Daily Bread for 9.11.20

Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be mostly cloudy with a high of sixty-four.  Sunrise is 6:31 AM and sunset 7:10 PM, for 12h 38m 17s of daytime.  The moon is a waning crescent with 39.3% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the one thousand four hundred third day. 

 On this day in 2001, the September 11 attacks take place, as a series of coordinated terrorist attacks killing 2,977 people using four aircraft hijacked by 19 members of al-Qaeda. Two aircraft crash into the World Trade Center in New York City, a third crashes into The Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia, and a fourth into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Recommended for reading in full — 

Ed Yong writes America Is Trapped in a Pandemic Spiral:

Trump embodied and amplified America’s intuition death spiral. Instead of rolling out a detailed, coordinated plan to control the pandemic, he ricocheted from one overhyped cure-all to another, while relying on theatrics such as travel bans. He ignored inequities and systemic failures in favor of blaming China, the WHO, governors, Anthony Fauci, and Barack Obama. He widened the false dichotomy between lockdowns and reopening by regularly tweeting in favor of the latter. He and his allies appealed to magical thinking and steered the U.S. straight into the normality trap by frequently lying that the virus would go away, that the pandemic was ending, that new waves weren’t happening, and that rising case numbers were solely due to increased testing. They have started talking about COVID-19 in the past tense as cases surge in the Midwest.

“It’s like mass gaslighting,” says Martha Lincoln, a medical anthropologist at San Francisco State University. “We were put in a situation where better solutions were closed off but a lot of people had that fact sneak up on them. In the absence of a robust federal response, we’re all left washing our hands and hoping for the best, which makes us more susceptible to magical thinking and individual-level fixes.” And if those fixes never come, “I think people are going to harden into a fatalistic sense that we have to accept whatever the risks are to continue with our everyday lives.”

That might, indeed, be Trump’s next solution. The Washington Post reports that Trump’s new adviser—the neuroradiologist Scott Atlas—is pushing a strategy that lets the virus rip through the non-elderly population in a bid to reach herd immunity. This policy was folly for Sweden, which is nowhere near herd immunity, had one of the world’s highest COVID-19 death rates, and has a regretful state epidemiologist. Although the White House has denied that a formal herd-immunity policy exists, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently changed its guidance to say that asymptomatic people “do not necessarily need a test” even after close contact with an infected person. This change makes no sense: People can still spread the virus before showing symptoms. By effectively recommending less testing, as Trump has specifically called for, the nation’s top public-health agency is depriving the U.S. of the data it needs to resist intuitive errors. “When there’s a refusal to take in the big picture, we are stuck,” [emergency-management professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha Njoki] Mwarumba says.

Migrating Nighthawks in Wauwatosa:

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8 days ago

Have you noticed how Wisco-World’s very own plastics oligarch, Senator Ron Johnson, has descended into madness lately? Is there something toxic in the sturgeon-infested waters of Lake Winnebago? Joe McCarthy came from Appleton, and RoJo is from Oshkosh, and they have exactly parallel visions of how to run a Senate committee.

RoJo has been wielding subpoenas like they were the mighty hammer of Thor, and threatening to get to the bottom of every crackpot theory emanating from the nether regions of the conspiracy subculture. The problem is, as has been pointed out on FW before, is that RoJo is not all that bright. What he is, though, is a very easy mark for whoever wants to feed him shit and have him run with it.

Most recently, that includes Andriy Derkach, a Ukrainian with a KGB resume who has specialized lately in trafficking bogus Joe and Hunter Biden bullshit to Rudy Giuliani and RoJo. Rudy at least uttered an embarrassed “I didn’t really research him that much” mea culpa when Mnuchin’s very own US Treasury department levied sanctions on Derkatch and called him an active Russian agent for decades.

RoJo, of course, has no comment and plans to forge ahead with his witch hunting. His reason for doing so, and his major source, have been blown into metaphorical sub-atomic particles, but nonetheless, he persists. He really has drunk way too much Kool Aid.

The Joe/Hunter/Ukraine gambit can now be laid to rest in the cemetery of fizzled October Surprises. Something else will replace it, I’m sure.

8 days ago
Reply to  JOHN ADAMS

Barr has Dunham on deck, and has allowed as how he is going to release his report before the election. They don’t even try to hide the corruption anymore. Barr has exactly no credibility with anyone paying attention, so I doubt he can change any minds with whatever he and Dunham are cooking up.

Wouldn’t it be a hoot if Dunham turned on Barr and came out with a “nothing here to see” report? I know, I’m daring to dream.

What is interesting is how cleanly Trump and Mnuchin took the legs out from under Rudy and RoJo by sanctioning Derkach. Why did they do that? They had to sign-off on the sanctions, or we never would have heard of them. That they were willing to burn two of their closest allies and most faithful lickspittles leads to suspicion that there is something way worse that they are trying to get in front of. Stay tuned…It is likely going to get way more interesting soon.

8 days ago
Reply to  JOHN ADAMS

That didn’t take long. Nora Dennahy, Durham’s chief deputy has resigned, immediately, due to political pressure. Reportedly, Barr wants an “interim report” out before the election and she wasn’t keen about that.

Maybe Dunham will actually do what I was dreaming about above. That would be one sweet swerve to throw at Barr/Trump.

Did Nora just derail another potential October Surprise? I can feel the gentle flop-sweat-reeking breeze resulting from Trump’s flailing all the way to Wisco-World.