Sunday Reads: Earthquake…tRumpquake

Every day, something happens…

And now, the J stands for Jenuis:

This thread:

I’m thinking these rich people may also be thinking about a possible re-election of tRump? They can just leave the country, after the helped destroy it.

This looks interesting:

At last…

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🤷🏽‍♂️🤔☝🏾

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This is an open thread.


Friday Reads: Even First Ladies Get the Blues

Good Day Sky Dancers!

I continue to wake and wonder what fresh hell awaits us today.  There’s a lot of it but I’m finding some comfort in Michelle Obama’s openness about her mild depression in her new podcasts. I would really like to return to the day and age where there was less yelling and incoherent sentences and a lot more humanly shared experience. Empathetic people get the blues while witnessing human suffering. This is from E. 

The former first lady spurred concern from supporters this week after mentioning in a new episode of her eponymous podcast that she is “dealing with some form of low-grade depression” as a result of these historic times.

However, a day later, she addressed the worry about her head on with a message directly to fans via social media. “I just wanted to check in with you all because a lot of you have been checking in on me after hearing this week’s podcast. First things first—I’m doing just fine,” she assured on Instagram. “There’s no reason to worry about me.”

As Obama elaborated, her concern is with frontline workers, Black Lives Matter activists and families making decisions about school amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Like I said in that conversation with @Michele__Norris, I’m thinking about the folks out there risking themselves for the rest of us—the doctors and nurses and essential workers of all kinds,” she explained. “I’m thinking about the teachers and students and parents who are just trying to figure out school for the fall. I’m thinking about the people out there protesting and organizing for a little more justice in our country.”

Obama also took a moment to comfort anyone who is struggling with how things are presently—because times are indeed hard.

“The idea that what this country is going through shouldn’t have any effect on us—that we all should just feel OK all the time—that just doesn’t feel real to me,” she wrote. “So I hope you all are allowing yourselves to feel whatever it is you’re feeling.”

“I hope you’re listening to yourselves and taking a moment to reflect on everything that’s coming at us,” Obama encouraged, “and what you might be able to do about it.”

As the public figure concluded, Obama left readers with one last suggestion. “And to all of you who’ve reached out—thank you,” she said. “I hope you’re also reaching out to all those you’re closest with, not just with a text, but maybe with a call or a video chat. Don’t be afraid to offer them a shoulder to lean on, or to ask for one yourself. Love you all.”

These are the words in her podcast that drew strong empathy from me.

“These are not…fulfilling times spiritually, so I know that I am dealing with some form of low-grade depression,” she shared, “not just because of the quarantine, but because of the racial strife and just seeing this administration, watching the hypocrisy of it, day in and day out, is dispiriting. So, I’ve had to kind of give myself that—those days, those moments.”

I keep saying it but these are wretched times. Nothing feels normal about any of this.   Susan Glasser–writing for the New Yorker–describes this President’s lack of vision and priorities.  Clearly, he’s interested in only ego stroking attention and grifting.  Actually doing his job or thinking about it isn’t particularly interesting to him. His short attention span and inability to think outside of his visceral needs shows how uniquely unsuitable he is for his job.

It was not supposed to be a trick question, or even all that tricky. For any other candidate, it would have been the softest of softballs, the slowest of pitches. But when the Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt asked Donald Trump the other morning, “Mr. President, what is your second-term agenda? What are your top priorities?,” his inability to answer was one of the most revealing moments of his reëlection campaign so far. “I want to take where we left,” Trump said. “We were better than we were ever,” he added, wistfully conjuring the booming pre-pandemic America of his fantasies, where everybody had a job and the stock market was great. Facing uncontrolled death from the coronavirus and an economy that is cratering because of it, Trump is desperate for a do-over. Other than that, he had pretty much nothing to say about why he should be elected to a second term, although he took more than three hundred words to say it. The bottom line seemed to be that Trump is promising four more years of “jobs” and of stopping U.S. allies, especially Germany, from “ripping us off.” And that’s it.

This painful exchange, which even the Fox hosts eventually cut off, after a few cringe-inducing minutes, was little noted among the many whoppers, distortions, and outrages offered up by Trump this week. It wasn’t even the big news out of that particular Fox interview, the coverage of which rightfully focussed on the President’s absurd claims that the coronavirus is just “going away” and that schools should reopen because children are “almost immune” to covid-19. Throughout the week, Trump’s near-delusional state about the pandemic has been on awkward display, most notably in his instant classic of an interview with the Axios journalist Jonathan Swan, whose simple but skeptical queries about the virus revealed a President unable to comprehend basic facts about the public-health crisis or devise a national plan for combatting it. “It is what it is,” Trump told Swan, when asked about the large, and growing, American death toll—a line that may well go down as one of his most chillingly callous.

But Trump’s struggle to answer such an important and straightforward question about what he would do in a second term should not be overlooked, because it goes to the heart of why his campaign— and the country that he nominally governs—is in such trouble. As an incumbent, Trump is certainly in a bind: he can hardly campaign on his record, when the United States is in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and close to a hundred and sixty thousand Americans are dead of the coronavirus. There’s only so much blame that Trump can deflect; this is a catastrophe that happened on his watch, and—no matter how many times he calls it the “China virus” or warns Americans that Joe Biden will turn the country into a godless hellscape—he knows it.

Trump’s vapid answer is more than a reflection of a political-messaging dilemma—it’s a sign of decline, both in terms of the President’s ability to respond cogently to a simple query and as a warning for American democracy, given that such a large segment of the electorate apparently finds it acceptable to support a leader whose only campaign selling point is himself. Is Trump’s inability to come up with something to say about the next four years a reflection of the fact that even he thinks he is going to lose? Perhaps, but it’s also a measure of how far Trump has descended into full “l’état, c’est moi”-ism. Running for reëlection without offering even a hint of a program is a sure indicator of at least aspirational authoritarianism.

Still, watching polls and interviews with former Hair Furor devotees does give me hope that we my eventually be rid of him.  This is from Prevail: “The Great Escape: Donald John Trump’s Exit Strategy. Where does the President go from here?” It’s written by Greg Olear.

 

A thousand Americans are dying of the novel coronavirus every day. Volume Five of the Senate Intelligence Committee Report is due for release any day now. Senators, Congressmen, and emeritus members of the intelligence community have stopped pulling punches and are sounding the alarms. Cy Vance announced that his investigation is wider than originally thought, and likely includes tax fraud; the New York Times reported that Deutsche Bank has already turned over Trump’s financial documents to prosecutors. The vaunted economy is falling along with the president’s poll numbers. And the presumptive guy in charge gave the most unflattering interview of all time ever, unequivocally exposing himself as a complete and total moron:

 

Even the Trump people know they can’t win the election without banana-republic-level fuckery, as the indefatigable historian Heather Cox Richardson writes:

No one is pretending that Trump is going to win the popular vote. He’s not even trying to. He’s doubling down on the culture wars that excite his base in the hopes of getting them to turn out in strong numbers, most recently by sending federal law enforcement officers into cities led by Democrats in order to create images of what looks like rioting, to enable him to set himself up as defending “law and order.”

At the same time, he and his supporters in the Republican Party are working to guarantee an undercount of votes for his opponent by attacking mail-in voting, shutting down polling places, kicking people off voter rolls, undercutting the United States Postal Service, and even, perhaps, by permitting a wave of evictions that will make it significantly harder for displaced people to vote.

It is notable that, as a country, we are not talking about policies or winning majorities. We are talking about how Trump can win by gaming the Electoral College, or by cheating.

Even so, enthusiasm for cheating to keep a low-IQ mobster in office seems to be on the wane, even among Republicans, who must be sick of the guy. There have been many cracks in the facade these last few weeks. Sure, Bill Barr is boss at torpedoing investigations, but he can only do so much—and as Lincoln’s Bible pointed out during his embarrassing House hearing, the AG is not nearly as smart as he thinks he is:

(Sidenote: Being not nearly as smart as one thinks one is is the prevailing character trait of everyone involved with this White House. Other than, you know, pure uncut greed).

So, like, now what? Where does Trump go from here?

We’ll know more by the end of the month. The Republican National Convention is scheduled for August 24-27. Whether it’s in Charlotte, Jacksonville, the South Lawn of the White House (illegally, but whatevs), or the back nine of Bedminster, that’s the moment when Republicans will certify the Trump/Pence ticket—or not certify it.

The Republican National Committee, chaired by the ever-mendacious Ronna Romney McDaniel, decided to eschew a proper primary process, likely fearing that some dark horse candidate, perhaps Ronna’s own Uncle Mitt, would prevail. Last week came the curious report that the convention would be closed to the press. While that original announcement has been walked back, it brought up the obvious question: Why would the RNC opt to go dark at the precise moment when it should want every TV channel in the country broadcasting its propaganda program?

This question is answered by the Corona Virus epidemic Trump enabled and created through out the country. Go read the entire biting essay. Oh, and my answer to his question is this:  Go directly to Jail. Do not pass Go. Do not Collect $200.

Emily Stewart of Vox tries to understand antimaskers by letting them explain themselves. Yes, it’s that basket of deplorables again.

In recent weeks, I spoke with nearly a dozen people who consider themselves anti-mask to find out just that. What I discovered is that there is certainly a broad spectrum of reasons — some find wearing a mask annoying or just aren’t convinced they work, and others have gone down a rabbit hole of conspiracies that often involve vaccines, Big Pharma, YouTube, and Bill Gates. One man told me he wears a mask when he goes to the store to be polite. A woman got kicked out of a Menards store for refusing to wear a mask amid what she calls the “Covid scam garbage.”

But there are also many commonalities. Most people I talked to noted government officials’ confusing messaging on masks in the pandemic’s early days. They insist that they’re not conspiracy theorists and that they don’t believe the coronavirus is a hoax, but many also expressed doubts about the growing body of scientific knowledge around the virus, opting for cherry-picked and unverified sources of information found on social media rather than traditional news sources. They often said they weren’t political but acknowledged they leaned right.

Most claimed not to know anyone who had contracted Covid-19 or died of it, and when I told them I did, the responses were the same: How old were they? Did they have preexisting conditions? They know their position is unpopular, and most spoke on condition of anonymity and will be referred to only by their first names. Amy told me people are “not very nice about this.”

The mask debate is complex. As much as it’s about science, health, and risk, it’s also about empathy. If someone doesn’t personally know anyone who died from Covid-19, does it mean those lives don’t matter? Are older and immunocompromised people disposable? Does one person’s right to ignore public health advice really trump someone else’s right to live?

“Death is happening in these wards where even family members can’t visit their loved ones when they’re sick with Covid, so the death and the severity of this disease are really invisible to the public,” said Kumi Smith, an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota who studies infectious diseases.

It leads some people to brush the issue aside.

So, again, I empathize with Michelle Obama and know exactly where she’s at since I’ve struggled with this ever since Trump took office and fucked the country over royally.

Today’s art is from Picasso’s blue period.  That would be 1901-1904.

And here’s some Blues.

Be Kind and gentle yourselves and others.  Try to relax and stay in the moment and do what you love to do.  Check in we love you and worry about you.

 

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

 

 


Wednesday Reads: Explosion

For the latest updates on Beirut:

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Pulitzer Prize winning photographer @lorenzotug is on the ground for The Post in Beirut, Lebanon and took these photographs following massive explosions that shook the city on Tuesday, injuring and killing hundreds of people. The cause of the early-evening blasts was not immediately clear, but senior officials said it appeared that flammable materials stored in a warehouse had caught fire. One thing that was clear is that crisis-stricken Lebanon, in the throes of a major economic collapse and battling rising numbers of coronavirus infections, is in little position to cope with another disaster, especially on this scale. At least two hospitals were badly damaged in the explosions, and TV footage showed staff evacuating patients to alternative hospitals that were themselves swamped — in the dark, because the city had no electricity. Read our coverage by clicking the link in our bio.

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And, by the way…

Dealing with tRump:

Other bits of news:

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A lot of schools reopened this week and go figure but the pictures seem to show few wearing masks or social distancing. Now it’s just a matter of time until a spike in cases. • #keepschoolssafe #keepschoolsclosed #distancelearning #onlinelearning #virtuallearning #coronavirus #covid19 #publicschool #teachers #teachersofinstagram #guineapigs #wordproblems #lessonplan #school #freelanceartist #digitalart

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On Wednesday, teachers in Georgia’s largest school district returned to elementary, middle and high school campuses to start in-person planning for the fall semester. By the next day, 260 district employees had been barred from entering their schools, either because they tested positive for the coronavirus or had been directly exposed to someone who had. The outbreak has complicated the return to school in Gwinnett County, which this week had the highest number of new coronavirus cases in the state. Across the nation, school districts have been struggling to find the safest, most effective way to return to class this fall. But spiking coronavirus case rates, particularly in the Midwest and South, where outbreaks have been growing rapidly in recent weeks, have complicated the reopening process. States and individual districts have adopted a patchwork of policies governing how schools should shut down when outbreaks spread through classrooms. Georgia has left control over closures up to school districts. Read more by clicking the link in our bio.

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Playtime for clouded leopard cubs Jilian and Paitoon! Toys that dangle, swing and roll are all the rage with these cool cats, which are well-adapted to arboreal life in the forests of Thailand, Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia and China. This entertaining enrichment serves to sharpen the cubs’ hunting skills, motivate them to explore their habitat, encourage problem solving and offer them choices in how to spend their time. . . . These items are built to be hearty, but over time they wear down after so many teeth and claw marks. You can help replenish some of the cubs’ worn-but-well-loved toys by making a donation to the Enrichment Trunk: https://s.si.edu/3kbeStB. (Link in bio.) On behalf of the cubs, thank you for your generosity! . . . #InternationalCloudedLeopardDay

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Here is something to check out, on the political cartoon front:

Follow that thread.

A few thoughts on the Swan interview:

This thread is spot on…

Be sure to read that thread in full.

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Six years ago today we had a twinkle in our eyes that, well watered with gin and due fucking care and attention, became the Profanity Embroidery Group! Been a bit of a shitty year for a pub-meeting responsible-drinking (ahem) over-huggy very sweary embroidery group – but we are slowly finding our fucking feet again. All being well, might be worth tuning in to You & Yours on Radio 4 tomorrow (Thursday 6th Aug). Might not of course, but that’s up to you – and whatever other shit the world throws up that would be more important than talking sweary sewing HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US!!!!! and here for good measure, is the @rinadraws cartoon which began it all. Fuck the World. . . #pegwhitstable #itsprofanedontcomplain #profanityembroiderygroup #profanityembroidery #sewing #welovefuckingswearing #whitstable #embroiderytherapy #embroideryart #artist #textile #textileart #textileartist #textiletherapy #fuckit #fuckyou #fucktheworld #pissed #gin #mrswinchester #embrioderyandshit

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tRump is a disgusting piece of shit.

This is an open thread.

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If 2020 was an Avocado…

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TGIF Reads

Image

Charles Burchfield, “July Sunlight Pouring Down”, 1952, Watercolor on paper

Good Day

Sky Dancers!

Today’s art is from Charles Burchfield whose ethereal water colors of nature have always had a calming effect on me.  Water color is my favorite medium and I love painting landscapes and old buildings.  I always find his play of light to be fascinating. That’s hard to do with water color. You get one chance at it.

According to Burchfield’s friend and colleague Edward Hopper, “The work of Charles Burchfield is most decidedly founded, not on art, but on life, and the life that he knows and loves best.”

Those times were not simpler for most folks. There are always plagues and famines and wars.  However, this is the first time we look at Americana from the viewpoint of living through a nightmare of a leader who is not the least bit suited for the job a minority of the population shove him into.  I cannot wait to be rid of him one way or another and whatever gets him out of our lives quickly.

Polls continue to show the displeasure is not limited to us.  This is from Politico: “Poll shows Trump’s coronavirus approval at all-time low. The president remains reluctant to acknowledge the disease’s threat as he keeps pushing to restart the U.S. economy.”

Support for President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic has hit an all-time low, according to a new survey, with a similarly substantial majority of Americans also disapproving of his response to widespread racial unrest.

An ABC News/Ipsos poll released Friday reports that a record 67 percent of respondents now disapprove of “the way Donald Trump is handling the response to the coronavirus,” while only 33 percent approve — the widest gulf in public sentiment since ABC News and Ipsos started surveying on the pandemic in March.

Dawn of Spring, ca. 1960s. Watercolor, charcoal, and white chalk on joined paper mounted on board,

It’s still disheartening that fully 1/3 of those respondents appear to be adherents to the kind of white christian nationalism that brands the Trumpist regime and supporters into the KKK corner of life.   What’s also disheartening is that the kind of blatantly fictional conspiracy theories and fairy tales embraced by these people seems to be still selling in some corners that send representatives to Congress.  This is from Media Matters: “QAnon may be coming to Congress, and journalists need to be ready”. This article describes the odd views of ““Gun-toting” restaurateur Lauren Boebert who beat an incumbent Republican in the Colorado primary.

In many ways,  Boebert and other QAnon-following candidates have been normalized in the press. FiveThirtyEight published an article about the likelihood that Republican women will increase their representation in Congress with the November elections, and used a photo of Boebert. Her fringe beliefs are not mentioned anywhere in the article or accompanying tweet.

When The New York Times wrote about Boebert’s victory, it made a passing reference to her support of QAnon, saying in the lead that she’d “spoken approvingly of the pro-Trump conspiracy theory QAnon.” It wasn’t until the 11th paragraph that the movement got mentioned again, and even that was framed in the context of how “Democrats immediately went on the attack” for her support of QAnon.

Media Matters’ Alex Kaplan has reported extensively on the QAnon movement, and he has identified two concepts that journalists need to understand when reporting on this movement. The first has to do with QAnon-supporting candidates and the need to probe their actual beliefs. “Some of these candidates seem to see QAnon and its supporters as an explicit political constituency to appeal to for support, and are trying to use existing QAnon infrastructure to do so, such as using QAnon hashtags (particularly #WWG1WGA) and going on QAnon YouTube channels,” he says. “So they seem to be treating a far-right conspiracy theory group tied to violence and flagged by the FBI as some normal voting block when it’s clearly not.”

The second issue is that reporters often seem unaware of, or aren’t reporting on, the actual number of QAnon-supporting candidates who are progressing in their races. Kaplan says, “I keep seeing just a few specific candidates mentioned over and over regarding those who made it out of primaries or to primary runoffs (Lauren Boebert, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Jo Rae Perkins), when it’s way more than that; it’s at least 14 candidates that made it out of primaries to the ballot in November or to primary runoffs (and that’s leaving out independent/write-in candidates).”

 

Image

Charles Burchfield, “Purple Vetch and Buttercups”, 1959, Watercolor over charcoal,

 

This shows you exactly how far Trump thinks he can go unchecked.  Via CNN: “Trump implies he’s ready to grant clemency to Roger Stone”. 

Trump is widely expected to pardon or commute Stone’s sentence, according to at least half a dozen sources close to the President.

>Asked by Fox News host Sean Hannity whether he’s considered a pardon or commutation for Stone, Trump said during a phone interview, “I am always thinking.”

“You’ll be watching like everyone else in this case,” he said.

In another interview, with radio host Howie Carr, Trump decried Stone’s treatment at the hands of law enforcement and said he may grant his clemency plea.

“He was framed. He was treated horrible. He was treated so badly,” Trump said.

Probably the most heinous thing Trump is doing right now is turning America’s school children into political props for his culture war.  This is an Op Ed by Michelle Goldberg writing at the NYT: “Trump Threatens to Turn Pandemic Schooling Into a Culture War. The president might sabotage parents’ best hopes for getting their kids back to school.”

Instead, Donald Trump has approached the extraordinarily complex challenge of educating children during a pandemic just as he’s approached most other matters of governing: with bullying, bluster and propaganda.

While doing nothing to curb the wildfire spread of the coronavirus, he has demanded that schools reopen and threatened to cut off funding for those that don’t. On Wednesday, he tweeted that the guidelines for reopening schools from his own Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were “very tough & expensive,” adding, “I will be meeting with them!!!” Mike Pence then suggested that the guidelines would be revised. On Thursday the agency’s director, Dr. Robert Redfield, said they wouldn’t be, but later, seeming to give into pressure, said the guidelines should be seen as recommendations, not requirements.

Also on Thursday, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos gestured toward a plan of coronavirus-inspired school choice that would punish public schools that don’t fully reopen. Without offering details, she said families could take the federal money spent at these schools and use it elsewhere. She’s long wanted to give public money to private schools; perhaps she thinks this coronavirus has given her the chance.

 

 

 

Check out New York Magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi’s piece “The Unburdened Believer”.  There’s a lot of creepy here.

Trump’s central case for reelection — the strong economy — has evaporated faster than the tear gas the administration sprayed on peaceful demonstrators outside the White House in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, by a white police officer in Minneapolis on Memorial Day. The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 130,000 Americans and counting, and the shutdowns have left millions out of work. Trump publicly worked through his grief in phases: denial, semi-acceptance, promotion of bad medical advice, denial once again, then promotion of overly rosy recovery projections. Meanwhile, he has responded to the nationwide civil unrest that erupted after Floyd’s killing by circulating far-right conspiracies, calling for more violence, defending iconic losers of the Confederacy, sharing a video in which one of his supporters shouted “White power!,” and attempting halfheartedly to cast Biden as a far-left extremist.

Trump has struggled to offer his campaign a message behind which to organize. For Trump, this would never mean formulating a case to prove that voters are better off now than they were four years ago or something similarly normal. It would mean coming up with an effective way to bully his opponent. In the 2016 Republican primary, this meant Lyin’ Ted and Little Marco and Low Energy Jeb(!). In the general, it meant Crooked Hillary and the Fake News media vs. the Deplorables. In 2020, “Sleepy Joe” hasn’t quite caught on. Sean Spicer, the former White House press secretary who now hosts some kind of low-rent faux Fox News program on a D-list far-right cable channel, recently talked about this with Dick Morris. The issue with Trump’s “sleepy” message is that sleepy might sound pretty appealing to some voters right now, fatigued by the chaos of the Trump years. On Fox News, Ari Fleischer, a White House spokesman under George W. Bush, and Matt Schlapp, a Trump-campaign surrogate, had a conversation about the issue, too. They agreed that “sleepy” wasn’t working, that the president needed to go back to the drawing board and focus on something else. Kellyanne Conway has suggested that the campaign’s focus on Biden as senile and losing it might put off older voters. These allies of the president are offering campaign-strategy notes in public, on television, because that’s how you get through to him.

And so in walks Hogan Gidley, the new spokesman for the reelection effort — a job that recently belonged to Kayleigh McEnany, who in April became Gidley’s boss when she was named White House press secretary. In a normal White House, the position would’ve gone to Gidley. The ambition of any deputy, after all, is to replace the principal under which the deputy serves. Gidley has served under three press secretaries: Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Stephanie Grisham, and now McEnany. (So much for the patriarchy!)

Gidley, now 43, arrived at the White House as a supporting character in the volatile second season. A onetime broadcast-journalism major at Ole Miss and a student of political media, he ended up reporting on Mike Huckabee for a TV station in Little Rock, Arkansas, before defecting to the dark side to join the then-governor’s staff. “He’s got professional integrity. He will never do something that is wrong or immoral,” Huckabee told New York. “But, at the same time, he’s a person that, if he takes a check from someone in a job, he’s gonna be loyal to that person.” In the next breath, Huckabee addressed the question that hangs over any human shield for this president. “If it ever gets to where he can’t, then maybe he’ll find something else. But he’s not gonna go out and burn his bridges.”

When Mike’s daughter, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, replaced Sean Spicer as press secretary, she brought along her “big brother” Hogan as a special assistant to the president. In the very West Wing that inspired a tell-all book called Team of Vipers, he’s distinguished himself as “a golden retriever,” “a great teammate,” and “a really sweet person,” in terms that were repeated by more than half a dozen current and former White House staffers who spoke to New York. Across the board, but never on the record, Gidley’s colleagues described him as a nonthreatening force for good, for making things run a tiny bit smoother in what can charitably be described as the very definition of a hostile work environment — a happy-to-be-here functionary who keeps things light and in perspective. However, these qualities can sometimes read more like haplessness than virtue.

Sun and Rocks, 1918-50. Watercolor and gouache on paper,

I would really like a nice quiet weekend but I imagine I’m going to start hearing the sound of perpetual sirens.  Any one who knows me heard me say I am not going anywhere until at least two weeks after 4th of July because I want to see what Memorial Day and the 4th drag into town with all this reopening stupidity.  Well,  it reignited our Covid -19 upward trend.  So, ask me again when we get a few weeks after Labor Day.  I’m staying my fat ass home.

This is from NPR News Baton Rouge.

Louisiana is now one of the leading states in the nation for most new coronavirus cases.

It ranks third in the U.S. this week for most new cases per capita on a rolling seven-day average, according to new data from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. It’s a trajectory that could spark another shutdown.

Louisiana’s jump to the top of the list for most new coronavirus cases cannot be explained by increased testing. Hospitalizations grew by more than 50 percent over the last two weeks, and the percentage of positive tests in the state has also been rising. On Thursday the latter rate hit 12 percent positive — over the 10 percent threshold set by the state for safe opening in Phase 2. The 7-day rolling average is 8.7 percent, according to AH Datalyitcs.

But that could already be too high. The World Health Organization’s recommended goal is 5 percent. A high positivity rate indicates that the virus’s spread is too great for contact tracing to work — and that’s assuming contact tracing is actually being broadly embraced by the public, which hasn’t been the case in Louisiana.

Dr. Vin Gupta, an assistant professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Washington, is among the medical experts warning that contact tracing is now useless across much of the U.S. because the virus has already spread too widely.

On Wednesday, Gov. John Bel Edwards said the state has “lost all the gains made in June” and is “now seeing some numbers that rival our peak back in April.”

And while Texas, Florida and Arizona are seeing higher increases in hospitalizations, Dr. Thomas Tsai, a surgeon and assistant professor at Harvard’s School of Public Health, said it could be a matter of time.

“My worry is that Louisiana may just be a few weeks behind Texas and Arizona and Florida, unless more concerted efforts are taken,” he said.

It’s unclear whether there’s public appetite for that — or even to abide by the guidelines already in place. Health officials say that as the state reopened — too many people have ignored public health guidelines, particularly around wearing masks and keeping distance. Bars in particular have become a key source of outbreaks.

“Frankly, it’s been really, really frustrating. Because just a few weeks ago, we were in a really, pretty good place,” said Suan Hassig, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Tulane University.

“The curve is going to bounce back up if we don’t keep jumping on it and stomping it down.”

I’m no epidemiologist but frankly,  I knew opening the damned bars would send us into a spike.  The mayor backed off a little and put some size limits but we still have indoor eating,  Short term Rentals, and open bars although you can’t drink at the bar.  They’ve put them outside which is highly unpleasant in a neighbor even at the best of times.

And we have this too look forward to!  Climate change hoax again … right?

 

So, I hope it’s going better where you are.  Keep letting us know you’re safe!  If you’d like to see the Whitney Showing of Burchfield: Heat Waves in a Swamp please go to this page and enjoy  a teaching led tour!.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

 

 


Sunday Reads: Draft dodgers don’t get to salute!

This is such an important statement.

With that in mind…

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So overwhelmed with grief who is in the fucking mood? Reposted from @ashleighchubbybunny @jacenopenny ⁣ ⁣ ⁣ [Image description: Tweet saying, “Everybody’s different, but personally, I’d be EMBARRASSED to celebrate America two days after the body of a US soldier was found dismembered and bludgeoned for speaking up about being sexually assaulted & not to mention the literal other human remains found in the process????”]

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“L.A. Liberty” (1992) by Pacita Abad. Abad's ‘Immigrant Experience’ series was produced in the early 1990s when the artist was living in Washington D.C. These works combined Abad's Social Realist inclinations with a new trapunto technique that she was developing – presenting complex and kaleidoscopic depictions of the immigrant experience. Every stitch and painted surface evokes the overwhelming strangeness of a new place. Within Abad's paintings are narratives of personal aspiration, shared suffering and common humanity that have gained renewed poignancy. Presented by @SilverlensGalleries as part of the Woven section at Frieze London 2019. #PacitaAbad #FriezeLondon

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Today we’re reflecting on what true reproductive freedom means. It means committing to addressing systemic racism. It means dismantling oppressive systems. And it means eradicating racial disparities in healthcare. We won’t have freedom for 𝘢𝘯𝘺 body until there’s freedom for 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆 body. None of us can be free until all of us are free.

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If You Know You Know… Art by #AyandaMabulu #BlackMadonna #art #artistsoninstagram #blm #blacklivesmatter

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Damn it. Now I want bagels of truth.

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At the same time that the United States declared “liberty” as an inalienable right, hundreds of thousands of enslaved people were being denied that right. Racial hierarchy (e.g. white supremacy) has existed in this country since before its inception and remains deeply ingrained in our society. Today, take the time to realize the depth of this racial oppression. Instead of celebrating our history, learn about it and reflect on actions you can take to dismantle systemic racism

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Did y’all see Shaun King try and take credit for that image…

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Today we remember the mission that piqued our curiosities and drove our perseverance to pursue further exploration of the Red Planet. 🚀 Our Sojourner rover landed on July 4, 1997, after hitching a ride aboard the Mars Pathfinder mission. Its innovative design became the template for future missions. The rover, named after civil rights pioneer Sojourner Truth, outlived its design life 12 times. This panoramic view of Pathfinder's Ares Vallis landing site shows Sojourner rover in the distance. Credit: NASA/JPL #CountdownToMars #Perseverance #Pathfinder #CuriosityRover #OpportunityRover #MarsRover #TheRedPlanet #NASA

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And, this draft dodging bone spurs asshole needs to stop acting like he’s a war hero or some other kind of tiny prick wannabe big shot:

What an insult to service men and women…the same military he allows Putin to put a bounty on…it is disgusting.