New Coronavirus in the US, Impeachment junk, & more.

Just popping in to drop a few quick links, since I have a ton of stuff to do today.

  • That scary new SARS-alike coronavirus from China just dropped its first case in the US. Someone came into the state of Washington infected with it. (NPR)
  • Vox has a quick roundup of information about the Chinese coronavirus. (Vox)
  • Mitch McConnell’s impeachment trial rules are, as expected, complete horseshit. (TPM EdBlog)
  • I guess it’s 2016 again and we’re listening to Bernie and Hillary bicker. (Washington Post)

Okay, like I said, tons to do today. Have fun, kids.

Image credit: Newspapers, JonS on Flickr.

DCU's Doom Patrol

Over the weekend we binged DCU’s Doom Patrol. It was surprisingly good. Funny, heartfelt, touching, and weird.

There was a swarm of carnivorous butts.

At one point, a mouse and a cockroach make out.

It was really weird.

We didn’t go into it with many expectations. I didn’t know a lot about the comics – they were included in the mountains of comics my uncle used to drop off to us every month when I was a kid, but I never thought much of them. It seemed like every time I flipped through one of their books, it was right in the middle of some surreal nonsense escapade that wasn’t even particularly good, so I basically ignored them.

Still, a brief clip of the show popped up during the CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths, and that caught my boyfriend’s interest. Since we didn’t have a lot else going on this weekend, we popped an episode on.

And it was really good, you guys. It was all found family and traumatized outcasts banding together, broken people putting themselves back together, and just, like, a lot of hilarious swearing. Who knew Brendan Fraser was so good at dropping an F-bomb? More like F-salvos, really. Strafing runs of F-bombs.

Anyway, this show hadn’t been on my radar because I never thought much of the comics, and if you’re in that position too, give it a go. It was great, and a ton of fun, and they’ve got a season two coming out sometime this year that we’re looking forward to.

Good Reads & Current Events

“I’m gonna blog more,” I said, and then work promptly dogpiled me with eight thousand projects. I see how it’s gonna be, 2020. I see how you are.

Current Events

  • Yet another of Trump’s excuses for assassinating Soleimani fell apart when U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper skipped out on backing Trump’s “4 embassies” BS. (Reuters)
  • Cory Booker dropped out of presidential race today. (NPR)

Good Reads

  • The Guardian: ‘It was very hurtful’ – what really happens when Queer Eye comes to town? – “The Fab Five gave Kathi Dooley a makeover this year. She’s thrilled to have lost her mullet – but she could never have predicted the very public attack.”
  • CNN: A month-by-month look at Donald Trump’s top lies of 2019 – “Trump made more than 2,700 false claims this year. (We’re still calculating the final total.) Some of them were innocent slips, some of them little exaggerations. But a large number of them were whoppers: deliberate, significant attempts to deceive and manipulate.”
  • The best books on Critical Thinking – “Do you know your straw man arguments from your weasel words? Nigel Warburton, Five Books’ philosophy editor and author of Thinking from A to Z, selects five of the best books on critical thinking—and explains how they will help us make better informed decisions and construct more valid arguments.”
  • Finland is the only country in Europe where homelessness is in decline – “In Finland, the number of homeless people has fallen sharply. The reason: The country applies the ‘Housing First’ concept. Those affected by homelessness receive a small apartment and counselling – without any preconditions. 4 out of 5 people affected thus make their way back into a stable life. And: All this is cheaper than accepting homelessness.”
  • Buzzfeed News: #ReleaseTheJJCut: “Star Wars” Misinformation Hell Is The New Future Of Everything – “Get ready for a world run by warring online communities completely lost in their own misinformation. Warning: This post contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.”

One Funny Thing

I stumbled across on Twitter the other day. It’s a brand new blog by a gal named Janel Comeau, a Canadian living in New York City, and it is frickin’ hilarious. Also, there are little cartoons. Here’s a great place to start with this blog: An Introduction to My Family’s Long, Ongoing Failed Experiment With Designer Dogs.

Medicare for All

One of my favorite conversations online to stumble across is one where a bunch of non-American people find out for the first time how much Americans get charged for health care, and then watching baffled Americans who don’t know about other countries react to their outrage.

Non-American: You paid HOW MUCH for a broken arm?
American: And that was with insurance.
Non-American: I broke my arm two years ago and it was FREE.
Other Americans: What. 🤯

And this will go on at some length, with people on both sides getting increasingly outraged at the prices Americans are paying.

Which, for the record, are wildly inflated.

So the next time you’re all like “But how are we supposed to pay for Medicare for All,” or you run across someone who’s saying that, first start out at “Well, a complicated childbirth doesn’t actually cost multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars to deal with,” and go from there.

Tumblr Conversation discussion US medical prices and how people might think we can't afford Medicare for All because they think health care actually costs what Americans get charged for it.

Trump's Iran speech this morning…

This morning, for you, I listened to Trump bloviate about Iran’s attack yesterday. You’re welcome.

I avoid listening to Trump speak. Listening to him mumble and lie through a speech makes me crazy. So I’m not sure when he started sounding and looking so damn bad, but like. Wow. He looks like death warmed over, and he was noticeably panting and breathless through his little speech, not to mention the mild slur.

Like. Damn. How do people go to his rallies and not see he’s rotting to pieces on his feet?

His actual speech was substance-free, literally. No plans, no real information. Just a lot of bragging about the military, some incoherent thing about having NATO get involved in the Middle East, bashing Soleimani (which, fair), and a tangent about Bahgdadi who killed himself last year when the US military raided his compound and who had nothing to do with anything about us attacking Iran on Friday. And that’s it.

Here’s the speech. See for yourself – it’s only about ten minutes long.

Trump addresses the nation after Iran attacks US military facilities in Iraq – Fox News

So it sounds like Trump actually is going to de-escalate the conflict. Or at least like he’s not going to blow anything up this morning. That might change when he starts sundowning later on this afternoon.

At any rate, here’s a few stories about the situation you can check out.

And this one doesn’t have to do with Iran, but it’s worth knowing: Much Of The World Doesn’t Trust President Trump, Pew Survey Finds, via NPR. From the article, “A clear majority of people living outside the U.S. do not trust President Trump to do the right thing in world affairs, with fewer than one-third expressing confidence in him — an opinion also reflected in attitudes toward America generally, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center.”

Photo credit: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead.