Saturday, March 28, 2020

David Brooks explains the brighter side of pandemic

By A.J. Liebling
Meta-Content Generator

Grim times indeed – the rich are forced to cruise through the Grenadines on their 100-foot yachts all by themselves,

the middle class is bored and antsy cooped up in their houses, the working class is desperately afraid they will not be able to pay their rent or mortgage next month, and the undocumented and others in the underclass are being left to die.

What can be said to ease these plights?  From where will our help come?  We don't know, but we sure af know where it's not coming from:

Yup, ol' Complete National Disgrace has put down his sopprassata sub to mansplain the upside of pandemic: “We’ll look back on this as one of the most meaningful periods of our lives.”

Feel better yet?

Read on:

The menace may be subhuman or superhuman, but we all have the option of asserting our own dignity, even to the end.

 I’d add one other source of meaning. It’s the story we tell about this moment. It’s the way we tie our moment of suffering to a larger narrative of redemption. It’s the way we then go out and stubbornly live out that story. The plague today is an invisible monster, but it gives birth to a better world. 

So if you're laboring on the front lines in overwhelmed hospital emergency rooms and ICU's, worried about your own survival due to lack of protective gear or the imminent prospect of deciding who shall get scarce ventilators and who shall die, you can take comfort in asserting your own dignity, even to the end.

And if you've been laid off, or because you can only work off the books you've been cut off by the affluent people for whom you worked as a cleaner or nanny, as you slowly starve in your apartments (unless you are evicted first, in which case you can die in the streets), you'll no doubt be pleased to learn that you are giving birth to a better world.  You won't be in it, but it will be better, promises Moral Mountain Dave.

There's no shortage of glad tidings, he says:

In this way the plague demands that we address our problems in ways we weren’t forced to before. 

The plague brings forth our creativity. It’s during economic and social depressions that the great organizations of the future are spawned. Already, there’s a new energy coming into the world. The paradigmatic image of this crisis is all those online images of people finding ways to sing and dance together across distance. 

The bright side of pandemic,
according to the ol' Perfesser
When you look at it with the moral clarity that only the ol' Perfesser can bring, the needless death and suffering caused by President U Bum's botched response to the pandemic is a lot like slavery.  Sure, millions suffered and died due to the evil perpetrated by a white elite, but the tunes were great!

But the good news doesn't stop there. People aren't just talking about what they're watching on Netflix or Instagramming their dinners anymore.  Instead,

There’s a new introspection coming into the world, as well. Everybody I talk to these days seems eager to have deeper conversations and ask more fundamental questions: Are you ready to die? If your lungs filled with fluid a week from Tuesday would you be content with the life you’ve lived? 

Or would you always regret not leaving your wife for your fruity research assistant?

Now that you're feeling better about pandemic in a time when our democratic institutions are close to collapse due to the Trumpublican attack on every small-r republican norm, including the rule of law, may we offer a modest retort?

Meaning isn't like gravy: you can't ladle it over whatever's on your plate and declare the result delicious.

Meaning has to have – meaning.  Among the things that might give meaning to life before, during and after pandemic would be taking action to heal and repair the world, which Jews (like Complete National Disgrace Brooks used to be) are supposed to pursue.

To put a finer point on it, of what value are navel-gazing conversations about your own life when there is so much work to be done?  Hundreds of millions are suffering, not just from disease, but from generations of cruel Randian exultation of greed and bigotry.  The current pandemic highlights the imperative moral and practical necessity of providing health care for all, whether they can afford to pay for it or not.

But even before coronavirus, millions sickened and died in agony because they could not afford life-saving medical treatment, or the preventive care that would have avoided the fatal crisis.  And for generations, Republicans staunchly opposed national health insurance on the grounds that it was, in the words of St. Ronald of Bitburg, an intolerable assault on “liberty.”

In case you were wondering, those Republicans included the apparatchiks and mouthpieces in the administration of Mission Accomplished Bush, before they emerged as cable television stars and all around moral savants.

Other plausible ways to add meaning to the current regimen of Netflix and sweat pants would be to remember the suffering caused by racism and misogyny, and to struggle to end those plagues and remedy their effects.  Oh, and which political party exalts those vices every day from the White House Briefing Room?  Take a bow, President China Virus and his sycophantic chorus of enablers and taint-washers.

Speaking of meaning, we are all too distracted to remember, but our planet faces a grave danger from uncontrolled global warming and its associated climate changes and weather catastrophes.  And who's been opposing effective action to save the planet for decades?  Hint: rhymes with Zepublicans.

One way to give your life meaning, evident to all but Moral Mountain Brooks, is to fight to your literal last gasp against those forces that have lead to so much unnecessary suffering and death and continue to imperil our democracy.  But the ol' Perfesser can't or won't grasp that point because to do so after shilling for Republicans and their false values for decades might suggest to him that his entire professional life has lacked – meaning.

But don't say that CND Brooks's twaddle is good for nothing.  Although our local supermarket is generally well stocked, it continues to run short of toilet paper.  And if you subscribe to the paper edition of The New York Times, you should know that if you're down to the cardboard tube at the end of the roll, the Editorial Page on which Brooks's column appears makes a perfectly usable substitute.

You read it first in the Spy

With the nation facing the prospect of an indefinite lockdown to slow the spread of Coronavirus, attention has focused on a self-indulgent generation that apparently is failing to heed the warnings about the dangers of the virus, thereby placing all of us at greater risk.

For example, at just one Florida hot spot, The Villages, hordes of old white people are still gathering – and worse – in defiance of warnings of public health experts.  “I'm still supporting our great, powerful, wise, handsome, large-handed President who says we have nothing to worry about, ” said Mrs. Kathleen Burke, formerly of Mineola, N.Y. as she gathered with dozens of friends for her daily Tucker Carlson listening party.

Her boyfriend, Jimmy O'Reilly, a retired Boston fireman whose supposed disability had not kept from him lifting two Franzia boxes in each hand, agreed, “You can't trust the fake news media.  We can only believe what Sean Hannity and our all-knowing President are telling us.”

TALLAHASSEE — At least five residents from The Villages have contracted the coronavirus through community spread or close contact with someone else who had the virus, according to the Florida Department of Health in Sumter County.

The Villages is a rapidly growing retirement community of more than 50,000 residents that spans three north central Florida counties. Most of the community is in Sumter County, where 29 people have tested positive for the virus as of Friday.

At least 16 of the 29 residents who tested positive had contracted the virus while traveling, and another eight residents remained under investigation.

Five residents either became infected through the community, or after having close contact with someone who also tested positive, Megan McCarthy, a DOH Sumter County spokesperson, said.
At least 34 people in Florid have died from Covid-19 and at least 2,900 people have been infected, according to the state Department of Health.

The Villages last week became one of the first locations in the state to receive a 250-bed mobile hospital from the Florida Division of Emergency Services.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Florida Ignores Pandemic, Parties On

Editors' Note:  Longtime Spy readers will recognize the name Shill Shamelessly, the Spy's ace baseball columnist who has covered every Spring Training since 1946 from his perch high above the sandwich buffet in the Red Sox press room.  With Spring Training on hold indefinitely, and the Red Sox already out for the season (thanks to baseball genius John Henry), Shill offered to put down the corned beef and take up a freelance gig as Special Florida Correspondent for the Spy.  And what a story he has.  Also, Shill, thanks for the 843 pictures from spring break.  We used as many as we could.

By Shill Shamelessly
Special Florida Correspondent for the Spy

Our Special Correspondent got plenty
of Spring Break pix
With the nation facing the prospect of an indefinite lockdown to slow the spread of Coronavirus, attention has focused on a self-indulgent generation that apparently is failing to heed the warnings about the dangers of the virus, thereby placing all of us at greater risk.

For example, at just one Florida hot spot, The Villages, hordes of old white people are still gathering – and worse – in defiance of warnings of public health experts.  “I'm still supporting our great, powerful, wise, handsome, large-handed President who says we have nothing to worry about, ” said Mrs. Kathleen Burke, formerly of Mineola, N.Y. as she gathered with dozens of friends for her daily Tucker Carlson listening party.

Her boyfriend, Jimmy O'Reilly, a retired Boston fireman whose supposed disability had not kept from him lifting two Franzia boxes in each hand, agreed, “You can't trust the fake news media.  We can only believe what Sean Hannity and our all-knowing President are telling us.”

[He knew the story was about old people right?
– Photo Ed.]
Even as the Boomer generation continues to engage in destructive anti-social behavior, such as congregating together in large groups to mock real scientists and experts, they are facing criticism from Millennials, who can't believe that their grandparents are so ignorant.  “You'd think that having read those newspaper things for years they would know something about how diseases are spread, but it's like they're too busy having fun in the sun to protect the rest of us,” complained 20-year old Alyssa Lister of Mamaroneck, who had chosen to visit her grandparents over her spring break and finds herself trapped in a public health nightmare.

Her college roommate, now facing time [Surely, Facetiming? – Ed.] while living with her parents back in Katonah, Sierra Sabin, agreed:  “They've lived their lives, so if they want to congregate and die from Coronavirus that's their business.  But why can't they think about the rest of us who have our whole lives in front of us?”

Experts say that the continuing refusal of old white people in Florida and other Republican bastions to heed science-based warnings is part of a disturbing trend.  They note that the President's resort/castle, Mar-a-Lago, had remained open for partying and influence-peddling until this week, and that his other pisspoor hotels and golf resorts are still open for business and infectious disease transmission.

Others point out that this is hardly the first time that old white Republicans have ignored grave threats to public health and the national interest, noting that decades of climate change denialism have left the United States unprepared to cope with the human and financial costs of sea level rise and global warming.

[You understand we need clicks, right? – Ed.]
In response, Louise Kerrigan, 78, formerly of Dorchester, Mass., laughed off the imminent prospect of rising sea levels that have led to recent emergencies in Miami not to mention the destruction of lower Manhattan from Superstorm Sandy in 2012.   “I don't give a rat's ass if all those bean-eaters in Miami drown. Anyway, if sea levels rise, we'll finally have oceanfront property right here in The Villages,” she said.

Ms. Kerrigan then greeted a young woman who was delivering the Chinese take out she had ordered for poolside delivery.  “Hey Kung-Flu, drop it there!  And don't get too close, if you catch my drift,”

The young woman, Jamie Wu, 24, who was helping her parents try to keep their local restaurant open while her law school held all classes remotely, just grimaced.  She told the Spy, “This is the first time in years that I've been getting bigoted remarks to my face.  What are these people thinking?  Don't they know that the Coronavirus is a global pandemic?  It's like they'd rather vent their bigotry and anger than do something constructive to protect themselves and those they love.”

[My bad – Photo Ed.]
But Ms. Kerrigan, chomping on a fried chicken wing, was unapologetic: “I'm just stating the facts like my President told us.”

Experts remain at a loss to explain why the older generation of white people continues to engage in such dangerous, self-destructive behavior.  Some point out they were raised in an era when their President said that government was the problem and tax cuts for the rich would solve everything.  Others blame decades of drug and alcohol abuse dating back to the 1960's that may have led to decreased cognitive abilities.

Said one senior government public health official who wished to be referred to only as “Tony:”  “We know that decades of drug abuse including methamphetamines and related stimulants can lead to dementia and incoherence.  Sadly there is no treatment other than keeping these sad crippled individuals away from any position of authority in government or otherwise.”

Monday, March 16, 2020

Brazen acts of Presidential incompetence - a fond look back

By Scott V. Sandford
Justice Correspondent
with Larry Lowell, Cambridge Correspondent

In these dark fear clad days with normal life as we knew it on hold, we think it important to continue with some of the Spy's longest and proudest traditions, if only to show that not everything has to change.  Constant readers know that the Spy has a never-ending fondness for making what it had thought was an obvious point, but one that seems to elude even the keenest intelligences and Harvard Law Professors (to be clear, overlapping but not identical groups): that the brazen lies, cruelty, stupidity, and corruption of the current Republican Administration bear a remarkable resemblance to, and continuity with, over 40 years of Republican Presidential horses***.

Today, from his no doubt pleasing 14-room Queen Anne off Brattle Street, please welcome the Henry L. Shattuck Professor of Law at Harvard, one Jack Goldsmith.  Jack, when not thrilling us with tales of his days mixed up with Jimmy Hoffa's gang, Tweets.  What's on your mind, Jackson?

Well, when a Professor at the Harvard Law School starts thinking, who knows what might happen next?

Is he missing anything? Is this one of those crackling scenes set in a stark old-fashioned lecture hall in Langdell when the great Professor Smoot stares eagle-eyed at the young thirsters after money and power [Surely, knowledge? – Ed.] before turning to his class list and saying something like. “Mr. Roberts [or Mr. Pompeo, or Mr. Cruz, or any other distinguished alum], what am I missing?”

If that's what you thought, you've been stuck watching too many 80's TV shows on channel 38.72 or whatever.  His question is meant in the faux-humble professorial way as “I'm not missing anything, you churls.”

Of course, a man who has spent his entire life in the legal academy might be forgiven for, um, missing anything, like the previous Republican Administration.  So let's not be too hard on this Sage of Langdell.  After all, how would he know what went down during the Administration of George W. Bush?  You there, in the back row, reading the Harvard Law web site, what do you have to say?

Before coming to Harvard, Goldsmith served as Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, from October 2003 through July 2004, and Special Counsel to the General Counsel to the Department of Defense from September 2002 through June 2003.  

Oh,  That's different then.  Cancel one act of forgiveness.

Prof. Goldsmith missed that one
Could it really be that Jack Goldsmith missed President George W. Bush's failure to protect our country from al-Qaeda terrorists whom his own CIA told him were “determined to strike in the U.S.?”  We suppose that's barely possible, as in August 2001 Professor Goldsmith was planning to resume teaching alongside his colleague Professor Obama at the University of Chicago Law School.

But years later could it really be that Jack Goldsmith then missed W.'s brazen efforts to cover up all inquiries into his Administration's sorry anti-terrorism record, up to and including refusing to provide full sworn individual testimony to the 9/11 commission?

President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have placed strict limits on the private interviews they will grant to the federal commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks, saying that they will meet only with the panel's top two officials and that Mr. Bush will submit to only a single hour of questioning, commission members said Wednesday. 

In fact from September 11, 2001 through – this morning, Jack Goldsmith's old boss and client has never fully and candidly accounted or sought forgiveness for his Administrations contumacious incompetence in the months leading up to 9/11.

But it's not as if the former Bush Administration mouthpiece and critic of the current Republican President missed just one thing.  He missed the other even bigger thing: the planning and execution of a needless war on Iraq conceived in lies and carried out with wanton disregard for human life and international law.

Today we still have only the haziest idea of why George W. Bush decided, or had decided for him, that the most appropriate response to the terror attack of 9/11 was to invade and lay waste to a country that had – nothing to do with it.  Nothing.  Zero.  Nada.  Zilch.  Everyone knows this, even those among us whose buns are not resting comfortably in the Henry Shattuck Chair.

Nor have the architects of and apologists for the brutal war and the concomitant attack on basic norms of American justice and international law, like Jack Goldsmith, ever taken responsibility for their errors of omission and commission.   This isn't the time and the place to put Professor Goldsmith's hands under the UV light, but those interested can check out the Professor's own argument for covering up Bush Administration war crimes here.

You might even call such a brazen effort to wipe away the past like a dirty iPhone screen a “remarkable combination of gutlessness and weakness,” to borrow a catchy phrase we learned recently.

But it's not just that, as we have said repeatedly ad or very likely trans nauseam.  Rather, the efforts of Jack Goldsmith and his merry but tiny band of anti-U Bum ex-Bush functionaries and hacks are not just cowardice and weakness.

They are the result of ambition.

If you remember the Bush Administration's
lies and war crimes, join the pile!
Jack, Billy, Toronto Dave, Max, Ana, Ricky, Steve, and all the others currently languishing on op-ed pages and cable news panels are all positioning themselves for the day when the Tangerine-Faced Grifter is permanently sitting on his golden throne in paradise and they can attach themselves to whatever spineless Republican follows.  When that day comes, they'll be looking to reoccupy all the cushy jobs they enjoyed during the last Republican nightmare administration and they'll be ready to embark on new rounds of bloody war, perhaps directed towards Iran.

And to return to the levers of power, or at least the ones that open the bomb bay doors, they have to pretend that the Tangerine-Faced Grifter's flaming clown car was an isolated stepchild on the waters of government, when in fact lies, incompetence, greed, and bigotry have been the sum total of Republican politics since 1964.  No wonder they are trying to pretend the Bush Administration never happened.

If you can't see them coming, perhaps you're missing something.

Now follow Professor Jack's example with respect to his own culpability for past Republican excrescences and wash your hands.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Good and dead: he made GE what it is today

The obituary page of The Massachusetts Spy

By Luke Reschuss
Obituary Editor

Corporate CEO extraordinaire and legendary executive Jack Welch died this week at 84, and as you might imagine there was an outpouring of encomia for the former all-powerful head of General Electric, which under his leadership grew to become a global conglomerate with world-class manufacturing, entertainment, and financial operations.  Here's a representative sample from The Washington Post:

Welch knew that he who counts the beans keeps them
Like the former president, the former CEO is one of the people responsible for the way we live now.

I do not mean that as a compliment in any way.

Welch popularized the concept known as “shareholder value,” the idea that the primary duty of a company’s management is to increase its stock price for the benefit of shareholders. In pursuit of this goal, he bought and sold companies, shedding huge numbers of employees along the way. GE’s share prices soared. For this, Welch was celebrated: imitated by competitors and lionized by the fawning business press.
Never mind the fact Welch routinely closed GE’s Rust Belt factories and moved the jobs to Third World locales, where workers labored for less — much, much less — than the former GE employees. Never mind the fact that he cut funding for research and development, something that can undermine a company’s long-term health. And never mind the fact that the humane postwar arrangement between corporations and their employees — give us your loyalty and we’ll take care of you as best we can — ended in part because of Welch. He made money for shareholders, and that was the important thing.
Wait, what?

Well, that must have been a cranky outlier.  Here's veteran business journalist Joe Nocera: “ I know we’re not supposed to speak ill of the dead, but his effect on American capitalism was too profound — and too destructive — to go unmentioned.”

Did we just walk into a Sanders rally or what?  Are we talking about the corporate titan and management genius who was lionized by the press throughout and after his reign as General Electric CEO?  (Of course, the fact that for most of that time, he controlled a vast news operation including a business news channel, had absolutely nothing to do with his fawning press coverage.)

And the minute that he's no longer in a position to grant favors or shower money and fame on ink-stained wretches it turns out he was in fact a terrible manager and a miserable human being, whose ego- and wallet-aggrandizing effort to hype GE's stock price led to the collapse of what was once one of the world's most admired corporations, which it turn lead to destruction of hundreds of billions of dollars of shareholder value?

Apparently so, said Helene Olen in the Post (link supra):

Welch, like many a corporate honcho, believed in accountability for everyone but himself. When it came to his perceived needs, cost was not a concern. His compensation was outsize — he earned millions and millions of dollars annually. (In 1997, he earned 1,400 times more than the typical American factory worker). The pattern continued even after he exited GE: It came out during his 2002 divorce that the company had continued to pay for everything in his life, from his use of the corporate jet to meals at four-star New York restaurant Jean Georges. GE even settled the bill for the flowers in his apartment.

By the time Welch exited his position in 2001, GE earned a large chunk of its profits not from its traditional industrial strengths but as a financial services company. This turned out to be a major cause of the company’s undoing — it all but blew up in 2008, and Welch’s successors are still trying to put the company back together again. A share of GE is worth an astonishing 80 percent less than it was valued 20 years ago. So much for shareholder value. 

Let's see here, if you worked at GE for decades and put your pension money in GE stock, your $1 million is now worth $200,000 (although there were some dividends along the way).  So that's why you're filling Suzy Wetlaufer Welch's latte order in your declining years.

And it turns out he hyped GE's stock price the old-fashioned Wall Street way: by engaging in risky financial finagling and leaving it to his successors to pick up the pieces:

Welch turned GE Capital, which had formerly been used to underwrite consumer loans for refrigerators and other GE appliances, into a black box from which Welch could extract whatever profit he needed to make his quarterly numbers. What’s worse, GE Capital began making the same kind of risky loans as the rest of Wall Street — loans that got the company into trouble when the financial crisis arrived. Luckily for Welch, he was long gone by then. His successor, Jeffrey Immelt, took the blame for essentially following Welch’s lead.

Nice work if you could get it, and the rewards were commensurate, including a severance package worth a mere $417,000,000.

So he was nothing more than a filthy philadering financial finagler.  You'd never have known from the reverence he enjoyed in his own lifetime, where he was regarded as a prophet, if not a saint, of greed:

 In 1999, Fortune magazine, itself destined to fade into irrelevance, named him Manager of the Century nine years before GE imploded in the financial crisis.  He was also known, apparently with the respect due a Corleone, as Neutron Jack for the jobs he terminated and lives he destroyed (not to mention the incalculable damage done to future generations by his dumping of toxic PCB's in the Hudson River.)

As a result, here's how he was regarded as recently as last summer by a representative cross-section of America gathered at the Nantucket Golf Club:

Jack was treated like royalty at the club . . . . Throughout our last lunch, other boldface names, who also were club members, came by to pay their respects to one of the greatest chief executives in the history of American business. The same thing had happened a year earlier during my first visit with Jack — also at the Nantucket Golf Club — when no less a cast of characters than Phil Mickelson, the golf star, and Bob Diamond, the former chief executive of Barclays, as well as a few private-equity moguls, came by to say hello to him.

Jack, who died on Sunday, at the age of 84, loved the attention. He beamed. After all, in this crowd, among many others, he was revered. In 1981, he had taken over a company with a market capitalization of $14 billion, and in 20 years turned it into the most valuable company on the planet, with a market valuation of more than $410 billion. Welch’s General Electric was Google, Apple and Microsoft rolled into one massively valuable and admired company. 

He made Pittsfield what it is today: a polluted ruin.
The market valuation of General Electric at the close of business on March 5, 2020, by the way, was just over $82 billion.

And don't forget his legendary management acumen.  Who can forget the six sigma creed that he imposed on GE?  Everyone, these days:  Twenty years ago it was considered business genius.  Jack Donaghy swore by it.  And now:

Reports indicate that Six Sigma may be obsolete or worse. A QualPro study found that over 80 percent of large companies using Six Sigma trailed the S&P 500 since implementing it. 

Just like GE itself.

Or Jack's brilliant insight that you identify your best performers and s**tcan your worst?  Genius!  A lesser executive might try to figure out why those folks were underperforming (perhaps from ingesting too many PCB's) and try to help them get better, but not Business Genius Jack.  Also a true business genius would have recognized the outsized risks GE Capital was taking on to meet his earnings targets and controlled it.

So why was Jack so venerated by his fellow plutocratsSimple: he was the exemplar of the cutthroat vicious bullying CEO who sucked hundreds of millions out of his company and persuaded his supine directors that he deserved it.  He was the role model for every rapacious narcissist who blighted an executive suite since.

No wonder they loved him.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

News from Zontar: US President takes on Zoronavirus

Once again, the alert interns on the Spy's Deep Space Desk have monitored a faint transmission from the planet Zontar, the largest planet in the Remulac galaxy, millions of light years from Earth. These transmissions indicate the presence of intelligent life in the far reaches of our universe. Notwithstanding the apparent similarity of some of their concerns and issues, the thoughts and actions of these alien beings are incomprehensible to rational humans like us. Nevertheless, for the young astronomers and exobiologists here on Earth, we present a transcription of the latest transmission . . . [Could the setup be any more obvious? – Ed.]

By Azhley Parker
The Wazhington Post

WAZHINGTON, D.Z. – President Zillary Clinton, continuing her practice of providing daily briefings on the U.S. response to the continuing Zoronavirus pandemic, addressed the press today, flanked by the senior public officials and epidemiological experts who have led her Pandemic Preparation Task Force since her inauguration.

“There is no doubt that we face a serious public health issue that all of us should take seriously,” the President said.  “However, I shudder to think how much worse the crisis wold be had we not taken prudent steps over the past three years to prepare for an infectious disease emergency like this.”

She pointed out that the prepositioning of protective equipment such as N95 respirator masks and hazardous material containment suits for first responders and hospital personnel had allowed such officials to provide urgent care and safe quarantine to those exposed to or suffering from the virus, without endangering the health of the responders or the public at large.  She defended her decision to limit the sale of such respirators to first responders and health professionals, and urged everyone to wash their hands and stay inside if they felt ill.

“For example, last week we were able to charter a plane with full hazardous material gear to pick up Americans from Wuhan, China.  These Americans and those who assisted them all took full-scope precautions on the flight back to the United States, with the result that they are now safely under observation at one of the 52 specially-prepared facilities, most located on military bases, equipped to observe and care for them.”

“Can you imagine what might have happened had we let those exposed to the virus on a plane with other passengers, and then let those passengers freely fly about the country without monitoring?” she asked, presumably rhetorically.  After chuckling, she said, “Of course, I am being facetious.  I could never imagine a U.S. administration inept, blundering, and negligent enough to allow such a thing to happen.  I'm just noting how proper planning and preparation prevents piss-poor performance,” the President said.

She said that she had ordered additional quarantine facilities to be prepared by repurposing closed alien detention facilities and the former torture site at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Her comments caused an immediate stir on Zhlox News, which has opposed President Clinton during her campaign against the disgraced and bankrupt self-proclaimed real estate mogul, Donald Zhumpf.  “Have you ever heard such horrible language from a U.S. President?” whined portly pistol-packing Zhlox host Zean Hannity.  “We haven't seen such unpresidential behavior since Obama wore a tan suit!”

The President praised first responders for
preparing for epidemics like Zoronavirus
As for the man she beat handily in 2016, Zhumpf, he has not been seen outside his penthouse New York apartment since the first cases of Zoronavirus were reported.  However, he has sporadically Tweeted about his panic and fear, including “Don't believe Crooked Zillary's hoax about controlling the virus.  We're gonna die!”

The President's political opponents on Capitol Hill also continued to criticize her handling of the crisis, although she has received generally high marks from pandemic experts and the World Health Organization.  “Why hasn't she closed the Southern border so those Mexican and their diseases can't invade our country with their spicy food and crimes?” asked House Minority Leader Zooey Gohmert.

Senate Minority Leader Zitch McConnell criticized the Administration's 68-point virus program, saying “the only way to respond to this pandemic is tax cuts for the rich.  Also a good man with a gun.”

And the same Zhlox News talking heads continue to bash her for unspecified crimes.  From her broadcast studio located at an undisclosed rehab facility in the Adirondacks, former mob moll Jeannie Zirro mumbled repeatedly, “Lock her up!  There, I said it.  Now where can I get a drink around here?” before the broadcast suddenly ended.

Her enemies on the op-ed pages of the nation's leading newspapers were similarly unimpressed by President Clinton's cool-headed detailed response to the pandemic.  “Why isn't she showing more sympathy for the victims of this disease.  If she carries out her contingency plans to ban cocktail parties, how am I ever going to get a husband?” complained Maureen Zowd in the New Zork Times.  “Also she's inauthentic.”

Her colleague, family-basher David Brookz, while reluctantly conceding that President Clinton had effectively marshaled the vast resources of the federal government in preparing and executing the nation's emergency response plan, noted that at the same time she refused to reach out to Republicans by seeking universal health care paid for by higher taxes on corporations.  “Pandemics come and go, but plaguing rich white men with higher taxes forever could have an even more serious unraveling effect on the warp and woof of our social culture,” he pontificated.

And yet another of the Times's Op-Ed geniuses, Monsignor Ross Zoothat, said that she was being hypocritical by focusing on saving lives threatened by the pandemic while cheering the murder of millions of unborn babies, some of whom were larger than a grain of rice.

For the moment, public opinion appears to support the President's Zoronavirus control program, but already signs of unease are being heard especially in America's rural heartland.  At one local diner in the back woods of Zennsylvania, one patron complained, “ I was waiting in line at the store and in front of me this Chinese woman was coughing.  Why don't they send them back where they came from and let me smoke cigarettes in peace?”