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  • December 18, 2016 09:45:26 AM
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A Little About Us

Broken Laughter is an occasional blog by a middle aged Midwesterner. It will include posts and articles about politics, current events, arts, and anything else that the Broken Laughter editor chooses to post.

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Coronavirus Positive Tests Increasing

A large amount of data about the coronavirus has accumulated during the last several months. These data show the coronavirus positive tests increasing. Trump insists that the rising number of Coronavirus cases in the United States results from increased testing capacity. He insists that performing a larger number tests will result in a larger number of positive test results. Unfortunately,… Read more The post Coronavirus Positive Tests Increasing appeared first on Broken...

A large amount of data about the coronavirus has accumulated during the last several months. These data show the coronavirus positive tests increasing. Trump insists that the rising number of Coronavirus cases in the United States results from increased testing capacity. He insists that performing a larger number tests will result in a larger number of positive test results.

Unfortunately, this is a lie.

And there is data to prove it.

The data comes from the widely used and referenced Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center. This data source is The COVID Tracking Project.

Without a doubt, anyone looking at the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus page will see exactly what the data show. Below is an image of the specific chart to which I refer. It shows the coronavirus positive tests increasing recently.

From roughly April 26 through June 7, the number of tests conducted each week increased (light beige bars). At the same time, the average percentage of those tests that were positive was going down (blue line). However, as the number of tests has risen, the percentage of positive tests has recently started to rise.

One can select specific states’ data from the graph. For example, Florida data shows the percentage of positive test results going up. In Michigan, the percentage has stayed almost flat.

Overall, in the United States, the data shows that the positivity rate — the percentage of positive tests (number of positives for every 100 tests conducted week over week) — has started increasing in recent weeks.

Credibility of the COVID Tracking Project

According to the COVID Tracking Project, “Johns Hopkins relies on the COVID Tracking Project testing data for its COVID-19 Testing Insights Initiative, which brings data and expert analysis together in one place. The initiative is designed to help policymakers and the public understand the trajectory of the pandemic, and make decisions about the path forward.” 

Additionally, the White House chose the COVID Tracking Project as the best source to cite for daily US test numbers in its “Opening Up America Again” testing strategy.

The post Coronavirus Positive Tests Increasing appeared first on Broken Laughter.


Trump Owns This Coronavirus Carnage

Trump owns this Coronavirus carnage. He insisted for months that there was no need to do anything, despite many briefings from experts — many times and for several weeks — about how serious the disease could be to America. In addition, Trump praised China and its leader on its handling of Coronavirus many times in January and February. (But Trump’s… Read more The post Trump Owns This Coronavirus Carnage appeared first on Broken...

Trump owns this Coronavirus carnage. He insisted for months that there was no need to do anything, despite many briefings from experts — many times and for several weeks — about how serious the disease could be to America.

In addition, Trump praised China and its leader on its handling of Coronavirus many times in January and February. (But Trump’s campaign now runs TV ads criticizing complimentary things Biden said about China years and years ago.)

In fact, we have been living through something much, much worse than the (imaginary) “American Carnage” Trump said he would end during his Inaugural speech in January 2017 — when he inherited one of the best economies in the last 50 years.

Remember when he said, during his acceptance speech for the Republican presidential nomination, “I alone can fix it”?

There was no “carnage” that needed “fixing” in 2017.

However, this year, Trump created a massive problem. He has no idea, nor any desire to “fix it.” He said as recently as this week that it will just “go away.” His son Eric insisted — this week — that Coronavirus is a “Democrat hoax” that will “go away” after the November election.

Through January and February, Trump insisted that the United states government had Coronavirus “under control” until evidence became overwhelming the second week of March.

The one thing he insists made a difference was his “China travel ban.” Trump put his “China travel ban,” into effect AFTER the Coronavirus was already well-established in the United States, and after most airlines had already voluntarily stopped US-China air travel. His “travel ban” also allowed more than 40,000 people to travel into the United States from China after the “ban” took effect.

In those months, Trump told many of the biggest and most consequential of the 16,000+ lies he has publicly uttered.

As reported by the New York Times, “If the United States had begun imposing social distancing measures one week earlier than it did in March, about 36,000 fewer people would have died in the coronavirus outbreak, according to new estimates from Columbia University disease modelers.

“And if the country had begun locking down cities and limiting social contact on March 1, two weeks earlier than most people started staying home, the vast majority of the nation’s deaths — about 83 percent — would have been avoided, the researchers estimated.

“Under that scenario, about 54,000 fewer people would have died by early May.”

Indeed, Trump owns this Coronavirus carnage, which has had far worse impact in the United States than necessary. Trump wasted more than two months telling us that it would magically “go away.” Trump also spent more than two months doing nothing significant about it.

The post Trump Owns This Coronavirus Carnage appeared first on Broken Laughter.


Peaceable Assembly And Coronavirus Risk

Some people have gotten very upset that they cannot peaceably assemble and not risk getting Covid-19. It is simply a matter of peaceable assembly and Coronavirus risk. For them it is an “I’m losing my civil rights!” issue and they are getting really riled up. Here is an exact analogy: You have said that your goal is not to get… Read more The post Peaceable Assembly And Coronavirus Risk appeared first on Broken...

Some people have gotten very upset that they cannot peaceably assemble and not risk getting Covid-19. It is simply a matter of peaceable assembly and Coronavirus risk.

For them it is an “I’m losing my civil rights!” issue and they are getting really riled up.

Here is an exact analogy:

You have said that your goal is not to get pregnant or to cause anyone else to become pregnant, AND you have gotten really angry and started marching in the streets and suing your Governor because you cannot have sex with people without using any form of birth control.

You need to pick one (not risking pregnancy) or the other (having sex without birth control). Not getting pregnant and having sex without birth control are oil and water. They do not stay mixed.

Both cannot coexist in the same universe
when it comes to peaceable assembly and Coronavirus risk.

Some people do not understand this and they are suing.

Have they never heard “you can’t have your cake and eat it too”?

The post Peaceable Assembly And Coronavirus Risk appeared first on Broken Laughter.


And Then God Said

First, God said: “I tried to warn you. All during the campaign I let all the news networks give him $4 billion worth of free coverage, hoping you would understand and not vote for him. “But instead, enough of you voted for Russian plant candidate Jill Stein to elect him.” And then God said: “So then, I gave you Robert… Read more The post And Then God Said appeared first on Broken...

First, God said:

“I tried to warn you. All during the campaign I let all the news networks give him $4 billion worth of free coverage, hoping you would understand and not vote for him.

“But instead, enough of you voted for Russian plant candidate Jill Stein to elect him.”

And then God said:

“So then, I gave you Robert Mueller and his investigation.

“But you didn’t understand or properly use the Mueller investigation findings to impeach and remove him from office.”

And then God said:

“So then, I gave you Ukrainian President Zelensky and a clear case of extortion or bribery, pick the crime you like.

“You impeached him. But then you failed to finish the job and your Senate found him not guilty.”

And then God said:

“So then I decided I had to pull out the big guns. I went back through the album and decided that I needed to use something more drastic. So I created a virus, one that would lead to a global pandemic. I knew many lives would be lost, but since you failed at using the campaign, the Mueller investigation and the impeachment, I really did not have any other choice. 

“I had to resort to something that would harm or kill thousands, through physical, psychological and economic ruin, to get you to see and take action, finally.”

And then God said:

“If you let him off the hook after how badly he has harmed so many of you — through conscious and deliberately harmful actions, not out of stupid incompetence — I don’t know what else I can offer you.”

From the New York Times:

” ‘Any way you cut it, this is going to be bad,’ a senior medical adviser at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Carter Mecher, wrote on the night of Jan. 28, in an email to a group of public health experts scattered around the government and universities. ‘The projected size of the outbreak already seems hard to believe.’

“A week after the first coronavirus case had been identified in the United States, and six long weeks before President Trump finally took aggressive action to confront the danger the nation was facing — a pandemic that is now forecast to take tens of thousands of American lives — Dr. Mecher was urging the upper ranks of the nation’s public health bureaucracy to wake up and prepare for the possibility of far more drastic action.”

And lastly, God said:  
“This is your last chance.”

The post And Then God Said appeared first on Broken Laughter.


Wisconsin Is A GOP Prototype

SCOTUS has committed an act of brazen voter disenfranchisement. Wisconsin is a GOP prototype for the November election. From the New York Times: “The stakes were apparent in the lawyers involved in the Supreme Court fight. The Democratic team included the party’s top election lawyer, Marc Elias; among the law firms representing the Republicans was Consovoy McCarthy. The firm is… Read more The post Wisconsin Is A GOP Prototype appeared first on Broken...

SCOTUS has committed an act of brazen voter disenfranchisement. Wisconsin is a GOP prototype for the November election.

From the New York Times: “The stakes were apparent in the lawyers involved in the Supreme Court fight. The Democratic team included the party’s top election lawyer, Marc Elias; among the law firms representing the Republicans was Consovoy McCarthy. The firm is currently helping Mr. Trump to fight congressional demands for his tax returns, and a named partner helped argue a 2013 Supreme Court case that gutted the powerful protections of the Voting Rights Act.”

This is the problem:
There has been a battle for weeks going on between the GOP-majority legislature and the Democratic Governor. The legislature has more power over election laws in Wisconsin.

The GOP-led legislature reinstated the in-person election — which the governor postponed earlier by Executive Order — although there are almost no poll workers to conduct the election. Thousands of poll workers have dropped out for fear of contracting the virus, forcing cities to close dozens of polling places. Milwaukee, for example, consolidated its polling locations from 182 to five, while Green Bay consolidated its polling locations from 31 to two.

The National Guard is expected to run the election polling locations. But what will happen if there are only small numbers of locations?

Republican Party Resists Absentee or Mail-In Voting

Remember this from last week:
Trump has raised concern that making it easier to vote would hurt the GOP. In an interview on “Fox & Friends” last week, he criticized a coronavirus-related funding proposal from Democrats that would have provided more money for mail-in voting.

Referring to the $2 trillion Coronavirus stimulus bill, “The things they had in there were crazy,” Trump said (referring to the Coronavirus stimulus bill). “They had things — levels of voting that if you ever agreed to it you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”

Trump’s Republican allies echoed the sentiment, including in tweets like one from Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky: “Universal vote by mail would be the end of our republic as we know it.”

From the NYTimes:
“Mr. Trump, who registered to vote by mail in the Florida primary, appeared to be referring to the proposed expansion of early voting when he complained that Democrats ‘had things in there about election days,” which he called “totally crazy.’”

Did you notice that?
Trump registered to vote by mail in the Florida primary. So, Trump wants to be able to vote by mail but he doesn’t want other people to be able to. This is hypocrisy.

Facts About Voting By Mail

  • The process for Absentee voting is the same as the process for Mail-in-ballot voting.
  • Every state allows Absentee voting.
  • All members of the Armed Services deployed outside the United States vote by mail.
  • Several states do all their voting by mail. No one in the Federal government has a problem with that. Not even Trump.
  • Trump’s “voter fraud commission” disbanded because it could not find any voter fraud.
  • REPUBLICANS committed the only instance of “ballot harvesting” — Trump’s alleged concern with mail-in voting — in North Carolina in 2018.

Obviously, Trump and the 5 “conservative” members of SCOTUS know that high voter turnout — expression of the will of Americans — is bad for Republicans. Which is why Trump and the GOP are doing everything possible to suppress voting. Wisconsin is a GOP prototype for actions that will affect many state primaries and ultimately the national presidential election.

Said another way:
“We’ve always been at war with Eastasia.”

The post Wisconsin Is A GOP Prototype appeared first on Broken Laughter.


Trump Proposes $1 Trillion Stimulus Plan

Anybody remember that Barack Obama proposed a $1 Trillion stimulus plan to pull the United States out of the Great Recession, because businesses and consumers were not spending, and therefore the government had to pick up the slack? Remember how the Republicans in the House and the Senate all screamed that the government couldn’t possibly spend that much money to… Read more The post Trump Proposes $1 Trillion Stimulus Plan appeared first on Broken...

Anybody remember that Barack Obama proposed a $1 Trillion stimulus plan to pull the United States out of the Great Recession, because businesses and consumers were not spending, and therefore the government had to pick up the slack?

Remember how the Republicans in the House and the Senate all screamed that the government couldn’t possibly spend that much money to stimulate the economy?

And do you remember how the Republicans forced the Obama stimulus plan down to about $750 billion, which they finally approved?

Did you notice that the Democratic Party-majority United States House of Representatives proposed a stimulus plan to combat economic impact of Coronavirus last week, and that Mitch McConnell put the Senate on a three-day vacation before taking any action on it?

Anybody notice that McConnell still hasn’t taken any action on the House stimulus bill?

And finally, anybody notice that Donald Trump is pitching a $1 Trillion stimulus plan and the Republicans in the House and Senate think it’s the greatest idea since sliced bread?

The post Trump Proposes $1 Trillion Stimulus Plan appeared first on Broken Laughter.


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