Showing 1 - 10 of 261 posts found matching keyword: news
Friday 16 October 2020
SAVANNAH GUTHERIE, NBC NEWS, Oct 15, 2010Just this week, you retweeted to your 87 million followers, a conspiracy theory that Joe Biden orchestrated to have SEAL Team Six, the Navy SEAL Team Six, killed to cover up the fake death of Bin Laden. Now, why would you send a lie like that to your followers?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATESI know nothing about it, can I-
GUTHERIEYou retweeted it.
TRUMPThat was a retweet. That was an opinion of somebody—
TRUMP—and that was a retweet. I’ll put it out there. People can decide for themselves. I don't take a position.
GUTHERIEI don't get that, you’re the President. You're not like, someone's crazy uncle who can just—
TRUMPNo, no. No, no.
TRUMPThat was a retweet. And I do a lot of retweets. And frankly, because the media is so fake, and so corrupt, if I didn't have social media.... I don’t call it Twitter, I call it social media. I wouldn't be able to get the word out. And the word is—
GUTHERIEWell, the word is false.
TRUMP—and you know what the word is? The word is very simple. We're building our country, stronger and better than it's ever been before.
TRUMPAnd that's what's happening. And everybody knows it.
There's no small irony in the fact that the party that openly promotes the philosophy of Constitutional Originalism has chosen as its leader a man the Founding Fathers could have never imagined.
Wednesday 7 October 2020
Press Briefing by President William Henry Harrison, issued April 1, 1841:
MR. HARRISON: I just left Washington Infirmary, and it's really something very special. The doctors, the surgeons, the bloodletters, and I learned so much about pleurisy. And one thing that's for certain: don't let it dominate you. Don't be afraid of it. You're going to beat it. We have the best cupping equipment. We have the best opium, all developed recently, and you're going to beat it.
I went... I didn't feel so good. And two days ago, I could have left two days ago. Two days ago I felt great, like, better than I have in a long time. I said just recently, better than during the Battle of Tippecanoe. Don't let it dominate. Don't let it take over your lives. Don't let that happen.
We have the greatest country in the world. We're going back. We're going back to work. We're going to be out front. As your leader, I had to do that. I knew there's danger to it, but I had to do it. I stood out front. I led. Nobody that's a leader would not do what I did. And I know there's a risk. There's a danger, but that's okay. And now I'm better, and maybe I'm immune. I don’t know.
But don't let it dominate your lives. Get out there. Be careful. We have the best snake oil salesmen in the world, and they're all happened very shortly [sic], and they're all getting approved. And the boiled mixture of crude petroleum and Virginia snakeweed is coming momentarily.
Thank you very much. And Washington Infirmary, what a group of people. Thank you very much.
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Tuesday 18 August 2020
After weeks of discussion about how they could continue playing sports in the face of an unabated pandemic, the University of Georgia is now scheduled to play Auburn on October 3 in their first home football game of an unusual SEC-only season. Theoretically, I have a ticket. At least, I paid for one back in February.
While they have announced that all attendees will have to wear face coverings "over the nose and mouth" while entering, leaving, or moving through the stadium, the University has yet to announce any actual plan for dividing the 93,000 seat Sanford Stadium into socially distanced sections. There are about 58,000 season ticket holders and nearly 20,000 student tickets per game in a usual year. Obviously, the stadium will seat far, far fewer than that this year. I imagine that only the richest donors will get seats for all
5 games, but I can't imagine why they would want them.
(My bad. There are only to be 4 home games. What would be the 5th home game is the Florida/Georgia game, still scheduled to be played in Jacksonville.)
That first football game is still six weeks away. Since the start of this mess, there has been no six-week period with an overall decline in cases in America. Students have only this week returned to campus, so the inevitable explosion in COVID cases is still on the horizon. What will things look like that first October weekend? Based on recent history, it can't be anything good. In fact, Georgia Tech has just declared Georgia to be the state in the Union in which a person is most likely to be exposed to the virus. Whoo-hoo! Let's play some ball!
I get that the players want to play. As a fan, I want to watch. But just because we *want* football doesn't mean we're in a position to have it. If you're old enough and smart enough to go to college, you're old enough not to let your wants hurt you. If getting this pandemic under control, if ensuring that we break the chain of infections to protect ourselves, our families, and our neighbors means we have to stay in our homes (or dorms) and forego one football season, we should do that, even if we don't want to. Any other behavior is just irresponsible.
Go Dawgs. Go home. Football will still be there once we're all healthy enough to play it.
UPDATE 2020-08-19: I woke up this morning to find an email from UGA Athletics informing that I am to be granted the opportunity to attend 1 home game not of my choice. Alternately, I can opt-out of attending any games and either A) transfer my donation to help fund the skyrocketing costs of the university's attempts to play games during the ever-worsening COVID-19 pandemic or B) be refunded my 2020 donations "before the end of the calendar year." I think you can guess which I chose.
Tuesday 28 July 2020
Press Briefing by President Woodrow Wilson, issued on January 26, 1919:
MR. WILSON: Thank you very much. Thank you, everybody. Thank you.
We've had a tremendous week uniting the country in our fight against the Spanish virus. I have reminded people of the importance of masks when you can't socially distance, in particular. A strong message has been sent out to young people to stop going to crowded bars and other crowded places.
I wanted to come out again today to share some additional news with you: This afternoon, my political team came to me and laid out our plans for the Armistice celebration in San Francisco, California. It's a place I love. I love that state. The drawings look absolutely beautiful. I never thought we could have something look so good, so fast with everything going on. And everything was going well — a tremendous list of speakers; thousands of people wanting to be there — and I mean, in some cases, desperately be there. They wanted to attend. People making travel arrangements all over the country; they wanted to be there. The pageantry, the signs, the excitement were really, really top of the line.
But I looked at my team, and I said, "The timing for this event is not right. It's just not right with what's happened recently — the flare up in California — to have a big celebration. It's not the right time."
It's really something that, for me — I have to protect the American people. That's what I've always done. That's what I always will do. That's what I'm about.
Fortunately, the data shows that children are lower risk from the Spanish virus, very substantially. When children do contact the virus, they often have only very mild symptoms or none at all, and medical complications are exceedingly rare. Those that do face complications often have underlying medical conditions. Ninety-nine percent of all Spanish virus hospitalizations are adults. And ninety-nine point nine six percent of all fatalities are adults. That means that children are a tiny percentage — less than one percent, and even a small percentage of one percent.
I have a very, very special person who loves children, who is — who is, I think, one of the greatest athletes of all time. A lot of people say "the greatest player of all time." Known as a "center fielder" who could have been whatever he wanted. Some people — he is the greatest player of all time, by far. Substantially more runs batted in than anybody else. In fact, he got the Most Valuable Player award recently.
And he — I'm reading off these stats. I knew he was the best. I knew he was great, but I didn't know it was almost double anybody else. But he's a man who loves children — has children, loves children, works hard with children. We're going to go outside and be with some little leaguers. Ty Cobb — you know, he's the "Georgia Peach," right? My wife said, "Darling, why do they call him the 'Georgia Peach'?" I said, "You know, he's just such a sweet man.” And that's exactly what happened.
So, with that, if you have any questions — please.
Q: On the Armistice celebration, were you simply not convinced that you could keep people safe at the convention?
MR. WILSON: I just felt it was wrong, Steve, to have people going to what turned out to be a hotspot. You know, when we chose it, it was not at all hot; it was free. And all of a sudden, it happened quickly. It happens quickly. And it goes away, and it goes away quickly. The key is, we want it to go away without a lot of death, without a lot of problems.
Q: You talk about setting an example on San Francisco. But I — I just wonder: Some people are going to take away from this the lesson that you're pushing too far, too fast. It seemed, for a while, the numbers were going up in San Francisco, and you were going to have a problem there with the Anti-Mask League. This comes up at a time you're pushing for schools to reopen, have the opening of the Major League Baseball season. Isn't — isn't the example of San Francisco that we're — we're pushing too fast?
MR. WILSON: Well, baseball, as an example — we were discussing it a little while ago — you're going to be at an empty stadium. I've agreed — Charles Comiskey is a great friend of mine from the White Sox, and he asked me to throw out the first pitch, and I think I'm doing that on May 8th at Comiskey Park. And I say, "How's the crowd going to be?" And, you know, it's like you don't have a crowd; there is no such thing.
It's going to be interesting, Ty. He's not used to that. I've been at many games. He walks in; the place goes crazy. I think it'd be just as good without the crowd. You were just born with it, you know. Some people are born with it.
I don't know if — this is only for the baseball players, but I've never seen a batter hit a ball where so many bats were broken as Ty. He's got the all-time record. I said, "How do you do that?" He said, "Parents." Great parents, when you get right down to it. Right? "How do you do that?" It's called parents.
Q: That's baseball, but the question really is —
MR. WILSON: Yeah, I just — just to finish, I think — I think that we have to all set examples. I think Major League Baseball is setting the example by, you know, playing to empty stadiums, and so are other sports. You see that. Now, then they’ll allow a certain number in. I see golf is now — soon will be allowing people to come in, in percentages. And all of a sudden, we want to get back to normal.
The key is to get back to normal, because nobody wants to see this. But I think it's really good that baseball is opening. It looks like football is opening. It looks like sports are opening. We — we have — it's a tremendous thing, psychologically, for our country.
And we're all — we're all, whether we're — we're going to see right now some beautiful, young Little Leaguers outside with a great future ahead of them. They're already practicing on the front lawn of the White House, and we're going to go out and say hello to them, and it'll be really great.
Thank you all very much. Thank you. Thank you very much.
Follow-up communiqué by President Woodrow Wilson, issued three days later:
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Friday 24 July 2020
From the article "U.S. Health Service Issues Warning," The Newnan Herald Vol. 54 No. 11, December 13, 1918, page 5:
The Bureau of Public Health, Treasury Department, has just issued a striking poster drawn by Berryman, the well-known Washington cartoonist. The poster exemplifies the modern method of health education. A few years ago, under similar circumstances, the health authorities would have issued an official dry but scientifically accurate bulletin teaching the role of droplet infection In the spread of respiratory diseases. The only ones who would have understood the bulletin would have been those who already knew all about the subject The man In the street, the plain citizen and the many millions who toll for their living would have had no time and no desire to wade through the technical phraseology.
Speaking as someone living one hundred years in the future, I don't think it's the "technical phraseology" that people object to.
Tuesday 16 June 2020
A recent survey by the University of Chicago has found that Americans are the least happy we've been in nearly 50 years.
There are probably a lot of reasons for that, but I think it's because 1971 was the last time you could buy this as a 3' x 2' poster for just $1.50 (plus .25¢ postage and handling):
May Superman and peace never go out of style.
Sunday 14 June 2020
I'm an artist with an affinity for history who grew up in the shadow of Stone Mountain, so it should be no surprise that I have a special soft spot for public portraiture sculpture. As you can imagine, I have very mixed feelings about 2020's approach to statues of the past.
Jefferson Davis should be no one's hero. I've been to Richmond, Virginia, and I've seen their monument to a man who defined his political career by trying to force the enslavement of an entire race of men. The monument is a disgusting tribute to the traitorous Lost Cause, and it should have been removed from the public space long before now. Should it be destroyed? It will always have propaganda value for the wrong kind of people; perhaps the only appropriate solution is to melt it down so that it cannot become a subversive icon, the same way there are no longer statues in the wild of Stalin or Saddam Hussein. I have a nostalgic emotional connection to the carving on Stone Mountain, but I rationally accept the world may be a better place without it.
But let's not get carried away. There is a difference between statues dedicated to perpetrators of genocide and hatred and statues of complicated political leaders whose actions have contributed directly to our current freedoms. Without Winston Churchill, whose statue is currently under assault in London because the man had unconscionable views about Indians, it's very likely that the only statues in Britain would be of Adolf Hitler, who wasn't exactly enlightened about race relations himself.
In the past, I've laughed off reactionary arguments that if we allow people to tear Robert E. Lee off his bronze horse, hammers would next come down on monuments to George Washington. Maybe that's not as crazy as I thought. America in 2020 wouldn't exist if Washington hadn't been the man he was in 1776, but he did own slaves in his day and that seems to be criteria enough in the current climate to have him blasted off Mount Rushmore. Washington was by no means a perfect person, but should perfection be the standard for which statue is allowed to stand and which isn't? I can't think of too many idolized men who can clear that bar. Maybe just Christ of the Ozarks, the Lincoln Memorial, and this guy:
So begone with your racist Alexander H. Stephens (no relation) and greedy Christopher Columbus statues if you must, but let's reconsider what modern life might be like without slave-loving Thomas Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase or colonialist Teddy Roosevelt's trust-busting and national park conservationism before we add them to the scrapheap. We could always use the reminder that not all great men who built our civilization were good.
Wednesday 3 June 2020
At approximately 6:30PM, Monday, June 1, 2020, amid a week of national protests and riots against unjust authoritarian force, federal agents forcibly dispersed a televised, peaceful protest in Lafayette Square north of the White House. Mounted armed men, pepper spray, and gas canisters were further used to displace reporters and the clergy of St. John's Episcopal Church, which an arsonist had attempted to burn the night before. Though the Capitol Park Police issued a statement that their actions were taken in direct response to increased violence from protesters, multiple sources would later report that the U.S. Attorney General had given the order that the park should be cleared about half an hour earlier.
At approximately 7:00PM, following a speech in the White House Rose Garden in which he declared himself "an ally of all peaceful protesters" and closed by vowing to "pay respects to a very, very special place," the U.S. President led the Attorney General, other cabinet members, and the White House press pool — who reported on the discomforting effects of lingering gas in the air — on a walk across the conveniently cleared Lafayette Square to St. John's where the president posed holding a bible above his head. Despite this event being obviously pre-planned, the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington later confirmed that the White House had not notified the church of any intention to stage the photo op with their building, nor is the president a member of their congregation.
This sequence of events demonstrates that a group of legally assembled Americans, clergy actively practicing their religion, and the free press, were all oppressed by police forces in order to accommodate the whims of an American president hoping to generate an iconic image for purely political purposes. I don't care what political party you support; that's bullshit.
Fuck you, dude.
Tuesday 12 May 2020
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.
Monday 4 May 2020
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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