Hot Buttered Blues

I just got done putting a couple of bananas in the freezer. This is an odd thing to lead with, but I’ve been crazy about smoothies lately. I had an idea for a while that my Vitamix was broken and would require repair. It is still under warranty of course, but that would probably mean me boxing it up and sending it someplace, so I have been putting it off, and now of course that’s just downright impossible, what with the SARS-CoV-2 everywhere and such. Current circumstances made me get the thing out again and test it, and I discovered that I had a case of blender hypochondria. The thing works fine. So lately I’ve been all about smoothies and frothy boozy drinks. The basic smoothie of late is a cup of soymilk, approximately 3/4 cup of baby spinach, and blend these hard until it’s just green soymilk. Then throw in a frozen banana in pieces and whatever adjuncts you like in moderation. I have some flaxseed meal here for some reason (an insane trip to Niblacks I’m sure) and still a bunch of powder from my Huel craze days so in that goes, and a little orange juice and a little less lime juice for freshness.

That’s a nice smoothie.

Last weekend I upgraded the cable to silver service because I was climbing the walls and desperately wanted my Turner Classic Movies channel back. HBO and Showtime ain’t bad neither, and the Cooking Channel. I immediately dove into a Good Eats marathon followed by a Shameless binge and Face in the Crowd, which must be watched just to see another side of Andy Griffith’s skills. Then last night was an unexpected, weird little gem called “Aaron Loves Angela” (1975). This is the debut film of Irene Cara and Kevin Hooks, the latter you may know if you ever watched a little show called The White Shadow. This is a “blacksploitation” genre movie sort of, meant to be drawn on a Capulet-Montague template. Soundtrack by José Feliciano, by the way, who makes a lovely cameo in the film.

It was better than Birdman.

I cooked some salmon tails today and they were good. I ate them with some rice, which I made in my Zojirushi yesterday. It was nice to have something quick to nuke during my 45 minute lunch.

Also, they announced this today, and I am one eager Prince-person: “Starting this Friday, SiriusXM will host a new channel dedicated entirely to Prince. Stream for free until 5/31 and catch takeovers and special playlists from Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis , Sheila E. , and the debut of a never-before-heard radio show Prince created with Rashida Robinson in 2005.”

If what I heard on the promo on Sirius/XM earlier is accurate, this will be channel 30. In the meantime, you can always listen to Purple Current.

I took a walk this morning as it was nice out, but as I decided to give myself a nice cut on my heel the other day, I had to cut it a little short. Still, amid this madness, it is nice that the weather is improving. Who knows when any of us will ever haunt a gym again.

By the way, if you’re looking for something new on Spotify lately, make it the album The Black Gladiator by… wait for it… Bo Diddley. This thing had a spotty release history (1970), but is now easily accessible and flexes its guns. This ain’t Diddley Daddy. It smacks of blues and psychedelia and soul and rock and makes you have to squint to see Bo Diddley in there somewhere. This is hot. You should listen.

That is all I have for today. Tomorrow is ::checks notes:: Thursday.


For a while, I couldn’t go to the grocery because did not have anything close to a decent mask. Face masks are difficult to snap up these days, even on Amazon, but one lovely Friday morning, Gov. Cuomo told us all we had to wear them. A reporter even asked him how he intended this to be enforced. He said people will probably comply for the most part, and he said non-compliers would be encouraged by their neighborhood busybodies. Great, I thought to myself, now I will have to get my hands on something to put on my face.

I was able to purchase a “Seamless Face Mask Mouth Cover Bandanas for Dust, Outdoors, Festivals, Sports,” but this was one of those things that covers your entire head and neck and is tight–it is exactly like wearing a “panty on your head.” I do not like things over my head and neck and once in fact nearly cold-cocked a barber for making the tissue that goes around one’s neck entirely too tight. I did rig up a way to tie it around my head with a necktie, but this would not do.

Fortunately, my Dad had a source and was able to mail me some decent masks before I became an emaciated wreck, and I have now been to Wegpersons twice since. Neither time was I able to put my hands on a carton of grapefruit juice. These are dark times.

I noticed today that Vice-President Meek Pence, who is allegedly in charge of Dear Leader Preznit Carnage’s coronavirus task force, was nice enough to visit some patients today at the Mayo Clinic but opted not to wear a facial mask just like everybody else in the room including the patients. His explanation:

As vice president of the United States I’m tested for the coronavirus on a regular basis, and everyone who is around me is tested for the coronavirus. Since I don’t have the coronavirus, I thought it’d be a good opportunity for me to be here, to be able to speak to these researchers these incredible health care personnel and look them in the eye and say thank you.

Let us recall that on April 2, Georgia Governator Brian Kemp explained something to us all, something that none of us had never, ever known before about the coronavirus: “Those individuals could have been infecting people before they ever felt bad, but we didn’t know that until the last 24 hours. This is a game-changer.”

This means that Kemp, who was either lying or incompetent when he told you that, nonetheless, this means that Brian Kemp knows more about SARS-Cov-2 than does the Veece Preesident of these Untied States of America, Meek Pence, who is allegedly in charge of Dear Leader Preznit Carnage’s coronavirus task force.

How we feelin’?

But Inside A Dog, It’s Hard to Read

So, today during the President’s Rally to Cover Up and Rationalize Sheer Incompetence in the Face of a Global Pandemic, Dear Leader President Carnage actually said this, and no, I am not paraphrasing:

A question that probably some of you are thinking of if you’re totally into that world, which I find to be very interesting. So supposing we hit the body with a tremendous — whether it’s ultraviolet or very powerful light. And I think you said that hasn’t been checked, but you’re going test it. Supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or in some other way.

And I think you said you’re going test that too. Sounds interesting. And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning. Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number in the lungs. It would be interesting to check you’re going have to use medical doctors with that, but it sounds interesting to me. And so we’ll see. But the whole concept of the light, the way it kills it in one minute, that’s pretty powerful.

So now Dear Leader President Carnage of Eternal Oblivion and Death Death Death is now just, you know, spitballin’ it. Let’s shove a Phonesoap up somebody’s ass and see if it does anything. Or how about if they, hear me out here, do an infusion of Formula 409?

Would that work, Dr. Birx?

Here’s the thing. This thing with Trump now suggesting beams of light as a cure and before bizarrely touting hydroxychloroquine, along with the stalwart support of his own Fox “News” channel, this thing can cause many genuine reactions in the average person. I mean, you can feel anything about this, from outrage to absurdity to disbelief to well, disbelief. But for me, it made me think about something else.

There was another time in history under a different regime, when another man high in the government liked to try lots of unproven techniques on unwilling or unsuspecting people. I mean to be fair to this fellow, he did at least count the honorific “doctor” in his name.

Doctor Mengele.

Think it’s a stretch? Is it? Do you think the führer sometimes didn’t just say, hey, Josef, how about 1000 mL of Meister Proper, and by noon some formerly successful shop-owner and father of three had a needle in his arm?


What he is doing is HORRIBLY DANGEROUS. It’s not funny. It’s not merely outrageous. It is HORRIBLY DANGEROUS. It is dangerous enough in my mind to summon the spectre of Josef Mengele, and trust me, TRUMP’S EVIL HERE AND MENGELE’S THERE are INCHES apart rather than blocks. These efforts of his are hideous.

Please stop watching his “updates.” They are no longer mere curiosity. They are evil. Stop watching.

President Obama Speaks on the Fight Against Ebola

In the previous post, my new favorite Internet comedian Amber “Smiles” Jones did a great job unpacking an astonishing keystone component of a speech President Barack Hussein Obama gave to the National Institutes of Health gave on December 4, 2014.

Here is the entire speech. You should watch it. May it remind you what a great president is actually like.

If you’d like to read it instead, the text is here.

I may revisit this speech from time to time in the next month or so. I may. I think it’s worth some more unpacking. Because there is a lot here that is relevant now, that speaks generally to the Obama presidency versus the current regime of Dear Leader President Carnage of the Infinite Oblivion.

For starters: The right wang always liked to razz Obama about needing a teleprompter.

Are you seeing that here?

Bernie Is Just All Right With Me

I was always a strong advocate of the social platform known as Twitter. Professionally, I have attended social media workshops and spent the last year or so of my last Big Professional Gig trying (weirdly unsuccessfully) to advocate to a medium-sized advocacy group in Washington, D.C. to use Twitter. (Since my departure, they have embraced the platform and currently have 10.5K followers.)

The thing with Twitter is its utter immediacy, which I used to call “the fierce urgency of Twitter.” I do think it helps to attend a meeting where you have active tweeters to understand the conversations that can be had in the cloud via Twitter. It can be an effective medium.

So it was via Twitter yesterday that I first stumbled upon the big announcement. Bernie Sanders was endorsing Joe Biden. I clicked in and got to hear the two fellows having a conversation via some sort of video hangout.

It was, I think, a momentous event toward our efforts to retake the White House in 2020. A true detente! It was clear from the conversation that Biden was making a genuine effort to embrace Sanders, and that Sanders wants to bring all of his heft to this effort.

So, thank you Bernie Sanders, thank you, Joe Biden, for doing what’s right and better. I believe the Democratic Party has actually managed to select the absolute right candidate for our times. Joe Biden has an element of empathy that is sorely lacking in the current occupant that will draw a significant contrast.

And the Biden endorsement sweepstakes continue. Look for President Barack Obama to endorse Biden today. On we roll.

Trump! Trump! Trump! Trump!

Things are not looking good for Dear Leader President Carnage of Oblivion these days.

Today for example, NPR reports on the progress made by the federal government under Trump since he marched out his corporate minions in the Rose Garden and declared a national emergency. Promises made. But not kept.

This can partially be explained by an abysmal failure on this administration’s part to fill and maintain experts in thousands of key policy positions. As the Daily Kos reported last week, President Carnage may have shedded 10,000 years of experience in the year before we started sniffing around and discovering deadly-virus.

Meanwhile, The Guardian reports that President Carnage’s fecklessness in the face of this tragedy is costing the United States generally in terms of its international reputation, a loss that some experts say will never be regained.

Like they say, everybody: Elections have consequences.

Grocery Adventure! and a Shameless Plug

Here in Rochester, not only are we hunkered in against the famous SARS-CoV-2 virus*, but we are now promised that tomorrow, we’re going to get some pretty fierce storms.

And, because the decision of whether or not to go to the grocery store is more weighty than it used to be, I’ve been in a quandary about it much of the morning. The items I needed seemed insignificant considering the risk. Honestly, I needed Coca-Cola and salty snacks. These are not healthy things to eat, but they do help keep me invigorated through an eight-hour shift of sitting in my bedroom office (working at home since 3/19, woohoo!) processing trouble tickets. So, due to the impending storms, it’s either go today or don’t go until Wednesday morning.

So I was geared up to roll out to BJs, which I did, only to discover that BJs did a nice thing and closed for Easter Sunday.

Wegpersons, then. I went in and did my best to keep my distance. I still have not procured a mask and frankly think the whole mask hysteria is silly, and I am in and out anyways. I do notice people in the store, some of them wearing masks but fucking around on their phones. If you’re fucking around with your phone instead of focusing on filling your cart and leaving ASAP, are you really helping anyone by wearing a mask? Why are people focused on such stupid shit? OMG THERE’S A PANDEMIC. HOW WILL I EVER WIPE MY ASS. I MUST GET ALL THE TEEPEE AUGH

Due to that stupidity, Wegpersons now only carries their own store brand of toilet paper, and it sells them by the roll (individually wrapped) ($.99). One per customer. So you bet I threw one in my cart even though I’m good on TP for now. For me, I just want to fill my cart, check out, and get home so I can wash my hands.

So. That was my Sunday. All this to get to a shameless plug for my Dear Old Dad, who has started a blog of his own. My Pop is a voracious reader and as well an incisive writer. He and I share a trait that our careers started in print journalism, and once you’ve been a newspaper reporter, it never really leaves you no matter where you end up. Dude is still covering his beat and doing it well. I congratulate him on his new space on the Internet at Plague Journal 2020.

*Of which President Carnage said on Feb. 26: “The 15 (cases in the US) within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero” and which has now killed more than 21,000 Americans

Monroe County COVID-19 today:

6,833 Test Results Received
6,065 Negative Results
768 confirmed cases
97 hospitalized
36 Patients in ICU
520 in mandatory quarantine
223 in isolation
434 recovered
50 deaths


Monroe County COVID-19 today:

6,482 Test Results Received
5,740 Negative Results
742 confirmed cases
90 hospitalized
38 Patients in ICU
530 in mandatory quarantine
218 in isolation
390 recovered
49 deaths

A COVID-19 Trump Failure Timeline

I got this from my good friend Chic Canfora. Shared with permission. Credits also to Joe Ondo, I’m told. This is gold. This idiot golfed his way through the pandemic though he promised he would never golf in his presidency. He’s a liar and an incompetent louse.

First, the President of the United States called the coronavirus a “Democratic hoax.” Then he and Fox “News” trumpeted the falsehood that the impeachment process interfered with Trump’s preparation for and response to a global pandemic. The actual timeline and Trump’s documented actions and words tell a very different story: Donald J. Trump clearly must be held accountable for his blatant denial and unpreparedness that has destroyed our economy and put our medical professionals and the most vulnerable among us in peril. HERE IS THE REAL, DOCUMENTED TIMELINE:

Dec.18, 2019 The House of Representatives impeached Donald Trump after a transcript of his phone call to the President of Ukraine revealed he withheld military aid from our ally in exchange for a fabricated investigation of Trump’s feared political rival Joe Biden.

Jan. 8 CDC issues its first coronavirus warning
Jan. 9 Trump holds a maga campaign rally
Jan. 14 Trump holds another maga campaign rally
Jan. 16 House sends impeachment articles to Senate
Jan. 18 Trump golfs
Jan. 19 Trump golfs again
Jan. 20 First U.S. case of coronavirus (Washington State)
Jan. 22 Trump announces: “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. It’s going to be just fine.”
Jan. 28 Trump holds another maga campaign rally
Jan. 30 Trump holds another maga campaign rally
Feb. 1 Trump golfs again.
Feb. 2 Trump tells news reporters “We pretty much shut [the virus] down, coming in from China.”
Feb. 5 All Republican Senators but one vote to acquit Trump. Trump takes the day off
Feb. 6 Trump takes another day off
Feb. 7 Trump takes another day off
Feb. 8 Trump takes another day off
Feb. 9 Trump takes another day off
Feb. 10 Trump holds a maga campaign rally
Feb. 12 Dow Jones closes at an all-time high — 29,551.
Feb. 15 Trump golfs.
Feb. 19 Trump holds another maga campaign rally
Feb. 20 Trump holds another maga campaign rally
Feb. 21 Trump holds another maga campaign rally
Feb. 24 Trump announces: “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA… Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”
Feb. 25 Trump announces: “The CDC and my Administration are doing a GREAT job of handling Coronavirus.”
Feb. 25 Trump tells news reporters, “I think that’s a problem that’s going to go away. They have studied it. They know very much. In fact, we’re very close to a vaccine.”
Feb. 26 Trump tells news reporters: “The 15 (cases in the US) within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.”
Feb. 26 Trump announces: “We’re going very substantially down, not up.””This is a flu. This is like a flu”; “Now, you treat this like a flu”; “It’s a little like the regular flu that we have flu shots for. And we’ll essentially have a flu shot for this in a fairly quick manner.”
February Trump tells news reporters: “One day it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”
Feb. 28 Trump tells news reporters “We’re ordering a lot of supplies. We’re ordering a lot of, uh, elements that frankly we wouldn’t be ordering unless it was something like this. But we’re ordering a lot of different elements of medical.” Trump holds another maga campaign rally
March 2 Trump says, “You take a solid flu vaccine, you don’t think that could have an impact, or much of an impact, on corona.”
March 2 – Trump says: “A lot of things are happening, a lot of very exciting things are happening and they’re happening very rapidly.”
March 4 Trump says: “If we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work some of them go to work, but they get better.”
March 5 Trump denies saying what he just said: “I NEVER said people that are feeling sick should go to work.”
March 5 Trump says: “The United States… has, as of now, only 129 cases… and 11 deaths. We are working very hard to keep these numbers as low as possible!”
March 6 Trump brags: “I think we’re doing a really good job in this country at keeping it down… a tremendous job at keeping it down.”
March 6 Trump lies and deflects: “Anybody right now, and yesterday, anybody that needs a test gets a test. They’re there. And the tests are beautiful. the tests are all perfect like the letter was perfect. The transcription was perfect. Right? This was not as perfect as that but pretty good.”
March 6 Trump keeps the focus on himself, not on the people dying: “I like this stuff. I really get it. People are surprised that I understand it… Every one of these doctors said, ‘How do you know so much about this?’ Maybe I have a natural ability. Maybe I should have done that instead of running for president.”
March 6 Trump rejects letting infected Americans depart from a cruise ship returning to California: “I don’t need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn’t our fault.”
March 7 Trump goes golfing.
March 8 Trump goes golfing again.
MAR 8 – Trump tells reporters: “We have a perfectly coordinated and fine tuned plan at the White House for our attack on CoronaVirus.”
MAR 9 – Trump negates that the rest of the world is acting while America ignores the threat: “This blindsided the world.”
MAR 13 – Trump forced by health officials to declare a national state of emergency.
MAR 17 – Trump tells reporters: “This is a pandemic. I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.”
MAR 18 – Trump defends his use of the term China virus: “It’s not racist at all. No. Not at all. It comes from China. That’s why. It comes from China. I want to be accurate.”
MAR 23 – Dow Jones closes at 18,592
March 25 – 3.3 million Americans file for unemployment.
MAR 26 – Trump: “We got very lucky when we made a decision not to allow people in from China at a very early date. I say that because some people don’t want to accept it.”
FALSE: What Trumped banned in late January was travel by “foreign nationals” who had been in China in the last 14 days. It was not a “ban.” Daily flights from China have arrived in the US nearly every day since then. The U.S. moved more slowly than 45 other nations, including the Cook Islands!, in restricting travel from China.
MAR 27 – Trump: “Its 22 days to be exact—right?—when [the U.S.] first started seeing some real signs of problems. They were—I don’t want to say unprepared, but nobody was prepared for this. What we’ve done, nobody can even imagine.”
MAR 30 – Trump: “A month ago nobody ever heard of this—nobody had any idea.”
FALSE: In mid-January, medical experts were deeply concerned about the coronavirus. By early February, most people who pay attention to the world around them were monitoring the outbreak. By March 1, the only person in America who didn’t understand that something very dangerous was happening was Donald Trump.
MAR 31 – Trump says at his press briefing: “Yeah, I can only say that we’re doing more than anybody in the world, by far. We are testing it — highly accurate tests. These are tests that work. As you know, many tests are being sent to countries, and they’re broken. I mean, tests were given out not by us, by other countries, where there was a 50/50 chance that it was wrong. What kind of a test is that? These are highly accurate tests. So we’re doing more than anybody in the world, by far.
IN TRUTH: Trump refused the COVID-19 test distributed to all nations by the World Health Organization, because he wanted his donors in the pharmaceutical companies to profit from America’s own test. Ours proved to be flawed and had to be completely remade, losing an entire month while Americans went without coronavirus tests. We continue to to face a vast shortage of tests as America plays catch-up with the world and races far ahead of all nations in the number of people infected and dying.
MAR 31 – Trump at press briefing: “But, you know, a ventilator is a very precious piece of equipment right now. It’s hard to make. It takes a long time to make it. It’s complex. Some of them are like the dashboard of an airplane. I mean, they’re very complicated and very expensive machines, and some are much simpler. But we have some hospitals and some states that think they need ventilators, and we don’t think they do.
APR 1 – Trump is asked at his coronavirus press briefing why he is threatening Iran during a pandemic. His response: “Did you know I’m number one on Facebook? I just found out I’m number one on Facebook. I thought that was very nice. For whatever it means, it represents something.”
APR 2 – 6.6 million Americans file for unemployment.
APR 4 – Washington Post: “The United States reported on Friday more than 30,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in a day for the first time, bringing the American total to more than 273,000 and the death toll to over 9,000.”
APR 8 – Trump announces during his press briefing: “You are not going to die from this pill. I really think it’s a great thing to try [hydrochoroquine],” contradicting the warnings of Dr. Patrice Harris, president of the American Medical Association, who told CNN “you could lose your life” from this unproven treatment,” echoing warnings from other experts.
APR 9: John Hopkins University updates its daily coronavirus cases: 1,631,310 cases in the world. 467,184 cases in the U.S., 82,940 cases in China.
(see chart below for all countries)
APR 9: Washington Post: “Widespread reports of ventilator shortages and the prospect of doctors forced to choose who will live and die have belatedly stirred the United States to action. Last week, the Trump administration invoked the Defense Production Act to facilitate the rapid manufacture of ventilators. But make no mistake: These ventilators will be useless without a steady supply of the critical care medications that allow emergency and critical care physicians to sedate and support our intubated patients… A recent survey of U.S. health-care facilities found that 70 percent reported at least one shortage of drugs for coronavirus treatment — a figure that’s bound to get worse.

The United States– the richest nation in the world– has the highest number of coronavirus cases on the planet, and our numbers are likely twice that, because due to a shortage, the US is not testing people until they are so sick they may need hospitalization.

But, just a month ago, on March 6 before departing for a 3-day golf outing, the President of the United States said: “Anybody right now, and yesterday, anybody that needs a test gets a test. They’re there. And the tests are beautiful…. the tests are all perfect like the letter was perfect. The transcription was perfect. Right? This was not as perfect as that but pretty good.”