Once again, VP Mike Pence shows just how ignorant he is

In the today’s version of the 5:00 PM Follies (masquerading as a Presidential update on COVID-19 virus), VP Mike Pence unloaded a huge pile of bullshit.

Pence said, with the shortage of protective equipment for medical personnel, doctors should return to using cloth surgical gowns and simply wash each gown after use.

“We tasked the (the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services) to review the feasibility of allowing hospital workers to use cloth gowns for performing procedures. It was observed that 20 years ago, most physicians and most surgeons used cloth gowns and laundered them, but it’s transitioned to disposable gowns,” Pence said Thursday, April 9.

Absolute nonsense!!!

In the first place, 20 years ago, cloth gowns were not simply “washed” after each use.  They were STERILIZED — which is a whole different process and for which hospitals don’t even have the equipment now.

Medical personnel now use disposable personal protective equipment (PPE) because we learned a long time ago it is better to dispose of contaminated clothing and supplies rather than try to clean them up and reuse them.



April 9, 2020: Not a good day for the Trump Crime Family

Trump family loses bid to hide evidence of their fraud

April 9, 2020 / 11:17 AM / Updated an hour ago

Jonathan Stempel 3 Min Read

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A federal judge in Manhattan rejected an effort by U.S. President Donald Trump and his adult children to send a lawsuit accusing them of exploiting their family name to promote a marketing scam into arbitration.o

In a Wednesday night decision concerning the American Communications Network, U.S. District Judge Lorna Schofield accused the Trumps of acting unfairly by seeking arbitration after first obtaining “the benefits of litigating in federal court,” including the dismissal of a racketeering claim.

“This conduct is both substantively prejudicial towards Plaintiffs and seeks to use the [Federal Arbitration Act] as a vehicle to manipulate the rules of procedure to Defendants’ benefit and Plaintiffs’ harm,” Schofield wrote.

Defendants included Trump’s adult children Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka, and an affiliate of the Trump Organization.

In the October 2018 complaint, the Trumps were accused of misleading victims into becoming salespeople for ACN, a multi-level marketing company that charged $499 for a chance to sell videophones and other goods.

According to the plaintiffs, the Trump family conned them into thinking Donald Trump, who had yet to become president, believed their investments would pay off.

They said the real goal was for the Trumps to enrich themselves, including through the receipt of millions of dollars in secret payments from 2005 to 2015. ………………………………………

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-marketing-lawsuit/trump-family-loses-bid-to-move-marketing-scam-lawsuit-to-arbitration-idUSKCN21R2OH


Even the Wall Street Journal says Trump’s reality show posing as press conferences is a waste of time.

As a Republican, when you’ve lost the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board, you’ve lost a pillar of your base support. Yet the rabidly conservative, over-the-top reactionary and reflexively pro-Trump WSJ Editorial page has apparently had enough of Trump’s nonsensical campaign rallies masquerading as “daily press briefings,” and the sycophantic swill that comes with them.

Titled “Trump’s Wasted Briefings,” the paper’s lead editorial states, in somewhat more genteel terms, what the majority of Americans have already known for some time: Donald Trump’s captive clown show does next to nothing in terms of informing Americans, mostly because the buffoon who leads them can’t stop trying to make himself the story, with little if any regard for the actual concerns of the American people.

There are the usual, no doubt mandatory allusions in the editorial to the conspiracy-addled fever dreams that perpetuate the right, but there is also a fair degree of disgust, probably reflecting the fact that Trump’s tactics seem to be falling flat from a polling standpoint.

A friend of ours who voted for President Trump sent us a note recently saying that she had stopped watching the daily White House briefings of the coronavirus task force. Why? Because they have become less about defeating the virus and more about the many feuds of Donald J. Trump.

This begs the question: Who could this “friend” of the Wall Street Journal be? Peggy Noonan? Rebekah Mercer? Certainly it would have to be someone with a significant financial stake in the future of conservatism. Sounds a little like a coded message to me, but … whatever. At least they cut to the chase.

The public doesn’t care who among the governors likes Mr. Trump, or whether the Obama Administration filled the national pandemic stockpile. There will be time for recriminations. What the public wants to know now is what Mr. Trump and his government is doing to prevent the deaths of their loved ones or help the family breadwinner stay employed.

A friendly hint to the Wall Street Journal: No one with more than two working brain cells is going to blame Barack Obama for this catastrophe. But please proceed, WSJ, you do have my interest (for once).

The President’s outbursts against his political critics are notably off key at this moment. This isn’t impeachment, and Covid-19 isn’t shifty Schiff. It’s a once-a-century threat to American life and livelihood.

Note that emphasis on the “livelihood.” How many people are reading the Wall Street Journal these days? Not too many, I’d suspect. Not unless you’re a glutton for punishment. The financial news, which is the reason most people read the rag to begin with, is beyond horrible, and it’s going to get worse.

As summarized by Yahoo News (for those not interested in circumventing the Journal’s paywall):

“If Mr. Trump thinks these daily sessions will help him defeat Joe Biden, he’s wrong,” the board wrote, suggesting Trump’s 2020 campaign against the de facto Democratic nominee Biden is “about one issue: how well the public thinks the President has done in defeating the virus and restarting the economy.”

There are a lot more “issues” than that, but yes, those probably will do for the Journal’s intended audience.

So it’s kind of funny that the administration is coming down so hard on CNN for cutting away from his propaganda circus. The Wall Street Journal  suggests outright that he should simply step aside and cheer once in a while from a safe distance, while Mike Pence or (gasp!) even someone qualified takes the helm.

The board concluded with some advice for Trump, who they suggested should largely step aside from the briefings, allow Vice President Mike Pence to take control and only appear occasionally to reinforce the message.


CNN poll shows Biden trouncing Trump 53 – 42

A couple of key takeaways from The Poll:

Biden holds an edge over Trump as more trusted to handle several key issues, including the response to the coronavirus outbreak (52% to 43%), health care (57% to 39%) and helping the middle class (57% to 38%).

Perhaps most encouraging:

Independent voters break for Biden, 52% behind the former vice president, 40% for Trump.

I expect more polls similar to this in the near future, yesterday Quinnipiac had Biden +8.

Trump administration slips $450 BILLION uncontrolled slush fund into “recovery” bill

I wonder how much of this will go to Trump properties??

A last-minute provision tucked into the coronavirus recovery bill allows the Federal Reserve to set up a $450 billion bailout plan with almost no oversight.

The previously unreported provision — which makes the bailout funds exempt from the federal open meetings law — was inserted into the 880-page bill during the rush to get it passed, Politico revealed.

The central bank won’t be required to announce its meetings or keep most records about discussions about which firms might benefit from the bailout, although the board would have to record its votes — which could remain out of public view until after the crisis is over.

“We may never know what terms are being given to banks, what collateral is being offered, what repayment methods and duties banks and other financial institutions may have, and those are important questions,” said Charles Glasser, a media attorney who sued the Federal Reserve over public records related to the 2008 financial crisis. “This is written too broadly and allows the Federal Reserve to avoid its responsibilities of public disclosure as the courts have described them.”

Trump’s favorite One America Network reporter is a typical rightwing “journalist”: Fake background, sketchy connections

President Donald Trump’s favorite White House reporter has murky background, a name change, a notorious fiancé, an accused fraudster dad and a TV psychic grandmother.

One America News correspondent Chanel Rion saw her profile rise after she was briefly banished last week from the White House briefing room but invited back by since-ousted press secretary Stephanie Grisham, and the Daily Mail took a deep dive into the reporter’s past.

The 29-year-old had been banned from the daily coronavirus briefings for ignoring social distancing guidelines, but Grisham asked her back shortly before the press secretary was ousted herself.

Rion also made news during the impeachment saga, when she flew to Europe and Ukraine with the president’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani to produce a documentary intended to show Trump was the victim of a corrupt conspiracy to remove him.

She was born in 1990 as Chanel Nmi Dayn-Ryan to a South Korean mother and a property developer father Dan Dayn-Ryan — who was born Danny Preboth but assumed multiple identities over a career that’s gotten him sued dozens of times for fraud.

Her father was involved in at least 31 companies sued in Harris County, Texas, in the 1990s for fraud involving apartment buildings and other real estate deals, and one plaintiff complained that Ryan offered to act as their attorney during one sale despite not having a law license.

Rion’s grandmother, Kansas psychic Allene Cunningham, frequently appeared on TV and radio shows to make predictions, and claims to have foretold Oprah Winfrey’s success and Patty Heart’s short imprisonment.

Rion filed to change her last name last year in Massachusetts, the same year she applied for security clearance for her White House press pass, but says she has used the alternate spelling of her last name since age six and that spelling is used on her passport and other documents.

She spent five years at the Harvard Extension School, a separate organization from the university that offers non-degree programs with far less rigorous or competitive entry requirements.

“My Harvard University degree is as full a Harvard University degree as anyone’s and granted with full honors,” she told the Daily Mail. “I earned the degree about five years after my admission through the distance programs and after spending five long years on and off campus.”

Rion claims to have worked as art director and principal illustrator for Cloverstone Publishing, founded by her sister Channing, and lists her post-graduate employment as political illustrator for her self-published Left Edge website.

Her illustrations, which don’t appear to have earned any income, depict the Pizzagate conspiracy and philanthropist George Soros, and she claims to have produced illustrations for Trump and his family.

She’s engaged to Bobby Courtland Sykes, who ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 2018 and gained notoriety for attacking feminists as “she devils” and insisted his fiancée have dinner ready for him every night at 6 p.m.

“I consider cooking my job even if I have a career,” Rion told the Daily Mail, “and even if crazy feminists think I shouldn’t.”

The couple frequently post photos of themselves on social media, where they claim to have met during her final year at Harvard as he was taking a non-degree course at the Extension School.

Sykes claims to have served as an intelligence specialist in the U.S. Navy, but photographs of his uniform and medals posted on Facebook show his rank as petty officer first class, and his medals do not appear to back his claim to have served in a combat zone.

Their social media accounts are filled with dozens of photos showing the couple traveling around the U.S., including some shots that suggest they’re helping with Republican Party campaigns.

They attended Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, according to social media photos, and Rion posted photos of a party at the president’s Mar-A-Lago resort in December.

She explained her apparently luxurious lifestyle to the Daily Mail by claiming to have an eye for bargains.

“Everybody in America wears designer clothing, stays in hotels and may sometimes water ski,” Rion said. “I shop for bargains just like everyone else and look as good as I can with the choices I make.”

Donald Trump: Owned by Russia — lock, stock and barrel

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin have a decades-long relationship, controlled by Putin. Trump’s election was the culmination of Russia’s long-term mission to undermine Western democracy. Donald Trump is indebted to Putin in both financial and personal terms. Donald Trump is a puppet of Putin.

The US election of 2016 was the culmination of the greatest intelligence operation in history: The Russian Mafia and Russian intelligence operatives placed their man in the White House, without firing a shot.

The Russian victory is so dark, so unbelievable, that most Americans do not even want to hear about it.

Over the last 40 years, Trump has had deep ties to at least 59 senior members of the Russian mafia all of whom facilitated business between Trump and Russia.

In the late 1980’sTrump was $4 billion in debt with no way out. He was bailed out by the Russian Mafia who used Trump real estate to (1) launder money out of Russia while (2) saving Trump from final bankruptcy.

Trump provided space in Trump Tower and other Trump real estate holdings for Russian Mafia and Russian oligarchs.

For over 40 years, Trump has been a person of interest to Russian intelligence and likely was the focus of several Russian intelligence operations to develop compromising material on Trump, including sexual activities.

For decades, Russian intelligence has studied the American political, social, religious and financial scene to detect weaknesses that can be exploited.

Trump was not the only US politician targeted and compromised by Russian intelligence and the Russian Mafia. Over a dozen politicians, overwhelmingly Republican, have benefited by millions of dollars flowing from Russia into their campaigns – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is an example.

Trump was $4 billion in debt when Russia came to his rescue. Money was funneled to Trump through: (1) Russian cash purchase of Trump real estate; (2) money laundered through DeutscheBank and the Bank of Cyprus; and , (3) investments in Trump businesses.

Donald Trump is a Russian intelligence asset serving the interest of Russia, not of the United States.

There’s no allowance for being stupid

“MAGA”: Karen Kolb Sehlke, a Trump-loving woman from Texas is dead from COVID-19 after claiming the virus was a “media driven” hoax.

In a sad, cautionary tale of willful ignorance and hubris, Karen Kolb Sehlke is dead from COVID-19 after claiming the virus was a “media driven” hoax “controlled by the radical people in powerful places.”

In a long-winded Facebook rant Sehlke claimed that “our government is under attack from within” while comparing the coronavirus to “the impeachment hoax” and arguing that those who take the current pandemic seriously “panic like sheep.”

Sehlke wrote in part:

Wake up!!! This is what the beginning of socialism looks like!

They are leading with fear causing you to panic like sheep.

… You don’t need hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and Lysol. You need common sense, a sense of direction, faith, a will to fight, and of course guns!

Now wash your hands and live the life they don’t want you to have!

Just a reminder that stupidity and trust in Trump is no defense against this virus. 

I am certain that this woman will soon be joined by more MAGA folks who trusted the least trustworthy man in the country over the medical professionals who were trying to save their lives. 

Trump launches all-out attack on government watchdogs

Donald Trump has realized something: the term “inspector general” (IG) is just fancy phrasing for “someone who is sure to catch him doing something unethical, illegal, or both, and then say something about it.” The whole idea of an independent watchdog—who’s supposed to police the federal government with something called integrity—is anathema to Trump. 

Thus Trump’s ouster Tuesday of the Pentagon’s inspector general, who coincidentally had also been charged with leading a new oversight panel for the $2 trillion in taxpayer funding allocated for pandemic relief. It’s just the latest installment of Trump carrying out a system-wide cleansing of the very people who are tasked with rooting out corruption and making sure government fulfills its mandate to the people. Trump doesn’t want any functional entity looking over his shoulder as he directs where that giant pool of money goes.  Tuesday, Apr 7, 2020 · 7:44:02 PM EDT · Kerry Eleveld

UPDATE: Looks like Trump has fired 7 IGs at once, but unclear exactly who that includes.

Acting Pentagon inspector general Glenn Fine was set to oversee the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, the group that had been formed to monitor the massive influx of coronavirus relief funds. Now Trump has tapped EPA inspector general Sean O’Donnell to replace Fine as top watchdog at the Pentagon in addition to continuing his work at the EPA. In other words, O’Donnell will be dividing his time between two massive agencies. 

It appears Fine was a particular threat to Trump because he built a reputation for exercising aggressive independence while serving as the Justice Department’s IG and investigating the FBI’s post-9/11 surveillance programs. Fine will now return to his previous post as principal deputy inspector general of the Pentagon.

But when it comes to IGs, Trump’s been on a tear lately. On Friday, he axed Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community IG who committed the cardinal sin of informing Congress about the Ukraine-related whistleblower complaint. House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff said Tuesday that his panel is now investigating Atkinson’s ouster.

Trump also spent Tuesday morning on the war path against the Health and Human Services IG who had the audacity to issue a report Monday on the “unprecedented” challenges hospitals are facing in securing supplies to battle the novel coronavirus. Christi Grimm, the principal deputy inspector general whose name is attached to that report, is surely trying to save lives by detailing the deadly inefficiencies of the federal government’s response. So instead of asking the federal government for an assessment of its own work, Grimm went straight to the hospitals to ascertain whether they were actually getting the resources they needed. Big mistake. Trump dismissed the report as “Another Fake Dossier!”

So much for trying to save lives—Trump is offended. And surely he’s searching for a way to muzzle Grimm, because retribution is among his chief priorities during a global pandemic.

Trump is failing. And his failure is putting us all at risk.

President Donald Trump appointed a new chief of personnel for the White House that had no experience in the White House or personnel. It infuriated the head of the Office of Personnel Management so much she quit.

Johnny McEntee, the new director of the Office of Presidential Personnel reports directly to the president. But according to the Washington Post, the youngster’s inexperience is now causing problems for a White House desperate for experience.

“So, it’s not hard to imagine the gravity of a situation in which either of them, or any of their other dedicated colleagues, would be replaced if, for instance, they fall out of favor with Trump,” the report said. “But that’s a real risk: In a moment when the White House might need to quickly vet and appoint critically needed personnel, the Presidential Personnel Office, the department designed to perform exactly that function — which I ran during the last year of the Obama administration — has been gutted and turned into a vehicle for enforcing loyalty and carrying out vendettas.”

Over the past several years Trump has been in office, the top priority for hiring staff has been loyalty, not experience and political agenda over American interest. The result has been a lack of experts in key federal agencies during the most significant health crisis in a generation.

“Before the covid-19 crisis, the widespread number of vacancies across the executive branch were well known. Trump has tried to place the blame on Senate Democrats, but the reality is that he hasn’t bothered to put forward nominations for close to 150 key federal positions,” the report revealed. “He has said he doesn’t want to fill all the vacant positions and has admitted to preferring temporary, ‘acting’ officials in senior roles, who aren’t subject to Senate confirmation, and therefore not vetted for the benefit of the public and less accountable to Congress.”

The turnover means that many people, including the new commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, is new to the job.

“This neglect is consistent with Trump’s governing approach, which sidelines and substitutes experts’ judgment for his own, and demands more subservience from executive branch agencies than is the norm,” the Post explained. “Indeed, he has demonstrated downright hostility toward expertise, whether it comes from senior diplomats, scientists, military commanders, meteorologists or statisticians. And contra the president’s assertions that he can fill positions quickly if needed, the executive branch is not well-positioned to make this happen.”

With McEntee at the helm, Trump’s revenge on people has been enacted. He asked for lists of people believed to be anti-Trump to fire. Metaphorical heads began to roll.

The office is now not about appointing the best person for the job but ensuring Never Trumpers are purged and loyalists rewarded, said former Intelligence Inspector General Michael Atkinson. He was recently fired after he agreed with whistleblower reports that Trump violated the law.

But more, the inept, inexperienced or void in leadership means there is no continuity of operations across the entire government. If an agency head gets sick with coronavirus or dies, there should be a succession plan with qualified candidates to move into take over. Experts, however, don’t exist.

Another concern is that the Presidential Personnel Office (PPO) is going to face a lot of questions as a new 9/11-style commission will begin investigating all of the mistakes made during the coronavirus crisis.

Trump once proclaimed, “I alone can fix it.”

“But the president’s apparent belief that the way to do this is by haphazardly reducing head count is unsupported and a threat to the health and safety of Americans,” the piece closed. “Discussions about vacancies are no longer academic. To help stem the spread of this virus, and future ones, the approach to personnel policy needs to change so government agencies and their experts can focus on their jobs, and not on whether they remain in the president’s good graces.”

Read the full report at the Washington Post.

Republicans quietly admitting it: Their theory of governing is a lie.

As the coronavirus pandemic shutters America’s storefronts and fills its ICUs, the GOP is camouflaging a whispered confession beneath a cough. The party’s admission is so quiet most Republicans can’t even make it out themselves. But listen carefully to recent directives from the Trump administration and its allies and you’ll hear unmistakably: Our theory of governance is a lie.

Read the rest of this incisive article from The Intelligencer.

A liberal is a conservative who has been slapped upside the head with reality.