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April 13, 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 13, 2020



Trump Retweets ‘Fire Fauci’ Coronavirus Message In Easter Sunday Twitter Rampage



Trump publicly signals his frustration with Fauci.

President Trump publicly signaled his frustration on Sunday with Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the federal government’s top infectious disease expert, after the doctor said that more lives could have been saved from the coronavirus if the country had been shut down earlier.

Mr. Trump reposted a tweet that said “Time to #FireFauci” as he rejected criticism of his slow initial response to the pandemic that has now killed more than 22,000 Americans.


Mr. Fauci, during an appearance on CNN on Sunday, was careful to say that many factors went into government decision-making, and he was at pains to stay focused on the science rather than the politics when asked if stay-at-home measures could have prevented deaths had they been put in place in February, instead of mid-March.



“I mean, obviously, you could logically say that if you had a process that was ongoing and you started mitigation earlier, you could have saved lives,” Mr. Fauci said. “Obviously, no one is going to deny that. But what goes into those decisions is complicated.”


“If we had right from the very beginning shut everything down, it may have been a little bit different,” he said. “But there was a lot of pushback about shutting things down back then.”

The president privately has been irritated at times with Dr. Fauci, but the retweet was the most explicit he has been about those feelings.

The original tweet came from a former Republican congressional candidate, DeAnna Lorraine. “Fauci was telling people on February 29th that there was nothing to worry about and it posed no threat to the US at large,” said the tweet by Ms. Lorraine, who got less than 2 percent of the vote in an open primary against Speaker Nancy Pelosi last month.


I wrote about the chance, perhaps likelihood, that Trump cheated on his stable genius cognitive test. Click below:

Through the lens of the White House and Fox News:


How close to home does death have to hit for it to actually cause Trump to feel normal human grief? Trump will use this death for his own narcissistic purposes but malignant narcissist do not actually experience empathy. What will it take for Trump to actually appreciate the dangers of Covid-19? I think he will actually have to contract it and come close to death.



April 12, 2020




Coronavirus Will Likely ‘Stalk The Human Race’ Until There’s A Vaccine, WHO Envoy Says



The NYT considerers this editorial with multiple authors part of their coronavirus coverage so you don't need a subscription to read it.

This article from March is timely today since this researcher was referenced in The NY Times article (below) about the recently published email. What she did, what she has admitted to, raises some ethical questions.

Experts inside and outside the government identified the threat early on and sought to raise alarms even as President Trump was moving slowly. Read some of what they had to say among themselves at critical moments.
Excerpt: Strong evidence was emerging as of mid-February — with the first cases of Covid-19 already in the United States — that the nation was about to be hit hard. These doctors and medical experts researched how quickly the virus spread on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was quarantined in the port of Yokohama, Japan, on Feb. 3 before hundreds of United States citizens on the ship returned home.
Dr. Eva Lee, a researcher at Georgia Institute of Technology who has frequently worked with the federal government to create infectious disease projections, helped the Red Dawn group do modeling, based on the virus spread on the cruise ship. (Dr. Lee is facing sentencing on federal charges that she falsified the membership certificate behind a $40,000 National Science Foundation grant for unrelated research.)


April 11, 2020


\



Conclusion:


Bluffing is what Trump does. He gets up in the morning and looks at himself in the mirror and, instead of a bald man with pitted, sagging skin and lifeless eyes, he sees Mr. Handsome, the swordsman who bedded a thousand beauties, the billionaire who made a thousand brilliant deals, the Most Powerful Man in the World. That's why at his so-called coronavirus press briefings, whenever he is confronted with a question quoting his own previous statements, he yells, "Fake news!" He bluffs his way through, just like he always did. Everything other than Trump himself is fake. To Trump, only he himself is real.

And that's why we find ourselves where we are with the coronavirus. For three months, Trump thought he could treat the virus like he treated his bankers, like he treated his contractors, like he treated his wives and girlfriends, like he treated the whole fucking Republican Party. He would bluff his way through. All he had to say was that this building was the tallest and the best, and it was! All he had to say was that he was a billionaire, and he was! All he had to say was that if you crossed him, he'd kill you with tweets, and nobody ever crossed him! All he had to say was that the virus was "going away," that we had it "under control," that the number of cases were "going to zero," and all of that would come true!

Trump could bluff his way through marriages, sexual abuse allegations, bankruptcies … hell, he could even bluff his way into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. But he couldn't bluff the virus. He doesn't owe the virus any money. He hasn't left the virus sobbing in some Reno hotel suite with no one to turn to. He can't divorce the virus and remarry another, younger, prettier virus. He can't slather the virus with orange pancake makeup and spray it into submission with swoops of combover cotton candy and fool everyone into believing it wasn't really there. 

Trump bluffed his way through everything else in his entire life, but he has finally tested positive. He's on life support. He didn't catch the virus. The virus caught him. 


Excerpt:

”Trump saw litigation as being only about winning,” Mr. Zirin writes. “He sued at the drop of a hat. He sued for sport; he sued to achieve control; and he sued to make a point. He sued as a means of destroying or silencing those who crossed him. He became a plaintiff in chief.”

And Trump also has been a defendant in hundreds of legal actions, as Mr. Zirin details. In 2016, there were 160 federal lawsuits pending in which he was a named defendant, as well as numerous other investigations and proceeding. Mr. Zirin observes that Trump “has been sued for race and sex discrimination, sexual harassment, fraud, breach of trust, money laundering, defamation, stiffing his creditors, defaulting on loans, and . . . he [has] been investigated for deep ties to the Mob, which he enjoyed over the years.” 

And Trump’s pattern of disrespect and contempt for the law persists. As Mr. Zirin writes, "All this aberrant behavior would be problematic in a businessman. 

. . But the implications of such conduct in a man who is the president of the United States are nothing less than terrifying."




Local Portland:




April 10, 2020


Fox and friends co-host tests positive for COVID-19


MGM Told to Hand Over Trump’s ‘Apprentice’ Tapes in Scam Suit







Excerpts:

































President Trump’s advisers are reportedly deeply worried that his narcissistic daily briefings on coronavirus are hurting his reelection chances. That’s revealing, in that it shows Trump’s unshakable faith in his ability to manipulate the news cycle with his magical reality-bending powers is not shared by his data-focused team.

But what’s even more revealing is what those advisers won’t say about these displays. This shows the limits on what constitutes acceptable criticism of Trump among those who have a big stake in his political success.

......


In short: It’s only okay to leak criticism of Trump for things that are perceived to harm him politically in the most superficial of ways, never mind the danger that his failings continue to pose to the country.

.....

It turns out some Republicans — and some of Trump’s own advisers — agree with this, and are deeply worried about it.

remarkably revealing New York Times report details these concerns, with a focus on how Trump’s daily coronavirus briefings are working against him:
As unemployment soars and the death toll skyrockets, and new polls show support for the president’s handling of the crisis sagging, White House allies and Republican lawmakers increasingly believe the briefings are hurting the president more than helping him. Many view the sessions as a kind of original sin from which all of his missteps flow, once he gets through his prepared script and turns to his preferred style of extemporaneous bluster and invective.
....

Meanwhile, one top political adviser to Trump tells the Times that the briefings are handing likely opponent Joe Biden ammunition, and says Vice President Pence should be the frontman because he “projects more empathy,” as the Times puts it.
Reports like this should be read in part as an effort by those who willingly spill behind-the-scenes thinking to prod Trump to course-correct for his own good.

But what’s truly revealing here is what these advisers don’t say in this regard about these briefings, and more broadly, what they can’t say about his need to course-correct.

What Trump’s advisers can’t say


They don’t fault Trump for furiously refusing to acknowledge the substantive findings of his own administration that hospital administrators around the country are in desperate need of more medical supplies, due in large part to his administration’s failures to manage supply chains...

All these things happened at his briefings. And they’re far more objectionable and destructive to the country than the abrasive and unempathetic tone Trump adopts. They constitute an active effort to dodge responsibility for his own substantive failures, which is part and parcel of an ongoing refusal to course-correct in ways that could save untold lives.

Trump’s failures are dangerous and ongoing


All these failures continue right now. When Trump refuses to acknowledge the existence of equipment shortages, and dodges blame for failing to deliver ventilators, those mask an ongoing refusal to take full charge of medical supply chains to address those shortages, which could prove disastrous.

....

The truly depraved nature of this problem is captured by this dispiritingly candid line from the Times report:
Advisers are torn between knowing that a less abrasive approach would help Mr. Trump and their awareness that he can’t tolerate criticism, regardless of the setting.
Trump’s advisers can risk provoking his narcissistic intolerance of criticism when it comes to superficial, theatrical matters. But they can’t risk provoking it over matters of life and death for the country, in a manner that might lead him to learn from those mistakes and save untold numbers of Americans lives.

That’s something Trump’s narcissism truly cannot handle.



I made the illustration 
Excerpt:


Without offering scientific evidence or data, Fauci argued, “Successfully treating one narcissist could substantially reduce the misery and suffering of millions.”

The epidemiologist said that, as soon as a promising anti-narcissism drug is developed, he would “personally mastermind” its clinical trials.


For the purpose of those trials, Fauci said, it would be optimal to manufacture the drug as a pill or anything else “that could be easily crushed and dissolved in a Diet Coke.”


Fox News’ Brit Hume Hits Donald Trump With The Painful Truth About His Coronavirus Briefings


The conservative network’s senior political analyst slammed the president’s latest Twitter tantrum as “ridiculous.”

From the article:
Candace G-G and I follow each other on Twitter so I was please to see this.


April 9, 2020
Click above to view video









Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal rips Trump’s ‘outbursts’ at daily briefings he’s turned into campaign rallies


The coronavirus crisis has taken the personalized presidency to an insidious new level.
Image adapted by Hal Brown, LINK ABOVE
The coronavirus crisis has taken this personal presidency to an insidious new level. Recently, the Trump administration took two steps that historians may register as landmarks of the personalized presidency. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mailed households a postcard blaring in all capital letters: “President Trump’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America.” And Mr. Trump reportedly indicated his preference that relief checks from Congress’s $2 trillion stimulus plan bear his personal signature. Through measures like these, the president emerges not only as our friend, which was problematic enough, but also as our personal caretaker. We are now to see public relief as beneficence flowing from one man.

The hijacking of the C.D.C. to serve the obvious electoral interests of a president seeking a second term is dangerous not only constitutionally but also to public health. There is always a delicate balance between politicians deferring to experts and making their own judgments. Unsupervised experts can display too much certainty and too little ability to balance the myriad competing ends involved in politics.

But plastering the president’s name all over the C.D.C. postcard was not about supervising medical experts. It was a hostile takeover of their expertise to serve electoral ends. Given the intensity of feelings about Mr. Trump, how many people threw the postcard away on the assumption that it was campaign propaganda? Worse, how many people waited for Mr. Trump’s guiding hand before taking precautions that medical experts had been recommending for weeks?





April 8, 2020





April 7, 20202

Breaking News; Acting Navy secretary quits.







Trump’s new spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany has a history of melting down on live TV — here are her 5 most unhinged moments











Some of the "best words" which describe Donald Trump. The author of this tweet is Moe Davis, a Full Bird Colonel, Air Force JAG Officer, who stood up to the Bush administration during their Guantanamo Bay prosecutions. 
If  @Franklin_Graham is right & #COVID-19 is God’s wrath for sin, then no one is more to blame than Sinner-in-Chief 
@realDonaldTrump, the most immoral, incompetent & corrupt President in American history ... a habitual lying, porn shagging, narcissistic, draft dodging, demagogue.



Little Harbor Beach, Wareham, Mass.

April 6, 2020

Here's what Germans think of Trump

More malignant narcissism on display today

Navy orders end to criticism on social network websites. Click below to enlarge to full size:



The one word that explains why Trump should not be president, Eugene Robinson














































































“What do I know? I’m not a doctor.”
It’s rare that President Trump speaks with even that level of clarity. Unfortunately, this observationcame Sunday amid an avalanche of nonsense about the anti-malaria drug that he believes to be a magic bullet against covid-19. It is remarkable how a tongue-twisting word few of us were familiar with a month ago — hydroxychloroquine — has suddenly come to represent so many of the reasons Trump should not be president, especially during a time of crisis.












































































That one word illustrates Trump’s arbitrary, anecdote-based method of making decisions; his reliance on cronies who have no relevant expertise; his rejection of science, or perhaps his failure to understand how science even works; his defiant stubbornness in clinging to what he “knows,” even when he doesn’t actually know it; his obsessiveness even in the face of contrary evidence; and his imperviousness to fact-based arguments he does not want to hear.



From: "Are Trump and his allies setting up Dr. Fauci as the pandemic scapegoat?"

"If it does work, it would be a shame we did not do it early," Trump said about hydroxychloroquine during the press conference Sunday.

At that point, it became clear to me what Trump hopes to get out of this endless hype about an unproven and dangerous drug: A QAnon-style conspiracy theory he can roll out, after the worst of the crisis has passed, about his heroic efforts to save everyone with a miracle drug, which were thwarted by shady "deep state" forces who denied the public this lifesaving drug as part of a plot to make him look bad.

Unfortunately for Fauci, he's the most obvious candidate to become the villain in this conspiracy theory, in much the same way former FBI director James Comey and special counsel Robert Mueller were framed as part of a sinister anti-Trump conspiracy during the investigation of Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election. 

Tucker Carlson of Fox News has been leading the pack in the effort to cast Fauci as the villain in the right-wing conspiracy theories that will pour from the spigots as soon as the spread of the coronavirus and the associated death rate start to ebb. 
Dr. Fauci is prescribing "national suicide," Carlson claimed on his show last week, declaring that the economic collapse caused by social distancing protocols is "a far bigger disaster than the virus itself, by any measure" and declaring that our "response to coronavirus could turn this into a far poorer nation."
.............
It's unclear, however, how much traction this nonsense will have outside of that Trumpian bubble. There is definitely room for concern, since conspiracy theories about "secret" cures that regular doctors are holding back for mysterious reasons never seem to go out of style. But as Rutgers professor David Greenberg argued in Politico this weekend, "Politicians may be able in the short term to cover up their failed programs or weak leadership with clever messaging and images," but in the end, with the economy down the toilet, the public is more likely to blame Trump than whatever scapegoat he and his propaganda team at Fox News serve up. 

Still, this "deep state" theory seems close to inevitable, and the attacks on Fauci have already started. Trump's opponents need to anticipate the twists and turns ahead and have a strategy to counter them. In an election that's already being compromised by the pandemic itself, the prospect of widespread voter suppression and Trump's apparently immovable popularity with his base, every weird Trumpian dirty trick could turn the tide. 


Firing of Michael Atkinson Reveals His Real Priorities—and They’re Not Coronavirus

'I ALONE'

Trump’s firing of intelligence community inspector general Michael Atkinson sends every dark signal you think it does, and more.


Another inspector general to fire?

‘Confusion, fear, distrust’: Damning IG report lays out Trump administration’s ‘unprecedented’ COVID-19 failures


The result of all this was to create “confusion, fear and distrust” throughout the health care system.
Ann Maxwell, assistant inspector general for HHS, tells NBC News that the failures outlined in the report are “unprecedented.”
“I think one moment that stands out for me is when I was talking to a hospital administrator and he told me that he had staff in the hospital out trying to procure masks and gloves from auto part shops, from home supply stores, from beauty salons, from art supply stores,” Maxwell said. “I was just taken aback.”

 Can You Be Re-Infected After Recovering From Coronavirus? Here's What We Know About COVID-19 Immunity

Because SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, was only discovered a few months ago, scientists are still trying to answer many big questions related to the virus and the disease it causes. Among them is whether patients can be reinfected by the virus after they seem to recover from the symptoms
With other coronavirus strains, experts say the antibodies that patients produce during infection give them immunity to the specific virus for months or even years, but researchers are still figuring out if and how that works with COVID-19.

Can you get re-infected after recovering from COVID-19?

There remains a lot of uncertainty, but experts TIME spoke with say that it’s likely the reports of patients who seemed to have recovered but then tested positive again were not examples of re-infection, but were cases where lingering infection was not detected by tests for a period of time.

Experts say the body’s antibody response, triggered by the onset of a virus, means it is unlikely that patients who have recovered from COVID-19 can get re-infected so soon after contracting the virus. Antibodies are normally produced in a patient’s body around seven to 10 days after the initial onset of a virus, says Vineet Menachery, a virologist at the University of Texas Medical Branch.

Instead, testing positive after recovery could just mean the tests resulted in a false negative and that the patient is still infected.

......................
I had to look up FOMO to see what this BuzzFeed story was about 

Turns Out You Can Get FOMO Even During A Pandemic




Quote: This is not necessarily a welcome development for some of the public health professionals on the president’s coronavirus task force. “It is very annoying to some of us that Dr. Oz is trying to poke his head in and get more involved in this,” said a senior administration official who works closely with the task force. “This shouldn’t be a celebrity showcase... Are we going to deputize Dr. Drew and Dr. Spaceman next?” (Dr. Leo Spaceman is a fictional lunatic doctor who was portrayed by actor Chris Parnell on the NBC sitcom 30 Rock.)
Watch video from of Dr. Spaceman from 30 Rock:



April 5, 2020



Breaking News: 

A tiger at the Bronx Zoo tests positive for coronavirus


For those of you interested in what I found to be a really well written piece (below) which objectively compares a flawed leader, Cuomo, a lackluster Democratic presidential candidate, with a manifestly evil president check this out. 

Until the pandemic I hadn't paid any attention to Gov. Cuomo so reading this article in Salon was eye-opening. Of course outside of New York where Cuomo is well known it works to our advantage as even Fox News carries his briefings so Trump supporters have a chance to compare him to their idol, god, and/or guru (depending on their spiritual orientation). 




My impression

I compare Andrew Cuomo's talking about dealing with cabin fever in comment to how Donald Trump attacked reporter Peter Alexander's question.

Cuomo

NEW YORK, NEW YORK — Millions of cooped-up New Yorkers doubtless will agree with what Gov. Andrew Cuomo singled out as another affliction amid the new coronavirus outbreak: cabin fever.

"It's only been one month, but it's been a long month," Cuomo said Sunday.

Cuomo — the man who issued a "stay-at-home" order that effectively shut down what remained of normal life in New York City — took time during an otherwise-sober Sunday news conference to acknowledge the difficulty of life stuck at home without end.

Cabin fever is an "accompanying affliction to coronavirus," he said. It manifests in feelings of isolation, mood swings, resentment toward others and irrational outbursts, he said.

And it also threatens the Constitution's aim of domestic tranquility, he said.

"Think of ways to deal with it," Cuomo told New Yorkers.

Cuomo said for himself he's going to take up running again, with the aim of outpacing his daughter. His dog, also in the throes of cabin fever, will take up the sport. 

Trump

Alexander: So, what do you say Americans who are scared, I guess? Nearly 200 dead and 14,000 who are sick and millions as you witness who are scared right now, what do you say to Americans who are watching you right now who are scared?

Trump: I say that you are a terrible reporter, that's what I say. I think it's a very nasty question. I think it's a very bad signal that you are putting out to the American people. They're looking for answers and they're looking for hope. And you're doing sensationalism and the same with NBC and Concast -- I don't call it Comcast I call it Concast. Let me just, who do you work, let me just say something.



That's really bad reporting. And you ought to get back to reporting instead of sensationalism. Let's see if it works. It might and it might not. I happen to feel good about it, but who knows? I've been right a lot.

-------------------------




Another gem of a quote from Trump:

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said Friday that he would choose not to wear a coronavirus mask because it would interfere with his ability to meet with foreign presidents, prime ministers and "dictators."
"Somehow sitting in the Oval Office, behind that beautiful Resolute Desk," Trump said, indicating he thought it would be uncomfortable wearing a mask as he met with "presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens – I don’t know, somehow I don’t see it for myself."




Add to list

If you watch MSNBC like I do this will help explain why he attacks CNN so often: Trump brutally fact-checked by CNN host for lying and blame-shifting about shortages of US pandemic supplies


...........................

Trump has handled the coronavirus the way he handles everything: Like a toddler.


The pandemic is highlighting all of the president’s worst impulses. Scroll down for excerpt


































































































After declaring a national emergency, Trump fumed about the images of empty airports and grounded planes on television. He has publicly compared his poll numbers with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s. He has responded to anodyne questions from reporters by saying they are “nasty” and demanding that journalists “be nice.”
Scroll down


































































































In other words, not even a crisis as massive as the novel coronavirus has stopped the president from behaving like a cranky toddler.
Trump’s toddler traits have significantly hampered America’s response to the pandemic. They aren’t new, either. In the first three years of his term, I’ve collected 1,300 instances when a Trump staffer, subordinate or ally — in other words, someone with a rooting interest in the success of Trump’s presidency — nonetheless described him the way most of us might describe a petulant 2-year-old. Trump offers the greatest example of pervasive developmental delay in American political history.
The elevation of a toddler to the Oval Office intersected with a trend that predates Trump and has made the problem worse: the increasing agglomeration of power in the hands of the president. In the half-century since Watergate, presidents from both sides of the aisle have beaten back formal and informal constraints. They have resisted congressional oversight, cowed judges into submission and disciplined bureaucrats into obeying their every whim. Increasing political polarization has facilitated presidential power grabs by enervating congressional oversight, increasing the political loyalty of Cabinet officers, and eroding the norms and unwritten rules of the presidency.
Scroll down
.... in conclusion
The final and most disturbing parallel between Trump and a toddler is that, like at a day-care center that doesn’t pay caregivers enough, the staff turnover in this administration has hampered the government’s response. The burn rate of senior officials has been much higher under Trump than under any of his post-Cold War predecessors. Scroll down
The GOP did not send its best to staff Trump’s administration in January 2017, and he is now scraping from the bottom of the barrel. As the coronavirus crisis metastasized, Trump fired his third, and hired his fourth, chief of staff. His fourth national security adviser shrunk his staff by more than a third before the outbreak — including shuffling the National Security Council’s planning for pandemics into a larger sub-office, diluting its power within the White House. Two-thirds of the senior positions at the Department of Homeland Security are vacant or filled with acting officials. Civilian vacancies at the Pentagon are at record highs.


Another HuffPost story with a different title on the from page: 

Comparing Trump’s Coronavirus Response To Herbert Hoover’s Great Depression Failure

My comment to this story:

Finally Trump’s inability to control his malignant narcissism appears to be catching up with him. As I wrote awhile back, he is a scorpion whose stinging is instinctive and now it is getting to some of his base, the frog in the fable that keeps him afloat. His bullying and vicious attacks against reporters and Democrats worked at his rallies but now he is addressing supporters who are personally scared. Perhaps they are fed up with his insult humor and self-aggrandizement. This behavior is contrasted with Dr.Fauci in particular, to a lesser extent with Dr. Brix, on the stage with him. He is hogging more and more airtime because I think the is threatened by the modest Dr. Fauci who the nation is looking for information unsullied by politics.
Not only that even Fox News is covering Gov. Cuomo’s briefing. Let’s hope this all continued to have an effect on his popularity.



Today’s propaganda is tomorrow’s truth, and vice versa.





    Cape Cod Canal - click to enlarge


    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




    Click above to read
    Click to enlarge

    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)

    Edinburgh

    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

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