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Partial transcript of press briefing by the ACTUAL President of the United States on May 11, 2020:
Q: Mr. President, in one of your Mother's Day tweets, you appeared to accuse President Obama of "the biggest political crime in American History, by far." Those were your words. What crime exactly are you accusing President Obama of committing, and do you believe the Justice Department should prosecute him?
PRESIDENT: Obamagate. It's been going on for a long time. It's been going on from before I even got elected, and it's a disgrace that it happened, and if you look at what's gone on and you look at now all of this information that's being released and from what I understand, that's only the beginning. Some terrible things happened, and it should never be allowed to happen in our country again. And you'll be seeing what's going on over the next — over the coming weeks, and I wish you would write honestly about it. But unfortunately you choose not to do so.
Yeah, John, please.
Q: What is the crime, exactly, that are you accusing him of?
PRESIDENT: You know what the crime is. The crime is very obvious to everybody. All you have to do is read the newspapers. Except yours.
He keeps using that word, "crime." I don't think it means what he thinks it means.
(I also don't think he can read, but that's a different issue.)
Seriously, we are well into year three of this bullshit, and it still blows my mind that the so-called leader of the free world can stand in his front lawn and say dumb shit like this and everyone acts like it's business as usual.
If there's anything that should never be allowed to happen in our country again.... You know what it is.
As I type this, the United States has 1.188 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 68,276 deaths. More Americans have already died in the past 2 months from COVID-19 than died in the entire Vietnam War. And it's not over yet. By the time you read this, those numbers will be worse.
A quick computation of those figures reveals a current mortality rate of nearly 6%. If you've been paying attention (what else have you got to do?), you may remember that back at the beginning of March, the World Health Organization was estimating a 3.4% mortality rate — an estimate our wise president chose to call "a false number" in a live television interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News. He objected to the WHO number not because it was too low, but because it was much, much to high. "I would say the number is way under one percent," said the president.
(Footnote for future historians: That comment was made on March 4. A month later, April 14, Trump withdrew funding to the WHO claiming that they failed to report the true danger of the virus back in January. Quote: "The reality is that the WHO failed to adequately obtain that and share information in a timely and transparent fashion." By that logic, I guess we should stop funding the current American president, too.)
Testing continues to be a problem, so we can't really be sure that the 1,188,122 number I referenced above is the true extent of the contamination. If we assume that the actual mortality rate is closer to 3.4% previously observed in other countries, it would mean that over 2 million Americans currently have or have had the disease. That's over a million hidden, untreated, pandemic-spreading cases. Sure seems like someone should be thinking twice about opening those shopping malls, Governor Kemp.
Also unreported in all those grim details is another victim of COVID-19. Specifically, I'm talking about my flattop.
I haven't seen a barber in over a decade, but in an act of solidarity (and maybe a little laziness), I decided to go ahead and trim my hair down to the scalp. Does it make me look more bald or less?
These days, the fact that I'm alive and well enough to worry about such things feels like an accomplishment.
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Art by Jack Kirby and Chick Stone, words by the actual President of the United States:
So brilliant, I wish I'd thought of it. But the credit belongs to twitter.com/PresVillain.
But wait! The joke works even better if you know the original panel from Tales of Suspense #66 (1965), written by Stan Lee:
Don't worry, Captain America survives, but by the end of the issue, he's heiling Hitler. Stupid disinfectants.
Press Briefing by President Franklin Roosevelt, issued on March 11, 1941:
MR. ROOSEVELT: Thank you very much. Please.
I salute the American people for following our guidelines on global distancing — even you people. It's so different looking out there when I look at you. Their devotion, your devotion is saving lives.
Today I'm instructing my administration to deny Lend-Lease Act funding for Britain while a review is conducted to assess the British role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of Nazism. Everybody knows what's going on there.
American taxpayers provide between $250 million and $300 million per year in ships to Britain. In contrast, the Allied nations contribute even less. As an independent nation, the United States has a duty to insist on full accountability.
One of the most dangerous and costly decisions from Britain was its disastrous decision to appease Germany's annexation of Czechoslovakia and other nations. We were very much opposed to what they did. Fortunately, I was not convinced and suspended travel from Europe, saving untold numbers of lives. Thousands and thousands of Americans would have died in their war.
Since its establishment in 1776, the American people have generously supported the British to provide better outcomes for the world and, most importantly, to help prevent global crises. With the outbreak of the Nazi pandemic, we have deep concerns whether America's generosity has been put to the best use possible.
Had Britain done its job to get experts into Germany to objectively assess the situation on the ground and to call out Germany's lack of transparency, Nazism could have been contained at its source, with very little death — very little death — and certainly very little death by comparison. This would have saved thousands of lives and avoided worldwide economic damage.
Instead, the British willingly took Germany's assurances to face value, and they took it just at face value and defended the actions of the German government, even praising Germany for its so-called transparency. I don't think so. The British pushed Germany's misinformation about the violence, saying it was not communicable and there was no need for travel bans. They told us, when we put on our travel ban — a very strong travel ban — there was no need to do it. "Don't do it." They actually fought us.
We will continue to engage with Britain to see if it can make meaningful reforms. For the time being, we will redirect military support and directly work with others. All of the aid that we send will be discussed at very, very powerful letters and with very powerful and influential groups and smart groups — militarily, politically, and every other way.
And, with that, if you have a few questions, we'll take them. And if not, that would be okay too.
Q: Mr. President, two questions. First, on your announcement about Britain, I understand your grievances with them. But can you address why it is the correct time to do this now in the middle of a war?
MR. ROOSEVELT: Well, we're going to be dealing with countries and we're going to be dealing with leaders of different parts of the world. We spend $300 million a year. We have for many years — more, far more, than anybody else, including Germany. We shouldn't be the only arsenal of democracy.
And it is very Germany-centric. I told that to Fuhrer Hitler. I said, "The United Kingdom is very Germany-centric." Meaning, whatever it is, Germany was always right. You can't do that. You can't do that. Not right. And we spend — and again, it's not a question of money. But when we're spending $300 million and Germany is spending $38 million, $34 million, $40 million — $42 million, in a case. It's — again, not money, but it's not right.
Q: Back to Britain, will you support the country again, if Churchill is immediately replaced? Or do you want to see him step down as a possible reform?
MR. ROOSEVELT: Well, we're doing an investigation. I — I don't know the gentleman, but I know there have been problems. And it's been very unfair to the United States — just like the League of Nations has been very, very unfair, and now they're coming into line. When they consider Germany a developing nation, and because Germany is a developing nation, they take massive advantage of the United States? Why didn't other Presidents stop this? I've been talking about it from the day I got in, and we're looking at that very, very strongly. So I have a problem with Britain and League of Nations, both of them. I'm not sure which is worse, if you want to know the truth, but we'll figure it out. Okay?
Q: You were just criticizing Britain for praising Germany as transparent, but you were saying many of the same things about Germany just a couple of months ago. So, I mean, how do you square, your decision to revoke funding?
MR. ROOSEVELT: Well, I did a reparations deal with Germany, where Germany is supposed to be paying $27 billion to our country. We're going to be watching very much to see. Now, it got a little bit waylaid by the war.
But, look, I'd love to have a good relationship with Germany. But if you look — and we made a phenomenal deal. Germany has paid — because of me, Germany has repaid us tens of billions of dollars over the course of a very short period of time. Billions of — some of that money has been spent to farmers, where they were targeted by Germany. We cannot let that happen. We can't let that happen.
Q: Mr. President, I have a quick follow on Britain. The question is if—
MR. ROOSEVELT: I told them when they put this guy here, it's nothing but trouble. He's a showboat.
Q: I'm just trying to ask you a question.
MR. ROOSEVELT: If you keep talking, I'll leave—
Q: I'm just trying to ask a question.
MR. ROOSEVELT: — and you can have it out with the rest of these people.
Q: I'm just trying to ask a question. I'm just—
MR. ROOSEVELT: If you keep talking, I’m going to leave and you can have it out with them.
Q: It's a simple question.
MR. ROOSEVELT: Just a loudmouth.
Q: You're criticizing Britain for appeasing Germany for being transparent, but you also praised Germany for being transparent in January.
MR. ROOSEVELT: I don't talk about Germany's transparency.
Q: In January, there was a fireside chat.
MR. ROOSEVELT: Well, you know, if I'm so good to Germany, how come I was the only person — the only leader of a country that closed our borders tightly against Europe?
Q: I'm talking about how you said they were transparent.
MR. ROOSEVELT: And, by the way, when I closed our border, that was long ahead of what anybody — you can ask anybody that was in the room. Twenty-one people. I was the one person that wanted to do it. Eleanor can tell you that better than anybody. I was the one person that wanted to do it. You know why? Because I don't believe everything I hear, and I closed. And if we didn't close our border early — very early, long before the kind of dates you're talking about — we would have had thousands and probably hundreds of thousands more death.
Q: I'm talking about how you said—
MR. ROOSEVELT: Please. That's enough. Thank you.
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An editorial cartoon in the newspaper got me to thinking about how Superman would handle something like the COVID-19 outbreak. In the cartoon, he was staying home to prevent the further spread of the disease. That's cute, but it's frankly a waste of Superman's power. No one who can hold his breath indefinitely as he flies through the Sun to disinfect himself needs to worry about a shortage of Purell.
Ironically enough, a plague was among the problems that Superman 2020 had to deal with in the far flung future of... 2021.
Remember Superman 2020, aka Superman III? He's Superman's grandson, the son of the son of Superman. We last discussed his adventures, written at the dawn of the 1980s, in January. (You know, way back when the threat to the world was white supremacy. Damn. What's it going to be by July? My bet is on Godzilla.)
Anyway, at the end of his first year in action, Superman was confronted with an uncomfortably familiar danger when the doors of the closed city of New Metropolis were opened on New Year's Day 2021, and everyone in the city was found dead.
I did mention this was written in 1982, right? Legionnaires Disease was discovered in an outbreak in 1976 which killed 15% of the original cases. Thirteen thousand cases are diagnosed per year in the US, and modern techniques have squeezed that fatality rate down to about 10%. (For comparison, COVID-19 is still killing under 2% by most reckoning, though it has infected over 26,900 Americans in the past three months alone.)
Maldavia did indeed have a 21st-century outbreak of flu that shut down the country and killed 6% of those infected, though that was in 2017, not 2014. Still, I'd say that's close enough that Nostradamus would have gotten credit for the prediction.
Remember those white supremacists I was speaking of earlier? Superman made about as much progress defeating them as Spike Lee did. When the hero arrives to help the panicked population, those dicks were quick to rush to social media to throw blame. (Life imitating art, or the other way 'round?)
Hey, if he were really at fault, I'm sure the authorities would have called it the "Superman Virus" in public addresses instead of referring to it by its scientific name. Because authorities have a responsibility not to mislead the public. Or so I've heard.
It turns out that Superman isn't the cause of the virus but the solution. Using his aforementioned super-breath, he distributes the cure throughout Metropolis' atmosphere, causing it to literally rain medicine.
It only took Superman eight pages to thwart a plague and save the world, proving that you can save everyone without a single test kit so long as you have one Man of Steel. My hero.
What man is that?
A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.
Set him before me; let me see his face.
Fellow, come from the throng; look upon Caesar.
What say'st thou to me now? Speak once again.
I said, "Beware the COV-IDs of March!"
(draws a knife)
That pun was a tragedy!
(bleeding to death)
In hindsight, this social distancing idea could have some merit.
Friday, the President of the United States had an hour long press conference to reassure the American population about his government's response to the Coronavirus outbreak. He told us Google was helping the administration develop a screening website to advise users on their symptoms. He said Google had 1700 engineers working on the site, and it would be done quickly, unlike the troubled roll-out of Heathcare.gov. He had his Coronavirus Response Coordinator show a chart detailing the process the website would use.
One day later it has been revealed that there is no website.
Yeah, my confidence is restored.
Says the President of the United States in a live address to the American people at 9PM EDT:
We will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days. The new rules will go into effect Friday at midnight. These restrictions will be adjusted subject to conditions on the ground. There will be exemptions for Americans who have undergone appropriate screenings, and these prohibitions will not only apply to the tremendous amount of trade and cargo, but various other things as we get approval.
Says the President of the United States in a tweet to the American people at 10:15PM EDT:
Hoping to get the payroll tax cut approved by both Republicans and Democrats, and please remember, very important for all countries & businesses to know that trade will in no way be affected by the 30-day restriction on travel from Europe. The restriction stops people not goods.
The takeaway: The President of the United States revealed on television that we trade people.
While I'm glad that he's finally taking a global pandemic seriously, I wish it wasn't the Cholera pandemic of 1849.
There are probably more important stories in the news, but none as entertaining as this: in his quest to prove the Earth is flat, self-proclaimed daredevil "Mad" Mike Hughes blew himself up this weekend in the California desert.
"Blew himself up" isn't really the correct phrase. His homemade steam-powered rocket, launched from the back of a tractor-trailer as part of a reality television project for the Science Channel, took off in one piece. If this had been a launch for NASA TV, the post-mortem anomaly report might have sounded something like "though the mission succeeded in achieving its primary goal of powered flight, a subsequent abrupt failure of all descent parachutes resulted in the loss of the craft." (It may or may not be a coincidence that NASA doesn't use hot water to launch rockets.)
There is no small irony in a flat-earth theorist being done in by gravity, which Einstein's general relativity theory defines not as a force but as the distortion matter creates in the curvature of spacetime. In other words, Hughes was literally flattened by a round Earth.
In the aftermath of the — what shall we call this? An accident? An incident? A punchline? — a public relations representative told the press that Hughes' oft-repeated disbelief in a round Earth was in reality nothing more than a PR stunt. That would also explain why Hughes told Space.com that his motivation for this launch was "his love for Trump and his desire to make America great again." Nobody could say such things with a straight face and mean them. At least nobody sane.
While we may never understand what would drive someone to climb into a steam-powered roman candle for the benefit of a television camera, the one thing we can say for sure is that "Mad" Mike died doing what he loved: denying science.
"Deer Runs Over Man" reads the headline accompanying the eye-catching video. The full story is somewhat more sinister:
Just after noon Retired detective Ken Worthy had just exited a McDonald's in the small town of Locust, North Carolina — "A City With a Soul" — when he was ambushed by a deer.
"We were walking out with our Cokes," said the victim, "and, uh, you look both ways and I... my wife caught a look. I looked literally just saw him the last second, and he collided with me. I was down."
Sure, this deer drive-by looks comical because it didn't happen to you, but don't be fooled! Any attack on Coca-Cola and McDonald's is an attack on America!
They can take our Cokes, but they can never take our freedom!
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