Hello, it is Monday, I am back, and I have not stopped laughing at this video of marmots fighting over food since I saw you last. SOUND ON.
Where do I even begin? West Coast wildfires, another hurricane taking aim at Louisiana with four more named storms lining up behind it in the Atlantic for the first time since the 70s thanks to climate change? QAnon? The President of the United States calling for vigilantism? Or the President of the United States calling for his supporters to vote twice? Or the President of the United States suggesting that he won’t leave office even after a second term?
Every single Goddamned day is a firehose of news to the face with this administration, so instead of trying to tackle all of this today, I’m going to focus on one story in particular today: COVID-19 and President Grifter.
As you well know by now, tapes of interviews President John Barron willingly gave to Bob Woodward came out last week ahead of Woodward’s new book, Rage. There are many shocking — and yet not surprising — things President Grifter says in the interview: he loves dictators, we have some super-secret nuclear weapon — news of which was certinaly classified; white privilege is a lie … you know, the usual.
But as you also well know by now, the part of the interview that was the most shocking (but not surprising, not really) was when President Downplayer explains to Woodward that not only does he understand exactly how deadly this virus is, not only does he know that it affects younger people and is spread through the air, he admits that he’s intentionally downplaying all of that for the sake of the stock market.
Trump tells Woodward he played down the threat of the coronavirus.
"I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down because I don't want to create a panic."
He also tells Woodward that "plenty of young people" are vulnerable — different from his public message pic.twitter.com/fJZUZtJTIv
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) September 9, 2020
“I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down because I don’t want to create a panic.”
We will mark 200,000 American deaths from COVID-19 this week. The University of Washington model — which has been relatively conservative so far — predicts that we could see 200,000 more by the end of the year.
In response, the White House and its allies
- lied that the Dystopian Nightmare in Chief never downplayed the virus
- lied that President Perjury only meant that he didn’t want to create a general panic in which Americans began doing crazy things like hoarding toilet paper
- blamed Lindsey Graham for President Blabberhead giving Woodward 19 interviews over 10 straight hours
- that it’s Bob Woodward’s fault that 190,000+ American have died:
Bob Woodward had my quotes for many months. If he thought they were so bad or dangerous, why didn’t he immediately report them in an effort to save lives? Didn’t he have an obligation to do so? No, because he knew they were good and proper answers. Calm, no panic!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 10, 2020
- and that really, the person who needs to defend their response to COVID-19 is one Joe Biden:
Karl Rove is jumping the gun a bit.
Joe Biden doesn't become president until January *2021*, not January 2020. pic.twitter.com/3OYBt7lgJA
— Mitch Blatt🇺🇸🇰🇷🇨🇳🇻🇳🇲🇳🇮🇳🇸🇬🇹🇼🇯🇭🇰 (@MitchBlatt) September 10, 2020
Joe Biden can’t run from his disastrous record responding to the coronavirus.
The truth hurts, Joe!
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) September 13, 2020
JOE BIDEN IS NOT THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
But, if he was President, you know what he wouldn’t be doing (and what he is not doing right now as a private citizen running for president)? Holding indoor rallies with no social distancing or mask mandates.
And you know what? This is the most depressing part of this entire Woodward story: it won’t make a bit of difference. President Jim Jones’s devoted followers will never believe any truth about him that conflicts with their core beliefs He is literally ON TAPE flatly saying that this virus is deadly, it is real, it is airborne, and yet they still show up en masse to his indoor rally days later, few wearing masks, some talking about how the virus isn’t even real:
I need you to watch this immediately so we can discuss.
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) September 14, 2020
And then there is Mike Caputo. Caputo is a lunatic Republican strategist who LITERALLY WORKED FOR VLADIMIR PUTIN whom President Komrade installed in the Department of Health and Human Services in April. Since he’s been there, Caputo, who is decidedly NOT a scientist, has been trying to interfere with the CDC’s reports on COVID.
The CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports are authored by career scientists and serve as the main vehicle for the agency to inform doctors, researchers and the general public about how Covid-19 is spreading and who is at risk. Such reports have historically been published with little fanfare and no political interference, said several longtime health department officials, and have been viewed as a cornerstone of the nation’s public health work for decades.
But since Michael Caputo, a former Trump campaign official with no medical or scientific background, was installed in April as the Health and Human Services department’s new spokesperson, there have been substantial efforts to align the reports with Trump’s statements, including the president’s claims that fears about the outbreak are overstated, or stop the reports altogether.
Caputo and his team have attempted to add caveats to the CDC’s findings, including an effort to retroactively change agency reports that they said wrongly inflated the risks of Covid-19 and should have made clear that Americans sickened by the virus may have been infected because of their own behavior, according to the individuals familiar with the situation and emails reviewed by POLITICO.
In one clash, an aide to Caputo berated CDC scientists for attempting to use the reports to “hurt the President” in an Aug. 8 email sent to CDC Director Robert Redfield and other officials that was widely circulated inside the department and obtained by POLITICO.
“CDC to me appears to be writing hit pieces on the administration,” appointee Paul Alexander wrote, calling on Redfield to modify two already published reports that Alexander claimed wrongly inflated the risks of coronavirus to children and undermined Trump’s push to reopen schools. “CDC tried to report as if once kids get together, there will be spread and this will impact school re-opening . . . Very misleading by CDC and shame on them. Their aim is clear.”
Alexander also called on Redfield to halt all future MMWR reports until the agency modified its years-old publication process so he could personally review the entire report prior to publication, rather than a brief synopsis.
Caputo also said that HHS was appropriately reviewing the CDC’s reports. “Our intention is to make sure that evidence, science-based data drives policy through this pandemic—not ulterior deep state motives in the bowels of CDC,” he said.
This is completely insane and you should read the entire piece.
But somehow it becomes even crazier, because yesterday in the wake of this story breaking, Caputo went onto Facebook and posted a video that suggested that his life was being threatened by “deep state” actors, that President American Carnage was going to win re-election which would launch some sort of insurrection, and that CDC scientists are practicing sedition.
“You understand that they’re going to have to kill me, and unfortunately, I think that’s where this is going,” Mr. Caputo, a Trump loyalist installed by the White House in April, told followers in a video he hosted live on his personal Facebook page.
“I don’t like being alone in Washington,” he said, describing “shadows on the ceiling in my apartment, there alone, shadows are so long.” He then ran through a series of conspiracy theories, culminating in a prediction that Mr. Trump will win re-election but his Democratic opponent, Joseph R. Biden Jr., will refuse to concede.
“And when Donald Trump refuses to stand down at the inauguration, the shooting will begin,” he said. “The drills that you’ve seen are nothing.” He added: “If you carry guns, buy ammunition, ladies and gentlemen, because it’s going to be hard to get.”
He accused officials at the C.D.C. and other government agencies — including the Department of Health and Human Services — of deliberately subverting the president’s efforts to contain the pandemic. The C.D.C., he said, was riddled with anti-Trump researchers who “walk around like they are monks” and “holy men” but engage in “rotten science.”
I don’t know, friends. It feels like things are only going to become crazier the closer we get to November 3.
On that note: here in Harris County, Texas, our County Clerk’s office is doing their best to make voting as accessible as possible in spite of the State’s attempt to squash our vote.
We have early voting that begins on October 13, but additionally, they will make drive-through voting available in a number of locations:
There will be NINE Drive-Thru voting locations during Early Voting and on Election Day! #HarrisVotes #VoteYOURWay https://t.co/pfr20k56lF pic.twitter.com/Wld6M28Knm
— Harris County Clerk (@HarrisVotes) September 11, 2020
And seven locations will be open for 24-hour voting:
Voting hours for the 2020 election.
Seven 24-Hour Vote Centers (Oct. 29): NRG Arena, Kashmere Gardens Multi-Service Center, McGovern Texas Medical Center Commons, East Harris County Activity Center, Tracy Gee Community Center, Juergen's Hall Community Center, Victory Houston. pic.twitter.com/Hc1hOi1rH1
— Harris County Clerk (@HarrisVotes) September 10, 2020
Additionally, they are doing their best to make absentee voting easier for those who are eligible. In Texas, only four groups can vote absentee: Over 65; the disabled; those in jail; or those who will not be in the county on Election Day, like college students.
However! To receive an absentee ballot, one must first send in an application for one. Harris County decided they would help out by sending every registered voter an application for an absentee ballot. But then our Attorney General and Governor decided making it easier for voters to receive an absentee ballot would be bad for them and they sued to stop the County.
I’m happy to say the County has won the first round in this fight — a judge ruled that they can, in fact, send applications to every registered voter and that Texas voters can decide for themselves if they are eligible (and I’m even prouder to say that my husband was on the pro bono team who helped with this victory). But I’m bummed to say the win probably won’t last because it will ultimately head to the Texas Supreme Court, all of whom are Republican appointees.
Still! See above! There are plenty of safe ways to vote, and vote early this year. Make sure you have a plan in place.
Election day is 50 days away, and early voting begins in Texas in 29 days. Check out your local election laws here.
Frederick “Toots” Nathaniel Hibbert, known as one of the reggae and ska greats, has passed away. Though a cause of death has not been indicated, he had been diagnosed with COVID earlier this month.
Dancing With the Stars returns … somehow … tonight. According to this article, the competitors will be tested five days a week, are quarantining by themselves, and their performances will be filmed in their rehearsal spaces. There will be no audience, no band, no extra dance performances, and the judges will be sitting eight feet apart. Also, Derek Hough is replacing Len as Len couldn’t travel back from the U.K. I guess we’ll see how it goes.
Wheel of Fortune also returns today. Their big adjustment was redesigning the platform so contestants could be spaced six feet apart and giving them a thingy they can touch the wheel with so as to not spread their germs.
Hey, my fellow Losties: Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse will host a special panel to answer all your burning questions (like my husband’s about the polar bears EVEN THOUGH I HAVE EXPLAINED IT TO HIM A THOUSAND TIMES) at the virtual New York Comic Con to be held on October 8-11. Here’s a full list of the TV panels you can look forward to.
Some Good TV in the Pandemic News:
Fargo has completed filming its fourth season.
Sex Education has begun filming again in the U.K.
🍆 NEWS 🍆: Sex Education S3 is officially in production pic.twitter.com/dj1pqdHqau
— Netflix UK & Ireland (@NetflixUK) September 9, 2020
Netflix’s Outer Banks has resumed filming.
This Is Us is shooting to begin shooting on September 24.
And in Bummer TV in the Pandemic News:
Atlanta has to push back filming of seasons three and four thanks to this mess. WE’VE BEEN WAITING SO LONG ALREADY.
Survivor won’t be able to resume filming until 2021.
ABC’s For Life had to suspend filming after people on the production tested positive for the virus.
Netflix movie Transatlantic 473 had to shut down filming after an extra tested positive.
Even the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade will be virtual this year. But New York City’s amazing Halloween parade — which really is the city’s best parade, yes, better than the Thanksgiving Day or St. Patrick’s Day — has been canceled altogether this year.
Baz Luhrman’s Elvis is resuming production in Australia after giving our beloved Tom Hanks the COVID.
Alex Gibney and Adam Benzine have both made documentaries about how America’s COVID crisis spiraled out of control. They should both be released shortly.
Wonder Woman: 1984 has been pushed back again, in no small part thanks to Tenet‘s disappointing opening. (Turns out Warner Brothers was fudging their opening weekend figures, adding in Canada’s, when it came up with that $20 million. Here in the States, it only made $9.5 million. BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE NOT READY TO GO TO MOVIES YET.)
And a vaccine isn’t going to miraculously appear in the next two months no matter what our lying President and CDC say, so maybe it’s time to reconsider the resistance to VOD releases for blockbuster movies?
All Other TV News
Let’s begin with some frivolous nonsense: Real Housewives news.
The big story is the least surprising: Denise Richards is leaving The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills after two seasons. What is most remarkable about this is how unremarkable her first season one was. But then season two, and Brandi Glanville and, well, it was clearly not going to last.
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City released its first trailer and despite being set in Utah of all places, it has the most diverse cast in the Real Housewives brand.
Apparently, there are rumors that some Real Housewives and former Real Housewives might be planning a discrimination lawsuit against the network? However, despite what some people are saying, Nene Leakes is not going to be a part of it.
Oh, and contrary to rumors she certainly put out there herself, the reason Keeping Up With the Kardashians is ending is not because Kris Jenner is joining The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, because she is not. (But she would in a heartbeat.)
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is in the middle of publicity onslaught these days:
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air celebrated its 30th anniversary on Friday with a Google Doodle.
In addition to the dramatic reboot that is in the works, here is going to be a cast reunion on HBO Max in honor of the 30th anniversary, and the original Aunt Viv is going to be a part of it despite a very public feud with Will Smith.
You can Airbnb the Fresh Prince house (or one wing of it) for $30 as part of this 30th-anniversary celebration.
And there’s a whole Fresh Prince clothing line for a limited time. (I’m not going to lie, some of these items are definitely appealing to the late 80s-early 90s child in me).
Here are all the enigmatic clues for The Masked Singer contestants.
Leave the Big Brother cast alone, guys.
The Daenerys/Drogo rape scene in the pilot episode of Game of Thrones was originally a lot more consensual. No word on why Benioff and Weiss decided to make it rapey.
Jussie Smollett gave his first interview since the story about his alleged hate crime blew up, and he’s insisting that it all went down the way he claimed. Alright, dude.
E! does a deep dive on the real-life people who inspired Succession and long story short, it’s the Murdochs, duh.
TV RECOMMENDATION: Teenage Bounty Hunters on Netflix is unabashedly a teen show, but is smart and funny enough to charm an adult audience. Trust me, it’s not what you expect. Also, it stars A Different World‘s Dwayne Wayne in a practically unrecognizable role (and who knew Method Man was so jacked?). Good news for Bowser fans: his love life is going to heat up in season two, according to this interview.
Tonight marks the 300th episode of American Dad which is a remarkable accomplishment for any show, but especially a show I thought ended 7 years ago.
- Doom Patrol has been renewed for a third season on HBO Max.
- Dr. Oz Show has been renewed for two more seasons.
- The Goop Lab has been renewed for a second season on Netflix.
- The Loud House has been renewed for a sixth season on Nickelodeon.
- George & Tammy, a limited series about Tammy Wynette and George Jones, and starring Jessica Chastain, is in the works at Paramount Network. 100% will watch.
- The Joe Exotic movie starring Nicolas Cage has been bought by Amazon.
- Doogie Kamealoha, M.D., a reboot of Doogie Howser, M.D., but starring a mixed-race 16-year-old girl, is in the works at Disney+.
- A reboot of You Bet Your Life hosted by Jay Leno is coming to Fox.
- Go-Big Show, a competition series hosted by Bert Kreischer and featuring judges Snoop Dogg, Rosario Dawson, Jennifer Nettles, and “The American Nightmare” Cody from All Elite Wrestling, has been ordered at TBS.
- The Westing Game, a Newbery Medal award-winning mystery-comedy is being adapted into a series at HBO Max.
- A Robocop prequel series about Dicky Jones is being worked on at MGM.
- Time Lord Victorious, an animated series about the Daleks, is coming to the BBC.
- Larry David, Susie Essman, Chris Rock, Amy Schumer, JB Smoove, Wanda Sykes, Usher, LeBron James + More Than A Vote, and musical group Migos will all be a part of ABC’s get out the vote special, VOMO: Vote or Miss Out which will air tonight.
- Zazie Beetz, Lakeith Stanfield, Delroy Lindo, and Regina King will star in the all-Black western, The Harder They Fall on Netflix. Danielle Deadwyler, Edi Gathegi, and RJ Cyler will also co-star.
- Peter Sarsgaard and Kaitlyn Dever will star in Dopesick on Hulu.
Mark Your Calendar
ABC has announced the return dates for their scripted comedies:
- The Goldbergs, The Conners, and black-ish return on October 21.
- American Housewives returns on October 28.
NBC has made some scheduling changes:
- The Weakest Link will now debut on September 29.
- Dateline NBC will air on Monday nights in addition to Fridays.
- Ellen’s Game of Games will return on October 6.
- Saturday Night Live will return — in the studio — on October 3.
- The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City debuts on Bravo on November 11.
- A Teacher will debut on FX on Hulu on November 10.
- The Trial of the Chicago 7 will begin streaming on Netflix on October 16.
- Moonbase 8 will premiere on Showtime on October 4.
- Hubie Halloween will premiere on Netflix on October 7.
- Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom will stream on Disney+ on September 25.
- The Spanish Princess will return on Starz on October 11.
- Haute Dog will debut on HBO Max on September 24.
- First Ladies will premiere on CNN on October 4.
- A Wilderness of Error will debut on FX on September 25.
- Wireless has debuted on Quibi early:
THE PITCH for #Wireless: A survival thriller starring Tye Sheridan, stranded in a Colorado snowstorm on NYE with only his phone to help him. @lukasgage is one of his friends who is no help at all. Stream every episode now: https://t.co/GBumk72etP pic.twitter.com/tJ870jF68n
— Quibi (@Quibi) September 13, 2020
Diana Rigg, Actress known for her roles as Emma Peel on the Avengers and Lady Olenna Tyrell, the Queen of Thorns on Game of Thrones
Be a dragon.
The realm will always remember Diana Rigg.
— Game of Thrones (@GameOfThrones) September 10, 2020
An icon and powerhouse left this world today… Rest in Peace Diana Rigg ✨✨✨ #RestinPeaceDianaRigg
— Nathalie Emmanuel (@missnemmanuel) September 10, 2020
Dame Diana Rigg . She always raised the bar with her incredible talent, intelligence and wit. An absolute joy and honor to work with. May her soul Rest In Peace https://t.co/BC4annah1H
— Nikolaj CosterWaldau (@nikolajcw) September 10, 2020
The true queen of Westeros. #DianaRigg https://t.co/ILhJVmYGY2
— Pedro Pascal he/him (@PedroPascal1) September 10, 2020
"We are very sad to hear of the passing of Dame Diana Rigg, the legendary stage and screen actress who was much beloved by Bond fans for her memorable performance as Tracy di Vicenzo in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the only woman to have married James Bond." pic.twitter.com/nqQCSg35oM
— James Bond (@007) September 10, 2020
Aaron Grissom, A Top Chef contestant on season 12
Paul Kagan, Cable television researcher and pioneer
Ronald Bell, Co-founder of Kool & the Gang
Dancing With the Stars: And we’re back with Carole Baskin, a Backstreet Boy, Anne Heche, and Nelly. 2020 keeps on happening. Season premiere. 7 p.m., ABC
VOMO: Vote Or Miss Out: Kevin Hart emcees this comedy special designed to remind people to vote. SERIOUSLY, VOTE, DAMMIT. 9 p.m., ABC
The Third Day: Jude Law, Emily Watson, and Naomie Harris star in this spooky miniseries about a mysterious island and its even more mysterious inhabitants. Series premiere. 8 p.m., HBO
We Are Who We Are: Two teens growing up on a U.S. military base in Italy are the focus of this coming-of-age drama about friendship, gender identity, and first love. Series premiere. 9 p.m., HBO
Jeopardy; Wheel of Fortune; The Drew Barrymore Show; Tamron Hall: They’re all back (or in the case of Drew, debuting) today. Check your local listings.
- Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Jude Law, Maya Erskine, Anna Konkle, Summer Walker
- Late Night with Seth Meyers: Kelly Clarkson, Malcolm Jenkins, Michael Schmidt, Sonny Emory
- The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Bob Woodward, Luke Combs
- The Late Late Show with James Corden: Dr. Phil McGraw, Kelsea Ballerini
- The Daily Show: The Daily Social Distancing Show
- Conan: Ralph Macchio
- Watch What Happens Live: Aesha Scott, Robert Westergaard
|ABC||Dancing With the Stars
|VOMO: Vote or Miss Out
|CW||Whose Line is it Anyway?
|Whose Line is it Anyway?
|Penn & Teller: Try This At Home Too
|NBC||American Ninja Warrior
One thought on “America is sick and there is no vaccine coming.”
I saw Mr. T’s name while reading the opinion in the Harris County vote by mail case. It made me smile. I’m actually reasonably optimistic that the Supreme Court will punt this, given how closely to their earlier decision the County Clerk is hewing, but you never know. Fingers crossed.