The Bob Cesca Show | News and Politics Podcast and Blog We Cover The World Tue, 24 Nov 2020 21:55:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 22972724 Safegiving Tue, 24 Nov 2020 21:00:22 +0000
(Cartoonist - Matt Davies)

In other news, Joe Biden has chosen former Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen to serve as the next treasury secretary. She would be the first woman to hold the title.

Meanwhile, Russian president Vladimir Putin says that while their COVID vaccine is safe and effective, he hasn't taken it because it's... not safe?

“We have not yet begun widespread vaccination and the head of state can’t take part in vaccination as a volunteer. It’s impossible,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Tuesday, in response to a question on whether Putin had been inoculated. “The president can’t use an uncertified vaccine.”

Finally, OxyContin producer Purdue Pharma has pleaded guilty to bribing doctors to hand out more pills, among other things.

During a court hearing conducted remotely on Tuesday before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo in New Jersey, Purdue pleaded guilty to three felonies covering widespread misconduct.

The criminal violations included conspiring to defraud U.S. officials and pay illegal kickbacks to both doctors and an electronic healthcare records vendor, all to help keep medically dubious opioid prescriptions flowing.

Members of the billionaire Sackler family who own Purdue were not part of Tuesday’s court proceedings and have not been criminally charged. They agreed in October to pay a separate $225 million civil penalty for allegedly causing false claims for OxyContin to be made to government healthcare programs such as Medicare. They have denied the allegations.

Thursday is Thanksgiving and I'm going to start fixing cold dishes tomorrow. I'm also going to take a much-needed mental health break. We'll be back in action here next Monday and then things should be relatively normal until Christmas.

Have a good holiday and good weekend. Wear a mask. Wash your hands. You know the drill.

This has simultaneously been the best and worst year of my life. I think that's been true for a lot of people, but for different reasons. That's what "Fine Line" is about; it's about highs and lows coming in pairs.

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The Formal Biden Transition Finally Begins Tue, 24 Nov 2020 18:05:53 +0000 Although the results of the 2020 election has been clear for weeks, the Trump regime had refused to begin the formal process of transitioning to the Biden administration by denying access to federal resources and classified intelligence briefings to the president elect. The Trump regime has even threatened and attacked anyone who agrees to work with the incoming administration, but something apparently changed their mind last night.

The formal transition process can finally begin now after the General Services Administration (GSA) gave the greenlight.

Mr. Trump did not concede, and vowed to persist with efforts to change the vote, which have so far proved fruitless. But the president said on Twitter on Monday night that he accepted the decision by Emily W. Murphy, the administrator of the General Services Administration, to allow a transition to proceed.

In his tweet, Mr. Trump said that he had told his officials to begin “initial protocols” involving the handoff to Mr. Biden “in the best interest of our country,” even though he had spent weeks trying to subvert a free and fair election with false claims of fraud. Hours later, he tried to play down the significance of Ms. Murphy’s action, tweeting that it was simply “preliminarily work with the Dems” that would not stop efforts to change the election results.

I feel confident in assuming that Trump himself did not write the words "best interest of our country" because that is not a string of words that exists in his vocabulary, but in any case I think this is the closest thing we're ever going to see to an actual concession.

Trump's concession isn't required for Biden to be sworn into office and that's good considering we'll probably never get one. Trump isn't going to concede. He probably won't even concede when he's out of office. He's going to talk about how the election was stolen from him for the rest of his life.

Wall Street exploded this morning with the Dow hitting a new record of 30,000 on the news that Biden's transition can finally begin, so that puts the lie to Trump's claim that a Biden victory would crash the market.

The state of Michigan certified their election results yesterday evening and Pennsylvania followed suit this morning. All that's left are the conspiracy theories.

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WHO Advises Against Another Miracle Cure Tue, 24 Nov 2020 18:00:33 +0000 Hydroxychloroquine was the original coronavirus miracle cure promoted by Trump and members of his cabinet; a fake cure that the World Health Organization (WHO) eventually warned against after studies showed that using it to treat coronavirus patients actually increased deaths.

But once it was abundantly clear that 'chloroquine causes more harm than good, Trump and his inner circle moved on to promoting Gilead’s remdesivir as the latest miracle cure for the virus.

Trump himself was reportedly treated with remdesivir when he was admitted to Walter Reed after contracting the coronavirus, but the World Health Organization now says it doesn't do anything.

The WHO’s Guideline Development Group (GDG) panel said its recommendation was based on an evidence review that included data from four international randomised trials involving more than 7,000 patients hospitalised with COVID-19.

After reviewing the evidence, the panel said it concluded that remdesivir, which has to be given intravenously and is therefore costly and complex to administer, has no meaningful effect on death rates or other important outcomes for patients. [...]

“The ... panel found a lack of evidence that remdesivir improved outcomes that matter to patients,” the guideline said.

This doesn't necessarily mean the drug is completely ineffective in every single scenario, just that it's not worth using given how little effect it has and how much it costs to use.

One thing I am absolutely confident in is that we're never going to see officials from the Biden Administration appear on cable news to promote untested drugs or miracle cures like they're slinging homoeopathic remedies.

If you ask me, doing that ought to be illegal. Remdesivir does not appear to be directly harmful, but people actually died after taking hydroxychloroquine because Trump and his advisers told them it would stop COVID-19.

Trump and his inner circle put lives at risk because they wanted to create false confidence that reopening the economy sooner rather than later would be safe. They killed people for political reasons.

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Sore Loser Mon, 23 Nov 2020 23:00:22 +0000
(Cartoonist - Mike Luckovich)

In other news, Biden has chosen former CIA deputy director Avril Haines to serve as the next director of national intelligence. She would be the first women on the job.

Meanwhile, Biden has also chosen former secretary of state John Kerry to serve as the special presidential envoy for climate change. This is a new position that will sit on the National Security Council.

Finally, General Motors has pulled their support for Trump's lawsuit to block California's vehicle emission standards, because obviously.

GM Chief Executive Mary Barra said in a letter to environmental groups it was “immediately withdrawing from the preemption litigation and inviting other automakers to join us.”

The dramatic rejection of Trump came as GM sought to work with President-elect Joe Biden, who has made boosting electric vehicles (EVs) a top priority. The Detroit automaker has laid out an ambitious strategy to boost EV sales and last week said it will increase spending on EVs and autonomous vehicles by 35% from previous disclosed plans.

The announcement reflects corporate America’s move to engage quickly with the incoming Democratic administration.

Barra said she believes “the ambitious electrification goals of the president-elect, California, and General Motors are aligned, to address climate change by drastically reducing automobile emissions.”

Trump or not, we were already on our way to an all-electric future in any case and joining Trump's lawsuit in the first place was a stupid waste of time probably made for political reasons, not economic.

I hope everyone had a good weekend. My first laser treatment was painful and slightly traumatic, but I survived. I get to do it all over again next month.

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Biden Chooses An Immigrant for Post-Trump DHS Mon, 23 Nov 2020 21:00:23 +0000 Biden's decision to nominate Anthony Blinken to serve as the next secretary of state is a clear break from the Trump era in that Blinken is an actual expert and humanist, not another power-hungry sycophant, but Biden's choice to lead the Department of Homeland Security is even more stark.

Trump's Homeland secretaries have been among the worst members of his cabinet from the very beginning and that certainly includes current acting director and literal "Chad," Chad Wolf; a man who couldn't be formally confirmed even by a Republican-controlled Senate because he's too toxic.

Biden's choice to lead the agency, Alejandro Mayorkas, is an actual immigrant.

Mayorkas, a Cuban immigrant who arrived in the U.S. as a political refugee, would be the first immigrant secretary and first Latino to lead the department, a bureaucratic juggernaut with more than 240,000 employees responsible for border and transportation security, immigration enforcement, cybersecurity, natural disaster response and other law enforcement functions.

"When I was very young, the United States provided my family and me a place of refuge. Now, I have been nominated to be the DHS Secretary and oversee the protection of all Americans and those who flee persecution in search of a better life for themselves and their loved ones," Mayorkas said on Twitter.

The Trump regime's biggest focus for the past two years -- or more specifically the focus of Trump's top adviser Stephen Miller -- has been to shut down as much of the legal immigration system as they possibly could.

They largely closed the border to asylum seekers. They rewrote the rules of asylum so that very few people even qualify. They forced people to stay in Mexico while their claims for asylum were slowly processed and ultimately denied. The Trump regime also turned their attention toward other parts of the world, even denying asylum to Iraqi and Afghani translators who worked with American forces before we abandoned them.

To select an actual political refugee to lead the agency is a sharp rebuke of Trumpian immigration policy and a clear signal of where things are headed under Biden.

Conservative are going to screech that Biden is "opening up the borders," or whatever, but who gives a shit?

Outside of immigration policy, I think this is also a clear signal that there will not be another Hurricane Maria in which the island of Puerto Rico was largely left to fend for itself by an incompetent and disinterested Trump regime. Mayorkas will oversee the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) which is an agency within the Department of Homeland Security.

If Trump and Stephen Miller had their way, Mayorkas never would have been allowed into the country in the first place.

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SBA To Employees: Don’t Say “Fraud” Mon, 23 Nov 2020 19:30:26 +0000 The Small Business Administration's inspector general reported that tens of billions of dollars have been lost to "widespread fraud" under the COVID-era Economic Injury Disaster Loan, but "fraud" is apparently a dirty word that no one is suppose to use like Voldemort.

In an apparent attempt to dodge accountability and, more specifically, public records requests -- employees have been told not to flag fraudulent paperwork as "fraud."

Workers reviewing requests for the Small Business Administration’s Covid-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan program have instead been told by managers to use alternative phrases, such as “duplicate,” according to four people who received the instructions and asked not to be identified discussing internal policies. The terms varied among teams and could be misleading, the people said. [...]

SBA loan officers stationed around the U.S., speaking on the condition they not be named, said that in recent weeks superiors have admonished them, usually verbally, not to use “fraud” when making internal notations about applications. One manager remarked to staff that “fraud is the new ‘F’ word,” according to one of the people.

Two people said managers cited concerns that loan officers’ notes could be subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Another person said a manager explained “fraud” was banned because it could eventually become public through lawsuits. It’s unclear which lawsuits. Loan officers aren’t expected to prove fraud, only to flag suspect applications, which could also contribute to the reticence.

Given that the Biden administration will take control of the Small Business administration in two months and will undoubtedly comply with most public records requests without requiring a lawsuit, I'd say the only real goal here is to save face. This is an agency run by another Trump sycophant who doesn't want the record to look bad for herself or for Trump. SBA administrator Jovita Carranza blasted the inspector general after his investigation found widespread fraud.

Refusing to appropriately flag suspect applications right now just means the Biden-era SBA will have to work backwards and comb over applications that were already reviewed.

It's going to take the entire next year to even unravel the labyrinth of boobytraps and administrative fart jokes left behind by the Trump regime.

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Biden Picks Obama-Era Veterans For Foreign Policy Posts Mon, 23 Nov 2020 18:00:19 +0000 Donald Trump was openly hostile to our international alliances and global systems of governance that the United States forged in the first place. He was hostile before he took office and hostile once he was finally in office. He has spent four years attacking the United Nations (UN), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the World Trade Organization (WTO) among many, many others.

They use and abuse us, Trump has always claimed without evidence, even though we wrote the rules and have the power to change them through international cooperation.

But Trump doesn't cooperate with anyone or anything. He's a one-man show who believed the United States was his show. Under him, our foreign policy priorities were whatever Trump's priorities are. He personalized his relationship to other world leaders and conducted foreign policy along those lines; meaning North Korea and their leader who wrote "love letters" to him were often more respected than our closest allies in Europe who never kissed Trump's ring.

We know Joe Biden is not Trump and that's why we voted for him, of course, but we now have the clearest indication yet of what foreign policy will look like under the Biden Administration.

Biden has reportedly chosen Antony Blinken as secretary of state, Linda Thomas-Greenfield as ambassador to the U.N., and Jake Sullivan as national security adviser.

From Reuters:

Blinken is a longtime Biden confidant who served as No. 2 at the State Department and as deputy national security adviser in President Barack Obama’s administration, in which Biden served as vice president.

Thomas-Greenfield, a Black woman who served as the assistant secretary of state for Africa under Obama, was intended to restore morale and help fulfill Biden’s pledge to choose a diverse cabinet, Axios reported.

Sullivan served as Biden’s national security adviser during the Obama administration and also as deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

This is how The Guardian describes Blinken:

He went to school in Paris, where he learned to play the guitar (he played Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall at graduation) and football, and harboured dreams of becoming a film-maker. Before entering the White House under Barack Obama, he used to play in a weekly soccer game with US officials, foreign diplomats and journalists, and he has two singles – love songs titled Lip Service and Patience – uploaded on Spotify.

Rob Malley, the president of the International Crisis Group, who was at school with Blinken in France, said: “He was an American in Paris, with a sense of what it meant to be an American with US culture and values at a time when there was a lot of anti-Americanism around. But he also saw what it was to be a French person looking at America.”

I can only imagine how pleased foreign diplomats will be to see Blinken walk through their doors rather than current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Pompeo is a smirking asshole who smiles and laughs while spitting in the faces of our allies. Pompeo rose to his position not because of his skills, experience, or charisma; he ascended because he spent 11 hours taunting and goading Hillary Clinton when she testified in front of the Select Benghazi Committee in 2015.

Pompeo has spent most of the last year waging a stealth campaign for president in 2024 while spitting enough fire at our allies to keep Trump happy. Blinken has spent the last year telling Biden how to rebuild our alliances wrecked by Pompeo.

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Regime Change Thu, 19 Nov 2020 23:00:45 +0000
(Cartoonist - Rob Rogers)

In other news, Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows says he “can’t guarantee” there won't be a government shutdown in three weeks. A continuing resolution seems most likely. We've effectively been on one of those for 9 years or as long as the GOP has had some or total control of the government.

Meanwhile, Buzzfeed is buying out the Huffington Post, the Wall Street Journal first reported this morning. This is a pretty big deal for the whole media ecosystem.

Finally, the Trump campaign has dropped their lawsuit to block the certification of election results in Michigan because it wasn't going anywhere.

In a court filing Thursday morning, a lawyer for the Trump campaign said the lawsuit, which had sought to stop the certification of ballots in Wayne County, Michigan, was being withdrawn because the county's board of canvassers "met and declined to certify the results of the presidential election."

But that statement is false: The board voted to certify the results, after an outcry over Republican members who initially voted not to certify.

Those two GOP members now say they want to rescind their votes. But state officials say that is not possible, and that the certification is official.

Also, this happened today.

Programming note... following a successful consultation last week, I will be starting laser treatment tomorrow. The procedure itself can be painful, but my recovery will require me to hold ice on my face between applications of Aloe. This is my first of many treatments so I'll be offline to focus on that tomorrow. Next week will be a short week because of the Thanksgiving holiday, but I plan to be here on Monday and Tuesday. Have a good weekend.

]]> 2 156009 The Bob Cesca Show Presented By 11/19/20 Thu, 19 Nov 2020 22:15:04 +0000 Tiny Dicked Rat Boy -- [Explicit Content] The Trump fuckery continues; Trump personally called Wayne County, MI officials to get them to reverse their certification; The Trump election theft in Georgia; Dan Bongino, Charlie Kirk, and Candace Owens; A civics discussion about the Great Compromise and congressional representation; HHS is stonewalling Biden on COVID information; Trump wants to start a bunch of international fires to screw Biden; Rudy's "My Cousin Vinny" defense; British comedian Jonathan Pie; Jody Hamilton and TRex David Ferguson are here; With music by Brad Brooks and Brother Other; and more!]]>

Tiny Dicked Rat Boy -- [Explicit Content] The Trump fuckery continues; Trump personally called Wayne County, MI officials to get them to reverse their certification; The Trump election theft in Georgia; Dan Bongino, Charlie Kirk, and Candace Owens; A civics discussion about the Great Compromise and congressional representation; HHS is stonewalling Biden on COVID information; Trump wants to start a bunch of international fires to screw Biden; Rudy's "My Cousin Vinny" defense; British comedian Jonathan Pie; Jody Hamilton and TRex David Ferguson are here; With music by Brad Brooks & Wayne Kramer and Brother Other; and more!

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Brad Brooks & Wayne Kramer - “American Ruse” (MC5 Cover)
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White House Invites You To Join Them For Coronavirus Thu, 19 Nov 2020 21:00:05 +0000 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released guidance this morning formally recommending that you do not travel for the holidays because the coronavirus pandemic is raging out of control, but the Trump White House has never followed or promoted the CDC's guidelines and they're not going to start now.

The White House is reportedly moving forward with plans to hold large, in-person holiday parties where you would probably get infected just by stepping inside.

The White House plans to host its annual Hanukkah reception next month, even as coronavirus cases are on the rise around the country.

The reception is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Dec. 9, according to a copy of the invitation, which was shared with HuffPost by the recipient. There were no instructions included about special coronavirus precautions.

The White House is also planning its Christmas party, looking at Dec. 10 as a potential date, according to a GOP source on the Hill.

Reading this, I recalled that story from earlier this year about dumb college students holding coronavirus parties to see who gets infected first. This is effectively the same thing, except it's at the White House.

Aside from the direct risk to the insane people who attend, this sets a terrible example for the country. Health officials at the federal, state, and local level are going to tell Americans they should stay home, but the Trump White House plans to publicly contradict all of them by holding parties. My own home county issued a stay-at-home advisory this week and urged people not to travel, but as far as I can tell not many people are listening.

Young children will probably be dragged to these White House parties and they deserve better, but every other person who willingly attends deserves to get infected.

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