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Hometown: Green Mountains
Home country: US
Member since: Tue Feb 5, 2013, 03:27 PM
Number of posts: 11,876

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WaPo: I worked for Jared Kushner. Of course he says his covid-19 failure is a success.


President Trump’s son-in-law always casts himself as the genius cleaning up someone else’s problems.

By Elizabeth Spiers
Elizabeth Spiers is the chief executive of the Insurrection, a progressive digital messaging firm.
May 8, 2020 at 9:48 a.m. EDT

Jared Kushner’s coronavirus response team, we learned this week, is fumbling because it’s largely staffed with inexperienced volunteers. Of course it is. It’s being run by one.

Kushner’s lack of experience and expertise has not been remedied in any way during his now three-plus years in the White House. After bungling many high-profile efforts to address various problems and often making them worse (see, Middle East, peace in), he keeps being handed more responsibilities with higher stakes. He has wasted taxpayer resources and endangered lives trying on policy roles usually reserved for the country’s top experts with the sophistication of a child playing dress-up, cavalierly discarding them when he can’t fit into them.

This is basically Kushner’s modus operandi, and it’s painfully familiar to me because he was my boss when I was the editor in chief of the New York Observer, which he had bought when he was 25. (I’ve written before about what he was like as a businessman.) One of the more memorable instances of this I witnessed was at a memorial service for a beloved longtime Observer staffer, Tyler Rush, who’d joined the paper well before Kushner bought it. When it came time for Kushner to say a few words, he launched into a supercilious monologue crediting himself with finally getting the paper published on time after what he described as chaos when he arrived. He also told an anecdote about Rush approaching him when he bought the paper to note that his staff was underpaid, which was true at the time, and true when I took the editor job years later. Kushner congratulated himself during the memorial for giving Rush and his production team the only raise that year because “unlike everyone else,” Rush hadn’t been lying to Kushner.

I'm glad to see the WaPo start to be a good investigative reporting organization. For too long it was part of the DC power group.

Is there a game plan, a credo, a document that outlines how they want to destroy US?

There's way too much coordination between the (r)epuglicons in the US senate/house, the state governors and legislators, the peeResident, the RW media, the NRA, the armed nut-jobs, etc. for there not to be some outline of how this is supposed to play out.

I don't believe at all that these are all independent acts of "patriots" or "libertarians" or "trumpistas". They are coordinated.

Someone is orchestrating this. Somewhere there is a plan - written/interactive/recorded. Is there a book that guides them? Do they have monthly video chats or do they just meet in a yacht regatta or secluded island?

What is their end-game? Where do "they" want to be in 1, 2, 5, 50 years?

How many lower-class people will be left alive? How will "they" clean up the stench?

The southern border wall is a manifestation of their fear of people flooding the US and depriving "them" of their rightful inheritance of land and power.

I'm out of tin-foil. This is a real question for me.

Handcuffed: Black Miami Doctor Who Works with Homeless Says He Was Racially Profiled by Police -


Democracy Now, 2nd part. The first part was filed at https://upload.democraticunderground.com/100213285914 but was self-deleted by author, not sure why.

Marcy Wheeler's follow-up to George Packers: "We are living in a failed state"


I’m not usually a fan of George Packer. But I keep coming back to this column, We Are Living in a Failed State. The coronavirus didn’t break America. It revealed what was already broken, which is something I might have written. It argued that this pandemic, to which the US responded like a corrupt poor country, was actually the third crisis of this century, and our responses to the previous two — 9/11 and the Iraq War, and the Wall Street crisis — simply brought this country to the place where Trump could loot it.

A good read and, as usual, a lot of intelligent conversations below.

Special Report: HHS chief Azar had aide, former dog breeder, steer pandemic task force

Source: Reuters

As is now widely known, two agencies Azar oversaw as HHS secretary, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, wouldn’t come up with viable tests for five and half weeks, even as other countries and the World Health Organization had already prepared their own.

Shortly after his televised comments, Azar tapped a trusted aide with minimal public health experience to lead the agency’s day-to-day response to COVID-19. The aide, Brian Harrison, had joined the department after running a dog-breeding business for six years. Five sources say some officials in the White House derisively called him “the dog breeder.”

Azar’s optimistic public pronouncement and choice of an inexperienced manager are emblematic of his agency’s oft-troubled response to the crisis. His HHS is a behemoth department, overseeing almost every federal public health agency in the country, with a $1.3 trillion budget that exceeds the gross national product of most countries.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-hhschief-speci/special-report-hhs-chief-azar-had-aide-former-dog-breeder-steer-pandemic-task-force-idUSKCN2243CE

And I thought his dumpy boss didn't even like dogs.

Also from the article:
On January 21, the day the first U.S. case of coronavirus was reported, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services appeared on Fox News to report the latest on the disease as it ravaged China. Alex Azar, a 52-year-old lawyer and former drug industry executive, assured Americans the U.S. government was prepared.

“We developed a diagnostic test at the CDC, so we can confirm if somebody has this,” Azar said. “We will be spreading that diagnostic around the country so that we are able to do rapid testing on site.”

While coronavirus in Wuhan, China, was “potentially serious,” Azar assured viewers in America, it “was one for which we have a playbook.”

Azar’s initial comments misfired on two fronts. Like many U.S. officials, from President Donald Trump on down, he underestimated the pandemic’s severity. He also overestimated his agency’s preparedness.

Azar’s optimistic public pronouncement and choice of an inexperienced manager are emblematic of his agency’s oft-troubled response to the crisis. His HHS is a behemoth department, overseeing almost every federal public health agency in the country, with a $1.3 trillion budget that exceeds the gross national product of most countries.

Krebs On Security: Who's Behind the "Reopen" Domain Surge?

Some great analysis by Brian Krebs detailing some of the ownership/control of a large number of new domain registrations made after the dump called on his followers to "Liberate" some of the states.

Whoops: Here's the URL: https://krebsonsecurity.com/2020/04/whos-behind-the-reopen-domain-surge/

The past few weeks have seen a large number of new domain registrations beginning with the word “reopen” and ending with U.S. city or state names. The largest number of them were created just hours after President Trump sent a series of all-caps tweets urging citizens to “liberate” themselves from new gun control measures and state leaders who’ve enacted strict social distancing restrictions in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s a closer look at who and what appear to be behind these domains.

KrebsOnSecurity began this research after reading a fascinating Reddit thread over the weekend on several “reopen” sites that seemed to be engaged in astroturfing, which involves masking the sponsors of a message or organization to make it appear as thought it originates from and is supported by grassroots participants.

The Reddit discussion focused on a handful of new domains — including reopenmn.com, reopenpa.com, and reopenva.com — that appeared to be tied to various gun rights groups in those states. Their registrations have roughly coincided with contemporaneous demonstrations in Minnesota, California and Tennessee where people showed up to protest quarantine restrictions over the past few days.

Same old (r)epuglicon slime working on behalf of Kochs, Putin, etc.

Michael Cohen, Trump's former lawyer, in solitary confinement

Source: Reuters

Michael Cohen, U.S. President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, has been placed in solitary confinement at a federal prison in New York state where he is serving time for violating campaign finance laws, according to his lawyer and two sources familiar with the matter.

Cohen, 53, was transferred on Wednesday to a Special Housing Unit at Otisville Federal Correctional Institution, a disciplinary section of the prison, the sources said.

Until now, Cohen had been housed in a minimum-security camp at Otisville, which is about 70 miles (110 km) northwest of New York City.

One of the sources said Cohen was placed in solitary after another inmate complained about his internet use.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-cohen-exclusive/exclusive-michael-cohen-trumps-former-lawyer-in-solitary-confinement-idUSKCN21R38A

Wonder how long it will be before he is found with his neck broken and all cameras disabled.

Any way we can have all trump photos in "Pic of the Moment" blurred out?

Seeing his mug front-and-center in almost every DU home page is revolting.

I understand that some might be trying to mock his idiotic face and body with these photos. He doesn't care.

I'd suggest a pig's rear end but that maligns our porcine friends. How about just a blobulous mass with an oozing orifice?

I might try to put some browser image blocker on for his mug - there must be one.

"A Virus Does Not Care" - An excellent recitation

(Please read the whole blog post. It is very powerful.)

A virus does not care. A virus simply wants to reproduce, and for that it needs a host. A virus does not care about who that host is. A virus just wants a place to live, eat, and reproduce. A virus does not care if it makes the host sick. A virus does not care if it kills the host. This is the First Rule of Viruses: A virus does not care.

But people care, and they care about lots of things, and that’s where things got worse. People care about their status. People care about their businesses and their livelihoods. People care about parades the celebrate the end of a long and ugly war. People care about gathering in the corner bar with their friends, and playing sports in the local parks. People care about staying safe when danger threatens. People care about singing and dancing and enjoying life. People care about a million and one things, but a virus does not care about any of those things.

A virus does not care.

A virus does not care if it is a beautiful time. A virus does not care if it is a great day. A virus does not care what you think. A virus does not care what you love.
We can choose how we respond to an uncaring virus. We can choose like St. Louis did, or we can choose like Philadelphia. And for far too many people, my friends, that is a choice between life and death. And in 1918, even St. Louis didn’t get it completely right:

The quarantine was temporarily lifted Nov. 18 but reinstated when the flu roared back in December. By Dec. 10 the flu peaked in the city with 60 deaths in one day. After illnesses declined sharply, the quarantine was lifted just after Christmas.

I’m a pastor. I’d love to see my church packed to the rafters on Easter. I’d love to hear the trumpets leading a 1000 voices in grand hymns of celebration. But that’s not going to happen, because while a virus does not care, I do.

We’re going to be closed this year. Not because we want to be. Not because we lack faith. Not because we don’t care about worship. Not because we’re giving in to the virus. It’s because we care about ourselves and our community so much that we’ll give up this kind of gathering to defeat the virus. Anything less than a full community commitment to a choice like that, and the virus will not be slowed, because the virus does not care.

I pray that more local leaders, state leaders, and national leaders choose wisely, even as Trump seems determined to choose . . . poorly.

I pray this, because I know the First Rule of Viruses: a virus does not care.

Time for the dump family to take a one-way trip to the USSR?

Things are getting a bit unpleasant here in the USofA.

Dump has fulfilled the terms of his contract, mostly. The bonus 20% will be paid when the US becomes totally incapacitated.

Dear Vlad has promised a huuge dasha and a Dump Tower to hold all of Donnie's wealth. Sort of like the Tower of London.

Jarvanka will have suitable accommodations also - probably a leading role making dolls and trollings. Dump's "wife" will be rewarded with a Slovenian Metal of Horror "Ask Me If I Care".

Pence will continue looking like a robot bunny until his energizer batteries wear out.

There's probably a very good supply of novichok for all of the above and anyone else who may have knowledge of the linkages between the USSR and the US - looking at you (r)epublicons.
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