Pentagon warned Trump about shortages of ventilators, face masks, and hospital beds in 2017

– TRUMP DID NOTHING.

Despite President Trump’s repeated assertions that the Covid-19 epidemic was “unforeseen” and “came out of nowhere,” the Pentagon was not just well aware of the threat of a novel influenza but even anticipated the consequent scarcity of ventilators, face masks, and hospital beds, according to a 2017 Pentagon plan obtained by The Nation.

“The most likely and significant threat is a novel respiratory disease, particularly a novel influenza disease,” the military plan states. Covid-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the novel (meaning new to humans) coronavirus. The document specifically refers to coronaviruses on several occasions, in one instance saying, “Coronavirus infections [are] common around the world.”…

Titled “USNORTHCOM Branch Plan 3560: Pandemic Influenza and Infectious Disease Response,” the draft plan is marked for official use only and dated January 6, 2017. The plan was provided to The Nation by a Pentagon official who requested anonymity to avoid professional reprisal.

Golly, gee, Skipper. I thought we heard Fearless Leader say he knew nothing of the threat from coronavirus plague. No one in US Intelligence had ever suggested such a concern.

Hmmm?

Trumplets edit National Stockpile website after they’re caught claiming it’s not for states


The Trump administration changed the Strategic National Stockpile website’s description of the program yesterday after White House adviser Jared Kushner falsely claimed that the medical-supply stockpile is not meant to be used to help states. The description was changed to minimize the stockpile’s role in helping states through crises like the current pandemic, but other portions of the official website still make it clear that Kushner was wrong.

We have an appropriate historical guest comment, this morning:

“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

George Orwell, 1984

Feds beef up security for Coronavirus Doctor after death threats from Trump fanboys!

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top medical expert on the coronavirus pandemic and a member of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force, is facing threats to his personal safety and now requires personal security from law enforcement at all times, including at his home…

A law enforcement official told CNN that the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General, the agency’s law enforcement arm, asked the US Marshals Service for assistance following threats to Fauci. The Marshals then deputized HHS officers to act as personal security for the doctor.

A source also confirmed to CNN last week the presence of several members of the Washington, DC, Metropolitan Police Department stationed at all times around Fauci’s home in the district. The source added the stepped up visible police presence was a response to growing threats to Fauci’s safety, though the source of the threats was not identified…

…As Fauci’s profile in the pandemic crisis has grown, so has the concern for his welfare. Fauci’s guidance to Trump for the country to remain as locked down as possible to help control the virus spread has not earned fans among some fervent right-wing voices.

Criticize our shit-for-brains president and what sort of reaction would you expect from his True Believers? They have no respect for constitutional law and order. They have little or no belief in science…or deliberative research governed by scientific methods. Keeping their bubba looking like he should be in power is all that counts.

Crook-in-chief ready to pardon his favorite crook


His master’s voice

President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday that he is “strongly considering” a full pardon for former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

In the tweet, Trump claimed that “the FBI, working in conjunction with the Justice Department, has ‘lost’ the records of General Michael Flynn.”

The President appeared to be referencing a claim made by Flynn’s lawyers back in September that there was an internal Department of Justice memo that cleared Flynn of being a Russian agent — a memo that the prosecution could not produce.

A government lawyer on the Flynn case said those claims are irrelevant, noting they did not accuse Flynn of being a Russian agent. It was not immediately clear Sunday why Trump was referencing the exchange.

And then there’s this:

Attorney General William Barr ordered a review of Flynn’s case last month.

The Fake President’s Fearless Flunkies at work trying to hide their crimes.

Industry pimps want reduced rules for Tricholoroethylene. Science says it damages fetal hearts. Guess which side Trump supports?

John DeSesso was on a mission when he entered the halls of the Environmental Protection Agency in late September. Inside the ornate limestone building not far from the White House, he met with a dozen EPA scientists and officials…

For the past 40 years, DeSesso, a biochemist, has…primarily earned his living…as a contract scientist for chemical companies and their trade associations, promoting their positions on toxic chemicals from arsenic to Roundup…

For years, DeSesso and his chemical industry sponsors had been preoccupied with trying to undercut the findings of a 2003 University of Arizona study. That study, led by veterinary scientist Paula Johnson, had been a landmark in establishing that TCE exposure at trace levels was highly toxic to developing embryos. The Johnson study had been pivotal in past EPA evaluations of TCE’s risks…

(The) official evaluation was released for public comment last week, and it appears to show the influence of DeSesso and his chemical company sponsors. Dismissing the findings of the Johnson study and decades of scientific research, the published evaluation rejects fetal heart malformations as a benchmark for unsafe exposure levels to TCE.

Worse than that, it now appears that the body of evidence passing through the diluted remains of the EPA under Republican control still provoked agreement that even trace exposure to TCE was unsafe, could deform fetal hearts. So the Trump White House ordered the EPA to overrule their own scientists.

Trump owns grassroots conservatives — ignoranus flavor, that is!


Erik S Lesser/EPA

On Saturday, addressing the biggest annual gathering of US grassroots conservatives, Trump wondered aloud at it being “sort of a miracle” he has got so much done despite all he’s been through.

“Maybe it’s right there, right?” he asked, pointing to the heavens. “Thank you, God.”

The crowd loved it. Trump stayed away from a sceptical Conservative Political Action Conference in 2016 but now he is its sun king. Supporters in a palatial ballroom at the National Harbour leaped to their feet, whooping and cheering, many wearing “Make America great again” and “Keep America great” caps.

They roared their approval when, like a medieval monarch who has survived a bloody insurrection, Trump vowed revenge.

“They’re coming after me and we fight them back,” he said. “And now we’re going after them because we have no choice. We have to straighten out our country. But despite the best efforts of the leftwing fanatics, their scams, schemes, slanders, they’ve all been discredited, totally discredited.”…

In a characteristically rambling monologue, he seemed genuinely unable to comprehend how teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg beat him to the precious title of Time magazine person of the year.

But he finished his speech by hugging and kissing the flag – a familiar move which elicited a huge cheer from his devoted subjects.

You can assume the audience bent over to give their all to Il Duce.

The Real Trump-Russia Quid Pro Quo

Collusion — or a lack of it — turns out to have been the rhetorical trap that ensnared President Trump’s pursuers. There was no need for detailed electoral collusion between the Trump campaign and Vladimir Putin’s oligarchy because they had an overarching deal: the quid of help in the campaign against Hillary Clinton for the quo of a new pro-Russian foreign policy, starting with relief from the Obama administration’s burdensome economic sanctions. The Trumpites knew about the quid and held out the prospect of the quo…

Early on, emissaries of the Russian oligarchs sent word of their readiness to help embarrass and undermine the Clinton candidacy. And in June 2016, the Russians lured the Trumpites to a meeting in Trump Tower with a promise of “dirt” against Mrs. Clinton only to use the meeting to harp on their hunger for sanctions relief. As the Trump family openly acknowledged, the Russians spoke at that meeting of a desire to again allow Americans to adopt Russian children. Since the adoptions were halted to retaliate against the American sanctions, it required no dictionary to interpret the oligarchs’ meaning: “dirt” for sanctions relief…

Sanction relief seems to have been discussed in some of the other secret contacts between Trump operatives and Russians. We know that Michael Flynn lied to the F.B.I. when he denied discussing sanction relief with the Russian ambassador…

Mr. Flynn, remember, was deemed so helpful to the Mueller investigation that the special counsel pleaded to have him spared any time in jail. He was “colluding” all right, but with legal policy promises, not apparently with election sabotage. And true to the campaign minuet, despite great resistance in Congress, President Trump has watered down the sanctions and otherwise appeased Russian interests, even at the expense of America’s allies. Call it the art of the deal.

I’ve posted about half of this Op-Ed piece written by the former editor of the NY TIMES, Max Frankel. Terse and to the point, he fills in more of the meat of the perpetual tryst between Putin and Trump. A worthy read. No doubt why the Fake President has filed a lawsuit over what he terms “fake news”. It is cogent, relevant, truthful, all the characteristics today’s Republican Party fears and rejects.

Big Brother will never stop trying to take away that damned privacy!


Popular Resistance

It’s impossible to overstate just how much governments hate not being able to read your mail, listen to your phone calls, and peruse your text messages. When all that snoopy officials can pull up is scrambled gobbledygook, they just know they’re missing out on the good stuff, like little kids bristling at whispered adult conversations.

They warm over – the Clinton White House’s overwrought 1994 warnings that “the same encryption technology that can help Americans protect business secrets and personal privacy can also be used by terrorists, drug dealers, and other criminals.”

So, if crooks are getting away from robbing banks in cars, the government should have an easy-peasy switch they can use to disable any car owners motor vehicle, right?

But what about the rest of us? Despite all the evidence of the foolishness of their efforts, government officials keep trying to make us expose our data to them and the criminals who ride on their coattails.