Third Wave! And, Krugman finally notices Merchants

From New York Times, obviously.

We’re well into the much-expected third wave of the Coronavirus pandemic. California isn’t actually doing badly compared to the rest of the nation, but LA County is trending the wrong way, unfortunately.

Yesterday’s big news was that the White House chief of staff acknowledged that they’ve given up on the pandemic. That triggered today’s Krugman column, which links to Merchants of Doubt. Yay! It only took denial of mass death to get him on board.

Election day is one week from tomorrow, and I wish I had confidence in the results.

We were going to go up to Mammoth last week but it’s been continuously smoky from the Creek fire. We spent last weekend cleaning out Alex’s room so it can be turned into my next office. It’s very echo-y now. I may have convinced The Mate to buy a Ford Bronco Sport when Ford starts to actually make them. At the moment, we only have my Model 3–she sold her truck to Alex. Long story on that! But due to the out-of-control pandemic, we never actually go anywhere so not much need for two cars, let alone the 3 that we had.

We’re going to Newport Beach for my birthday, and then we’re going to Mammoth for T-day.

The Madness of King Donald

The barrage of insanity over the last couple of weeks has been incredible. I guess the pace to start is Don the Con’s taxes. The New York Times got 20 years of them somehow and published an unbelievable expose. He owes more than a billion dollars, including more than $400 million to one or more mysterious overseas lenders, and pays almost no taxes. His first year as president, 2017, he paid $750. Most of the last ten years he’s paid none at all. He somehow got a $70 million refund in 2011 that’s ‘under audit,’ somehow, 9 years later. And he even managed to implicate Ivanka in tax fraud. It’s a remarkable story.

That story didn’t hold the news cycle long. The first debate with Biden was on Tuesday, 29 September, and it was a catastrophe for Ole Donny Boy. He was in fully aggressive bully mode, shouting over Biden and moderator (Faux New’s Chris Wallace), and drove away a lot of his own voters. He gave the white supremacists a shot in the arm by giving the Proud Boys a direct order. The insta-polling afterwards had Biden’s lead increase to double digits. I couldn’t watch it myself. The Mate watched, but I couldn’t tolerate him more than 15 minutes. I went and read instead.

But that disastrous performance didn’t dominate the news cycle more than a day. Ex-Trump aide and probably current mistress Hope Hicks tested positive for the coronavirus literally the next day. She’d travelled with Trump and gang on Air Force One to the debate while symptomatic. At least that’s what the initial reports said. Then the Mad King tested positive, three Rethuglican Senators who hadn’t been at the debate did, and it became very clear that the actual superspreader event had been the Federalist Society’s coming out event for Trmp’s Supreme Court nominee. She’s a christofascist from a cult called People of Prayer, and had been on the Notre Dame faculty before being appointed to the 7th circuit 3 years ago.

The Donald wound up being rushed to Walter Reed on Marine 1 to receive his socialized medicine, stayed three days and basically forced his way back out. He’s back at the White House as I write this, as more and more of official Washington gets quarantined. The White House hasn’t been performing contact tracing as they’re supposed to, and they barred CDC from doing it too.

It’s worth noting that what typically happens with this disease is that people start to feel better, go back to work, and then relapse and die. The relapse-and-die part happens after the 2nd week of infection, and we just started week two. So this may not end well for the Mad King.

It already hasn’t ended well for more than 210,000 other Americans. Fuck him.

Still Burning

I accidentally forgot to post this one. . .from September 15.

Just an update. . .Bobcat2 fire still burning east of Mt Wilson, and has forced evacuations in Arcadia and Monrovia. My PurpleAir sensor peaked at 525 a couple of days ago. This morning it was 270; JPL closed (again) from the bad air. Moderated enough to open the house this evening for a few hours, at least partly because the air indoors smelled musty and ick.

The Creek fire south of Mammoth is slowly moving towards the town. The air there is terrible too, the PurpleAir sensor up there read 710 a few minutes ago. The town starting kicking tourists out over the weekend in preparation for evacuation. Like here though, they haven’t pulled the trigger on the evacuation.

All the national forests in the state closed over the weekend. Apparently wanted to reduce the potential evacuation risk.