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Trumpocalypse Now
Honestly, I'm surprised he doesn't want his face on there too:

Quote:Trump has told people he wants his signature to appear on the direct payment checks that will go out to many Americans. Normally, a civil servant—the disbursing officer for the payment center—would sign federal checks. ⁦@AndrewRestuccia scoop:

Bush 43 did this too, for the record, when checks were going home.  Obama didn't want those optics during the 2009 stimulus for anything positive Americans would be receiving.
(03-27-2020, 08:54 PM)Iron Maiden Wrote: Honestly, I'm surprised he doesn't want his face on there too:

Quote:Trump has told people he wants his signature to appear on the direct payment checks that will go out to many Americans. Normally, a civil servant—the disbursing officer for the payment center—would sign federal checks. ⁦@AndrewRestuccia scoop:

Bush 43 did this too, for the record, when checks were going home.  Obama didn't want those optics during the 2009 stimulus for anything positive Americans would be receiving.

[Image: c4e35b57-35fd-4743-8623-42a4785628cd_text_hi.gif]
Are you surprised?

Quote:JUST IN: Trump signing statement on coronavirus bill says he’ll override a provision requiring the newly created inspector general to report to Congress  any time agencies refuse to give him/her requested info.

Kleptocracy, my friends. Kleptocracy.

Video at the link:

Quote:A reporter just asked Trump, “Can everyone who needs a ventilator get one?”

Trump: “Look, don’t be a cutie-pie, okay?”

Every time you think he can’t get worse, he does it again.
I'm honestly surprised he was that polite.
He also talked to... Alex Rodriguez?

Quote:A source close to Rodriguez told @ABC the call with Trump was “pleasant” adding that Trump was seeking thoughts from ARod about the coronavirus response. Sources say there was no discussion of AROD or his fiancé Jennifer Lopez taking on any official effort.

So, what happened to all those big-box testing sites we were promised?

Quote:Two weeks ago, President Trump promised a network of drive-through covid-19 testing sites across the country where people could be tested “very safely, quickly and conveniently.” In a Rose Garden news conference, chief executives of Target, Walgreens, Walmart and CVS said they would work with the government to provide space in store parking lots.

While the four retailers have a combined 26,400 U.S. stores, this vision of a proliferation of coronavirus testing sites has yet to materialize. Walgreens and CVS have opened one site each, while Walmart last weekend opened two drive-through testing locations near Chicago. Target hasn’t opened any. Rite Aid, which joined the effort later, has opened one drive-through facility in Philadelphia.

Like much of the nation’s coronavirus response, the burden of organizing and operating these testing sites has fallen to state and local governments. On occasion, they’ve enlisted the help of private industry. But an array of logistical challenges, ranging from a shortage of testing supplies to funding, has meant only a small fraction of Americans can get diagnosed for covid-19 in a way that is routine in South Korea and elsewhere.

“We have to change how we are approaching this, or we will just hope that people will stay isolated or pay attention,” said Garrett Contreras, the fire chief in the Bay Area city of Hayward, who managed to launch a testing site Monday after he personally appealed to scores of pharmaceutical companies to provide equipment. “I mean, how did some knucklehead fire chief from Hayward find a lab? It’s just wrong.”

A senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to share internal deliberations, said the administration’s initial drive-through testing ambitions had to be scaled back because of the lack of tests nationwide. Another initial challenge was trying to minimize long lines at the drive-through testing sites, this official added, so the sites were encouraged to use their own discretion to filter individuals, such as limiting tests only to first responders and medical professionals.

Now that the Food and Drug Administration has approved some self-swabbing kits, the official added, retailers are working those kinds of tests into their planning.

In a statement Friday, Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Health Brett P. ­Giroir said federal officials have been “actively involved in dozens” of mobile sites across the United States, providing supplies or personnel to roughly 30 of them.

“Four private sector partners – Walgreen’s, Walmart, CVS and Rite-Aid – have successfully launched prototype sites in a period of days. We are working closely with these retailers now to explore the expansion of testing sites across the county, now further enabled by the nasal self-swabbing technique recently approved by the FDA,” he said.

How that will play out isn’t clear. In recent days, the FDA has been allowing individuals to use short swabs to collect samples from the front of their nostrils — but only at drive-through testing sites, hospital parking lots, emergency rooms and clinics where they are handed the swab by a health-care worker, then hand it back.
(03-27-2020, 09:42 PM)Iron Maiden Wrote: Are you surprised?

Quote:JUST IN: Trump signing statement on coronavirus bill says he’ll override a provision requiring the newly created inspector general to report to Congress  any time agencies refuse to give him/her requested info.

Rep. Katie Porter:

Quote:This is unacceptable. The CARES Act was a bipartisan deal, and the President was in negotiations. With $2 trillion in federal spending, oversight is not an elective; it’s an imperative. Taxpayers deserve better.
I think Sinclair owns various stations in Michigan, so I have no idea if Trump withholding supplies is penetrating the news cycle there.  Plus, it looks like the Trump campaign is looking to shore up lots of Facebook ads in Michigan, knowing exactly where its base gets its news from:

Quote:A person working for a Trump campaign vendor tells me: "Watch how much get dumped into Facebook ads in Michigan this week."

We'll see, but that's an interesting tell.
The Trump administration insurmountably fucked up on testing:

Quote:Early on, the dozen federal officials charged with defending America against the coronavirus gathered day after day in the White House Situation Room, consumed by crises. They grappled with how to evacuate the United States consulate in Wuhan, China, ban Chinese travelers and extract Americans from the Diamond Princess and other cruise ships.

The members of the coronavirus task force typically devoted only five or 10 minutes, often at the end of contentious meetings, to talk about testing, several participants recalled. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, its leaders assured the others, had developed a diagnostic model that would be rolled out quickly as a first step.

But as the deadly virus from China spread with ferocity across the United States between late January and early March, large-scale testing of people who might have been infected did not happen — because of technical flaws, regulatory hurdles, business-as-usual bureaucracies and lack of leadership at multiple levels, according to interviews with more than 50 current and former public health officials, administration officials, senior scientists and company executives.

The result was a lost month, when the world’s richest country — armed with some of the most highly trained scientists and infectious disease specialists — squandered its best chance of containing the virus’s spread. Instead, Americans were left largely blind to the scale of a looming public health catastrophe.

The absence of robust screening until it was “far too late” revealed failures across the government, said Dr. Thomas Frieden, the former C.D.C. director. Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins, said the Trump administration had “incredibly limited” views of the pathogen’s potential impact. Dr. Margaret Hamburg, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said the lapse enabled “exponential growth of cases.”

And Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, a top government scientist involved in the fight against the virus, told members of Congress that the early inability to test was “a failing” of the administration’s response to a deadly, global pandemic. “Why,” he asked later in a magazine interview, “were we not able to mobilize on a broader scale?”

Across the government, they said, three agencies responsible for detecting and combating threats like the coronavirus failed to prepare quickly enough. Even as scientists looked at China and sounded alarms, none of the agencies’ directors conveyed the urgency required to spur a no-holds-barred defense.

Dr. Robert R. Redfield, 68, a former military doctor and prominent AIDS researcher who directs the C.D.C., trusted his veteran scientists to create the world’s most precise test for the coronavirus and share it with state laboratories. When flaws in the test became apparent in February, he promised a quick fix, though it took weeks to settle on a solution.

The C.D.C. also tightly restricted who could get tested and was slow to conduct “community-based surveillance,” a standard screening practice to detect the virus’s reach. Had the United States been able to track its earliest movements and identify hidden hot spots, local quarantines might have confined the disease.

Dr. Stephen Hahn, 60, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, enforced regulations that paradoxically made it tougher for hospitals, private clinics and companies to deploy diagnostic tests in an emergency. Other countries that had mobilized businesses were performing tens of thousands of tests daily, compared with fewer than 100 on average in the United States, frustrating local health officials, lawmakers and desperate Americans.

Alex M. Azar II, who led the Department of Health and Human Services, oversaw the two other agencies and coordinated the government’s public health response to the pandemic. While he grew frustrated as public criticism over the testing issues intensified, he was unable to push either agency to speed up or change course.

Mr. Azar, 52, who chaired the coronavirus task force until late February, when Vice President Mike Pence took charge, had been at odds for months with the White House over other issues. The task force’s chief liaison to the president was Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, who was being forced out by Mr. Trump. Without high-level interest — or demands for action — the testing issue festered.

At the start of that crucial lost month, when his government could have rallied, the president was distracted by impeachment and dismissive of the threat to the public’s health or the nation’s economy. By the end of the month, Mr. Trump claimed the virus was about to dissipate in the United States, saying: “It’s going to disappear. One day — it’s like a miracle — it will disappear.”

By early March, after federal officials finally announced changes to allow more expansive testing, it was too late to escape serious harm.

Now, the United States has more than 100,000 coronavirus cases, the most of any country in the world. Yet even with deaths on the rise, cities shuttered, the economy sputtering and everyday life upended, many Americans who come down with symptoms of Covid-19 still cannot get tested.

In a statement, Judd Deere, a White House spokesman, said that “any suggestion that President Trump did not take the threat of Covid-19 seriously or that the United States was not prepared is false.” He added that at Mr. Trump’s direction, the administration had “expanded testing capacities.”

Dr. Bruce Aylward, a senior adviser at the World Health Organization, led an expert team to China last month to research the mysterious new virus. Testing, he said, was “absolutely vital” for understanding how to defeat a disease — what distinguishes it from others, the spectrum of illness and, most important, its path through populations.

“You want to know whether or not you have it,” Dr. Aylward said. “You want to know whether the people around you have it. Because you know what? Then you could stop it.”
We elect dummies.

Dummies appoint dummies.

We get this.
Gamertag: Tweakee
Uline, a big employer in Wisconsin owned by some of Trump's biggest donors, is endangering its employees right now.  No social distancing.  Orders to not divulge health issues with coworkers to not cause a panic.

Is this all for a party of one?

Quote:Thread -->

This story from WI deserves more attention.

Uline is one of the state's biggest employers. 

It is owned by one of Trump's most lavish and loyal donors... Richard and Liz Uihlein..

Here's the Times profile of the Uhleins from 2018:

"The Most Powerful Conservative Couple You’ve Never Heard Of,"

The Times reported that the company "kept its work force going through the week, despite complaints from employees, including those crowded into its call centers, working side-by-side in cubicles.

“Nothing’s really changed,” one employee said. “It’s just nerve-racking.

Employees received an email Thursday from the Uihlein Family, owners of the $5.8 billion company and big donors to Republican causes, thanking them for their efforts and saying that the “White House called upon us twice with huge orders” this week.

Manager at an Uline call center sent a note to employees. 

“If you, or family members, are under the weather with cold/allergies — or anything aside from Covid-19, please do NOT tell your peers about the symptoms & your assumptions. By doing so, you are causing unnecessary panic

Company pushed back on story.  But "two Uline staffers contacted the Journal Sentinel to say... Lots of employees in nonessential positions are being forced to go to work, they said." 

One employee is quoted as saying, "We're angry and scared, but no one cares."

So here is the obvious and deeply uncomfortable question: how much of Uline's approach to the pandemic is driven by medical advice, and how much by a desire to send the right signal to an audience of one? How much is driven by science, as opposed to political loyalty?
Fuck Uline. They're been trying to force themselves into the Canadian market for a number of years. My partner's business keeps getting their catalogues in the mail. Since I handle expenses, she asked me about the company and I gave her the 25 cent history lesson on those shitbags. From then on, every time those wastes of paper come in they go straight into the shredder for recycling.
So, which rich donor wants the land?

Quote:The Bureau of Indian Affairs told the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe on Friday that their reservation will be "disestablished" and their land taken out of trust, per an order from the Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, tribe Chairman Cedric Cromwell announced in a post on the tribe's website.

"Today's action was cruel and it was unnecessary. The Secretary is under no court order to take our land out of trust. He is fully aware that litigation to uphold our status as a tribe eligible for the benefits of the Indian Reorganization Act is ongoing," Cromwell wrote. "It begs the question, what is driving our federal trustee's crusade against our reservation?"

In an email to the leadership of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, Jean-Luc Pierite, head of the North American Indian Center of Boston, called the move an existential crisis for all tribes federally recognized after 1934. The move without a court order signals that reservations across the United States could be taken out of trust at the discretion of the secretary of the interior, Pierite said.

"For the federal government, it could mean a situation in which hundreds of tribes seek reaffirmation through an act of Congress, as the Massachusetts delegation has done," Pierite said.

Pierite said the interior secretary's move is based on the 2009 Supreme Court ruling Carcieri v. Salazar, which established that the federal government cannot take land into trust for tribes that weren't "under federal jurisdiction" in the year 1934.

Conner Swanson, a spokesperson from the Department of the Interior, said the tribe remains federally recognized, and that there was a court decision mandating the department's action.
To digress slightly, I do have one follow-up question: what the hell is going on with Wisconsin? It seems to be the only state that has managed to retain, to some degree, its manufacturing sector. Is is tax breaks? Is it slave labour? Is it servitude, or what? When we were rebuilding our our house more than 15 years ago we made the decision to try and buy products built in North America, because a lot of appliances were already being manufactured overseas; mostly in China. Now, as I look at our Wisconsin-manufactured refrigerator, stove and microwave (all which have all functioned flawlessly since Day-One, BTW - no Chevy Chevette equivalents here) I have to wonder; what kind of economy exists that allows this to continue when Canadian and American manufacturers have moved the bulk of their assembly overseas? Perhaps someone with a more local viewpoint can provide their perspective.
I don't know any Wisconsinites personally, but a quick search shows that the Wisconsin Department of Corrections is the state's fifth largest employer. A Google search for "Wisconsin prison labor" turns up years' worth of state and local journalism and editorials in an ongoing debate over whether the state should continue to use forced prison labor or not.

It looks a lot like the answer is "it's slavery."
"I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on Earth."--Steve McQueen
Massachusetts received 17% of requested medical supplies from the Trump administration.  Maine got five percent.  Colorado got one day's worth.


Thet got everything they requested, as already mentioned.  Oh, and there was an identical shipment the following week and a third on the way!

Outraged yet?

Quote:Anecdotally, there are wide differences, and they do not appear to follow discernible political or geographic lines. Democratic-leaning Massachusetts, which has had a serious outbreak in Boston, has received 17 percent of the protective gear it requested, according to state leaders. Maine requested a half-million N95 specialized protective masks and received 25,558 — about 5 percent of what it sought. The shipment delivered to Colorado — 49,000 N95 masks, 115,000 surgical masks and other supplies — would be “enough for only one full day of statewide operations,” Rep. Scott R. Tipton (R-Colo.) told the White House in a letter several days ago.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency inherited control of the stockpile barely a week ago from HHS. Lizzie Litzow, a FEMA spokeswoman, acknowledged the agency maintains a spreadsheet tracking each state’s request and shipments. Litzow declined repeated requests to release the details, saying the numbers are in flux.

Florida has been an exception in its dealings with the stockpile: The state submitted a request on March 11 for 430,000 surgical masks, 180,000 N95 respirators, 82,000 face shields and 238,000 gloves, among other supplies — and received a shipment with everything three days later, according to figures from the state’s Division of Emergency Management. It received an identical shipment on March 23, according to the division, and is awaiting a third.
Okay, sure, there are over 2,000 Americans dead, but why can't we just be happy for the president's ratings?

I'll probably not see this!
(03-28-2020, 05:31 PM)Iron Maiden Wrote: So, which rich donor wants the land?

Quote:The Bureau of Indian Affairs told the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe on Friday that their reservation will be "disestablished" and their land taken out of trust, per an order from the Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, tribe Chairman Cedric Cromwell announced in a post on the tribe's website.

Okay, good to know, but how about focusing on more pressing matters?

Quote:I am a great friend and admirer of the Queen & the United Kingdom. It was reported that Harry and Meghan, who left the Kingdom, would reside permanently in Canada. Now they have left Canada for the U.S. however, the U.S. will not pay for their security protection. They must pay!
(03-29-2020, 04:42 PM)Iron Maiden Wrote: Okay, good to know, but how about focusing on more pressing matters?

Quote:I am a great friend and admirer of the Queen & the United Kingdom. It was reported that Harry and Meghan, who left the Kingdom, would reside permanently in Canada. Now they have left Canada for the U.S. however, the U.S. will not pay for their security protection. They must pay!

I wonder what was on Fox News ten minutes earlier.
Poets have tried to describe Ankh-Morpork. They have failed. Perhaps it's the sheer zestful vitality of the place, or maybe it's just that a city with a million inhabitants and no sewers is rather robust for poets, who prefer daffodils and no wonder. - Terry Pratchett, Mort
As the bodies pile up, Dildo Pumpkins will still be picking random people to start fights with.

He's living pretty much his worst nightmare: a situation where people keep telling him to focus on the same boring thing that isn't him.

His only two greater fears are: That Escher drawing where the stairs lead into more stairs forever, and Ivanka finding a real man.
Gamertag: Tweakee
No one plays the victim quite like Trump:

Quote:President Donald Trump berated PBS White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor for a question she asked, at Sunday’s press conference on the coronavirus, regarding his war of words with U.S. governors.

In response, Trump bashed Alcindor in personal terms, billing her question as “threatening.”

“I have two questions,” the PBS reporter started. “The first is, you’ve said repeatedly that you think that some of the equipment that governors are requesting, they don’t need.”

Trump cut in: “I didn’t say that.”

“You said it on Sean Hannity’s Fox News — you said that you might…” Alcindor replied before being interrupted.

“Why don’t you people act…why don’t you act in a little more positive?” Trump said. “It’s always trying to get you, get you. And you know what, that’s why nobody trusts the media anymore.”

“Excuse me, you didn’t hear me,” he continued, as Alcindor attempted to continue her question. “That’s why you used to work for Times, and now you work for somebody else. Look, let me tell you something, be nice. Don’t be threatening.”

“Be nice. Go ahead,” Trump added.

“My question is, how is that going to impact how you fill these orders for ventilators or masks?” Alcindor asked.

“We’re producing a tremendous number of ventilators,” Trump stated. “We’re doing a great job on it.”

Later in the exchange, Trump again called Alcindor’s question “threatening,” while also calling her a “fine journalist.”

“You know, when journalists get up and you’re a journalist, a fine journalist and ask questions that are so threatening, we’re all on the same team,” Trump stated.

Alcindor replied, “I was quoting you directly from your interview with Sean Hannity.”

Trump did make the comments that Alcindor asked him about. In an interview with Hannity this week, the president said of governors: “A lot of equipment is being asked for that I don’t think they will need.”

The PBS correspondent attempted to ask her second question, but Trump said, “That’s enough” and a White House staffer removed the microphone from Alcindor. It was later returned to her by CNN reporter Jeremy Diamond.
I bet Fats couldn't dodge a thrown shoe the way Dubya could. Just sayin.
"I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on Earth."--Steve McQueen
Gov. DeSantis pushed Trump to keep New Yorkers out of Florida, so he floated a quarantine without telling Cuomo or other area governors. Aides spent hours talking him out of it. Then he called Cuomo to say he’d relented:

Quote:Eager to demonstrate that he is in control of a viral outbreak that is spreading rapidly across the country, President Trump has ramped up efforts to show he is using some of his broadest powers as commander in chief.

But the unprecedented push has been plagued by growing confusion about how far his authorities actually extend and how much he is willing to use them.

He blindsided New York’s governor Saturday by publicly announcing a potential quarantine order on the state’s residents, only to retreat from the idea hours later. This came a day after he authorized his government to use the Defense Production Act, a move on which he’d been taking an on-again, off-again stance, but it remains unclear whether that power will be used.

And he is due to issue new guidelines next week about whether the country should continue social distancing practices — but he’s vacillated between all but declaring victory against the coronavirus and acceding to experts who say the national slowdown may have to continue for several more weeks.


Quote:"And I am now considering — we’ll make a decision very quickly, very shortly — a quarantine, because it’s such a hot area, of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut,” Trump said. “We’ll be announcing that, one way or the other, fairly soon.”

He also took to Twitter to float the idea.

“I am giving consideration to a QUARANTINE of developing ‘hot spots’, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. A decision will be made, one way or another, shortly,” he wrote.

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) said the topic had not come up during his phone call with Trump on Saturday morning — just minutes before the president announced the idea publicly.

“I haven’t had those conversations,” Cuomo said when asked about Trump’s comments. “I don’t even know what that means.”

Cuomo said later on CNN that such a move would be an illegal “declaration of war” against states.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said he saw the news “as I was walking into this room” to hold a news conference. Though he had spoken with the president as recently as Friday, Murphy said, “nothing like a quarantine came up.”

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) said he had been in touch with Cuomo and Murphy.

“I look forward to speaking to the President directly about his comments and any further enforcement actions, because confusion leads to panic,” he wrote on Twitter.

For several hours after the president floated the idea publicly, the White House did not provide any details or guidance about what such a quarantine would look like and what authorities the president would draw from. Some residents of New York opted to flee the city before an order that might trap them in the coronavirus epicenter.

“We’re evaluating all the options right now,” acting chief of staff Mark Meadows said in response to a question about Trump’s authority to quarantine certain states.

On Saturday night, Trump said he had decided against a quarantine and had asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to issue a “strong Travel Advisory” for the New York metro area in consultation with the region’s governors.

“A quarantine will not be necessary,” Trump tweeted. “Thank you!”

The idea for the quarantine came about after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ® complained to Trump that people from the New York metro area were pouring into his state, according to two White House officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the private deliberations.

Administration aides spent time Saturday explaining to Trump the quarantine would be impossible to enforce and could cause more problems, the officials said.

He agreed and spoke with Cuomo on Saturday night after making the decision.
For the record, I have zero issue with the U.S. sending aid to countries.  In fact, I'll always encourage it.  I do have issues, though, with Trump trying to blame Obama for shortages and the lack of insight in the administration to replenish the supplies before the virus hit our shores.

From February:
Wow, do dumb people penetrate this administration at a hectic rate:

Quote:President Trump, who at one point called the coronavirus pandemic an “invisible enemy” and said it made him a “wartime President,” has in recent days questioned its seriousness, tweeting, “WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF.” Trump said repeatedly that he wanted the country to reopen by Easter, April 12th, contradicting the advice of most health officials. (On Sunday, he backed down and extended federal social distancing guidelines for at least another month.) According to the Washington Post, “Conservatives close to Trump and numerous administration officials have been circulating an article by Richard A. Epstein of the Hoover Institution, titled ‘Coronavirus Perspective,’ that plays down the extent of the spread and the threat.”

Epstein, a professor at New York University School of Law, published the article on the Web site of the Hoover Institution, on March 16th. In it, he questioned the World Health Organization’s decision to declare the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, said that “public officials have gone overboard,” and suggested that about five hundred people would die from covid-19 in the U.S. Epstein later updated his estimate to five thousand, saying that the previous number had been an error. So far, there have been more than two thousand coronavirus-related fatalities in America; epidemiologists’ projections of the total deaths range widely, depending on the success of social distancing and the availability of medical resources, but they tend to be much higher than Epstein’s. (On Sunday, Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, estimated that there could be between a hundred thousand and two hundred thousand deaths in the U.S.) In a follow-up article, published on March 23rd and titled “Coronavirus Overreaction,” Epstein wrote, “Progressives think they can run everyone’s lives through central planning, but the state of the economy suggests otherwise. Looking at the costs, the public commands have led to a crash in the stock market, and may only save a small fraction of the lives that are at risk.”

Epstein has long been one of the most cited legal scholars in the country, and is known for his libertarian-minded reading of the Constitution, which envisions a restrained federal government that respects private property. He has also been known to engage with controversial subjects; last fall, he published an article on the Hoover Institution Web site that argued, “The professional skeptics are right: there is today no compelling evidence of an impending climate emergency.” Last Wednesday, I spoke by phone with Epstein about his views of the coronavirus pandemic. He was initially wary of talking, and asked to record his own version of the call, which I agreed to. During our conversation, which has been edited for length and clarity, Epstein made a number of comments about viruses that have been strongly disputed by medical professionals. We have included factual corrections alongside those statements.

Interview at the link.
(03-29-2020, 10:48 PM)Iron Maiden Wrote: No one plays the victim quite like Trump:

If memory serves, Alcindor was the reporter who, early in Pumpkins' term, asked him about the Congressional Black Caucas and Pumpkins asked her if she could set up a meeting with them...because he clearly 1) didn't understand the question and 2) assumed, since she was black, was somehow magically connected to the Caucus and could set up a meeting.
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

My Steam ID: yizashigreyspear
(03-30-2020, 12:22 AM)hammerhead Wrote: I bet Fats couldn't dodge a thrown shoe the way Dubya could. Just sayin.
He certainly couldn't take it in stride the way Dubya did. If that happened to President Snowflake, he'd be hollering for the heads of the entire crowd until somebody soothed his ire by, say, having the Saudis commit some atrocity against an unrelated but comparably Middle Eastern nation.
Alcindor is fantastic. Brave, dogged, always cool under pressure, and never takes the racist bait. If more journalists were like her we probably wouldn't be in this mess.
If you had something better to do (like, literally anything else), you missed Trump's "Fox & Friends" interview this morning.  Here's a rundown on the expected insanity, which includes a threat to take over Nancy Pelosi's district; defending China against The Washington Post and pointing out that Germany was the villain in World War II:

Quote:President Donald Trump, Monday morning, called into Fox & Friends to deliver an update on the coronavirus outbreak. But on several occasions during the 50-minute session, the president veered wildly off course — unleashing venom on a variety of targets including; Nancy Pelosi, Andrew Cuomo, the Washington Post and Germany.

Here’s a look at five key moments from the conversation:

1. Trump Explains His Reasoning for Extending Coronavirus Guidelines

The president explained that he leaned on two key members of his coronavirus task force, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, in his decision to extend social distancing guidelines to April 30.

“I listen to experts,” Trump said. “We have Dr. Fauci. As you know, we have Deborah Birx, who’s fantastic also. The two of them, plus many people behind them. And the worst that could happen is you do [lift the restrictions] too early and all of a sudden [the virus] comes back. That makes it more difficult.”

The president went on to reiterate comments he made during a Sunday afternoon White House news conference — that he expects the peak of the death toll from the virus to come in approximately two weeks, and that by June 1, it should be a “very low number.”

2. Trump Downplays Andrew Cuomo’s Soaring Approval Ratings While Crowing About His Own Numbers

Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) has gotten wide praise for his handling of the crisis in New York. President Trump, on Monday, sought to take credit for Cuomo’s poll bump, while touting his own numbers in the process.

A new Siena College poll shows Cuomo’s favorability up to 71 percent from 44 percent last month. Various major surveys, meanwhile, put Trump’s favorability at roughly the 50 percent mark. Yet the president classified his own numbers as “great,” while categorizing Cuomo’s as “good.”

"He’s gotten good marks,” Trump said. “I’ve gotten great marks. I’ve gotten great marks also.”

Trump proceeded to argue that the Federal government response is a main reason why the public is happy with Cuomo’s handling of the crisis.

“One of the reasons his numbers are high on handling it is because of the Federal government,” Trump saaid. “Because we give him ships, and we give him ventilators, and we give him all of the things that we’re giving him … We’re giving him four hospitals and four medical centers and all of the things that we’ve done. So, I mean, one of the things, and I think he’d admit this, one of the reasons he’s been successful, if I said, ‘No, we’re not giving you four hospitals, and we’re not giving you four medical centers, and we’re not sending you a ship,’ and we didn’t give them thousands of ventilators, by the way, and millions of masks, because we’ve sent them a lot of stuff, well one of the reasons he’s successful is because we’ve helped make him successful.”

3. Trump Absolutely Buries Nancy Pelosi, Threatens to ‘Take Over’ Her District

The president was irate when confronted with a remark from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) — who said that Trump’s initial “denial” relating to the coronavirus was “deadly.”

“Look, she’s a sick puppy in my opinion,” Trump said. “She really is. She’s got a lot of problems.”

He added, “Don’t forget, she was playing the impeachment game. Her game where she ended up looking like a fool. She was doing nothing but — all she did for the first long time was impeach, impeach, impeach. This went on for years, if you think about it. That’s all she did. She didn’t do anything.

Even after Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt asked an unrelated question, Trump went back to torching Pelosi, and threatened a federal takeover of her District.

“The federal government, we may get involved and take over that area and clean it up,” Trump said. “It’s such a mess, it’s so bad, and yet she will sit there and complain. All she did was focus on impeachment. She didn’t focus on anything having to do pandemics. She focused on impeachment and she lost! And she looked like a fool!”

4. Trump Goes After Washington Post, Defends China Over Claims They’ve Circulated Misinformation

The president defended China after a Washington Post editorial blasted that country for spreading disinformation about the coronavirus.

“Number one, you don’t know what they’re doing,” Trump said of China. “And when you read it in the Washington Post, you don’t believe it. I believe very little when I see it. I see stories in the Washington Post that are so fake and are so phony. I have stories that are such fake stuff, and that’s number one.”

Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade was not willing to give China the benefit of the doubt.

“Well I believe they’re doing it,” said.  “But you know China has already done this.”

Trump, astonishingly, replied “They do it and we do it, and we call them different things.”

Later, he revisited his scathing critique of the Post.

“They will do anything they can to hurt this presidency, and yet, here we are with the best numbers we’ve ever had. I don’t even understand it when you can get such fake news from. The New York Times is a totally dishonest paper, they are dishonest people. Washington Post, same thing. I’m trying to figure out for three and a half years, who is more dishonest, who is more corrupt? The Washington Post or the New York Times. When I figure it out I’ll let you know we’ll have a special.”

5. Trump Seethes Over Question on Russia From Brian Kilmeade, Rants About Germany

A question from Kilmeade about Russia towards the end of the conversation set Trump off, and paved the way for yet another diatribe — this time against Germany.

“I know you’re not concerned about speaking to people that have shown to be enemies of our nation,” Kilmeade said, following up after Trump disclosed he’d be speaking with Vladimir Putin later in the morning. “For example, Russia, they earned the right to be sanctioned. They’re poisoning people. You know what they’re doing in Eastern Europe, rattling the cages of their former Soviet Union countries. And we know in the Middle East, creating havoc killing refugees in an indiscriminate fashion, as well as creating havoc in Iraq. But when you talk to Vladimir Putin he’s going to ask you to lift sanctions. What are you going to say when he asks that?”

Trump’s voice rose, as he was clearly displeased by the query.

“I’m the one that put the sanctions on, Brian, nobody else!” Trump said. “I put the sanctions on! I’ve been tougher on Russia than any president in the history of the country.”

Trump went on to tell Kilmeade “you make it sound like, gee whiz, I’m the soft guy that came along.”

The president went on to say that while Russia is not “perfect,” they “were our partner in World War II” — which set him up for a rant about a country which was not an American ally.

“Germany was the enemy, and Germany is like this wonderful thing [now],” Trump said. “Well, Germany takes advantage of us on trade for years. They pay far too little in NATO. They are paying one percent but they are supposed to pay two percent and nobody talks about that.”
I see we are at that point in the cycle where, after a full week of threatening to do something heinously irresponsible, Trump walks it back and demands to be congratulated.

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