So What Do We Do With All Those People Buying Guns?

              So last night I turn on the local TV news and the show leads off with a story about the huge spike in gun sales in Massachusetts, the state where I happen to live. And this tremendous surge in gun ownership, we are told, is a result of Covid-19 and people getting worried about protecting themselves. But it’s not the virus they want to ward off with a gun; it’s all those riots and property destruction caused by the Black Lives Matter mob who are running amok in the streets of every American city and town.

              I didn’t make up that last sentence. The local TV station actually went down to Connecticut and got someone from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) who said exactly that. And after all, the NSSF is the trade group that represents the gun industry, so they must know what they’re talking about, right?

              So I took a look at the monthly data for background checks posted by the FBI and yep, year-to-year gun transfers in Massachusetts went up from 6,511 background checks in September, 2019 to 11,807 FBI-NICS checks in September of this year. Just my luck. I stopped doing retail sales in my gun shop a couple of years ago and now everyone in Massachusetts wants to own a gun. Oh well, oh well.

              Of course, there’s also been all kinds of violent demonstrations in Massachusetts since the cops stomped the shit out of George Floyd and shot a few other Black folks. So much violence has occurred, in fact, that Governor Baker has called out the National Guard. And now not only do we have the Black Lives Matter bunch marching through downtown Boston, the ISIS terrorists have also flown in.

              Actually, the only demonstration I have seen in Massachusetts this year was a small group of fat, middle-aged bikers who were standing around on a street corner in Greenfield last weekend waving their MAGA hats at passing motorists, most of whom responded with the middle finger salute, or a ‘fuck yourself’ shout, or both.

              Know what the real problem is going to be because of the purchase of all those guns? It’s not going to result in more gun violence, despite what my friends in Gun-control Nation contend. The real problem is that next year when we finally get a vaccine and the virus disappears, most of those guns purchased last month will wind up back in those gun shops because the guys who bought them will need to pay for a new set of tires for themselves or a new washing machine for ‘the wife.’

You may not know this, but the most popular first name for a woman married to a gun nut isn’t Tina, or Marge, or Melinda or Sue. It’s ‘the wife.’ That’s her real name. And I can prove this because every time some guy ever bought a gun in my gun shop, he would tell me that he had to figure out how to get it past ‘the wife’ and sneak it into the house. Because if ‘the wife’ sees that he’s bought another gun, she’s going to ask him in a not-so-pleasant voice, “Why did you just buy another friggin’ gun?”

If you think for one second that any of those guns purchased last month in Massachusetts or anywhere else for that matter will wind up anywhere except in the same drawer, or closet, or gun safe with all the other guns, think again. Yea, yea, I know how the NSSF keeps saying that 40% of all the guns recently purchased represent customers who never previously bought a gun. This is the selfsame organization which includes the sales of kayaks when it calculates how much revenue the gun industry contributes to the gross domestic product every year.

Oh, and let’s not forget that the first thing Joe will do if he’s elected President next month (hope, hope) is to defund the police, which will give me a reason to buy another gun.

Now where’d I stick the last gun I bought? Oh, right! Under the bed.

The Medical Community Responds To Trump.

              When Mike Pence got off the plane at Salt Lake City, the first thing he said to the reporters was that this debate was very important because the election meant so much. Evidently, the American people have already decided what the election means, because the polls clearly indicate that the Trump campaign is falling further and further behind, debate or no debate.

              The aggregate national spread between Joe and what’s-his-name is now almost 10 points.  For the first time, Joe is over the 50% mark in the 5 states (MI, NH, PA MN, WI) which gives him all the EV’s he needs, and the Sedaris dog-shit number continues to hover around 6% or less.

              Meanwhile, the Trump campaign appears to be reduced to the 15 or 20 tweets that what’s-his-name does each day. Which nobody cares about since the only issue resonating among the voters is Covid-19, which was the subject of two editorials yesterday.

              The first was a story in Medscape, in which an infectious disease expert, Rochelle Walensky, MD, stated that Mike Pence shouldn’t have even been at the debate. Pence was seen sitting without a mask close by other non-mask wearers at last Saturday’s Rose Garden event. According to CDC guidelines, he should now be at home in self-quarantine.

              But what does Dr. Walensky know?  She’s only Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, specializing in internal medicine and infectious disease. And in fact, Pence told reporters that Trump told him to go to Utah at the end of the Rose Garden event, so off he went.

              The United States is being led by a former real-estate developer who seems to believe that he knows more about infectious disease than scientists who study the problem, or doctors who have treated endless patients infected and sometimes killed by Covid-19. But why trust the medical community when we know for a fact that all physicians belong to the Deep State which promotes this nonsense about the virulence of the virus in order to get rid of Trump.

              Talking about how doctors are part of the liberal alliance out to get Trump, the other media piece that caught my attention yesterday was an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) which you can access right here. You can also download it here and I really hope you’ll read it carefully and spread it around.

              Although I’m not a physician, I have been reading the NEJM since the journal published fundamental research on gun risk back in 1993 and 1994. The journal is considered one of the premier scientific journals in the entire world and every weekly issue contains important news and notes about medical treatment and scientific research.

              On the other hand, I don’t recall any previous NEJM issue which contained such a direct and clear message about how readers should vote. This editorial was truly one of a kind.

              The editorial first compares infection and mortality rates between the United States and other advanced countries, and notes that the U.S. is far ahead of just about every other developed, nation-state. In her opening statement last night, Kamala mentioned this data as well.

              The article then makes a very salient point when it talks about judging the amount of testing not from the absolute number of tests, but by the number of test performed per infected person, a number that puts us down around Zimbabwe and Ethiopia.  That’s our competition for health outcomes? Zimbabwe and Ethiopia? Give me a friggin’ break.

              Reading the rest of this text is a very depressing exercise, if only because it is clear how from the very beginning, Trump and his minions viewed the virus as a ‘political’ problem which needed to be treated in political, as opposed to scientific terms. And after detailing the degree to which the political leadership responded to the pandemic in such a miserable and inadequate way, the following sentence hit me right between the eyes: “Anyone else who recklessly squandered lives and money in this way would be suffering legal consequences.”

              So we can’t indict what’s-his-name for reckless endangerment or homicidal intent, but we can get rid of him in less than 4 weeks. Enough of that jerkoff is enough.

Trump Doesn’t Have The Virus!

              Here’s what’s really going on. Trump doesn’t have any infection at all. Trump is using the sickness thing to create a new campaign narrative because what he has been saying so far in this campaign has only made his numbers worse. Plus, the campaign is dead broke and nobody even knows where the money has gone.

              Tuesday night Trump debated Joe. He made a complete mess of the debate, most of all the moment when he mocked Joe for always wearing the ‘biggest mask’ he had ever seen.

              Trump did a rally in Duluth, MN on Wednesday before 3,000 folks. During the debate, he claimed his rallies were drawing 35,000 fans.

              On Thursday he went to his golf club in New Jersey for a fundraiser. Nobody’s giving him any money. Joe’s fundraising right after the debate set a new, one-day record for how much he has taken in.

              On Friday Trump stayed at the White House and looked at the polls, which show his campaign cratering like never before. He’s trailing Joe by double digits in the national polls. The NBC/WSJ poll has him down by 14 points! The situation in the battlegrounds is just as bad or worse:

              Note that Joe is now ahead in every swing state except Texas. Note that he’s at the 50-point mark in Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, and New Hampshire. He wins those 4 states, he wins. Overall, Joe is the choice of 48.77% of all voters in the swing states, Trump’s at 44.9%. A week ago, Joe was at 48.2%, Trump was at 45.2%.

              And most important, the Sedaris dog-shit number was 6.6% last week, this week it’s 6.3%. In other words, more and more voters have made up their minds and they’re not making up their minds in favor of Trump.

No matter how you slice it and dice it, Joe’s numbers are going up and Trump’s numbers are going down. Wasn’t it supposed to be the other way around?

              Trump and his gang have exactly four weeks to pull this one out. You don’t have any more money and you’re not about to collect any more dough. The whole idea of the election as ‘fraud’ has gone over like a lead balloon. And worst of all, not only hasn’t the virus disappeared, as Trump claimed it would several months ago, but in a majority of states, particularly red states, it’s getting worse.

              So here’s what you do. You stop ignoring the corona virus and you stop saying it’s something that was cooked up by the Chinese government and the Deep State. You also stop denying the importance of social distancing to distinguish yourself from the other side.

              You’re the tough guy, remember? You’re the guy who GETS THINGS DONE! So you’ll defeat the virus and you’ll also defeat Joe. And after those two problems disappear, you’ll really bring the country back to being great again!

              What’s the most effective way to hammer home this message and make everyone forget that you spent the last nine months saying exactly the reverse?  You get infected by the virus and to make sure that everyone knows how tough you are, you recover, check out of the hospital, and go back to the White House in just two days.

              How do we know that any of those videos allegedly made at Walter Reed weren’t made in a video studio somewhere else? We don’t. How do we know that the doctors who all happen to be military guys and thus have to follow orders from the Commander in Chief are telling the truth? We don’t.

              Trump’s video message before he drove outside for that stupidly obvious photo op included a comment about how his campaign is generating more enthusiasm than ever before. And he also is now saying that he ‘learned’ about the virus by becoming infected himself. So now he’s ready to attack the problem on all fronts.

              The reason that more than 210,000 Americans have died from this pandemic is because Trump refused to learn anything about the virus when it first appeared. He was too busy blaming the Chinese and disagreeing with health experts to learn anything at all.

              I give this new reality-TV campaign a week before the script changes again. Meanwhile, I believe he’s still testing positive the way he’s been testing positive all along.

Use An ‘Abundance Of Caution’ To Protect Yourself From Covid-19.

              Now that everyone is trying to figure out how and when the Commander in Chief has become the Infector in Chief, I have to contribute my two cents to the conversation and tell you what I think went on.

              What we know is that on Wednesday, the day after the debate, Trump flew out to Minnesota for a rally with a crowd of roughly 3,000, even though he stated at the debate that his rallies were drawing 35,000 people or more. On the way back to DC from the rally, Hope Hicks began to experience viral symptoms to the point that she had to be isolated on Air Force One.

              Allegedly, Trump wasn’t tested again until after he returned from a fundraiser at his Bedminster club on Thursday evening, even though he had been in close, unprotected contact to Hope Hicks both before and after the Minnesota event. The Thursday evening test allegedly showed that Trump had contracted the virus at some point in time.

              By Friday morning, Trump was experiencing fever, hoarseness, fatigue and was already receiving ‘supplementary oxygen’ which means he was clearly in harm’s way. He managed to walk from the White House to the helicopter, but this was the last time that he moved under his own steam in full public view.

              On Saturday, the whole made-for-TV drama began to unwind. Trump’s personal physician made a brief statement about his patient’s condition, stating that he was ‘feeling better’ and was ‘doing well.’ Then Trump’s staff chief, Mark Meadows, walked over to the reporters and told them that, contrary to the rosy picture painted by the doctor, Trump’s condition was “concerning’ and the next 48 hours would be “critical’ in terms of evaluating the course and outcome of the disease.

              But the moment which really threw the whole phony script into the wastebasket was when Trump’s doctor, Sean Conley, stated that Trump had tested positive “72 hours” prior to the time when the press conference took place. Which means that Trump was infected on Wednesday but still met with a group of donors at Bedminster the following day.

              Who knows what’s going on? Numerous media reports are now circulating that Trump’s video showing him working at Walter Reed might have been made at the White House before he left. And the fact that more people who attended the White House ceremony introducing Amy Barrett – the count is now at least 9 including 3 Senators – have tested positive only adds to the messaging mess.

              The picture above is how Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) behaved at the White House event. Which is how most of the people who were at Trump’s Minnesota rally were protecting themselves from the virus; i.e., not wearing masks.

              But here’s the real kicker to all this: After the rally in Duluth, a local GOP politician, Jason Lewis, announced that he was going to self-quarantine for 14 days because he had stood next to Trump and shaken his hands during the event. He didn’t have any symptoms, but “out of an abundance of caution” he was going to stay at home.

              I heard the phrase, ‘an abundance of caution’ from four different members of Trump’s staff, including Barbie McEnany who trotted out the phrase when she first announced Trump’s trip to Walter Reed but somehow neglected to mention that he was already finding it difficult to breathe.

              Here’s what I think is going on. We have no idea when Trump first tested positive for Covid-19. But I’m willing to take the short odds that the White House wasn’t going to mention the infection until and unless Trump exhibited symptoms that couldn’t be overlooked.

              Remember – many people test positive and then become active carriers and spreaders of this virus even though they don’t necessarily become ‘ill’ themselves. The whole point of doing a self-quarantine is to make sure that you don’t transmit the germs to someone else even though you feel fine.

              In the interests of full disclosure, I will admit that right around the same time I figured out this scenario, David Axelrod said the same thing last night on CNN. Oh well, sometimes great minds…

              The good news is that a majority of Americans believe that Trump wouldn’t be sitting in Walter Reed today if he had worn a mask. Let’s just hope that all those folks remember to vote.

What Can We Learn From Trump Getting Sick?

Last night I was watching Fox News  (I always watch/listen to the enemy just to keep them closer than my friends) and the banner message that kept running across the bottom of the screen said, “Liberal media cheers that President Trump is sick.”

So this morning, to check out the extent of the liberal cheers being directed at Trump, I read the op-ed that will be posted in tomorrow’s edition of The (‘failing’) New York Times written by our friend Nick Kristof which says exactly the opposite of what Fox News believes the liberal media is saying about Trump and Covid-19.

Nick’s op-ed begins by telling us that we shouldn’t be nasty or snarky just because President Trump is sick. Instead, “Let’s learn from the president’s infection. Let’s make this a wake-up call that leads to mask-wearing and social distancing, saving lives.”

He then concludes his homily in the following way: “So as the Trumps battle the virus, let’s learn lessons, sharpen our wits — and commit ourselves to a lifesaving norm of social distancing and wearing masks.”

This may come as something of a shock to Nick, but maybe because he’s been sitting on the family farm in Oregon perhaps he’s missed a few things. The truth is that I don’t need to learn anything about the virus from Trump falling ill. The only thing I’ll learn if he recovers is that he will receive a level of medical care which most Americans who contract the illness won’t receive thanks to how one, single person has behaved.

Several months ago I came driving home to find my street being repaved. In order to drive down the street, I had to tell the cop who was standing there that I was a resident. So I stopped next to him and because I was alone in my car my mask was on the seat next to me.

I dropped my window and but before I realized anything the cop was leaning over, not wearing a mask, and his face was about a foot away from me. I yelled at him to back off which he didn’t, by the way. I then shot the window closed and drove towards my house.

This incident occurred just before my state’s Governor, Charlie Baker, imposed social distancing statewide. But I had been wearing a mask and staying away from people for at least three or four previous months. And I knew lots of people who were doing the same thing.

But I also saw a lot of people like this cop who weren’t behaving the way they should have behaved. And the reason they weren’t doing what we all need to do is because one fat, stupid and egregious narcissist sitting in the Oval Office has been telling everyone that they don’t have to behave the way they should behave.

I’m not surprised that Trump’s dwindling collection of media allies are going all out to keep him somehow from taking responsibility for the fact that nearly one thousand Americans are still dying from the virus every day. In the entire history of this country, there has never (read: never) been such irresponsible behavior by the guy who sits behind the Resolute desk.

I think it’s not only disingenuous but somewhat alarming when intelligent and well-meaning liberal editorialists like Nick Kristof imply that ‘we’ are somehow all at fault because ‘we’ need to see this virus as some kind of “wake-up call.”

Since early February I have gotten up every morning knowing that I can’t leave my house without a mask. I have also not visited with any of my children or my grandchildren because I know that such visits represent an unacceptable risk. And I’m hardly the only American who has put off seeing their kids.

Sorry Nick, but I don’t need a wake-up call and neither do any of my friends. What we need is a Chief Executive who should be modest and honest enough to accept the blame for pretending that we can just ignore the ‘Chinese flu’ because it will soon ‘go away.’

Who Says Trump Has The Virus?

              This morning the AM shock jocks started off by saying that Biden should ‘suspend’ his campaign as a sign of respect to Trump. After the way Trump behaved during the debate, these guys have the balls to ask Joe to show respect? 

              I’m still willing to take the short odds that maybe, just maybe, Trump’s faking the whole infection thing. Why shouldn’t he? After all, the way things are going right now, the only votes he may get are sympathy votes.

In the national aggregate poll, the gap is now 8.2% in Joe’s favor, the widest it has been since August 29. As far as the way people reacted to Tuesday night’s debate, Joe hauled in more than $21 million in the 24 hours following the debate, a one-day record. I didn’t notice the Trump campaign releasing their fundraising numbers yet.

Of the 30 states that ended up in Trump’s W column the last time around, Joe now leads in 10. Some of the margins are razor-thin in states like Georgia, North Carolina, and Ohio. In other states like Michigan and Wisconsin, the lead is 7 points.

In all the ‘battleground’ states, the Sedaris dog-shit vote is now around 6%. So if every, single voter who hasn’t yet made up their minds decides to vote for Trump because they feel so bad that he has contracted Covid-19, he still can’t win but at least it will be close and then he can screw around and challenge the vote.

Trump’s bigger problem is that the guy who proclaimed that his 2016 victory marked the beginning of a new ‘movement,’ is actually having trouble convincing the same people who voted for him last time to vote for him again. In fact, the dismal state of Trump’s campaign in what has always been reliable red states is probably the most interesting and unspoken story of the 2020 campaign.

              While it’s true that Trump’s final Electoral College margin reflected the outcome of very close contests in states like Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, he couldn’t have been competitive without piling up huge numbers in states like Alabama, where he won by 28%, or Arkansas, where he won by 27%, or Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana and Tennessee, where his winning margins were 20%, 30%, 20% and 26%.

              That was then, this is now. Of the 17 pro-Trump states for which we have current polls, Trump’s lead this year is half of what it was in 2016. In Montana, an 18.5% gap four years ago is now 7.8%. In Kansas, a 20-point margin last time is now 8.7%. The South Carolina gap has gone from 14% to 5.8%. Taken together, the 17 most reliable red states gave Trump a victory amounting to 20.4% of all votes cast in those states in 2016.  Right now, that number is 10.4%

              I’m not saying that Joe can win any of those states. But if Trump can’t keep the support he got last time in the states that have always voted for the GOP, what chance does he have to overcome Biden’s lead in any of the battleground states? And by the way, the Sedaris dog-shit number in those 17 red states is also around 6%.

              Two other points of note. ‘Well-placed sources’ told the Daily Mail that Brad Parscale is “under investigation” for allegedly stealing $40 million from the campaign. And now we have another story floating around that Eric Trump’s girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, didn’t ‘resign’ from Fox News as she claimed, but was bounced out after management received numerous complaints about inappropriate sexual behavior.

              When these kinds of stories start coming out, you know that a campaign or any kind of organizational situation is in deep shit. But as far as I’m concerned, it couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of folks. And frankly, Frank Bruni should be ashamed of himself for his op-ed today in The (failing) New York Times, where he says that he feels ‘petty’ for thinking that maybe Trump’s infection is just another hoax.

              Want a proper perspective on Trump and his campaign?  Think about how he accused Biden of wanting to turn Minnesota into a “refugee camp.”

              If you want, go right ahead and feel sorry for Trump. I’m going to send Joe and Kammie $200 bucks so that I can attend their grass-roots fundraiser tonight.

All Of A Sudden, There’s A New Trump On The Campaign Trail.

Yesterday I talked about how Joe’s 7-pojnt lead both in the national, as well as most state-wide polls, hasn’t really changed since the end of June. The size of the Sedaris dog-shit vote also keeps going down.

So Trump has been behind in this campaign from the day that Biden became his chief opponent, and typical of Trump, he immediately started off by attacking Joe. After all, calling Hillary a ‘crook’ worked in 2016. Why not try it again?

So Trump started saying that Biden was also a crook because he set up his son, Hunter, for all kinds of illegal payoffs in the Ukraine.

When that didn’t work, Trump then began saying that ‘sleepy Joe’ was to demented or senile to be President. That didn’t work.

By now, in late July, the corona virus was beginning to take a toll in red states. So Trump started telling everyone that his Administration deserved an A+ for their efforts to protect us from the virus, and by the way, we would shortly have a vaccine.

When that didn’t work, Trump decided to ‘get tough’ on crime, a message that Republican Presidents have more or less copyrighted since Nixon invented his ‘silent majority’ in 1968.

Trump even began using the phrase ‘silent majority’ in his tweets. But it didn’t work. The polls didn’t change. In fact, after he did some photo ops in Racine, Wisconsin where protestors had burned some commercial properties, his state-level numbers in Wisconsin went down.

When the ‘tough on crime’ messaging didn’t help, Trump started pushing the idea that the election would be a ‘scam’ and he wouldn’t accept the results. This one also went over like a lead balloon, even though the mainstream media is trying their best to keep this nonsense alive.

So then he pivoted to another message, which basically said that things were tough but he would lead us back to things being even better than they were before. This was a riff on Make America Great Again, but the words Make America Great Again Redux don’t fit on the front of a baseball cap.

Want my prediction for the messaging that Trump will trot out next? Believe it or not, he’s going to come out with some kind of spiel that moves him slightly towards the political center and puts just a little distance between him and the beloved alt-right. Why is he going to do this? Because the latest polls don’t give him any other choice.

On Thursday, Fox News published a poll which showed that Joe was now leading in Ohio – that’s Ohio – for the first time since August 16th. Now this isn’t a poll conducted by The (failing) New York Times, or CNN, or one of those other liberal media operations. It was conducted by Fox News which, by the way, is a highly-rated polling operation, according to Nate Simon and his 538 team.

It’s not just that Joe has jumped out to a small lead in Ohio that’s important to understand. It’s that the Sedaris dog-shit vote is down to 3 percent and worse, eight percent of the voters who voted for Trump in 2016 have decided to pull the paper lever for Joe. In other words, Joe’s lead in Ohio is based on bleeding votes away from Trump!

So here’s what Trump is going to do. Mark my words, he’s going to start describing himself as some kind of nice, compassionate, understanding guy who just wants the best for everyone in America, even if he has been running a campaign which until now has appealed to the absolute worst.

Why do I say this? Because Trump not only went to pay his respects to Ruthie although he was too busy to show up at Elijah Cummings’s funeral, but he also then appeared in public – ready? – wearing a mask!

You wait and see. Trump is going to try this new script for a couple of weeks. And he’ll receive nothing but unquestioned plaudits from the ‘enemy of the people,’ i.e., the liberal media and the ‘lamestream’ now mainstream press.

Trump’s Wartime Report: “It Is What It Is.”

A week after Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt held a meeting with a group of close associates. He was now Commander in Chief of a war effort that would have to defeat both the Germans and the Japanese. So he needed to know whether he could count on his current military leadership, given how they had screwed up the intelligence which allowed the Japanese to wreck our Pacific fleet.

Now imagine what would have happened if Roosevelt hadn’t reviewed the report a month later, immediately cashiered the entire military general staff, and replaced them with a brilliant group of commanders – Marshall, King, Eisenhower, Arnold – who organized and won a worldwide, two-front war. Imagine if a year after Pearl Harbor we hadn’t already defeated the Japanese at Midway; imagine if we weren’t about to land at North Africa, and imagine if Roosevelt had been asked by a reporter to assess the war’s progress and had said, “It is what it is.”

Let’s remember that back in March, Trump considered himself to be a ‘wartime President.’ I didn’t say that – he did. So when he was asked last week to tell us how the war was going, the best he could come up with was: “It is what it is.” This is how you give the American public an assessment of how well we are fighting a war?

Back in 2016, a story began floating around that Trump had told People Magazine in 1998 that if he ran for President he would run as a Republican, because  “Republicans are the dumbest voters in the country. They believe anything on Fox News.”

The story has been debunked numerous times, but when Trump describes his Covid-19 effort as ‘it is what it is,’ he must believe that his supporters are as dumb as they come. He must. Nobody could say something that stupid in the midst of a political campaign.

Or maybe it isn’t the Trump ‘base’ which is so friggin’ dumb. Maybe it’s Trump who speaks up to his base rather than down. But wait a minute – you can’t be that stupid and yet build a fairly-successful Manhattan real estate business featuring luxury condos and five-star hotels.

On the other hand, let’s not forget that Trump wasn’t exactly someone who had any kind of connection or previous experience with anything having to do with planning or fighting a war. The last President who actually saw combat action was George H. W. Bush, and he didn’t do a bad job of planning Desert Storm. If anything, he was more successful fighting Saddam Hussein in 1990 than fighting Bill Clinton in 1992.

And this is exactly the reason why Trump has been such a miserable failure when it comes to his non-response to Covid-19. Because from the day we first learned about the virus, Trump has been dealing with it as a political problem, as if this is just another part of his Presidential campaign.

The first thing he did was spend a month going after the Chinese ‘thugs,’ the same way he went after ‘Hillary the crook.’ He then said the problem could be solved by keeping people from China out of the United States, just another riff on how that now-forgotten Mexican wall would keep us safe. Then he put together a ‘task force’ led by none other than the renowned medical expert Jared Kushner, whose work in helping Trump get elected the first time around guaranteed that he would quickly develop and implement a plan to defeat the virus in its tracks.

In other words, Trump did everything except the one thing he should have done. He should have gotten the best and the brightest experts on fighting pandemics together, told them to come up with a plan and then use this plan to tell the American people what they all needed to do.

This is what Franklin Roosevelt did in 1941. This is the reason we won World War II. This is what Trump is unable to do which is why we now have a virus killing 1,000 people every day which is what it is.

On November 3rd: Vote Early, Vote Often.

Cuomo Versus Wayne-O. Who Wins?

In their quest to help Americans retain their civil rights during this period of great anxiety and fear, America’s ‘oldest civil rights organization’ has stepped up its messaging about the threat to 2nd-Amendment ‘rights’ posed by COVID-19. First and foremost, our friends in Fairfax have sued Andy Cuomo who issued an executive order declaring that gun shops were ‘non-essential enterprises’ and therefore had to be shut down.

If nothing else, the NRA’s suit, which will quickly get tossed, is a bit of payback for the investigations and suits against the NRA which Andy has been pushing over the last couple of years. In particular, New York State has been trying to figure out whether the NRA has violated any of the state’s not-for-profit regulations since the gun organization happens to be incorporated in the Empire State. There’s also a messy little lawsuit filed by the State’s Department of Financial Services which claims that the NRA insurance program is basically a big scam (which it is.)

Behind all of these dustups is the fact that Andy has probably been the single, most aggressive public figure when it comes to screwing over the gun gang. As Bill Clinton’s Secretary of HUD, he drafted the infamous regulatory deal which Smith & Wesson signed in 2000 which almost brought the storied gun maker to its knees. He later rammed through a very tough gun law in New York State following the massacre at Sandy Hook and has just signed a tough red-flag law which goes into effect later this year. So, this guy’s no friend of Gun-nut Nation, that’s for sure. You can read the NRA’s filing right here.

Of course now that the national policy to deal with COVID-19 is being set by Rush Limbaugh, we can expect Gun-nut Nation to fall in line and continue to promote the idea that the best defense against a virus of still unknown origin is to load up the ol’ shooting iron and get ready to blast away. Thanks to the NRA, the 2nd Amendment is alive and well in at least 43 of the 50 states, with only Massachusetts, New York and New Mexicoforcing gun dealers to close down their shops, with another 4 states – Vermont, Michigan, Washington and California maybe doing the same thing. The NRA has obligingly put a map on their website so that everyone will know which states to avoid when rioting breaks out in the streets.

Interestingly, to the extent that we can use open source, internet media reports to understand anything, our friends at the Gun Violence Archive are saying that the number of gun homicides over the last several days is about half as many as the average number of such events which usually occur over that same period of time. So at least there are some populations out there who are practicing social distancing regardless of what the Trump/Limbaugh noise machine says.

Last week Trump’s son-in-law, whose entire medical training consists of managing a garden apartment complex in New Jersey, opened his yap and said that he had done a study which showed that many states were asking for more ventilators than they needed or could use.

He did a study. Like the study done by the NRA which proves that closing down gun shops is a threat to 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’ That’s right. The filing in New York State specifically refers to the 2008 Heller decision which gives Constitutional protection to everyone who wants to keep a handgun in their home for self-defense. But what if you don’t have a handgun, especially when the hordes start running around looking to loot your home in order to get the food they need?

Okay. So, everyone’s a little crazy right now.  Please stay safe.

Only A Gun Can Protect You From The Impending Collapse.

              Several weeks ago, I posted a column about a GOP lawmaker in Michigan who walked into a legislative session carrying an AR-15 on his back and a Glock in his waist. He wanted to let everyone know that he was an ardent supporter of 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’ This idiot then went home, left the guns out on the kitchen table and drove off to go somewhere else. Whereupon someone broke into his home and swiped the guns. The cops believed that the burglary occurred because the bad guy had gone to the politician’s Facebook page and seen this idiot walking through the State House toting his guns.

              I thought this dope in Michigan had committed the stupidest bit of behavior by any pro-gun politician this year, but I warned my readers that there would no doubt be even dumber examples coming right along. And yesterday what I predicted turned out to be true, thanks to a state legislator in Georgia named Matt Gurtler, who now holds the title of dumbest pro-gun politician of the year. Now remember, my award cuts both ways and I have already given out a ‘dumb’ award to a state rep in Massachusetts who is vociferously anti-gun. But let’s get back to the idiot from the Peach State.

              Gurtler has decided that the shutdown of public offices that process concealed-carry licenses makes residents of those jurisdictions more vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus than if they were to stand in line waiting for their CCW applications to be processed and approved. After all, how can you compare the threat of the ‘Chinese flu’ to the threat of not being able to protect your family and your home?

              So, this moron is proposing that the Governor use his emergency powers to override the State Constitution and allow residents to walk around with a concealed weapon whether they have been granted a CCW license or not. He puts it this way: “We need to suspend enforcement especially during the state of emergency, when so many individuals need to be able to defend themselves and their families and their loved ones and their property.”

              Now I’m going to pretend that my name is Michel Foucault because I want to engage in a brief effort to deconstruct what Gurtler says. Note that he believes not just in the idea of armed, self-defense, but he wants to extend this belief to include the ability of anyone to walk around in the street with a gun. Not just in the street, but maybe to the supermarket, maybe to the liquor store; in other words, to any location that is still providing an essential service or selling products which everyone still needs.

              The whole point of the 2008 Supreme Court decision on the 2nd Amendment is that the majority opinion clearly states that every law-abiding person living in America has Constitutional protection for keeping a loaded, unlocked handgun in their home for personal defense. In Georgia, this decision would apply to everyone who legally owns a gun, or at least a handgun.

              But for reasons that can only be explained in terms of where Gurtler’s IQ lands him on the bell curve, he believes that folks can only protect themselves, their families and their property if they can walk around with a gun. Which, by the way, happens to be an idea that Gun-nut Nation has been pushing for years.

              Georgia and other states have seen a spike in gun sales over the last few weeks. According to the manager of a Florida shop, “Our sales are up 80 percent, with a huge increase in first-time buyers who are worried about martial law, economic collapse, unemployment, shortages, delinquents roaming the streets.”

              This comment takes me back to a wonderful movie, War of the Worlds, which I saw when it was released in 1953, then Spielberg redid it in 2005. Is there the slightest chance that the guy knocking on my front door is anyone other than the kid delivering my pizza with anchovies and extra cheese?