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March 31, 2020

Hal Brown blog March 29 - 2020

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This is a blog with my own opinion plus some of each day's stories that piqued my interest. I hope they interest you too.

Click on my photos to enlarge them. 

The photos are meant as moments of zen. They date back many years and many were taken when I lived in Massachusetts. 

Back to earlier in March

APRIL 4, 2020

Check out the tweets here: ‘He’s going to get so many people killed’: Viewers shocked after watching #TrumpPressBriefing

How Trump’s attempts to win the daily news cycle feed a chaotic coronavirus response

We can see this as an act of desperation, an ill-timed exercise of revenge which like much of what Trump does has a risk of backfiring against him come the election. Not immediately reinstating Capt. Brett Crozier ( even allowing it assuming he knew about it) is another example. HB

I have a friend whose sister is seriously considering flying from Boston to Florida. This story is for her.

April 3, 2020

Trump has already done a great deal to undermine the military’s good order and discipline by pardoning personnel who have been accused, and even convicted, of war crimes. Trump even feted disgraced Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, who was denounced by his own platoon mates as “evil” and “toxic,” at Mar-a-Lago.

Modly is today acting secretary of the Navy because the Navy secretary at the time, Richard V. Spencer, was fired after dissenting from Trump’s desire to aid Gallagher and trying to negotiate directly with the White House. Spencer wrote in The Post that “the president has very little understanding of what it means to be in the military, to fight ethically or to be governed by a uniform set of rules and practices.” Yet Esper, Modly and other Pentagon leaders have acquiesced in the president’s actions.

The damage that was done to the military by Trump’s decision to pardon suspected war criminals will be compounded by Thursday’s decision to fire the skipper of the Theodore Roosevelt. The message that the administration is sending to the armed forces is that committing war crimes is acceptable but telling the truth and protecting the personnel under your command is not.

At least Crozier can take solace in the cheers and applause of his crew as he left the Theodore Roosevelt. They realize he was a great leader — “one of the greatest captains you ever had,” as one sailor said — even if the acting Navy secretary does not. Every cheer was an indictment of a Pentagon leadership that seems to have lost its moral bearings.

Trump's got love this hurricane forecast:
I added my own photo

Jared Kushner Ripped on Twitter For Saying ‘Our Stockpile’ Isn’t Meant For States To Use

Our old cranberry bogs

April 2, 2020
I wonder what Stormy Daniels thinks of this...

“Innocent People Are Going to Die”: The Price of Presidential Narcissism and the Path of Peaceful Resistance

Yale psychiatrist: Trump endangers lives by waging war on reality, not the coronavirus

Bandy Lee says Trump has a pattern: "It is no accident that everything he says is the exact opposite of reality"

Anthony Fauci To Receive More Personal Security After Threats

The fact-checking of the president and his dire predictions have already resulted in online trolls falsely claiming that Fauci is part of the “deep state” working to undermine the administration.
From The NY Times: 
At a White House briefing on the coronavirus on March 20, President Trump called the State Department the “Deep State Department.” Behind him, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, dropped his head and rubbed his forehead.
Some thought Dr. Fauci was slighting the president, leading to a vitriolic online reaction. On Twitter and Facebook, a post that falsely claimed he was part of a secret cabal who opposed Mr. Trump was soon shared thousands of times, reaching roughly 1.5 million people.
A week later, Dr. Fauci — the administration’s most outspoken advocate of emergency measures to fight the coronavirus outbreak — has become the target of an online conspiracy theory that he is mobilizing to undermine the president.
That fanciful claim has spread across social media, fanned by a right-wing chorus of Mr. Trump’s supporters, even as Dr. Fauci has won a public following for his willingness to contradict the president and correct falsehoods and overly rosy pronouncements about containing the virus.

An analysis by The New York Times found over 70 accounts on Twitter that have promoted the hashtag #FauciFraud, with some tweeting as frequently as 795 times a day. The anti-Fauci sentiment is being reinforced by posts from Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch, a conservative group; Bill Mitchell, host of the far-right online talk show “YourVoice America”; and other outspoken Trump supporters such as Shiva Ayyadurai, who has falsely claimed to be the inventor of email.
Many of the anti-Fauci posts, some of which pointed to a seven-year-old email that Dr. Fauci had sent praising Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of State, have been retweeted thousands of times. On YouTube, conspiracy-theory videos about Dr. Fauci have racked up hundreds of thousands of views in the past week. In private Facebook groups, posts disparaging him have also been shared hundreds of times and liked by thousands of people, according to the Times analysis.

Doctor Drops Some Coronavirus Truth Bombs On Fox News, Lights Up Twitter

Oh well, so much for real journalism: White House invites Trump-loving reporter back to the briefing room after she’s booted for flouting COVID-19 rules (related to following story)

Rion and her employer, a tiny conservative cable outlet known as OANN, appear to have gotten special permission from the White House, in violation of the guidelines. The reasons, and the source of the approval, are unclear, but OANN and Rion have a history of reporting favorably about Trump. Rion herself has pushed conspiracy theories that advance his political interests, such as the unfounded allegation that officials in Ukraine secretly manipulated the 2016 election to help Hillary Clinton. Trump, in turn, has tweeted praise of OANN’s reporting dozens of times.
The White House, in effect, on Tuesday bent the rules — which were designed to ensure the health of journalists, the president and the nation’s top public-health officials — in granting access and a national spotlight to a correspondent from an obscure but Trump-friendly news outlet.
OANN was founded 2013 by Robert Herring Sr., a millionaire Republican donor from San Diego who made his fortune in the circuit-board business before starting over in media. His son, Charles Herring, president of One America’s parent company Herring Broadcasting, told The Post last week that the channel “is designed to report just the news” and that “we would not describe our news reporting as right-leaning.”
But for a 2017 story, more than a dozen former and current employees described Robert Herring to The Post as a heavy-handed unofficial news director who frequently ordered coverage favorable to Trump. It was the first channel to carry Trump’s 2016 campaign speeches live, and internal emails showed Herring directing that other candidates’ rallies not get the same treatment.
Rion, who did not respond to repeated requests for comment, has socialized with the Trumps at Mar-a-Lago, according to photos she has posted on Facebook, and brags on her personal website about having “been aboard the Trump Train from its first week” at the start of the 2016 campaign.
On Sunday, Trump called on Pellegrino twice to ask a question — one of which seemed to please him immensely.
“Mr. President, your approval ratings have been the highest they’ve ever been, as well as the ratings on your handling of the virus,” she asked. “Yet there are some networks that are saying they’re debating whether to carry these briefings live. Do you think there’s a link between the two?”
“Well, I don’t know,” Trump replied. “I know that — boy, that’s a nice question. Thank you very much.”

April 1, 2020

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File under the stories below under Trump Narcissism: Wednesday Edition Scroll down for coronavirus articles.

Politico Magazine

Above: Trump denied this ABC News report about him calling Alex Rodriguez, but USA Today confirmed it. (Scroll down)
President Donald Trump has the world's top doctors and medical experts at his disposal, but this week, he turned to former MLB star Alex Rodriguez for advice on a response to the coronavirus pandemic, a person with knowledge of the phone call told USA TODAY Sports on Saturday.
The individual requested anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the issue. ABC News was first to report on the call.
The conversation was "pleasant," according to ABC, which stated Rodriguez has no official plans to take a role in the government's effort to slow the spread of the disease. The number of cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. surpassed 100,000 as of Saturday morning.
On Saturday morning, Trump denied ABC's report, tweeting, “More Fake News!”
Less than seven years ago, before Trump's political career began and while Rodriguez was still an active player with the New York Yankees, Trump took to Twitter and repeatedly called Rodriguez a "druggie." 

Rodriguez served a one-year suspension in 2014 for his involvement in the biogenesis scandal. He is currently a studio analyst for Fox Sports MLB and is the color commentator on ESPN's "Sunday Night Baseball.

Donald Trump Mispronounces ‘Emergency’ During Coronavirus Press Conference; Twitter Reacts

Providence in Portland, Or. develops potential COVID-19 vaccine; wants feds to start human clinical trials

Researchers at the Chiles Research Institute at Providence’s Robert Franz Cancer Center have asked the federal government for permission to start trials with humans.

'Pandemic' scientist says his team has discovered potential cure for COVID-19

My DIY mask (click image to enlarge)


Mar. 31, 2020

Not my image, click to enlarge

Trump’s Coronavirus Claim Is His Biggest Lie Yet – And It Could Be Working

He bankrupted casinos but sold voters on his business acumen anyway. Now he needs America to forget he downplayed coronavirus for two months.

Add to list

You won't hear Trump talking about this South China Morning Post story!

Trump’s narcissism has never been more dangerous, by Jennifer Rubin

She concludes:

Increasingly, the country seems to operate on two tracks. On one, groveling courtiers flatter Trump, try to soften his impulsive pronouncements and scramble to catch up after months of delay. As they cater to the president, exploring patently absurd ideas, they have less attention to devote to real issues that only the federal government can address. On the other track, governors have no time for bowing and scraping; they are dealing hands-on with hundreds of logistical challenges, made worse by the absence of coordinated purchasing and by lack of a comprehensive testing program. Thank goodness governors are actually doing their jobs, which increasingly entail navigating around Trump.

As coronavirus death toll rises, Trump focuses on a different set of numbers: TV ratings

The author is a Los Angeles attorney

How to make a non-medical face mask out of a cotton t-shirt

CDC considering recommending general public wear face coverings in public

Should we all be wearing masks? That simple question is under review by officials in the U.S. government and has sparked a grass-roots pro-mask movement. But there’s still no consensus on whether widespread use of facial coverings would make a significant difference, and some infectious disease experts worry that masks could lull people into a false sense of security and make them less disciplined about social distancing.

In recent days, more people have taken to covering their faces, although it remains a scattershot strategy driven by personal choice. The government does not recommend it.

That may change. Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are considering altering the official guidance to encourage people to take measures to cover their faces amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a federal official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because it is an ongoing matter of internal discussion and nothing has been finalized.

 I don't remember where I took this. It's from when I lived in Massachusetts.

Mar. 30, 2020

Why That ‘Woman In Michigan’ Keeps Drawing Donald Trump’s Wrath but Florida gov. get's Trump's love.


I modified this photo because, well, because I could



Smart move by AOC?


Eel Pond, Woods Hole, Cape Cod, Mass