Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Comets, Clouds, HVAC and a Change to Covid Reporting

Greetings Fellow Earthlings.  How are you on this glorious day in the final year of the Republic?  Apparently the orange man held the weirdest press conference ever in the Rose Garden today.  It was a campaign rally in which he attacked Joe Biden and made up lies.  Daniel Dale got behind live tweeting because the lies were coming so fast.  Anyway...

Who has seen the Neowise comet?  No?  Me either.  One of the Seattle papers had some great photos of it taken in the GPNW.

Here, the comet is heading for one of the sports stadiums in downtown Seattle.

Now it has decided to obliterate this farm house out in the wheat fields.  I guess it's wheat, when it comes to agriculture I am remarkably uninformed.  The area does remind me of the Palouse, in eastern Washington.

We went for a brief drive this afternoon.  We drove up Sentinel Peak to look at the clouds.  It looks like the bulk of the rain, if it develops, will be east of us.

The air conditioning technician came out this morning to look at the blower motor.  It's fine, it's not unusual for a power spike to cause this particular hardware to send out erroneous message #292 which says the motor has seized.  The tech said he spent all weekend in this area resetting air conditioners, and replacing those that were fried by the spike.  We had him install a surge protector on the inside segment of the HVAC.  The outside has one, inside didn't.  It's cheap insurance.  We may get one put on the mini split, as well.

Now I have to talk about the orange administration.  Click away now if you're tired of it.

Today, NYT had an article about hospital data reporting is shifting from going to the CDC, where it has always gone, to HHS.  CDC is relatively independent.  HHS is not.  So, if you notice the statistics looking better in the near future, it's because HHS is massaging the data.  They will, you know they will.  I'm very irritated with NYC putting the article in the Live Updates section because it will continue to be pushed down by new updates and will eventually become not findable.  I don't understand why it's not a stand alone article with a giant headline.  I have extracted part of it, below.
The Trump administration has ordered hospitals to bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and, beginning on Wednesday, send all coronavirus patient information to a central database in Washington — a move that has alarmed public health experts who fear the data will be distorted for political gain.
The new instructions are contained in a little-noticed document posted this week on the Department of Health and Human Services’ website, Sheryl Gay Stolberg reports. From now on, H.H.S., and not the C.D.C., will collect daily reports about the patients that each hospital is treating, how many beds and ventilators are available, and other information vital to tracking the pandemic.
“Centralizing control of all data under the umbrella of an inherently political apparatus is dangerous and breeds distrust,” said Nicole Lurie, who served as assistant secretary for preparedness and response under former President Barack Obama. “It appears to cut off the ability of agencies like C.D.C. to do its basic job.”
The shift grew out of a tense conference call several weeks ago between hospital executives and Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator.
After Dr. Birx complained that hospitals were not adequately reporting their data, she convened a working group of government and hospital officials who devised the new plan, according to Janis Orlowski, chief health care officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges, who participated.
This is really bad, really really bad.  I don't know where all of the data aggregators like the Johns Hopkins dashboard get their numbers, but I will bet that much of it is from CDC.
Update to post, a better link to the above.

Back to the Rose Garden press conference.  That was a Hatch Act violation of the first water.  He is not allowed to campaign on federal property.  It's against the law.  Too bad we don't have a functioning DOJ to tell him to knock it off.  Apparently he was more unhinged than usual.  He said that if Biden is elected, we won't have windows anymore.  Offices also won't have air conditioning or heat.  I've linked to the windows clip if you would like to see the tenor of the event.

Another clip from yesterday is linked here.  In this clip he's threatening an unnamed senator for having been in a compromising position.  When you're watching it, keep looking at Kushner's face.  The side eye he gave the orange one is really good.

Other than this, we have not much to report.


  1. nope, haven't seen the comet either. no real clear view of the south eastern horizon. and nice clouds. I have several cloud pictures piling up.

    yep, Trump is going to cook the books on the virus just like he cooks the books on his businesses. numbers are going to be really good, everything declining. by November he will claim it defeated. of course all the millions of sick and dead will know different.

  2. I haven't even heard of this comet! Can we see it here in the UK? I assume so. (Except that the sky is always cloudy!) I'll have to read up on it.

    Trump's "press conference" (in which he took virtually no questions from reporters) was even loonier than most of Trump's appearances, from what I understand.

  3. I love all the comet photos you found. Those are great. I didn't see the news conference but I've been hearing about it. It must have been quite the show. I agree with your assessment of the Covid reporting. We all know that Trump is an expert at distorting the numbers. Well actually, he distorts pretty much everything.

  4. I found this website last week. Each day she summarizes the news and gives a brief analysys.


  5. It can't end soon enough. It will take more than a year to put all the pieces back together.

  6. Heather Cox Richardson (follow her on FB) thinks the change in Covid reporting is due to MONEY.

  7. I read a CNN article today about "potential for a disputed presidential election in November, one in which one candidate openly questions the legitimacy of the results or even refuses to concede". Many fear there will be a huge constitutional crisis that might bring the US to its knees. Very scary world out there these days.