Our American heart

Just when the partisan spin garbage left me feeling totally disgusted, GWB comes through with the message we all should take to heart:

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Some COVID-19 Ponderings

This  novel corona virus  (COVID-19) and ensuing global pandemic has created  a petri dish for manufacturing new spin terminology.  It feels surreal that I’ve come to cringe every time I hear a Dem politician or Dem-aligned media pundit harp, “We have to trust the science!” The thing that’s become crystal clear is that “the science” isn’t as rock solid on facts as presented and continually shifts to fit the political agenda… which makes it more spin words than actual “science.”  Even much of the information about COVID-19 presented as good faith scientific fact gleaned from careful research keeps shifting, based on new research that upends the previous scientific research and/or the data used ends up being updated with newer, contradictory data.

Yesterday the Los Angeles Times reported two autopsies of deaths from early February in Santa Clara county reveal they had COVID-19, which is weeks earlier than the previously reported first COVID-19 death in the US on February 29th.  Today CA governor, Gavin Newsom, has ordered medical examiners and coroners in CA to review autopsies back to December, to see if more deaths might have been COVID-19-related:

“California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) ordered medical examiners and coroners across the state to review autopsies dating back to December to “help guide a deeper understanding of when this pandemic really started to impact Californians.”

“When this occurred is important forensic information, profoundly significant in understanding the epidemiology of this disease, all of those things are brought to bear with more clarity and light,” Newsom at a daily press briefing Wednesday. “Not only because of this specific announcement, but I imagine subsequent announcements that may be made by similar efforts all across the state of California.”

Newsom’s announcement came after officials in Santa Clara County said late Tuesday that first American deaths from coronavirus occurred weeks earlier than initially thought.”

https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/494200-california-gov-orders-autopsies-back-to-december-to-find-out-how-long

Twitter tales abound of people wondering if their respiratory illnesses in late 2019-early 2020 were  COVID-19.  There was a dramatic uptick in people presenting upper respiratory infections and these two deaths in early February have moved the confirmed case timeline back several weeks.  It would be very important information to know when the first COVID-19 cases actually occurred in the US, which would give us a better understanding of the data coming from China.

Jim Geraghty at National Review has written frequently about COVID-19 and yesterday he mentioned these two CA autopsies, but he connected this information  to a March Chinese propaganda effort trying to blame the US military for bringing COVID-19 to China:

“In all of the hubbub of mid-March, as the scale of the danger of SARS-CoV-2 and the far-reaching shutdown of American live became clear, it was easy to miss Lijian Zhao, spokesman for the foreign ministry of China, making Twitter accusations that the virus was a U.S. bioweapon. Even easier to miss was his tweet linking to a paper contending the virus was linked to U.S. attendance at the Military World Games, which took place in Wuhan in October 2019. (That paper has since been taken down from the web.)

The 7th World Military Games, an Olympic-style competition, was held in Wuhan and began October 18 and ended October 27. The event was a big one for the city and for China, complete with elaborate opening and closing ceremonies. “More than 9,000 athletes from over 100 countries competed in more than 27 sports, a record number of participants. This year’s games also presented a number of other firsts: the first time the games were staged outside of military bases, the first time the games were all held in the same city, the first time an Athletes’ Village was constructed, the first time TV and VR systems were powered by 5G telecom technology, and the first use of all-round volunteer services for each delegation.”

At the end of March, the state-run Global Times newspaper claimed that the coronavirus, which was first discovered in Wuhan, was in fact manufactured in a U.S. military lab and brought to China by a cyclist who took part in the World Military Games. They cited the work of a man they labeled an “investigative journalist,” who in 2017 contributed to the brief shutdown of part of the port of Charleston, S.C., over a false claim of a dirty bomb on a container ship.”

https://www.nationalreview.com/the-morning-jolt/what-went-down-at-the-world-military-games/?utm_source=recirc-desktop&utm_medium=homepage&utm_campaign=river&utm_content=featured-content-trending&utm_term=first

 Geraghty states the earliest confirmed case in China, based on a Lancet report, is December 1, 2019.

As one of those people wondering about an earlier severe respiratory infection, I hope that at some point my husband and I can get the COVID-19 antibody test.  My son was sick with an upper respiratory infection the 2nd week of January.  The next week my husband became very ill with an upper respiratory infection and was hospitalized with acute respiratory failure.  Around a week later, I got sick with an upper respiratory infection and my primary care doctor prescribed a Z-Pak.   While I didn’t get severely ill like my husband, I had a cough that took almost a month to clear up.  Of course, as my daughter reminds me, we live in a podunk GA town making COVID-19 exposure unlikely,  I keep reminding her that we are also right next to a large US Army installation, with people coming and going from all over the world.

This COVID-19 timeline in America will be a story I will follow with great interest.  Even if I found out we had COVID-19 already, here again, there’s no sense of security about  “the science” in regards to that providing immunity:

“Another Forbes contributor Bruce. Y. Lee covered many of the main points and what we knew a few weeks ago here, but since then, more reports of people appearing to be re-infected with the SARS-CoV2 coronavirus are popping up everywhere. Most recently, 51 South Koreans with COVID-19 re-tested positive after being released from quarantine. However, a key question South Korean authorities and everywhere else with these “reinfected cases” are now trying to figure out is whether these people did indeed recover and were then re-infected with the virus, or whether they never recovered completely at all.

Although no conclusions about this immunity question can currently be definitively made, a new preprint study from China suggests that some people who have recovered from a mild bout of COVID-19 may have very low, or even undetectable levels of protective antibodies against the SARS-CoV2 coronavirus, with the researchers claiming that their study is the first systematic examination of antibody levels in people who have recovered from the disease.”

https://www.forbes.com/sites/victoriaforster/2020/04/08/can-you-get-sick-with-coronavirus-again-after-youve-already-had-it-new-research-continues-to-emerge-but-the-jury-is-still-out/#174a944331a5

At this point it seems saying, “We have to trust the science!” isn’t really based on scientifically rock solid facts, but more evolving studies and research.  It seems rather reckless to base sweeping, long-term public policy decisions, completely changing every aspect of American life, based on trusting in science that is still more a work in progress than settled scientific facts.  Would it change our understanding of the “curve” if we found out COVID-19 was spreading for months before that first confirmed case?  Would it change our understanding if millions of Americans were already exposed?  All I know is it seems the certitude of the partisans ranting about trusting “the science,” as always, is more about advancing their political agenda than about public health… or “science.”

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Short COVID-19 update

It’s been almost a month since I’ve written a blog post, so here are a few COVID-19 observations.  The politicization of this viral outbreak, while predictable, has been as disturbing as all the rapid governmental orders and edicts, all geared toward “keeping us safe.”   The zeal with which many pundits and politicians abandon our foundational principles and fundamental rights spread way more quickly than this virus and it’s infected many partisans, on both sides of the political aisle.  The measures many people embrace out of fear and the desire to feel “safe” could wreak havoc on our constitutional system, if calmer heads don’t work to quell the zealots wanting to turn America into a virtual police state, all to stop the spread of this virus.  It’s a bit surreal that a “health emergency” has brought out the inner totalitarian instincts among so many of the political class.

Trump, many Dems and many in the media latched onto this crisis as another spin theme to use to advance their political agendas, which has left me even more disgusted with the media and partisans.  I find this new scorched earth spin theater even more appalling than the others, because each day, their spin crap is played out as the death count of Americans succumbing to this virus climbs.  They’re playing their spin antics as thousands of Americans are dying and millions others are suffering extreme hardship and possible financial ruin… but hey, the partisan spin war rages on, regardless.  Trump has been using his daily COVID-19 briefings to get his daily fix of bantering with the media, while Gov. Cuomo, wallows in the media spotlight, as sort of pop culture shrink talking New Yorkers and liberals through each day… while also bolstering his political stature among Democrats.  Pelosi and Schumer continue their sleazy political power plays advancing pet Democrat projects and agendas, even holding up legislation to help millions of suffering Americans, so that their special interests get millions of dollars in federal hand-outs. Pelosi and Schumer give new meaning to being political grifters… 25 millions dollars to the Kennedy Center, for crying out loud.  Most Americans will never attend a single event at the Kennedy Center.

My daily life changed just a little bit.  I had gotten used to having the 3 nurse visits and 3 CNA visits every week to help with my husband’s care, but that all changed with COVID-19.  The home hospice provider stopped CNA visits, unless the caregiver can’t mange the daily care.  And the nurse comes for one visit a week and the other 2 visits are phone calls.  My husband’s nurse told me, they might begin doing home visits once every two weeks soon.  The only other inconvenience has been grocery shopping amidst so many out of stock items, which made me realize just how spoiled I am with so many modern conveniences.

Other than that, I have started sewing cotton fabric face masks for family and neighbors and my husband’s nurse said the other nurses could use some, when I showed her the ones I had made already.  So, I am sewing some to give her next week for the other hospice nurses.  If I get more sewn after that, I’ll donate some to the local hospital.  In my garage I have about a dozen or so large plastic tote containers of cotton fabric, intended for the quilting hobby I never got around to yet.  It felt good washing, pressing and cutting out some face masks with some of this nice cotton quilting fabric.  I ran out of thin elastic and have some on order, but it’s going to take two weeks, but YouTube came to the rescue. I watched a face mask video where the lady recommends cutting up old t-shirts into 1 inch strips.  You just pull those strips and the strips curls into round ties that can be cut into ties for the face masks.  The t-shirt ties work just fine.  Working on this small face mask project, as I have time, feels good.  It sure feels better than watching even a minute of the spin war garbage. 

I miss doing volunteer work.

 

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The number that matters most

Gradually, I think President Trump is starting to realize that  COVID-19 is about more than how the “numbers” impact his reelection effort.  Unfortunately, it’s likely all of us have friends or family who aren’t taking the COVID-19 health emergency seriously and they will continue to go about their lives, doing whatever they want, regardless that they might spread this virus to many other people.

The numbers that worry me are how many COVID-19 hospitalizations in communities around the country might overtax hospital systems.  The US is still in the midst of flu season, which has resulted in many hospitalizations and deaths.  Hospitals around the country have only so many ventilators and so many ICU beds, so hopefully our crisis leadership at all levels is carefully assessing the numbers of ventilators in hospitals, the number of ICU beds and planning for the worst case scenario.  If we plan for worst case and it doesn’t happen, the greater the likelihood we will be able to avoid unnecessary deaths, which is the number that matters most.

David French wrote a very heartfelt piece, Coronavirus and Our Sacred Duty to Senior Citizens,  about our moral duty to protect and care for those most vulnerable to COIVD-19, but he hits on something more we must do:

“But we must do even more. We must defend those we love from fraud and fear. And by fraud I don’t merely mean the standard array of scammers and hucksters who typically prey on our nation’s seniors. I mean defending them from terrible counsel from the very people so many millions of seniors trust.

I’ve written at length about the inexcusable avalanche of misinformation that for weeks cascaded out of the Oval Office and conservative media. I won’t repeat all of the false comparisons of COVID-19 to the flu or the common cold, all the president’s false declarations that the virus was already diminishing or thoroughly under control, or the claims that hyping the virus was yet another media conspiracy to undermine the president. But that misinformation was delivered to an audience that was disproportionately older and disproportionately likely to disbelieve contrary information.

The president’s declaration of emergency and the joint public/private show of force at Friday’s White House press conference should at least start to dispel the belief held by all too many seniors that there was nothing to worry about, that they shouldn’t change their plans. After all, the person and the information sources they trust the most had told them this entire crisis was overblown. The result is stories like this:

America’s toxic partisan spin war, where competing “narratives” outweigh common sense and common decency, makes it very hard to figure out facts, analyze information through the clouds of noxious spin being churned out by bleating gasbags on both sides and it leaves many Americans vulnerable to making poor personal decisions based on deliberately dishonest partisan spin. The spin warriors score cheap political points at the expense of the welfare of ordinary citizens, who tune into American media in hopes of being informed. 

With the corona virus pandemic, I’ve watched what’s being reported out of foreign countries and the numbers.  The serious concerns and dramatic actions taken by many countries to stop the spread aren’t all reacting to American political spin. I suspect their health experts and intelligence agencies are providing information to these governments, which has raised the alarm level.  President Trump has taken dramatic action on travel restrictions, while at the same time blathering on and on repeating garbage right-wing pundit spin takes, downplaying the situation.  He is the champion at mixed messaging or in common parlance, talking out of both sides of his mouth.  Numerous Trumper pundits, like Rush Limbaugh, have been blustering on for weeks about how COVID-19 is no more serious than the common cold.  Many elderly conservatives believe this and will not listen to any warnings now.

Everyone comes at how they view this situation from their own experiences, beliefs and knowledge base.  My husband’s sister died a year ago from a viral infection she contracted.  Another sister, got sick at the same time, as did some other family members.  The sister who died, got very ill very quickly.  She did have some underlying health issues and she didn’t seek medical care immediately, believing it was just some bug that would pass.  Several days into it, she was taken to the ER, but she deteriorated rapidly in the ICU (pneumonia that led to multiple organ failure).  Within a week from getting sick, she died.

My husband has late stage COPD and he got much worse in late January, after catching some bug.   I also developed an upper respiratory infection after he got very ill.  I recovered, but he is now on home hospice care and completely bed bound.  We have hospice nurses and CNAs, who make home visits several times a week to manage his care, but the rest of the time I am learning how to adjust to handling  full-time hospice care.  I have diabetes and heart problems.  This corona virus definitely raised my worry level immediately, because I was already trying to keep my husband and myself away from exposure to a lot of people.  The “social-distancing” was already the new normal for me since January.

A couple weeks ago, when I heard about possible supply issues with medications due to America being reliant on drugs from China, I checked our prescriptions and got 90 day refills on all the ones I could.  When other countries started doing lockdowns and restricting travel, I  began stocking up on groceries and essentials (truthfully stockpiling grocery basics is something I do ordinarily.) That’s me – the worrier.  I did not have to go out this weekend for the mad shopping panic, because I have been stocking up a bit more than my usual stockpiling, for more than a month.  I have some family members though, who are pretty much blowing off COVID-19 as just media hysteria.

Recently, I read Radical Inclusion: What The Post 9/11 World Should Have Taught Us About Leadership by General Martin Dempsey and Ori Brafman.  The major theme of their book is about how crucial radical inclusion, making everyone in a group feel included and that their contributions and efforts matter is the crucial leadership challenge, especially in our rapidly changing digital information age.  In dealing with a global pandemic, we need leaders, at home and abroad, embracing this radical inclusion mindset and realize that we, or people near and dear to us, are at risk from COVID-19 and the many ways this pandemic can impact lives.

Of course, we all need to carry on with living our lives, but we can still try to be aware that other people’s very lives may depend on mitigation efforts taken now, before this virus spread peaks or devastating outbreaks overwhelm some of our hospital systems around the country.

We should all do what we can to help those around us.

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Trump’s primary concern is the “numbers”

Although a lot of the mainstream media coverage of the corona virus has been framed to generate panic and undercut the entire Trump administration effort to deal with the situation, the glaring truth is President Trump remains the same mendacious, egocentric, corrupt windbag Reality TV star more than he is a serious minded President of the United States, who is willing to put the well-being of American citizens ahead of his spin war against the Dems and the mainstream media.

Sure, both sides in this spin war sink to new lows almost daily in trying to trash each other, but here’s the thing, Trump is President of the United States and has a duty to protect American lives ahead of running his crappy spin attacks and sleazy tweet attacks.

I’ve despised a lot of the Dem/mainstream media spin garbage for decades, but Trump brought that spin sleaze to the Republican Party and unfortunately too many Republicans have bought into excusing Trump’s outrageous comments and antics or bought into the Trump victimhood mythology  that Trump wallows in constantly.  What no one in the Trump GOP does is uphold any standards or principles that apply to Trump too.

Trump corrupts everything he touches, that’s the truth and while it’s makes me cringe every time he disrespects the flag by hugging it at his rally sideshows, that’s nothing compared to when Trump makes a statement that flies in the face of basic human decency and no one in the GOP murmurs a word.

Trump appointed vice president, Mike Pence to head the administration’s corona virus response effort, but in typical Trump fashion, he can’t let Pence and the medical experts handle the public briefings without interfering and undercutting their efforts.

My patience with Trump flew out the window when he rambled on about Americans on a cruise ship off the coast of CA, with a number of passengers, who have tested positive for the corona virus.  Trump made the comment that Pence wanted to get those passengers to shore, but stated he disagreed, because it will drive the numbers up on cases in the US.  Trump was concerned about the numbers, not those American citizens.  It was such an outrageously callous statement from a president that I listened to his comment more than once to make sure I heard him right.

Today, the governor of CA stated that he has had three direct conversations with Pence and they are coordinating getting those cruise ship passengers ashore.

The other news this weekend is a CPAC attendee, who shook hands with Matt Schlapp, Ted Cruz and other Republican pols has tested positive for the corona virus.  All I can predict with certainty is Trump’s glib attitude toward this corona virus situation will change dramatically if any people he’s been in direct contact with or he himself gets the virus.  Nothing sobers people to a dangerous situation as much has having it at your own doorstep.  I’m not wishing illness on anyone, only pointing out human nature makes it easy to trivialize problems, until it impacts you personally.

As in many other situations, once again Trump does more to discredit himself than all of the mainstream media and Dem over-the-top spin attacks against him combined.  Trump made this comment about his concern about bringing those passengers ashore is about how that will affect the “numbers.”  The media and Dems didn’t misquote him or misrepresent what he said.  He keeps touting his early action of restricting travel as containing the spread, but the truth is that while that early action was a good call, it didn’t contain the spread.  In a situation that could easily and quickly become a serious crisis, a leader stuck on hyping his action taken weeks ago rather than proactively working hard to take more steps to get ahead of the situation should worry every American with a functioning brain.  Leadership is about being in front facing down problems as they crop up, not about rambling about an action taken weeks ago that did not resolve the problem.  Leaders need to be able to get in front of problems as they evolve and change.

Trump has already proven he has no clue or real grasp of this corona virus spread.  He’s as incompetent at this national emergency situation as he was with that hurricane last fall where he drew a Sharpie black line, falsifying a weather map and insisting the hurricane was predicted to impact AL, while a hurricane was headed toward the Atlantic coast.

Let’s hope this virus outbreak ends quickly and without a high loss of life, but whatever you do, don’t expect Trump to offer accurate or helpful information.

And let’s hope he lets others in his administration take the lead on informing the public with timely and accurate information.

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A recipe for more chaos

In September of last year, Hurricane Dorian was heading toward the Atlantic coast.  Most Americans have probably forgotten about this hurricane, because it didn’t turn into one of those major catastrophic hurricane hits on the United States.  However, Dorian does provide a clear historical template for how America’s partisan spin warriors (including the vast numbers of media spin warriors, who pose as “objective journalists) fight their petty spin battles in a potential national emergency situation.

The Dems and mainstream media spin warriors and Trump with his FOX News and Twitter spin commandos, are repeating their same stupid spin battles as this corona virus threat escalates.  Of course, it’s too early to know if, like Hurricane Dorian, America will receive only grazing coastal type damage with the corona virus or if it will turn into a Cat 5 level national emergency, but it’s clear that our president, a large number of our politicians, and our media remain more committed to their scorched earth spin war than to putting the welfare of the American people first.

During that Sharpiegate fiasco, I wrote:

“What’s so disturbing to me about this situation is that Trump decided to engage in fighting the media and demanding an apology from the media, all while Hurricane Dorian is still barreling up the Atlantic coast and thousands of Americans are in the path.  This is a weather emergency situation and the POTUS is obsessed, not with providing the most accurate and timely information to Americans affected by this storm, nope he’s fixated on winning a spin battle against the media.  The truth is Trump’s spin fight isn’t part of his DUTIES as president, especially during a weather emergency involving numerous states.

It’s easy to just blow this off as another Trump vs. media spin battle and brush it off as trivial, but here’s why it matters,

The executive branch owns our national emergency response and information, so the President has a duty to manage emergency services and information.  A large part of that information responsibility centers on providing the most accurate and timely information available.  Credibility is crucial.  The president scribbling on an official weather map with a sharpie destroyed the Office of President’s credibility.  Trump’s staff sitting silently throughout this destroyed their credibility too.”

https://libertybellediaries.com/2019/09/06/sharpiegate-matters/

This corona virus spin battle shows every sign of becoming a repeat of the Hurricane Dorian spin battle.  The media launched into attacks that Trump was failing to respond appropriately to the corona virus crisis.  Trump countered by appointing Vice President, Mike Pence, as the administration’s point man on dealing with the crisis.  Dems and the mainstream media responded within minutes launching a massive smear campaign against Pence, to undercut his credibility immediately.  Trump, his Fox news mouthpieces and his Twitter spin commandos jumped into action attacking Dems and the media, but as usual, Trump can’t be quiet and let the government’s medical experts or his point man speak to the corona virus situation.  Trump jumped right into more attacks on the media, more bs statements about the stock market, discounting the danger the virus poses, and he blabbered on about the media creating a “hoax” at a Trump rally.

Yesterday, Michael Brendan Dougherty at National Review wrote:

“The wrong Donald Trump has shown up to deal with the coronavirus. One might have expected Donald Trump, a germophobe who spent much of his campaign lambasting the Chinese, to take an aggressive approach on the Wuhan virus. You’d expect the Trump who breaks taboos and shuts things down until “our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

As the spread of the new and still somewhat mysterious virus ramps up in Italy and Iran, and a few more cases emerge in the United States, maybe that’s the Trump we’ve needed. But we’re getting Trump the market whisperer. We’re getting a Trump who is obviously bothered by the drop in the Dow Jones. We’re getting a Trump who plans to campaign on the conventional measures of success favored by his predecessors. We’re getting a Trump who is downplaying the seriousness of this disease, who is probably acting too late, and who is making promises he can’t keep.”

https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/02/coronavirus-president-trump-takes-wrong-approach-to-threat/#slide-1

Trump seems  determined to downplay the virus, all to counter the Dems and mainstream media hysteria about of the virus.  This is becoming the Trump Sharpie map level spin effort during Hurricane Dorian, where Trump insisted Alabama was in the direct path of the storm and he drew a black line, which included Alabama, on an official weather map.  While Trump dug in on his Alabama claim, the media ramped up attacks on Trump’s altered map antic.

During the Hurricane Dorian map situation, Trump was also spinning (lying) about job numbers, which is very similar to the unfolding stock market decline this past week, as fear and uncertainty about the corona virus grew:

“The day after he shared the Sharpie-doctored hurricane map to justify his belated suggestion that Hurricane Dorian was headed for Alabama, Trump tried to spin the state of the US economy, which has emerged as his chief concern heading into the 2020 campaign. “Really Good Jobs Numbers!” he tweeted on Thursday.”

https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/06/politics/sharpie-logic-trump-hurricane-economy/index.html

Before this blog post has even been completed, there’s a new twist.  Trump gave a corona virus update on the situation this afternoon.  The first US citizen has died from the corona virus.  The media peppered Trump with questions about Trump’s previous “hoax” comment and Trump-centered matters, not about the actual corona virus situation.  As usual, it appears to be a media determined to take down Trump and Trump determined to bolster Trump, when what America really needs is selfless leadership from our elected officials and a news media, who could step back from wallowing in victim hood and Trump derangement syndrome.

Trump running the Office of the President like a reality TV show comes at a serious cost to not only President Trump’s credibility, but it comes at a cost to the welfare of the American people.  Trump coming out and doing another briefing, trying to erase his mistakes and acting like this is just a Hollywood second take, erodes trust in both Trump and the entire executive branch.

This corona virus seems likely to spread in America and that assuredly will increase the death toll, all while America remains held hostage to a scorched earth partisan spin information war being fought out across American media and on Twitter.

It’s just a recipe for more chaos.

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2016 spin déjà vu all over again

Although following politics has taken a backseat in my interests these days… once a political junkie, always a political junkie.  I still catch bits and pieces of our domestic spin information war, which seems to still be blowing hot air, unabated and still driven mostly by the media and political crowd on Twitter.  Last week, I saw President Trump on TV bragging about how important he believes his social media platform is to his political success.  He still remains 100% committed to his spin war effort, just as the Dems and their mainstream media loyalists are committed to their #Resist spin effort.

Our 2020 presidential election portends to be as surreal as 2016 and we can’t blame the Russians for so many Americans buying into Trump’s spin garbage, Dem spin garbage or the Bernie Sanders far-left nuttiness.

2020 being as off-the rails as 2016 is the only concrete prediction that seems incontrovertible at this point.  The Democratic Party now has a front-runner, Senator Bernie Sanders, who isn’t even a Democrat, just like the “GOP Insurgent” in 2016 was a reality TV star, liberal media gadfly, NYC realtor, who spent decades buying influence among prominent Dem. politicians.  With enough influential Republicans willing to sacrifice their integrity to kiss Trump’s ring, an aggressive Fox News spin operation advancing Trump spin and an even more aggressive social media spin operation, Trump weathered the most relentless Dem/mainstream scorched earth spin effort ever.  And that brings us back to another Dem/media Trump-Russia spin effort in recent days.

It’s surreal in the past few days to see Dems and the mainstream media trying to generate another Trump-Russia hysterical spin effort, claiming Russia is trying to interfere in our 2020 election and promoting Trump, citing unnamed US intelligence sources, again.  Russian interference isn’t the largest information war threat to America.  Our own domestic scorched earth spin information war, which Trump, Dems, FOX News, CNN, MSNBC, Wapo, NYT and most other media in America, who report on American politics, avidly participate in 24/7, on TV, on radio, but especially on social media poses way more danger to America than anything hostile foreign info war operations do.

Our domestic scorched earth spin information war remains a hamster wheel America can’t stop or get off.

Watching the Dem disarray and in-fighting being played out across the media airwaves and online, it’s rather amusing to think back to the beginning of the Dem primary season and the “we will not attack other Democrats” proclamations.  The long knives, wielded by Democrats, are now out for Sanders, assuring the Democrats will be in disarray, probably up until their convention.  The collapse of moderate Democrat efforts to gain enough momentum to check the far-left surge bolsters Trump’s reelection chances.

This 2016 déjà vu aura still makes me wonder about a Clinton machine effort to stage some sort of convention upheaval and push Hillary as the only real Democrat, who can pull the party together to defeat Trump.  While this sounds impossible, there’s a growing panic mode festering among a large swath of the Dem. chattering class and Dem power-brokers.  All of this simmering panic will feed unconventional gambits and even support for changing the rules to allow the party to put forth a candidate to take down Trump.  If there’s one group of Americans who live by spin, it’s the liberal mainstream media, especially those who were Hillary loyalists in 2016.

Admittedly, this idea sounds far-fetched, but I just feel Hillary’s steady media effort, has all been planned to keep her in the news, while Clinton operatives try to find a way to get her into this 2020 race at the convention.  This is her last chance to become the first female president in America and  I believe she will seize any opportunity (even one orchestrated through a corrupt spin effort and changing the rules) to try again.

Several years ago I bought Robert Bork’s, 1996 book, Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline, on sale for $2.99  as a kindle book, but hadn’t read it.  I’ve started reading it, because somehow with both major political parties totally corrupted by liberal cultural rot, Bork’s book seems timely.  Trump is a product of that 60s liberal cultural rot and he’s corrupted the entire GOP with that rot and especially conservatives.  Reality TV culture is unarguably liberal garbage and Trump is a king of that medium, to the point he’s running his presidency as a cheap reality TV show.  Trump assortment of supporters and mindless followers have bought into Trump’s sideshow antics, his Twitter attacks, daily childish and cruel attacks and most will likely vote for him again.  Dems and the Democratic Party are now facing the prospect of far-left, Marxist, Bernie Sanders, also a product of the 1960s turmoil Bork wrote about, looks like he might walk away with their Democratic nomination.  Both major political parties are now in a state of collapse from corruption and abandonment of core principles.

What remains to be seen is if there’s a bottom or any realization by our spin combatants that our domestic scorched earth spin information war, which they are waging, has zero chance of “saving our democracy.”

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Pelosi’s “Italian grandmother’s move” failed

Two weeks into my husband’s home hospice care, some things don’t change.   My husband, laying in a hospital-type bed here at home, still wants his TV on FOX News 24/7, even though he pays very little attention to it.  Likewise,  I didn’t listen to any of the impeachment speechifying, but did catch bits and pieces of President Trump’s State of the Union address.

While I haven’t followed much politics, I’m learning that caring for someone confined to a bed is a challenge and I’m acquiring new skills by watching and talking with the CNAs and the RN, who make several home visits a week.  I’ve mastered changing a bed with a patient in the bed, because they don’t want my husband out of bed (not sure yet if that’s permanent or if he’ll regain enough strength to sit in a chair some) and I’m learning a lot of ins and outs of 24/7 bedside care.  These home hospice CNAs and RN have become my lifeline and I am grateful beyond words for their care and kindness.

Sitting with my husband, I did watch Nancy Pelosi’s staged spin stunt of dramatically tearing up her copy of Trump’s speech at the end.   Our American politics, despite the weeks of dramatic speeches about “upholding our constitution,” remains just endless, boring spin soap opera/reality TV antics.  Our American political class in Washington’s, only bipartisan work seems to be destroying the dignity of our constitutional republic.  It’s embarrassing watching so much of Trump’s reality TV/sideshow presidency, but it’s also embarrassing watching so much of the Dems and media staged spin show too.

When Nancy Pelosi regained the Speaker of the House position last year, the mainstream media tirelessly spun up Pelosi as this larger than life feminist Amazonian warrior/goddess persona, a woman who would beat Donald J. Trump into submission by the sheer awesomeness of her presence.  Pelosi’s daughter, Christine Pelosi, the Democratic Party’s Women’s Caucus Chair, has become a mainstream media fixture since 2019, fabricating and amplifying this “I am woman hear me roar” mystique about Nancy Pelosi’s toughness and political superpowers.  The mainstream media hypes these insipid and disingenuous Christine Pelosi takes on her mother:

“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is from San Francisco and her daughter Christine Pelosi, the California Democratic Party’s Women’s Caucus Chair sat down today with ABC7 news anchor Kristen Sze.

She says the Speaker’s move to rip up the President’s speech was completely unplanned and came after a string of events.

Being seemingly snubbed by the President when she extended her hand to shake his before the speech and having to sit through what the House Speaker calls a series of untruths.

In fact, the Speaker was quoted today saying that the President shredded the truth, so she shredded his speech. Christine Pelosi says it’s an Italian grandmother’s move.

The House Speaker’s own mother once took away the dinner plate of a rude guest and then came back to the dinner table and carried on as normal.

Christine Pelosi also dismisses critics who say that Madame Speaker’s move was not reflective of taking the high road and that it’s standing up to the President as she has done many times before.”

https://abc13.com/5906883/

Yet watching the steady stream of Chuck Schumer/Nancy Pelosi staged preemptive spin antics, as they traipsed to the White House to do battle with Donald Trump, this post SOTU Pelosi spin antic came across as weak, pathetic, beneath the dignity of her office and a new low in this destructive spin war, not as some tough “Italian grandmother’s move.”  C’mon, as far as optics go, Pelosi tearing up Trump’s speech comes nowhere close to the impact of the horse’s head in the bed optic in the movie, The Godfather.  Pelosi ain’t the spin warrior queen who can slay Trump and she’s looking sillier and more unhinged the further she goes trying to beat Trump at these absurd spin war antics.

Trump’s loud, lowbrow reality show presidency receives constant criticism from the mainstream media, much of it deserved, but this same media fails to hold Dems to the same standard (just like FOX News and most conservative media make excuses for Trump’s excesses).  Pelosi didn’t come across as strong by tearing up Trump’s speech; she looked like an angry, vicious shrew.  And it appeared to me that she had planned this spin stunt, as tossing a bone to her rabid far-left faction, who wanted to boycott the SOTU address.  Her explanation that tearing up Trump’s speech was “the courteous thing to do” speaks volumes about the complete collapse of ethical standards in Washington.  Her daughter trying to cast tearing up Trump’s speech as some bold “Italian grandmother’s move”  made me wonder how many Dem spinmeisters worked on coming up with that spin line.

Pelosi looked petty, vindictive and frankly afraid of her far-left base, which added to the complete disarray of the Democratic Party’s 2020 primary process, bodes poorly for Dems chances in 2020.  It also makes me still believe that somehow, someway, the Clintons are going to orchestrate a spin narrative and political maneuver for Hillary to swoop in as the avenging angel, who will unite Dems and lead the charge to finally defeat her 2016 nemesis, Donald J. Trump.  How this might come about, I have no clue, but if anyone can finagle a political path for Hillary, Bill Clinton, one of the smartest political minds in America, would be the person to do it.

Yes, I’m still of a mind that the mainstream media’s other feminist goddess might rise from the ashes of her 2016 defeat to try save the Democratic Party… and America from a second President Donald J. Trump term.

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Finding a new normal

We’re settling into a new normal here.   My husband has late stage COPD and acute respiratory failure, along with normal pressure hydrocephalus.  He’s had COPD for over 20 years and still was smoking 2-3 packs of cigarettes a day, the day before I took him to the ER on January 19th.  Days before that our primary care doctor had put him on an antibiotic and prednisone, because his lungs sounded terrible and he had ordered a CT scan.   Long story short, my husband is too weak to even sit up unassisted and needs complete care.  I don’t want this to sound like I am angry at him about the smoking, just stating the reality.  Every time a doctor or I tried to talk to him about smoking, my husband got belligerent.  My husband is 64 years old and has smoked since he was a young teenager.  His mother died of late stage COPD and acute respiratory failure.  So here we are – with an expectation of less than 6 months to live.

The normal pressure hydrocephalus causes my husband to feel like his feet are stuck to the floor and in 2012 when he was first diagnosed, he had been falling frequently for about 5 or 6 years, had developed an unsteady, side-to-side gait and developed very noticeable short-term memory loss.  He refused to go to a neurologist until the problem was so severe he couldn’t take even a few steps without falling and he insisted that whatever I was using to clean the carpets in our house was making his feet stick to the floor (even though he had the same problem outside and other places too).  Then in 2012, I made an appointment with our primary care doctor and insisted this was it – he had to see a specialist.  I had already gone through buying him a cane, several years before this, then our daughter had gotten a walker for him, to prevent falls, and he said he didn’t need those…

In 2012, he was diagnosed with normal pressure hydrocephalus, referred to a neurosurgeon and had VP shunt surgery.  The shunt improved his mobility a great deal for a few years, but he did rely on a walker to get around.  His short-term memory never improved.  Both the mobility and short-term memory loss became worse and in 2018, he had VP shunt revision surgery, but his condition never improved and both his mobility and short-term memory loss have gotten worse.  He knows he can’t remember and it frustrates him every single day.  He loved to read and can no longer read even a few pages of a book, because he can’t keep track of what he read a few minutes ago.  He has the same  paperback James Patterson novel, Never Never,  on the table next to his ashtray for a couple years now.  He picks it up reads a few minutes and then sets it down.  He can’t follow TV shows or movies either.

Every day life has become very challenging for my husband in the past 2 years and for me and our family.  As my husband became almost completely wheelchair bound, life has become an endless daily routine of my husband trying to walk with his walker and more falls than I can count.  He didn’t have the strength to move around in the wheelchair by himself.  The doctor ordered a motorized chair, but my husband doesn’t have the manual dexterity to operate the joystick control or the attention span to pay attention to operating the chair, so it’s been assisting him to take a few steps to get him transferred to the wheelchair, all day long.  More times than I can count, he’s tried to walk with his walker or forgot to grab his walker, where he grabs furniture or the wall to try to walk and falls.

Did I mention my husband is very hard-headed and determined to fight on (and against advice),   When he falls, his usual response is a jovial, “I’m a paratrooper; the Army taught me how to fall.”  Apparently, they did a good job, because it’s a miracle he hasn’t fractured a lot of bones and only needed stitches in his head, one time.  And that time, blood was gushing out of his head, I was worried about that VP shunt in his brain, because the gash wasn’t that far from the shunt and my husband’s response was “it’s just a small scrape, I’m fine”… as our son and I got him  loaded in the car and to the ER for 5 staples.

I’m not angry at my husband, just resigned to the reality of his condition and the other thing I feel is immense relief that he has hospice care, because I would have no clue how to care for him in this condition on my own.  Last Tuesday, some hospital lady, not sure what her title was, but she came to talk to me about home health care for when my husband is discharged.  She was happily telling me about the wonders of physical therapy, occupational therapy, etc. and I was seized with fear.  I had no idea how on earth I could care for my husband, in the condition he’s in, on my own.  There must have been some crossed wires there, because a few hours later the doctor came to talk to me about hospice care and it was a huge relief.  Now, I have professionals managing his care here in our home and I have people I can call 24 hours a day, if I need advice or assistance.  He is completely bedbound and keeps asking me to help him get up to go to the bathroom and it’s doubtful that’s happening.  He’s too weak to even sit up on his own.  He is also adjusting to this new normal, but he’s very happy to be home and out of the hospital.

The oddest thing is my husband is more lucid now with the home oxygen than he’s been in several years, so I suspect the lack of oxygen was adding to his cognitive decline.  The home oxygen is another long story… that was first prescribed in 2003 after a hospital stay.  My husband used it a short while, then said he didn’t need it.  Several years later, he had another respiratory crisis and he was once again prescribed home oxygen – same thing.  So, he was sitting here struggling to breathe, didn’t want to go to the pulmonologist the past few years, because the PA there tried to talk to him about the smoking, and we have two home oxygen machines sitting in the garage.  Our primary care was trying to manage his care as best as possible – all things considered…

All four of our  kids came home and helped me get set-up and organized for this new normal of hospice care and I’m much calmer, but the important thing is my husband is getting excellent medical care here in our own home.   He’s not smoking, because I refuse to be the person to give him a cigarette that could end his life.  He misses our back porch, where we had windows, heat and air installed years ago, so he could be comfortable out there smoking, but everyone’s got to make some concessions in this situation.  He’s got nicotine patches.

My husband is sleeping a lot, so perhaps I will be able to get some blog posts written.  One of our sons installed a baby monitor and gave me this monitor that’s about the size of a cell phone, so I can keep an eye on my husband anywhere in the house, hear him ask for anything and I can press the talk button to talk to him.

I keep warning my kids, after all of this 24-hour a day caregiving stuff, for years now, I am exhausted a lot of the time and who knows, I might croak first.

Each experience in life brings surprises, so my first surprise has been the enormous relief I felt with the idea of hospice care.  I was to the point, for several months now, of not knowing how much longer I could manage his care at home alone.  Every time I mentioned getting home health help, my husband said he didn’t want that and I feared no one would deal with my husband being combative or uncooperative to the physical therapy, occupational therapy route again (he had that twice before after hospital stays).  This time, I made the decision.

These hospice workers have been a godsend.

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Blog Update

I just wanted to post a short blog update.  My husband of 39 years has been very ill for many years and after a hospitalization this week, he has come home on hospice care.  When I have my thoughts together and time to focus on politics and other topics again, rest assured, “I’ll be back.”

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.

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