Louie Gohmert.’

Only days ago, after asserting that “slavery was a necessary evil,” Tom Cotton was defending himself of against charges of being racist. Now, the Arkansas senator has found himself embroiled in yet another controversy after telling The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that “the Holocaust was also a necessary evil.” Appearing earlier today on the Fox New Channel’s morning show Fox and Friends, Cotton justified his remarks, arguing that “absent the Holocaust, Israel would not be a country today.”

You know those suspiciously anonymous federal agents in Portland that just look like a bunch of sloppy, armed fat guys in cheap sneakers instead of like lean, properly shod, well-trained federal officers? Turns out it’s because they ARE just a bunch of fat guys in cheap sneakers.

“The Federal Protective Service (FPS) — is composed largely of contract security personnel.” (Hint: Blackwater!)

We have obtained exclusive footage of their recruitment procedure:

Ukraine Hostage Standoff Ends After President Agrees To Promote Joaquin Phoenix Film

It’s not widely known that terrorists and extremists are HUGE fans of Joaquin Phoenix, especially his youthful debut in SpaceCamp. He’s not their only favorite. For relaxation after a hard day of mindless slaughter, car-bombing and hostage-taking, they love to wind down with a Hugh Grant romcom.

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.

To wit: “Kim tried to involuntarily commit me

I like it!

And it gives Trump another slogan option as well. “Vote for Trump. Saner than the other guy.”

Kanye West has turned on his own family in the midst of what we’re told is a major bipolar episode … targeting Kris Jenner, comparing his life to the movie “Get Out” and accusing Kim Kardashian of trying to commit him to a mental hospital.

In a series of tweets Monday night, Kanye revealed his wife’s plan to get him help … just 24 hours after a bizarre and, at times, incoherent campaign rally in South Carolina. Kanye said, “Kim was trying to fly to Wyoming with a doctor to lock me up like on the movie Get Out because I cried about saving my daughters life yesterday.”

That was actually one of his more coherent assertions. Some of them are just full Nicholson in The Shining. Check this one out:

“I put my life on my God that Norths mom would never photograph her doing playboy and that’s on God. I’m at the ranch … come and get me.”

He did not. Chris Wallace pushed back on misleading and false claims.

TRUMP: “Now we have the 1619 project. What is THAT all about?”
WALLACE: “Slavery.”

I don’t know why Trump agreed to this interview. As The Mooch pointed out:

“The attack was not the work of a single country like Russia or a sophisticated group of hackers. Instead, it was done by a group of young people – one of whom says he lives at home with his mother.”

“The massive hack of high-profile users from Elon Musk to Joe Biden has raised questions about Twitter’s security as it serves as a megaphone for politicians ahead of November’s election.”

“The ruse included bogus tweets from former President Barack Obama, Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg and a number of tech billionaires including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Celebrities Kanye West and his wife, Kim Kardashian West, were also hacked. The fake tweets offered to send $2,000 for every $1,000 sent to an anonymous Bitcoin address.”

What happened, or so Twitter now thinks, is that some of its employees were hacked, and their permissions were used to gain access to the accounts of influential people. That takes a real criminal mastermind like the ones in the comic books. But unlike comic book masterminds, these guys didn’t seem to know how to monetize their iniquity. The couldn’t really have expected many people to fall for the obviously phony “send me a thousand and I’ll send you two” scam, so it’s not clear what the point was meant to be.

I’m not convinced that this half-hearted crypto-currency scam, which apparently netted only $117,000, was the real endgame. Maybe they didn’t intend to “score” this time. I guess it could be a gambit by the intruders to test their methods, or perhaps to demonstrate their power, like when the Joker takes over all of the Gotham City TV stations just to prove he can do it. Or they may have posted the bitcoin scam as a red herring to cover up their data mining in Twitter’s servers. Time will tell. But it seems at this moment like they wasted access to vast power.

Gov. Kemp bans cities, counties from mandating masks

UPDATE:

Georgia governor Brian Kemp sues the mayor of Atlanta over the city’s mask mandate.

I do have words this time. His justification is absolutely ridiculous. “This lawsuit is on behalf of the Atlanta business owners and their hardworking employees who are struggling to survive during these difficult times. These men and women are doing their very best to put food on the table for their families while local elected officials shutter businesses and undermine economic growth.” All of his points are totally irrelevant. The mask ordinance does not prevent anyone from going to work or opening a business, or anything else, for that matter. It merely requires that people wear a mask while doing so. You want proof that America’s education system is failing? All you need to know is this: Brian Kemp graduated from college.

You might …

Kanye West Presidential Bid Seemingly Ends 10 Days After Announcement”

Or you might not …

There are other indications that he’s in. The AP reported: “Rap superstar Kanye West has qualified to appear on Oklahoma’s presidential ballot, the first state where he met the requirements before the filing deadline. A representative for West filed the necessary paperwork and paid the $35,000 filing Wednesday afternoon”