Saturday morning. Is this the first time I’ve ever updated this thing before noon? Sure feels that way.

Typing this up over a breakfast of coffee, fried eggs, and toast. An hour from now, I’ll be sitting in my new rental car. Soon after, I’ll have it packed up and ready to go. (Got all the essential hiking supplies: sunscreen, portable GPS unit, bear bell, Geiger counter, UV light, and snacks, obviously.) In every journey, there comes a great moment when you officially depart: drive outside the city limits, have your plane take off, or maybe just walk beyond your customary boundaries. The point at which you’re officially no longer here. I love that sensation.

Obligatory correction: a few days ago, I wrote that the Trump administration got shamed into giving the covid data back to the CDC. That was incorrect. I misread their announcement: they said the CDC may access the data once the HHS is done with it, and that it must post that data on their online tracker. (For a few days, their tracker was frozen, saying it won’t be updated past July 14th.) There’s no good reason for the HHS to have taken over, so the official reporting will be even sketchier than before. I’m really curious whether we’ll ever learn about the root cause of testing delays: are they just overwhelmed, or has there actually been central guidance to slow things down as much as possible? A grad student in Arizona said it took 26 days for his results to arrive. At that point, it doesn’t really matter. Embarrassing, considering other countries have much faster testing.

On top of all that, the White House is blocking the CDC from testifying in front of a House panel next week on whether it’s safe to reopen schools. Nice democracy you got there.

John Lewis died. He was 80 and had cancer and was a living legend. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said her cancer has returned. She’s 87: if anything happens to her before Biden (assuming he wins) officially takes over on January 20th, she’ll be replaced by a conservative judge in a heartbeat. The fate of the country’s future (at least for the next few decades) depends on an 87-year-old woman staying alive for another six months and two days. …that is not a stable system. Critics point out that RBG should’ve retired years ago, and allowed Obama to appoint her replacement. The critics’ critics rightfully remind them that RBG, just like everyone else, had assumed Trump would lose in 2016.

It’s a hot mess, all of it… Nothing at all a single individual can do to stop the march of the events. An empire crumbles from within, so I’m taking the only logical choice – driving as far away from it as possible. Heh. I’ll write more tomorrow evening, once I’m in Thunder Bay. Enjoy your weekend, y’all.