You could knock Red over with an AK-47

Current polling indicates that the Lone Star State is in play for November.  As reported by the Dallas Morning News – not exactly a bastion of left-wing reporting – Trumph – the Insult Comic President and Joe Biden are in a statistical deadheat.

A new Dallas Morning News/University of Texas at Tyler poll shows that Trump and Biden are backed by 43% of poll respondents, with 5% opting for “other” candidates and only 9% undecided. Trump’s overall approval rating was 45%.

Red really will have to engage in some willing suspension of disbelief before he buys into the notion that Uncle Joe has a chance to carry Texas.  But if that well-below 50% approval rating holds, Trump’s reality TV show joke of a Presidency is in serious trouble.  If this polling is accurate and holds through the summer, then Trump absolutely must  divert some of his massive campaign war chest to Texas – a state he must win to prevail in 2020.  The result will be less time and resources to devote to the other “Battleground States” that are also critical to Trump being able to stay in office and out of the pokey.

Bill O’ the Clown Triumphs in First Round of 2020 NFL Draft

All you Texans’ fans can be proud of what Head Coach/GM Bill O’Brien did in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft.  Absolutely nothing.  Red was expecting Bill to trade away some more draft picks and All-Pro talent to pick up a player in the first round that the experts had going in the third round at best.  So Kudos to Bill for sitting on your hands.

It won’t last.

Brother Trump’s Traveling Salvation Show

As Red has acknowledged, Trump is without doubt the greatest con man who has ever walked the face of the earth.  But as Red has also acknowledged it is hard to keep the con going for the long haul.  In presidential terms, the long haul is anything beyond the first six months or so.

Trump’s cons on the American people have been extensive.  In no particular order he has conned a good portion of Americans into believing: (1) his massive tax cut was not an enormous give back to the wealthiest among us and would benefit the middle class; (2) we are winning trade wars that would benefit working Americans; (3) Russia did not interfere in the 2016 election to help him get elected; (3) our military was in a shambles until Trump took over; (4) he is a self-made man who received a mere pittance of a $1 million loan from his father when he actually inherited more than $400 million in current dollars; (5) he is an expert on the military, science, climate change, foreign policy, economics and any other subject that happens to come up; (6) North Korea is no longer a threat; (7) Ukraine intervened to attempt to get Hillary elected; (8) it was a perfect telephone call; (9) he has drained the “swamp” in DC; (10) he is an extremely stable genius.

But now we have entered in what can only be called the “Snake Oil” phase of Trump’s Reality TV Show Joke of a Presidency.  Faced with a real crisis, Trump clearly has no plan of action.  He lurches from moment to moment falling prey to whatever the Fox or OAN talking heads are saying.  First it was hydroxychlorquine that would be the miracle cure all that would rid of the scourge of COVID-19.  Hallelujah Brother!  Then it was a combination of that chemical with a Z-Pack that cure what ails us.  Can I get an Amen? Then it was that the virus would just magically disappear in April. A Miracle Cure Indeed!  But the latest and greatest of Trump’s con on America is something that would make even the most jaded con man blush.  We can now be healed and brought back to vitality simply by injected ourselves with disinfectant and somehow lighting up our insides.  Wash Me Clean Sister!  Red is reeling in the pure ecstasy of Trump’s divine revelation.  Red will be retiring to his private tanning bed and mainlining some Mr. Clean.

But seriously folks, Trump is nothing more than a pure Snake Oil salesman.  He isn’t traveling anymore but he has his own reality TV show.  But if this latest utter farce does not reveal Trump as the dishonest huckster that he is and always has been – there is no hope for us.   If you are still considering voting for this piece of walking human filth in November – you are an IDIOT.  There is no other way to put it.

 

Quote for the Day

“We’ll gradually bring those people back and see what happens. Some of them will get sick, some may even die, I don’t know.”

Dick Kovacevich, a current executive at Cisco and Cargill.

Dick is certainly doing all he can to live up to his name.  Tell you what Dick, let’s send some people diagnosed with COVID-19 over to your house for dinner and “see what happens.”

Quote for the Day

He brought them here and stuck them in his factory! Is he paying these poor people? Are there toilets for them? I’ve seen their faces! I can’t be sure of this, but one of them has a look like, ‘I should’ve taken my chances back in Germany!’

If you haven’t watched The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, you won’t get this in the context of the current right-wing push-back against shut-downs in the face of the potentially disastrous COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S.

 

Let Lieutenant Dan be the First in Line

Red admits he was conflicted by the rolling shutdown of businesses in Texas and throughout the country.   First it was AustinDallas and then San Antonio issuing shelter-in-place orders.  But when Waco  and McClennan County officials announced a closure of all non-essential businesses, Red began to realize that we are in some seriously deep doo doo with this COVID-19 crisis in Texas.   When the heart of Texas and the heart of Texas conservatism (sorry Tarrant County – you’re getting kind of squishy) is taking this matter seriously, then something is really up.  Red doesn’t not pretend to be privy to the expert medical advice given to such officials, but if Waco is shutting down then the reports must be ominous.

Our Poor Idiot Governor Greg Abbott (and don’t take particular offense at this characterization as, in Red’s humble opinion, Abbott is just one in an almost continuous line of OPIG’s dating back to at least whoever came after Alan Shivers) has refused to do much of anything other than close schools and mumble something about gatherings of more than 10 people.  Even worse, Abbott has laughably claimed that he likes to defer to local authorities in such times of crisis.  Curious, how he and the GOP controlled legislature have repeatedly railed against local authorities when they have addressed relatively minor issues like plastic bag bans, tree protection ordinances and some more important ones like fracking bans.  His message has consistently been “I love local government – except when it goes against my right-wing Trumpian dogma.” But now it’s- “Hey, local guys you do what you think is right so that I can have my political cover come next election and say I didn’t destroy the Texas economy – it was all those local Democrats who overreacted.”  It must be tough to maintain a straight face . . .

And speaking of overreaction, here is Red’s take on the issue.  We will never know if the current measures being adopted were needed or effective.  Or at least there will never be an admission from the opponents of such measures that the a general shut down prevented thousands or perhaps millions of deaths.  If such shut-downs stop the spread of the virus, it would seem there is no real way to actually measure the effectiveness of such measures – other than maybe compare us to Italy or Spain.  Red did not do well in probability and statistics and will leave that to others.

However, if the naysayers get their way – maybe we will be able to tell if they were right or wrong.  If we all just go back to normal shoulder-to-shoulder daily life and work and play and COVID-19 kills off no more of us than might bite it in a typical bad flu season, then one could rightfully argue that a shut-down was not needed.  But here’s the kicker – if the let’s’-just-keep-rolling-along-as-if-this-is-no-big-deal crowd is wrong, really wrong, then the consequences could be catastrophic.  This is life and death folks – who wants to gamble?

Okay, so back to the real point of this little diatribe.  This morning Red awoke to the pronouncement of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick that our senior citizens should be willing to go down taking one in the gut (or the lungs as the case may be) in order for their grandchildren to have a fully functioning economy.  Red will let Lt. Dan speak for himself here.

No one reached out to me and said, ‘As a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?’ And if that’s the exchange, I’m all in. And that doesn’t make me noble or brave or anything like that.

I just think there are lots of grandparents out there in this country like me … that what we all care about and what we all love more than anything are those children.  And I want to, you know, live smart and see through this, but I don’t want to see the whole country to be sacrificed, and that’s what I see.

The message here seems to be pretty clear – Screw the old folks, we’ve got shit to sell.  And as an old man himself, Lt. Dan is taking the supposed high road.  In effect, “I’ll roll the dice because otherwise my political party and career are probably headed for the crapper.”

So while Red was conflicted (remember that’s how this all began), once he heard Lt. Dan’s noble gesture, Red knew that this was a serious problem and that any measures we take should not be half-hearted.  Stay at home as much as possible, wash your hands, maintain “social distance” (we really need a new name for that), enjoy your family, exercise, pull some weeds, have a nice drink, watch some Have Gun Will Travel reruns (highly recommended).  Do the right thing.

And while we are at, Red has some Kool-Aid ready for  Lt. Dan just in case he wants to be the first in line.  Take one for the team buddy!  One potential infection vector down!

P.S. –  On the way in, Red heard right-wing radio bloviator Michael Berry going on about what a crock these shut-downs are – effectively a Commie plot to destroy his beloved Republican Party and force everyone into government servitude.  If Red had any lingering doubts about whether a shut down was the right course of action, hearing Berry’s lying, fear-mongering rant removed any doubt.  A rule that is without exception:  When an utter POS like Berry is against something, it must be the right course of action.

The Year of the Woman (Judge that is)

Red was a bit perplexed by the utter dominance of the female judicial candidates in the Democratic primary earlier this month.  If you were a male running for judge in one of the major urban counties and faced a female opponent, you were very likely out of luck and not going to be on the ballot in November cruising to victory.  That women were winning was not a particular surprise, but the margins of victory in many of these races were astounding.  In your typical judicial race (where maybe 1% of the voters have some clue about the qualifications of the candidates) some of the female candidates were winning by up to 40 points.  Red can understand the woman candidate winning based on demographics and turnout but a 40 point margin in a race between two unknowns is almost bizarre.

In the process, Texas lost some very good male judges.  That is not to say that the new judges will not be as good, but booting out those with a proven track record for the unknown is somewhat disturbing.   Fortunately Off the Kuff has some analysis that may keep Red from going off the deep end.