Lazy Caturday Reads: Looney Tunes Cats Plus News

Sylvester and Tweety

Good Morning!!

No one seems to know for sure whether Trump’s dear friend Kim Jong Un is dead or alive.

Rumors have been swirling for days, and now some news outlets are reporting that Kim is either dead or in a vegetative state.

Taiwan News: Japanese media reports N. Korea’s Kim Jong Un in vegetative state.

Japanese media, citing the medical team treating North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, say the failure of initial surgery has left the 36-year-old in a vegetative state.

Amid conflicting reports about Kim’s health, Japanese weekly magazine Shukan Gendai reported on Friday (April 24) that a Chinese medical team member on the mission to North Korea briefly explained the situation to its senior writer, Kondm Daisuke.

The medical expert said during a visit to the countryside earlier this month, Kim clutched his chest and fell to the ground. A doctor accompanying Kim immediately carried out CPR and took him to a nearby hospital for emergency care.

The doctor also requested a medical team from Beijing for assistance. At the hospital, prior to the arrival of the Chinese medical team, the North Korean doctor performed cardiac surgery but there were complications due to the hereditary dictator’s obesity and the doctor’s anxiety.

Penelope and Pepe LePew

Reuters yesterday: Exclusive: China sent team including medical experts to advise on North Korea’s Kim.

China has dispatched a team to North Korea including medical experts to advise on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, according to three people familiar with the situation.

The trip by the Chinese doctors and officials comes amid conflicting reports about the health of the North Korean leader. Reuters was unable to immediately determine what the trip by the Chinese team signaled in terms of Kim’s health.

A delegation led by a senior member of the Chinese Communist Party’s International Liaison Department left Beijing for North Korea on Thursday, two of the people said. The department is the main Chinese body dealing with neighbouring North Korea….

Daily NK, a Seoul-based website, reported earlier this week that Kim was recovering after undergoing a cardiovascular procedure on April 12. It cited one unnamed source in North Korea….

On Friday, a South Korean source told Reuters their intelligence was that Kim was alive and would likely make an appearance soon. The person said he did not have any comment on Kim’s current condition or any Chinese involvement.

From Twitter:

Newsweek reports that Kim missed another important occasion: Kim Jong Un Remains Absent on Day North Korean Media Celebrates Founding of Armed Forces.

The state-controlled media in North Korea focused on the founding of its armed forces on Saturday as its supreme leader Kim Jong Un remained absent amid reports that a Chinese medical team was assessing his health status.

Claude cat

South Korean news agency Yonhap reported that television coverage in the secretive northern state spent the day trumpeting the 88th anniversary of the birth of the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army (KPRA), which falls on April 25, without the nation’s chief heralding the event.

Hong Kong Satellite Television reported that the supreme leader was dead but this has not been confirmed by U.S. sources with a senior Pentagon official not authorized to speak on the record, telling Newsweek: “North Korean military readiness remains within historical norms and there is no further evidence to suggest a significant change in defensive posturing or national level leadership changes.”

I wonder if Kim could have had Covid-19? If he’s dead, will Trump be able to express grief and sadness as he hasn’t done after the loss of more than 50,000 Americans?

Susan Glasser at The New Yorker: Fifty Thousand Americans Dead from the Coronavirus, and a President Who Refuses to Mourn Them.

In just the past few days, President Trump has blamed immigrants, China, the “fake news” and, of course, “the invisible enemy” of the coronavirus for America’s present troubles. He has opined extemporaneously about his plans to hold a grand Fourth of July celebration on the National Mall and has announced that he planted a tree on the White House lawn in honor of Earth Day. He has offered his opinion on matters small and large, bragged about himself as “the king of ventilators,” and spent much time lamenting the pandemic-inflicted passing of what he invariably (and inaccurately) calls “the greatest economy in the history of the world.”

Despite the flood of words, though, what has struck me the most this week is what Trump does not talk about: the mounting toll of those who have died in this crisis. So voluble that he regularly talks well past dinnertime at his nightly briefings, the President somehow never seems to find time to pay tribute to those who have been lost, aside from reading an occasional scripted line or two at the start of his lengthy press conferences, or a brief mention of a friend in New York who died of the disease soon after calling him at the White House. “He said, ‘I tested positive.’ Four days later he was dead,” the President recounted. “So this is a tough deal.” It was not exactly the prayerful, if often politically expedient, mournfulness Americans generally expect of their elected leaders. Trump, for the most part, dispenses even with the ritualistic clichés that other politicians, regardless of party or creed, have always offered in times of crisis….

Sylvester Jr.

Honoring the dead has long been one of the tests of American Presidential leadership. Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address was, after all, not just another political speech but a remembrance of those who were killed in the bloodiest single battle of the Civil War, in which some fifty thousand Americans became casualties and about eight thousand died. Twenty-five years ago this week, Bill Clinton’s lip-bitingly empathetic response to the Oklahoma City bombing, in which a white supremacist blew up a federal building and killed a hundred and sixty-eight people, was seen as a key moment of his tenure. He was dubbed the “mourner-in-chief,” at a time when he was languishing politically. That speech is often said to have saved his Presidency. More recently, Barack Obama wept from the White House lectern in speaking about the deaths of schoolchildren in Newtown, Connecticut, and gave arguably the speech of his lifetime in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015, singing “Amazing Grace” as he mourned at a funeral service for nine African-Americans killed by a white supremacist at a church massacre. Even those Presidents who aren’t particularly good at speechifying—think of the two George Bushes—have considered public commiseration amid national tragedy part of the job description. Have we ever had a President just take a pass on human empathy, even of the manufactured, politically clichéd kind?

Just say it Susan. The “president” is a psychopath.

Michael Cohen at The Boston Globe: Say it loud, say it clear: Donald Trump needs to resign over his handling of the coronavirus.

The United States has just over 4 percent of the world’s population, but had about one-third of all global coronavirus cases and one-quarter of the fatalities, as of Friday.

This is a catastrophic failure that can be laid largely at the feet of President Trump. Editorial boards and politicians — both Democratic and Republican — should be calling on him to resign immediately.

Mrs. Sylvester

It’s not just the catalog of screw-ups that led us to this point — the playing down of the threat, the lack of testing, the spread of misinformation and lies, and the government-wide inattention to the issue. It’s that Trump represents an ongoing danger to the health and well-being of the American people.

Consider, for example, the strange case of hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malarial drug that Trump began publicly touting several weeks ago as a potential treatment for the coronavirus. “What do you have to lose?” the president asked, about a drug that had not been approved by the FDA for that purpose. It turns out the answer is “your life.” [….]

As remarkable as it is for the president to be suggesting the use of unproven drugs, Trump topped it on Thursday when he suggested that ultraviolet rays and cleaning disinfectants, injected into the body, should be examined as possible treatments for coronavirus. These comments led public health experts and companies like Lysol to remind Americans of something we regularly tell children: They shouldn’t ingest cleaning products….

Trump isn’t even participating in the federal response to the coronavirus. He reportedly watches television most of the day, doesn’t attend coronavirus task force meetings, and then uses his daily press briefing — for which he barely prepares — as a platform to self-aggrandize and lie.

Read the rest at the link above.

Hep Cat

Fallout continues from Trump’s touting sun and household cleaners to cure Covid-19. Is this where he got the idea? The Guardian: Revealed: leader of group peddling bleach as coronavirus ‘cure’ wrote to Trump this week.

The leader of the most prominent group in the US peddling potentially lethal industrial bleach as a “miracle cure” for coronavirus wrote to Donald Trump at the White House this week.

In his letter, Mark Grenon told Trump that chlorine dioxide – a powerful bleach used in industrial processes such as textile manufacturing that can have fatal side-effects when drunk – is “a wonderful detox that can kill 99% of the pathogens in the body”. He added that it “can rid the body of Covid-19”.

A few days after Grenon dispatched his letter, Trump went on national TV at his daily coronavirus briefing at the White House on Thursday and promoted the idea that disinfectant could be used as a treatment for the virus. To the astonishment of medical experts, the US president said that disinfectant “knocks it out in a minute. One minute!”

He went on to say: “Is there a way we can do something, by an injection inside or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it’d be interesting to check that.”

Marc Antony and Pussyfoot

Trump did not specify where the idea of using disinfectant as a possible remedy for Covid-19 came from, and the source for his notion remains obscure. But the Guardian has learned that peddlers of chlorine dioxide – industrial bleach – have been making direct approaches to the White House in recent days.

Grenon styles himself as “archbishop” of Genesis II – a Florida-based outfit that claims to be a church but which in fact is the largest producer and distributor of chlorine dioxide bleach as a “miracle cure” in the US. He brands the chemical as MMS, “miracle mineral solution”, and claims fraudulently that it can cure 99% of all illnesses including cancer, malaria, HIV/Aids as well as autism.

Since the start of the pandemic, Genesis II has been marketing MMS as a cure to coronavirus. It advises users, including children, to mix three to six drops of bleach in water and drink it.

Read more at the the Guardian.

So . . . it’s another busy news day even though it’s the weekend. What stories are you following?

26 Comments on “Lazy Caturday Reads: Looney Tunes Cats Plus News”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    I’ve mentioned that I think I had Covid-19 in late February and early March. Lots of people are now asking if they had it before cases and deaths became public.

    • bostonboomer says:

      The revelation this week that a death in the United States in early February was the result of the coronavirus has significantly altered the understanding of how early the virus may have been circulating in this country. Researchers now believe that hidden outbreaks were creeping through cities like Chicago, New York, Seattle and Boston in January and February, earlier than previously known.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    Axios reports that Trump might cut back his appearances at the daily coronovirus briefings. That would be great if true.

    President Trump plans to pare back his coronavirus press conferences, according to four sources familiar with the internal deliberations.

    He may stop appearing daily and make shorter appearances when he does, the sources said — a practice that may have started with Friday’s unusually short briefing…..

    Behind the scenes: A number of Trump’s most trusted advisers — both inside and outside the White House — have urged him to stop doing marathon televised briefings.

    They’ve told him he’s overexposed and these appearances are part of the reason polls aren’t looking good for him right now against Joe Biden.

    “I told him it’s not helping him,” said one adviser to the president. “Seniors are scared. And the spectacle of him fighting with the press isn’t what people want to see.”

    But Trump has defended the practice, telling critics that the briefings get good ratings….

    Another source close to the deliberations said there simply isn’t enough new material to justify Trump appearing before the press every day. “I mean, you wonder how we got to the point where you’re talking about injecting disinfectant?” the source wondered aloud.

    These conversations were underway before Trump suggested that researchers investigate whether doctors could cure coronavirus by injecting people with disinfectant. But a source said it finally seems to have dawned on Trump, after this incident, that these briefings aren’t helping him. The CDC and other public health officials responded obliquely to the comment by telling people not to drink bleach.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    Forbes: The US States With The Greatest Risk Of Exposure To COVID-19 Ranked From Worst To Best

    The top ten

    1 New York 1294.0
    2 New Jersey 1040.1
    3 Massachusetts 597.7
    4 Connecticut 571.1
    5 Lousiana 534.6
    6 Rhode Island 519.2
    7 District of Columbia 439.0
    8 Michigan 329.8
    9 Delaware 301.0
    10 Pennsylvania

  4. Pat Johnson says:

    Great news, if true, that Kim Jung Un may be dead. A loathsome tyrant who starves his own people, kills off relatives who pose a threat, and terrorizes the globe with possible nuclear devastation.

    Couldn’t happen to a “nicer” guy.

  5. dakinikat says:

    When Is It Safe To Ease Social Distancing? Here’s What One Model Says For Each State

    You can see the projected date for your state there

    • dakinikat says:

      ‘No Evidence’ That Recovered COVID-19 Patients Are Immune, WHO Says

      The World Health Organization has pushed back against the theory that individuals can only catch the coronavirus once, as well as proposals for reopening society that are based on this supposed immunity.

      In a scientific brief dated Friday, the United Nations agency said the idea that one-time infection can lead to immunity remains unproven and is thus unreliable as a foundation for the next phase of the world’s response to the pandemic.

      “Some governments have suggested that the detection of antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, could serve as the basis for an ‘immunity passport’ or ‘risk-free certificate’ that would enable individuals to travel or to return to work assuming that they are protected against re-infection,” the WHO wrote. “There is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection.”

      The statement comes days after Chile announced it would begin issuing immunity cards that effectively act as passports, allowing travelers to clear security at airports with a document that purportedly shows they have recovered from the virus. Authorities and researchers in other countries — such as France and the United Kingdom — have expressed interest in similar ideas, while some officials in the U.S., such as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, have mentioned it as one possible facet of a reopening strategy.

      • quixote says:

        This is the scariest news of all. If there’s little natural immunity, it’s going to be much harder or impossible to make a vaccine, and we are severely screwed.

        • NW Luna says:

          True, but we simply don’t know yet. Chances are very good that many people have developed immunity since 80% recover after mild illness. Once we get larger numbers of IgM and IgG samples — presently we have virtually nothing worth analyzing — we’ll have more to go on.

      • dakinikat says:

        Ultimately, the rapid spread of Covid-19 across the United States and the globe, the clear evidence of SARS-CoV-2 transmission from asymptomatic persons, and the eventual need to relax current social distancing practices argue for broadened SARS-CoV-2 testing to include asymptomatic persons in prioritized settings. These factors also support the case for the general public to use face masks when in crowded outdoor or indoor spaces. This unprecedented pandemic calls for unprecedented measures to achieve its ultimate defeat.

        • NW Luna says:

          Excellent article.

          The following from LA’s Public Health Director struck me as exceptionally stupid. If relatives had the time, money, and skills to care for their loved ones at home, those nursing-home residents wouldn’t be in the facility in the 1st place.

          The public health director of Los Angeles has recommended that families remove their loved ones from nursing homes, a measure that is not feasible for many families.

  6. dakinikat says:

    Trump”Let me be brief, there will be no briefing.” ~ #KayleighMcEnany #CovidPresser is giving up his afternoon meltdowns on TV!

    • NW Luna says:

      Oh, good! Guess there’s been a helluva lot of damage control work for the Admin after his drink-bleach ramblings.

  7. NW Luna says:

    “Did you know . . . that in our history, we have lost more women in childbirth than men in war?”

    So begins a film about bravery not in wartime, but in a bygone era where health care was all but inaccessible to residents of Appalachia. “The Forgotten Frontier,” a 1931 film about horseback-riding nurses bringing critical care to some of the nation’s poorest people, tells that brave tale.
    The documentary was made by Mary “Marvin” Breckinridge, whose cousin, a nurse midwife also named Mary Breckinridge, founded the Frontier Nursing Service, a brigade of horse-riding nurses who delivered babies and cared for poor, rural patients throughout Depression-era Eastern Kentucky.

    The silent film conveys the courage and grit of the nurses, who traveled on horseback through all kinds of conditions to reach their patients, most of whom lacked modern conveniences and all of whom were financially affected by the Great Depression. The nurses’ interventions cut the maternal death rate in the regions they served by two-thirds.
    To watch the film, digitized by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, visit

    • quixote says:

      This is what’s dawned on me over time. That’s the only way it can dawn, since all the cultural narratives are about the bravery of great big strong men. But if you’re going to assign bravery to a group, women have to be first in line.

      1) They have to deal with men. I’m not being facetious. The only common situation in which men are under noticeable personal danger from bigger and stronger people is in prison. And look how much noise they make about that.

      2) Men make a big deal out of going to war. They usually have armor and weapons. Women are in the middle of wars. They *live* there, try to get food, try to shelter their kids, all with no armor and no weapons. They just do it. No sagas are written about it.

      3) Childbirth, as you point out. Again, no sagas.

  8. bostonboomer says:

  9. NW Luna says: