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Trump's impulsivity and incompetence

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Secular Stagnation under Neoliberalism Who Rules America Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich TTP, NAFTA and other supernational trade treates Brexit as the start of the reversal of neoliberal globalization The World as the Grand Chessboard of the American empire Debt slavery
Michael Wolff's "Fire and fury" revelations Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism National Security State Demonization of Putin Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Immigration, wage depression and free movement of workers Anti Trump Hysteria
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  I’m very close to Israel . . .  very close. I have a great relationship, very close. Far better than our president has,” he told the jubilant Birch Run audience.

Trump at the 2015 Birch Run, Michigan Lincoln Day Dinner—the 28:44 mark in the video.

“I know Bibi very well. In fact, he asked me if I’d do a commercial for him. In fact, I’m the only so-called celebrity that did a commercial for him.”

Trump on Hugh Hewitt’s daily radio show.

“You don’t become a Manhattan real estate mogul without seeding the Kosher pot.”

~Brother Nathanial Kapner

One would think that being  a real estan developer in NY requires high level of intelligence  and strict self-discipline. Wrong. As Trump proved you can be obnoxious bully and narcissist and still succeed. It is absolutely incredible that such  an uneducated narcissist became the US President but large pat of this fault lies on Hillary Clinton and the US neoliberal establishment. Which pushed Sanders under the bus in2016.

The pieces of the puzzle are all falling into place now  and  we see who Trump really is not who he is pretend to be (Donald Trump, the Impulsive Demagogue in the White House The New Yorker )

... it's hard to recall a President who had such little interest, or expertise, in the details of governing. Wayne Barrett, the legendary Village Voice muckraker who died on Thursday, at the age of seventy-one, had covered Trump for almost as long as anybody. (He published a book about him, in 1992.) “Donald just has no interest in information," Barrett told Jennifer Gonnerman, shortly after the election. "He has no genuine interest in policy. He operates by impulse.”

We now knew Trump was being financed and heavily supported by the Zionists such as Sheldon Adelson who gave Trump a huge campaign donation. His son-in-law and Ivanka are is clearly Zionists.  his major appointment  such  as Bolton  and Pompeo are typical rabid neocons which  would be  perfectly at home in Bush II administration.

Trump’s brazen, shoot-from-the-hip style appealed to many voters fed up with neoliberal Washington. And since his inauguration, Trump has made a show of breaking the rules — shaking up the political establishment with everything from unorthodox decisions to off-the-cuff comments to full-blown international scandals.

Some pundits have questioned the president’s mental state and wondered aloud whether he has a diagnosable mental health condition called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  Some ADHD experts, including George Sachs, Psy.D., and Ben Michaelis, Ph.D., posit that Donald Trump might be running the country with undiagnosed ADHD.

Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter of Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal, cited the President’s short attention span, impulsive tendencies, restless behavior, and daily fix via Twitter.  Nothing in Trump’s public medical records indicate he has ever been diagnosed with ADHD but  his father send him to the New York Military Academy (NYMA), the private boarding school to rain on his behaviour (How young Donald Trump was slapped and punched until he made his bed - New York Daily News)

According to the DSM-V, an individual may qualify for an ADHD diagnosis only if five or more symptoms under one or more of the categories below are present before age 12, are present in more than one setting (i.e. work and home), and “interfere with, or reduce the quality of, social, school, or work functioning.”

Inattention

Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities — Trump is known for making spelling errors in tweets (the confounding “covfefe” is perhaps the most obvious example). He has misspelled “honored” as “honered,” “tap” as “tapp,” and “unprecedented” as “unpresidented” — painting a picture of an impatient typist who doesn’t take the time to proofread the words reaching 34 million followers.

Has difficulty sustaining attentionJack O’Donnell, a former business associate of Trump’s, said in an interview that if he wanted to run something by Donald, he would do it immediately upon seeing him. Otherwise, he added, “If you hit him too late in the conversation, he might say, ‘Let’s talk about it later’ — and he was gone.”  O’Donnell isn’t the only one who’s noticed Trump’s tendency to get bored quickly.  The magazine Foreign Policy, in its article “NATO Frantically Tries to Trump-Proof President’s First Visit,” quoted one anonymous NATO source who said: “It’s like they’re preparing to deal with a child — someone with a short attention span and mood who has no knowledge of NATO, no interest in in-depth policy issues, nothing.”

Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly — Early in his presidency, it was revealed that while Trump appeared to be nodding along to remarks given by Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, he was in fact not wearing a translation device in his ear, and thus could not actually be listening.

Does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace — At his transition meeting with former President Barack Obama, Trump “seemed surprised” by the job ahead of him, insider reports said

Has difficulty organizing tasks and activities — After his Electoral College victory, Trump and his team struggled to organize their personnel and materials for the post-Obama transition.

Avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort — Trump has asked his staff to keep his daily briefings short, and fill them with “killer graphics” whenever possible. “I like bullets, or I like as little as possible,” Trump said in an interview before his inauguration. “I don’t need, you know, 200-page reports on something that can be handled on a page.”

Easily distracted by extraneous stimuli — Trump once paused in the middle of his own speech on infrastructure projects to wave at a passing boat captain. “We’re going to restore America’s industrial might,” he said. “And I look here, and, something, those barges, they’ve been waiting for us to say hello. The captain says please wave. Hello, Captain.”

https://www.youtube.com/embed/QNnpri38QoY 

Hyperactivity

Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat — Donald Trump often moves items on tables when he sits down, as late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel realized.

Appears “on the go” or acts as if “driven by a motor” — Trump is an avid golfer, and former playing partners have reported that he speeds through courses at a breakneck pace. Sportswriter Rick Reilly, who played a round of golf with Trump over a decade ago, wrote that they completed 18 holes in less than three hours — “and that,” Reilly wrote, included “stopping often to harangue the stonemason, the path paver, and the greenskeeper to redo the bricks, or re-trim a tree, or re-pave a path that is not absolutely, immaculately Trumpalicious.”

Talks excessively — The President has been known to give long-winded speeches that stray widely from his prepared remarks, though this is hardly a unique trait among politicians. He’s also a habitual tweeter, often going on late-night “Tweetstorms” regarding whatever’s on his mind (or on TV) that day.

Impulsivity

Blurts out the answers before the questions have been completed — Trump often speaks without clearing it with his team, which has led to some scrambling on the part of the White House. He once told the Associated Press that a tax reform plan would be rolled out in the next five days; his aides, however, were unaware of this and had no such intentions. “The reason your head is spinning on this is that the plan isn’t even written yet,” one senior White House official said shortly after Trump’s remarks.

Speaking off the cuff, he has also contradicted statements made by the White House team, as he did when speaking on camera with NBC News anchor Lester Holt about the firing of FBI director James Comey. After Vice President Mike Pence said the firing came at the recommendation of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Trump said quite the opposite on camera: “I was going to fire Comey — my decision… I was going to fire regardless of recommendation.”

Has difficulty awaiting turn — During a NATO meeting earlier this year, Trump was caught on video shoving the Prime Minister of Montenegro in an apparent bid to get to the front of the group of world leaders. On the day of his Inauguration, he was also criticized for leaving behind his wife, Melania Trump, as he eagerly bounded out of their shared limousine.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/T4rWVOeEI7Y 

Interrupts or intrudes on others — During the debates, Trump repeatedly interrupted or spoke over his adversaries. After his first head-to-head match with Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, The New York Times counted 39 interruptions from Trump — compared to just 8 by Clinton.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/dN6f6K3E5QQ 

What Do These Symptoms Mean?

Do the examples above prove that Donald Trump has ADHD? Absolutely not. Could strategically selected videos and quotes be found to support almost any similar claim against a public figure like Trump? Quite likely.

The fact is: Only a qualified professional with experience evaluating symptoms of ADHD in adults could make that determination following diagnostic interviews, test analysis, and a study of Trump’s family medical history. Without a full medical history and a transparent diagnostic process, we may never know whether Trump has attention deficit or, as others have suggested, BMD, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or early signs of dementia.

Still, many experts have criticized the recent trend of “armchair diagnosis,” accusing unqualified pundits of jumping to conclusions without first engaging in a full or accurate evaluation.


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[May 02, 2021] When Politicians Panicked by John Tamny

May 01, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by John Tamny via TheMarket.ch,

Let's travel back in time to March of 2020. It was then that predictions of mass death related to the new coronavirus started to gain currency. One study, conducted by Imperial College's Neil Ferguson, indicated that U.S. deaths alone would exceed 2 million.

The above number is often used as justification for the initial lockdowns. "We knew so little" is the excuse, and with so many deaths expected, can anyone blame local, state and national politicians for panicking? The answer is a resounding yes.

To see why, imagine if Ferguson had predicted 30 million American deaths, and hundreds of millions more around the world. Imagine the global fear, which is precisely the point. The more threatening a virus is presumed to be, the more superfluous government force is. Really, who needs to be told to be careful if a failure to be could reasonably result in death?

Death predictions aside, the other justification bruited in March of 2020 was that brief lockdowns would flatten the hospitalization curve. In this case, the taking of freedom allegedly made sense as a way of protecting hospitals from a massive inflow of sick patients that they wouldn't have been able to handle, and that would have resulted in a public health catastrophe. Such a view similarly vandalizes reason. Think about it.

Really, who needs to be forced to avoid behavior that might result in hospitalization? Better yet, who needs to be forced to avoid behavior that might result in hospitalization at a time when doctors and hospitals would be so short staffed as to not be able to take care of admitted patients?

Translated for those who need it, the dire predictions made over a year ago about the corona-horrors that awaited us don't justify the lockdowns; rather they should remind the mildly sentient among us of how cruel and pointless they were. The common sense that we're to varying degrees born with, along with our genetic predisposition to survive, dictates that a fear of hospitalization or death would have caused us to take virus-avoidance precautions that would have well exceeded any rules foisted on us by politicians. Goodness, masks and hand sanitizers were selling out in Germany at a time when politicians were still downplaying the virus.

Vital Signals Get Lost

To which some will reply with something along the lines of "Not everyone has common sense. In truth, there are lots of dumb, low-information types out there who would have disregarded all the warnings. Lockdowns weren't necessary for the wise among us; rather they were essential precisely because there are so many who aren't wise." Actually, such a response is the best argument of all against lockdowns.

Indeed, it cannot be stressed enough that "low information" types are the most crucial people of all during periods of uncertainty. Precisely because they'll be unaware of, misunderstand, or reject the warnings of the experts, their actions will produce essential information that the rule-followers never could. In not doing what the allegedly wise among us will, low information citizens will, by their contrarian actions, teach us what behavior is most associated with avoidance of sickness and death, and more important, what behavior is associated with it.

One-size-fits-all decrees from politicians don't enhance health outcomes as much as they blind us to the actions (or lack thereof) that would protect us the most, or not. Freedom on its own is a virtue, plus it produces crucial information.

But wait, some will say, "how elitist to let some people act as Guinea Pigs for the rest of us." Such a statement is naïve. Heroin and cocaine are illegal, but people still use both. Thank goodness they do. How could we know what threatens us, and what doesn't, without the rebellious?

Economic Growth Is the Best Medicine

Still, there's the question of "elitism," or comment about it. The view here is that the lockdowns were the cruelest form of elitism, by far. The implied statement about the lockdowns was that those who had the temerity to have jobs that were destinations would have to lose them. The lockdowns destroyed tens of millions of destination jobs, destroyed or severely impaired millions of businesses, not to mention the hundreds of millions around the world who were rushed into starvation, poverty or both as a consequence of nail-biting politicians in rich countries that chose to take a break from reality. Talk about elitist actions, plus the very idea of wrecking the economy as a virus-mitigation strategy will go down in history as one of the most abjectly stupid policy responses the world has ever endured.

That's the case because economic growth is easily the biggest enemy death and disease have ever known, while poverty is easily the biggest killer. Economic growth produces the resources necessary so that doctors and scientists can come up with answers to what needlessly sickens us or shortens our lives altogether.

If anyone doubts the above truth, it's useful to travel back in time to the 19th century. A broken femur then brought with it a 1 out of 3 chance of death, while those lucky enough to survive the break had only one option: amputation. A child born in the 19th century had as good a chance of dying as living. A broken hip was a death sentence, cancer most certainly was, but most didn't die of cancer because tuberculosis and pneumonia got them first.

So what happened? Why don't we get sick or die as easily as we used to? The answer is economic growth. Business titans like Johns Hopkins and John D. Rockefeller created enormous wealth, only to direct a lot of it toward medical science. What used to kill us became yesterday's news.

Even though freedom is its own wondrous virtue, even though freedom produces essential information that protects us, and even though free people produce the resources without which diseases kill with sickening rapidity, panicky politicians erased it in 2020 on the supposition that personal and economic desperation were the best solution for a spreading coronavirus. Historians will marvel at the abject stupidity of the political class in 2020.

* * *

John Tamny is Vice President at FreedomWorks, editor of RealClearMarkets , and author of the new book "When Politicians Panicked: The New Coronavirus, Expert Opinion, and a Tragic Lapse of Reason."


takeaction 16 hours ago (Edited)

No politician panicked...

Everything going as planned...NOW.

First we have Trump accidentally beating Hillary(The cheating machine goofed). This was the Dems ultimate f&^k up. He was NEVER supposed to win. Then the plan was taken off the shelf. We must destroy Trump...economy is booming, and he will win re-election if we don't do something fast. So then came the cheating plan. Create a pandemic (Make the next wave of normal flu into a huge boogie man)...this will force mail in ballots, which we can stuff and fake....and then we can clean up and Joe is in. While we are at it...let's crush the economy...hand out money like crazy and raise taxes. We want more people depending on just the government and wipe out small business. While we are at it...let's see how far the people will follow...Masks....Social Distancing etc. and then try to force an untested vaccine on the pleabs. The plan is much more integrated and complex then this...but this is how I feel it is going down.

NOTE: Starting yesterday here in Portland Oregon all restaurants are no longer to have indoor dining. Gyms...no matter how big are only allowed 6 people. We are being locked down again...Our Governor is insane. Remember...We have had "Cheat by Mail" since 1998 in Oregon and it is very clear what has happened and is going on with our elections. Oh yeah...Tonight is the May Day Antifa Riots downtown. More fun.

One final note...remember when they said "We just have to flatten the curve". Well...that was a lie...as with most other claims from anybody with power.

Hypocritical lying pieces of s^%t. All of them. And what is really sad is the majority of folks following orders. Sorry for the long rant. Just super pissed.

mijev 15 hours ago remove link

Imagine that you'd spent a year in the wilderness with no access to tv or the internet and you get told that there's been a pandemic. So you ask what happened in the most densely populated country in the world, Singapore, which is basically a massive cruise ship. "Oh, they had 35 deaths."

LetThemEatRand 15 hours ago

I would rethink the part about Trump not being part of the plan. Remember it is Trump himself who wants the vaccine called the Trumpcine. It is kind of bizarre how so many people believe the entire virus thing is part of a NWO plan but still think Trump was riding a white horse to save us. He was one of the four horsemen, maybe.

sleeping on a volcano 14 hours ago

Trump is not only a vaccine pimp. His cabinet was the swamp personified. He hired bill barr (check out his history with ruby ridge and waco), he hired chris wray (check out his investments in russia via king & spaulding). Trump ABANDONED the people HE INVITED to the capitol. Trump, the lifelong democrat, his progeny are also dems, is either complicit or even dumber than the MSM claims he is. I think it's pretty obvious.

NoDebt 16 hours ago (Edited) remove link

The view here is that the lockdowns were the cruelest form of elitism, by far.

What do you mean WERE? They are still happening and being rapidly reintroduced in many areas they had previously been lifted.

And I'm going to let you in on a little secret: They'll happen again. Over and over as political expediency dictates. They will NEVER end. And nobody in the elites will EVER admit they are a mistake because they aren't. They are a PLAN.

adr 15 hours ago remove link

For the first time in history, nobody anywhere in the world died of the Flu.

The United States officially recognized 1713 cases of the flu from September 1st 2020 to April 30th 2021.

Did you know that every single Covid PCR test can't tell the difference between Covid and Influenza A, B, H1N1 and all other variants?

Go look up the technical documents. It is written on the first page under the bold type, FOR RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY, NOT TO BE USED AS A DIAGNOSTIC TEST.

Fauxchi has never answered the question, can the PCR test be used to diagnose an infection?

GoodyGumdrops 15 hours ago

I know people who agreed with the lockdowns and the mask mandates. I now know their true character Their livelihood wasn't affected by these draconian rules, so they had no problem turning a blind eye to those who were being affected.

When the lockdowns started, that's when I knew this wasn't about a cold/flu virus. It made absolutely no sense to shut down businesses worldwide and to force people to lose their income. The consequences of these lockdowns in the near future will be incalculable.

[Apr 03, 2021] The level of trust in the US government actions during epidemic is very low

The comment below is pretty indicative
Apr 03, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

tyberious 20 hours ago

They lied about masks.

They lied about social distancing.

They lied about shut downs.

They lied about HQC.

They lied about ivermectin.

They lied about the vaccines.

They lied about covid.

Now they want vaccine passports, why?

To protect your health, naw, there is something in that vaccine that they want everyone to have!

[Mar 21, 2021] Trump's artifice, boorishness and obnoxiousness could never compare to any of the other heads of state America has had since that hayseed peanut farmer guy.

Mar 21, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

William Gruff , Mar 21 2021 1:04 utc | 172

George Bush Sr showing his respect to the Japanese PM .

I have always hated Trump (I despise oligarchs and narcissists, and I find the shallow fakery of "reality TV" and pro wrestling repellent) but Trump's artifice, boorishness and obnoxiousness could never compare to any of the other heads of state America has had since that hayseed peanut farmer guy. It might take some time, but give perspective and distance history will be kinder to Trump than any other president in the last half century or more.

[Feb 21, 2021] One key issue, when evaluating Trump, is the disconnect between his rhetoric and appointments. It is not possible to drain the swamp by appointing swamp creatures to oversee the work.

Feb 21, 2021 | www.unz.com

Spanky , says: February 16, 2021 at 5:16 am GMT • 4.0 days ago

@MLK tle difference between GHW Bush's and WJ Clinton's substantive policies that it absolutely did not matter who won, having written a 4,500 word think piece analyzing the reasons for those non-existent differences which was published in a Little Rock news weekly just before election day.

One key issue, when evaluating Trump, is the disconnect between his rhetoric and appointments. It is not possible to drain the swamp by appointing swamp creatures to oversee the work.

There are only three explanations for this: 1) Trump, as Paul Craig Roberts notes, was unseasoned and in over his head; or 2) is simply a fool; or 3) knew exactly what he was doing.

MLK , says: February 16, 2021 at 1:40 pm GMT • 3.7 days ago
@Spanky r bean even though they were all pulling for him anyway, they were never able to break Trump and they have never and will never forgive him for it.

Whether one characterizes Trump as staggeringly courageous and tenacious, or foolhardy beyond belief. really tells us more about the opinion-holder than it does Trump.

The older I get the more I attribute actions even at the commanding heights to base emotions and irrationality. The younger I was the more I was willing to believe these characters knew what they were doing and, even if misguided, believed they were acting in the national interest.

Among Trumps many achievements is putting that one to bed. They're not fooling anyone anymore.

Spanky , says: February 16, 2021 at 10:09 pm GMT • 3.3 days ago
@MLK 1) their spurious and failed claim that Trump fanned insurrectionist flames when compared to their actual support for violent racially-motivated riots, and 2) several of Biden's executive orders directly harm their numerically larger and far less radical base.

No wonder H.R. 1 and S. 1 are at the top of their agenda.

the overwhelming majority of Americans [are] still stubbornly attached to the Rule of Law, free and fair elections, and that consent of the governed thingie. -- MLK

One of the keys to unlocking the political chains forged by the privately-owned political parties is that consent of the governed thingie .

[Feb 21, 2021] Trump is a despicable excuse for a human being. A con artist that could not make a go of a gambling casino and has dodged fraud convictions while paying civil fines for a fake University and being forced to shut down his New York Charity because he used it for his personal enrichment and aggrandizement.

Feb 21, 2021 | www.unz.com

bayviking , says: February 15, 2021 at 6:19 pm GMT • 4.5 days ago

Many Republicans are afraid of the following that Trump enjoys and do not want to lose those votes. That's why Trump was not convicted. Otherwise, loyal Republicans constitute a minority of about 25% of the country because most people realize that Republicans are worse than the pathetic Democrats, especially when it comes to populist programs.

Trump is a despicable excuse for a human being. A con artist that could not make a go of a gambling casino and has dodged fraud convictions while paying civil fines for a fake University and being forced to shut down his New York Charity because he used it for his personal enrichment and aggrandizement. His campaigning as a populist is a fraud. He has sought to cut every government benefit that remained after Bill Clinton took an axe to them, with the full support and delight of the Republican Party.

Trump lost the popular vote in 2016 and 2020. The bizarre Electoral College h.as delivered the two worst Presidents in American history. But even those victories would have been impossible without gerrymandering and voter suppression tactics of the Republican Party which have never been properly punished because the perpetrators control the State Governments which practice these election crimes.

We have already seen more deaths from Covid-19 than from Vietnam or WWII. Democrats made the decision to put lives before profits with mixed results. But, the recommendations of pandemic experts work best when enforced with dictatorial certainty or nearly full compliance from a population that trusts its government to be looking out for its best interests. That explains why almost every country in the world has been better able to manage Covid risks than the United States. Socialist Sweden regrets the outcomes from following policies similar to what Trump and the Republican Party recommends, which is the economy is more important than poor peoples lives. To a Republican immigrants working in agricultural harvesting or meat packing are both essential and disposable.

We probably haven't seen the last of Trump criminal cases of attempted vote tampering in Georgia or tax evasion and fraud in New York. Trump has never had a health care plan to replace the Obama plan which secured the insurance industry's profit position. Trump and the Republicans prefer a system in which every citizen loses their health care whenever they lose their job and never has any health care for pre-existing conditions. The notion that Trump is a populist comes straight out of the Geoobell's handbook, as does most of Whitney's commentary here.

AKINDLE , says: February 15, 2021 at 7:56 pm GMT • 4.4 days ago
@nsa

I hear ya, laughable at Trump's Winning .lost the election, lost Georgia, lost Michigan, lost Arizona, lost the Georgia Senate seats, veto of military budget bill overturned, rebuffed by Pence, more illegal and legal immigration than ever, impeached twice. Pardoned the likes of Kwame Kilpatrick on the way out of office. Trump's a big loser. He can now retire and play golf with his best party friend's the clintons.

[Feb 05, 2021] Trump leaves behind a coterie of frustrated former national security advisers by Jamie McIntyre

Jan 21, 2021 | www.washingtonexaminer.com

Retired Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly, who served as President Donald Trump's chief of staff and homeland security chief, was one of hundreds of administration officials invited to help give Trump a rousing send-off on his last day in office as the departing president skipped the inauguration of Joe Biden and instead ordered up a military salute to himself at Joint Base Andrews.

Kelly declined to attend; his 18 months at the White House left a bitter taste in his mouth.

"From a distance, it's impossible to understand who he actually is. But when you work closely with him, you understand he's a very, very flawed human being," Kelly told CNN the day after the Jan. 6 siege of the Capitol.

"All I ever heard from some of the real devotees in the White House was, 'You got to let Trump be Trump.' Let me just say, this is what happens as a result of letting Trump be Trump," Kelly said of the deadly attack.

Kelly's experience, hoping to help Trump make better, more informed decisions only to be blindsided at every turn by Trump's erratic, impulsive nature, is a story repeated by many other national security officials who worked with him.

"He believes what he believes, and he will go and find people that will give him the opinion he's looking for," Kelly said. "You don't survive by telling this president the truth, for very long, anyway."

Defense Secretary Mark Esper discovered early on that he would have limited influence with Trump.

The best he could expect to do would be to keep his head down and try to translate Trump's tweets and bolt-from-the-blue orders into something resembling coherent policy, all while quietly pushing the Pentagon to adapt to the changing nature of warfare in the age of hypersonics and artificial intelligence.

"I can only control what I do," an exasperated Esper said in an exit interview with Military Times after Trump fired him, post-election. "The president's very transparent in terms of what he wants."

By all accounts, Esper went beyond the call of duty to carry out Trump's often mercurial wishes while at the same time attempting to maintain the integrity of the department and to shore up America's strained alliances.

"I'm not trying to make anybody happy. What I'm trying to do is fulfill what he wants and make the best out of it," Esper said. "I mean, he's the duly elected commander in chief."

When Trump ordered 12,000 troops out of Germany to punish the NATO ally in his feud over defense spending, Esper came up with a plausible rationale to defend the very expensive move.

When Trump objected to the banning of Confederate flags on DOD and military installations, Esper crafted a policy that finessed the problem without mentioning the rebel colors.

The reward for his fealty was to hear Trump mockingly refer to him as "Yesper," casting Esper unfairly as just another of the president's yes men.

"Who's pushed back more than anybody? Name another Cabinet secretary that's pushed back," Esper said in his own defense. "Have you seen me on a stage saying, 'Under the exceptional leadership of blah-blah-blah, we have blah-blah-blah-blah?'"

But Esper, like many who labored on behalf of Trump's agenda, eventually reached his breaking point.

Last June, after Esper pushed back against Trump's desire to invoke the Insurrection Act to deploy active-duty troops to put down protests for racial justice, Trump appeared to hoodwink Esper and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley into accompanying him on a staged photo op after mostly peaceful protesters were cleared by force from the park in front of the White House.

The rank politicization of the military was an embarrassment to both men, they said, and both later apologized.

From that point on, Esper said he knew his days were numbered.

For Rex Tillerson, Trump's first secretary of state, the break came when Trump, against his advice, met with Kim Jong Un with no plan other than to try to charm the North Korean dictator with promises of peace and economic riches after threatening him with "fire and fury."

"We squandered the best opportunity we had on North Korea. It was just blown up when he took the meeting with Kim," said Tillerson in an interview with Foreign Policy . "That was one of the last straws between him and I."

Tillerson said he accepted the job as top diplomat to help the neophyte Trump but found the real estate developer and former reality TV star's total inexperience and short attention span to be insurmountable obstacles.

"His understanding of global events, his understanding of global history, his understanding of U.S. history was really limited," Tillerson said. "I started taking charts and pictures with me because I found that those seemed to hold his attention better. If I could put a photo or a picture in front of him or a map or a piece of paper that had two big bullet points on it, he would focus on that."

"It's really hard to have a conversation with someone who doesn't even understand the concept for why we're talking about this," he said.

Tillerson's account is one of many from former advisers, who uniformly described how national security briefings had to be dumbed down to engage the president.

"It's really hard to have a conversation with someone who doesn't even understand the concept for why we're talking about this," Tillerson said.

"Donald Trump is not really able, in most instances, to carry on discussions about policy," offered former national security adviser John Bolton, whose scathing book detailing Trump's erratic decision-making was dismissed as total fiction by the White House, which tried to block its publication on the grounds that it revealed classified information.

"When he disagrees with somebody, when he sees somebody as an adversary, it immediately becomes personal. That's the only thing he understands," Bolton said in an appearance on CNN in October.

"We couldn't have a discussion on the Iran nuclear weapons program without Trump saying to anybody who was in the room that John Kerry needed to be prosecuted under the Logan Act for talking to the Iranians," Bolton said. "I think it shows that the president doesn't fully understand the nature of civil life in the United States. But I think it also reflects the sort of low cunning that exemplifies his thinking."

For Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, the breaking point came when Trump inserted himself into the military justice system on behalf of a Navy SEAL who killed a teenage Islamic State prisoner but escaped a war crimes conviction when a medic in his unit, who had been granted immunity by prosecutors, suddenly volunteered that he caused the prisoner's death by blocking his breathing tube in a "mercy killing" after the stabbing.

Spencer was fired for trying to broker a back-channel deal that would have kept Trump from overtly interfering in a review board that was deciding if the SEAL should be allowed to retire with full honors and keep his SEAL Trident insignia.

But flouting military protocol, Trump intervened and granted him full clemency, calling him "one of the ultimate fighters," infuriating Spencer.

In his letter acknowledging his termination by Esper, Spencer wrote that Trump's action was in opposition to the Constitution and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Spencer told CBS he didn't think Trump "really understands the full definition of a war fighter."

"A war fighter is a profession of arms, and a profession of arms has standards that they have to be held to and they hold themselves to," he said.

The SEAL in question was described by one fellow SEAL as "toxic," a term used for a special kind of bad military leader who should not be in command of any troops.

A 2012 Army manual describes toxic leadership as "a combination of self-centered attitudes, motivations, and behaviors ... The toxic leader operates with an inflated sense of self-worth and from acute self-interest. Toxic leaders consistently use dysfunctional behaviors to deceive, intimidate, coerce, or unfairly punish others to get what they want for themselves."

Trump's critics within the officer corps, who by law cannot publicly criticize their commander in chief, argue that under that definition, Trump himself would be removed from command were he serving in uniform instead of as president.

In the end, it was the deadly siege of the Capitol by Trump supporters, egged on by the president's false claim of a stolen election, that proved too much for even some of the president's most loyal servants.

"I respect the president. I worked for him. I've defended his policies, and there is much to be proud of," said Alyssa Farah, who was a Pentagon spokeswoman before moving over to work in the White House.

Farah told Fox News that the ransacking of Congress and the threat to lawmakers was "a tragic day for our country" and, for her, "a breaking point."

"I have spent time in fragile democracies in other parts of the world, and our country looked like those countries. That is not who we are. It is not what we stand for."

Those who have worked the closest with Trump and know him the best all describe him as a driven man who is obsessed with winning.

"To Trump, life was a game, and all that mattered was winning," wrote his former longtime fixer Michael Cohen in the forward to Disloyal , a book Trump's Justice Department attempted to prevent from being published before the election.

"In these dangerous days, I see the Republican Party and Trump's followers threatening the Constitution -- which is in far greater peril than is commonly understood -- and following one of the worst impulses of humankind: the desire for power at all costs," Cohen wrote.

In testimony before Congress a year ago, Cohen prophetically warned, "Given my experience working for Mr. Trump, I fear that if he loses the election in 2020 that there will never be a peaceful transition of power."

Jamie McIntyre is the Washington Examiner's senior writer on defense and national security. His morning newsletter, "Jamie McIntyre's Daily on Defense," is free and available by email subscription at dailyondefense.com.

[Jan 21, 2021] Sometimes you drain the swamp sometimes the swamp drains you

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "We will never give up. We will never concede, it doesn't happen. You don't concede when there's theft involved", ..."
"... "We will never give up. We will never concede, it just doesn't happen." ..."
"... " Biden's America Would Be A Dystopian Hellhole ", ..."
"... Trump has not signed the Insurrection Act. ..."
"... 'trust the plan' is a never ending story psyop ..."
"... 'best is yet to come' .. ..."
"... to beam back to the mothership. ..."
"... the humans are out to get them ..."
"... it happening you watch just donate ..."
"... without symptoms. ..."
"... Amnesty run by US State Department representatives, funded by convicted financial criminals, and threatens real human rights advocacy worldwide. ..."
"... Yes yes yes – as if we didn't fucking know! ..."
"... YOU MEAN TO DESTROY THE NHS AND YOU WILL REPEAT THIS OVER AND OVER AND OVER UNTIL IT IS DONE! ..."
Jan 21, 2021 | off-guardian.org

THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF CAPITULATES

The Trump Era is over after the incumbent announced in the day after Wednesday's storming of the US Capitol that "My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power", which was widely interpreted by friends and foes alike as the tacit concession that he previously promised never to provide a little more than 24 hours prior during his speech at the Save America Rally .

At that event, he literally said that "We will never give up. We will never concede, it doesn't happen. You don't concede when there's theft involved", yet completely changed his tune following the day's tumultuous events and after mysteriously "going dark" for over 24 hours, during which time some speculate that he was forced by his enemies in the permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (" deep state ") to give up the fight.

BETRAYING HIS BASE

This totally devastated his supporters who elected him primarily for the purpose of executing his chief promise to "drain the swamp" that all of them so deeply despise. They truly believed that he could irreversibly effect significant long-term change to the way that America is run, something which Trump himself also sincerely thought he could do as well, but he ultimately lacked the strength time and again to take the decisive steps that were necessary in order to do so.

Thus, he ended up getting swallowed by the same "swamp" that he attempted to drain, which is licking its lips after feasting on the political carcass that he's since become as a result of his capitulation. For as much hope as he inspired in his supporters and the respect that many of them still have for him, most of them are profoundly disappointed that he gave up and didn't go down fighting.

That's not to say that the vast majority of them expected him to forcefully resist Biden's impending inauguration, but just that they never thought they'd see the day where he publicly capitulated after carefully cultivating such a convincing reputation among them as a fighter who literally said a little more than 24 hours prior that "We will never give up. We will never concede, it just doesn't happen."

This prompted an ongoing soul-searching process among the most sober-minded of them who aren't indoctrinated with the cultish Q-Anon claims that Trump still has a so-called "master plan" that he's preparing to implement after this latest "5D chess" move. It's over, the Trump Era has ended, and the "Make America Great Again" (MAGA) movement that he inspired is now at risk of being declared a " domestic terrorist " organization in the coming future.

TRUMP'S MOST FATAL POLITICAL MISCALCULATION

" Biden's America Would Be A Dystopian Hellhole ", like the author predicted a few months ago, and all of Trump's supporters know that. Some had already resigned themselves to its seeming inevitability after his efforts to legally reverse the contested results of the latest elections failed for a variety of reasons that most of them attribute to the "swamp's" corruption, but they nevertheless remained as positive as possible after having believed that their hero would go down with them to the end.

None ever thought twice about his promise to "never give up, never concede", and they even expected him to have to be escorted from the White House on 20 January, yet his tacit concession is forcing many of them to re-evaluate their views about him in hindsight. Not only is he going out with a whimper on the "deep state's" terms, but he never fully "drained the swamp".

Trump's most fatal political miscalculation is that he thought that he could change the system from the "inside-out" after symbolically -- yet importantly, not substantively -- taking control of it as America's first modern-day "outsider" President. He immediately switched from an "outsider" to an "insider" shortly after his inauguration by capitulating to the "deep state's" demands that he fire former National Security Advisor Flynn, which was his "original sin" that paved the way for all that would later follow.

Trump the self-professed "deal-maker" thought that he could strike a "compromise" with his enemies through these means, but all that he did was embolden them to intensify their fake news-driven efforts to oust him and continue sabotaging him from within through many of the same "swamp" creatures that he naively continued to surround himself with.

RINOS + MSM = TRUMP'S DEFEAT

The most reviled among them in the eyes of his base is "Javanka", the popular portmanteau of Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and his daughter Ivanka. He continued listening to these "Republicans In Name Only", or RINOs as many MAGA members describe them, as well as many others such as those who still sit in Congress but pretended to be his friend just to win re-election.

Furthermore, the influence that his former reality TV career had on him resulted in Trump remaining obsessed with how his enemies might malign him in the Mainstream Media (MSM) for any decisive moves that he took to smash the "deep state". This weakness of character proved to be his greatest personal flaw since he should have followed his instincts instead of submitting to the egoistic desire to be "liked" by his foes.

So influenced was he by the MSM that his enemies were able to employ the most basic "reverse-psychology" tricks to manipulate him into "playing it safe" in his struggle against the "deep state". They fearmongered since even before he entered office that he'd turn into a so-called "dictator", yet he never seriously contemplated any such authoritarian moves in that direction despite always having the possibility of utilizing the immense powers vested in him by the Constitution to do so if he sincerely wanted.

His MAGA supporters passionately pleaded that he should have turned into his enemies' worst nightmare by declaring at least limited martial law in response to the decades-long Hybrid War of Terror on America finally going kinetic last summer after Antifa and "Black Lives Matter" (BLM) orchestrated nationwide riots to oust him.

TRUMP'S THREE GREATEST FAILURES

Bewildering his base, Trump also failed to revoke Article 230 despite now-proven fears that it would empower Big Tech to censor him and his supporters , nor did he thwart the Democrats' mail-in ballot and Dominion voting system schemes which they argue ultimately led to them stealing the election.

Just as concerning was his decision to not stop the Democrat Governors from locking down their populations for political reasons under the convenient pretext of COVID-19. The author addressed all of these issues in his analysis published shortly after the election about why " The Anti-Trump Regime Change Sequence Is Worthwhile Studying ". Trump could have legally exercised near-"dictatorial" powers to avert all of this and thus save America as his supporters see it, yet time and again he failed to gather the strength needed to do so due to his deep personal flaws.

THE HYBRID WAR ON AMERICA IS OVER

While Trump was unquestionably victimized by the "deep state" during his entire time in office, he's no longer as much of a martyr as he used to be after suddenly giving up the fight following Wednesday's storming of the US Capitol. He surrendered to the shock of his base, was subsequently swallowed by the "swamp", and is now being mercilessly destroyed in an ominous sign of what awaits the rest of the MAGA movement in the Biden-Kamala era.

Had he gone down fighting to the end and "never gave up" like he promised, then it would be an altogether different story, but instead his over-hyped "deal-making" instincts got the best of him at the very last minute and he foolishly thought that he could save himself by capitulating to their demands. The "deep state" is now showing their "thanks" by censoring him from social media and pushing for his impeachment.

The MAGA movement always believed that the country has already been at "war" for years even though most couldn't articulate the hybrid nature of it like the author did in his piece last summer about how " The Hybrid War Of Terror On America Was Decades In The Making ".

They truly felt that Trump shared their threat assessment after he was viciously attacked by the "deep state" from the second that he stepped onto the campaign trail, but it turned out that he underestimated the threat even though his enemies never did. To the "deep state" and their public Democrat proxies, this was always a "war" in its own way, which they never shied away from expressing.

The supreme irony is that while Trump lambasted the "weak Republicans" in his Save America Rally speech, he himself ultimately epitomized that very same weakness by later surrendering.

THE "DEEP STATE" WON

His opponents know no limits and believe in classic Machiavellian fashion that "the ends justify the means", whereas he thought that he could play by the rules -- and not even all of them as was early explained by pointing out his refusal to employ the near-"dictatorial" powers vested in him by the Constitution -- and still come out on top.

His naïveté will go down in history since it's what's most directly responsible for him failing to fully recognize the seriousness of the "deep state's" no-holds-barred war on him and the rest of America.

As a born-and-raised New Yorker, Trump perfected the art of slick talking, so much so that he even managed to dupe his base into believing that he shared their threat assessment about the decades-long Hybrid War of Terror on America. They fell for this charade since they desperately wanted to believe that there was still some hope left.

There isn't, though, since the war is over and the "deep state" won once and for all. The " Great Reset "/" Fourth Industrial Revolution " brought about by World War C is barreling forward at full speed ahead, and practically every domestic accomplishment that Trump has to his name will likely be reversed by Biden-Kamala during their first year in office, especially since the "deep state's" Democrat proxies control all branches of government now (remembering that the Supreme Court's supposed "conservative supermajority" really just consists of RINOs as was proven by their refusal to hear his team's convincing election fraud cases).

After " Analyzing The MAGA Movement's Democratic Security Failure " on Wednesday, it's clear that whatever "master plan" he and/or the MAGA movement might have had backfired and was actually exploited by their opponents.

THE REAL "MASTER PLAN"

In fact, the only real "master plan" was that of the "deep state", which effectively thwarted every one of Trump's moves and ultimately turned his supporters' "last hurrah" of a mostly peaceful rally into the nail that'll now be hammered into the MAGA movement's coffin.

It's extremely suspicious that the US Capitol was so poorly defended despite there being an ongoing session of Congress on such an historic day and after weeks of preparation to ensure the site's safety ahead of Trump's long-planned Save America March.

It's even more baffling that some of the police officers removed the barricades and even opened the doors to some of the protesters, which in hindsight suggests that the "deep state" wanted to tempt the most "overly passionate" among them (to say nothing of suspected provocateurs) into storming the site as the pretext for what followed.

The whole point in passively facilitating this scenario through the masterful exploitation of crowd psychology was to lay the basis for a comprehensive nationwide crackdown against the MAGA movement on the grounds that it's now "proven" to be a "domestic terrorist" group.

That explains the push behind impeaching Trump less than two weeks before he himself acknowledged just the other day that he'll be leaving office after ensuring the "transition of power".

Had he not surrendered, then he probably would still be a martyr to most of the MAGA movement, but now he's just a palace hostage awaiting his highly publicized political execution as the opening salvo of the "deep state's" Democrat-driven reprisals against his supporters in the name of "defending against domestic terrorism". That, not whatever Q-Anon imagines, is the real "master plan", and it succeeded.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

Trump was swallowed by the "swamp" because he lacked the strength to drain it. Every MAGA member needs to accept this harsh truth no matter how painful it might be. Time and again, he failed to muster up the strength needed to meaningfully fulfill what many sincerely believed to be his destiny.

This was due to his fatal political miscalculation of transforming from an "outsider" into an "insider" in a doomed-to-fail attempt to change the system from within. He continued relying on RINOs despite their proven unreliability. Trump's obsession with how his foes portrayed him in the MSM also led to him never seriously countenancing the use of the near-"dictatorial" powers vested in him by the Constitution to save America.

He pathetically surrendered after the "deep state's" "master plan" succeeded, and now he can't even go down in history as a martyr.

Originally published on One World Press Jan 20, 2021 2:08 PM

Trump was part of the show nothing more nothing less. They had the goods on him for decades. He made Izzrail grate again. That was about it. Notice Jizzlaid Maxwell, the Mossad kiddy victim procurer watching her mark in the background of the video below from 92 as the king of bankruptcy eyes the broads and "struts" his stuff.

Meanwhile Kill Bill Gates gets to poison Planet Sheeple and nobody ever questions his association with Mossad kiddy porn snuff director, Epstein or Kill Bill's sojourns on Pedovore Island. Anyone remember the CIA Operation Brownstone"? It's global and it's Satanic.

King of Bankruptcy and King Pedovore
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUDr_c2PalI&ab_channel=TODAY

Kill Bill and King Pedovore

https://www.youtube.com/embed/fg4nK4u8vuU?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en-US&autohide=2&wmode=transparent 0 0 Reply


Malatok , Jan 20, 2021 2:10 PM Reply to Malatok

https://www.youtube.com/embed/AUDr_c2PalI?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en-US&autohide=2&wmode=transparent

Jams O'Donnell , Jan 13, 2021 6:47 PM

How could Trum 'drain the swamp' when he lives in the swamp. contributes to the swamp and essentially is part of the swamp.

This story is sh!te. Trump is a swamp dweller.

Trump is just the same as all the other oligarchs and would be oligarchs. He is a rich, privileged, white entrepreneur. His propaganda campaign in which he claimed to be on the side of the poor and unemployed whites is just about the biggest lie which has been swallowed wholesale since Goebbles was whitewashing the Nazi regime.

How you fools here can fall for this tripe has me absolutely beat.

Aethelred , Jan 13, 2021 10:17 AM

Trump in his political ineptitude resembles Jimmy Carter, an idealist incapable of wielding power. Neither man had the gumption, nor the charisma (much the same thing) to win over the apparatchiki. Both vain and selfish men (like all politicians), neither inspired sufficient love nor fear to gather support, unlike Reagan or Clinton, both of whom exuded calm confidence. Trump differs from Carter in that Trump's social incapacity manifests in bombast, and Carter's in staged humility. Neither could convince the ruling classes, and so were ushered away.

The elevation of Biden, an aged hack, is a signal the republic is finally overturned. The feds not only can convict but now can elect and govern through a ham sandwich.

Blather , Jan 13, 2021 8:21 AM

Does the author know how to read Trump's speech or is he so BIAS as not to see?

Trump DID NOT capitulate. Read careFOOLY. It can go both waze.

ZenPriest , Jan 12, 2021 8:50 PM

Trump was never going to drain the swamp. He was a clown put in place by America's masters, to keep an endless supply of material for their media and to stir up hatred among citizens.
It's funny because citizens should be uniting against the puppeteers. Or they would be if they knew they even existed, or knew they were being played.

S Cooper , Jan 13, 2021 2:47 AM Reply to ZenPriest

"Quite a number already know this. That number keeps growing with each passing day. Got Debs?"

https://www.youtube.com/embed/rsL6mKxtOlQ?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en-US&autohide=2&wmode=transparent&listType=playlist&list=FLnnoDlrP9jUXGwJPoM_f7sg

https://www.tumblr.com/search/v%20debs

captain spam , Jan 12, 2021 7:32 PM

F**k Twitter.
#Boycott Twitter.

niko , Jan 12, 2021 7:24 PM

"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help." Remember that line? That was Ronnie Raygun back in 1986, with one of his (or his ghost writers') versions for 'draining the swamp' then, getting government off our backs, and blah, blah, blah. Agitprop thrown the masses so the corporate state could get down to bizzness as usual in dispossessing 'we the people' by rolling back government programs for social welfare and building up wealth and power for elites via the MIC and Wall Street (complementary to Iron Bitch Thatcher's neoliberal programs for a greater fascism in Britain).

Hardly anything original, such marketing ads. Politricking fronts of the ruling class have been campaigning before and after getting into office with noble lies of populism covering for their brands of treachery as long as the fraudulence of capitalist democracy and representative government have been around. In the post-WWII era of Pox Americana, the U$ CEOs for the Fortune 500 routinely have disguised their institutional role in managing the empire under cover of brands of reform that keep promising power to the people with one hand while taking it away with the other.

But when it comes to the greatest show on earth, it's the words attributed to P.T. Barnum that there's a sucker born every minute (or at least every election season) which ring truest. So now we've got the ringmasters retiring the Donald and installing good ole Creepy Joe to 'build back better' on behalf of the Great Reset. That's after Swamp Thang has played his part as dictator of distraction overseeing such achievements as the greatest robbery of the commons in human history and launch of technofascism under Operation Warp(ed) Speed, all thanks to a global coup with which he's been entirely complicit. And his manufactured base of true believers still carry on with the covidiocy as much as the controlled opposition of the faux left.

The more things change, the more they stay the same (only worse!).

Chris , Jan 12, 2021 5:14 PM

The Q group are patriots with access to a quantum computer able to untangle timelines from a possibility/probability vortex.
Their movement was designed to awaken many individuals with key roles to play in the real Operation Warpspeed.

The majority of these folks had some connection to the military or other branches of government including the police.

Chris , Jan 12, 2021 7:34 PM Reply to Chris

In 2012 nearly all technology, ancient or more modern, was suddenly rendered non functional.
The Mayans were obviously dead right with their calender.
The race was on to gain absolute supremacy in the prediction game.
All major stakeholders have access to quantum computing, but the US has the upper hand.
The true value of quantum computers lies not in the task of pure number crunching, but in its ability to predict probabilities of complex situations.

The quantum computer exposes the most probable timelines and delivers the results in numerical form that correspond to actual events and dates/times .

Igby MacDavitt , Jan 12, 2021 3:43 PM

"The only kinds of fights worth fighting are those you're going to lose, because somebody has to fight them and lose and lose and lose until someday, somebody who believes as you do wins."
― I.F. Stone

Laurence Howell , Jan 12, 2021 12:42 PM

President Trump has declared a State of Emergency in the District of Columbia.
White House

Waldorf , Jan 12, 2021 2:00 PM Reply to Laurence Howell

Not reported anywhere else that I can see.

Laurence Howell , Jan 12, 2021 7:00 PM Reply to Waldorf

Try the Whitehouse website

Moneycircus , Jan 12, 2021 2:20 PM Reply to Laurence Howell

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/president-donald-j-trump-approves-district-columbia-emergency-declaration/

Strange that it is reported by overseas news outlets, ignored by domestic.

Strange also that U.S. Capitol Police officer commits suicide days after riots Saw something he didn't oughta? Stepped out of the thin blue line?

Cyd , Jan 12, 2021 3:01 PM Reply to Moneycircus

Witness protection?

Laurence Howell , Jan 12, 2021 12:21 PM

To everyone that believes in the rule of law congratulations President trump has won.

Laurence Howell , Jan 12, 2021 7:03 PM Reply to Laurence Howell

Correction, President Trump has not signed the Insurrection Act.

My error.

REvail , Jan 13, 2021 5:18 PM Reply to Laurence Howell

OW look the fruitcakes and cult follower spent another new moon being juiced , Trump has not signed the Insurrection Act. BUT BUT BUT
Cult of BIG disclosure keep watching.donate huge Arrests and stay tuned keep watching
it happening – keep watching- it happening soon, BIG disclosure huge Arrests . it Happening soon psyop AND distraction

Simple simon and Q nonsense told another lie to the sheep

Laurence Howell , Jan 12, 2021 12:16 PM

President Trump has signed the Insurrection Act.

YouDontCareAboutGrandma , Jan 12, 2021 12:47 PM Reply to Laurence Howell

Proof? And don't link to Simon Parkes' YouTube channel. He's provided no evidence whatsoever for his claims. He says he talks to aliens and "Q" on the telephone.

REvail , Jan 13, 2021 5:20 PM Reply to YouDontCareAboutGrandma

comment is above

Sgt_doom , Jan 12, 2021 3:04 PM Reply to Laurence Howell

Please stop spreading Q-propaganda -- they originate out of Asia and are a silly, cartoonish disinfo outlet of the CCP!

Sgt_doom , Jan 12, 2021 3:07 PM Reply to Sgt_doom

When a serious traceroute is done on the Q lines it tracks back to a Filipino Maoist group.

Moneycircus , Jan 12, 2021 10:12 AM

Capitol Riot: 10 Questions -- James Tracy's Memory Hole Blog

https://www.youtube.com/embed/mEyUmL0_KR0?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en-US&autohide=2&wmode=transparent

Sgt_doom , Jan 12, 2021 6:59 AM

Gosh, evrn more baffling and scarey and reminescent of 1963, never seen footage of the murder of Ms. BABBIT showing collusion between police and antifa agitators, taken by an independent Japanese reporter!

https://youtu.be/5nvqvvsqJ_s

.
!nd this is the real plan begun almost 50 years ago:

https://21stcenturywire.com/2016/12/31/us-middle-class-still-suffering-from-rockefeller-kissinger-industrial-transfer-scheme-to-china/

https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/americas-china-class-fights-trump

Great article but consider how many thousands of people the Islamist extremist, Erdogan of Turkey, had to fire and imprison, to dismantle the positive Deep State structure Attaturk put in place to keep that country secular? Functioned admirably for many years.

DimlyGlimpsed , Jan 12, 2021 1:06 AM

Dems enthusiatically voted from Bill Clinton, Obama, Hillary and Biden. All corrupt and compromised. Repubs voted for Bush Jr., Romney, and Trump. All corrupt and compromised. Both accuse the other of corruption, dishonesty and hypocrisy. Both are right, of course.
Reality, though, is not possible to perceive when limited to a diet of mainstream news. Neither is it a trivial task to navigate the rough seas online disinformation.'
Unless one is privy to big-picture high-level (and secret) information, one is left to attempt to identify and assemble a complex jigsaw puzzle using one's own sleuthing and intuition skills.
Common people without inside knowledge can still interpret the world, however. War is evil, and those who advocate war have been seduced by evil. Kindness and generosity are among the highest values. On the other hand, those who are selish and cruel pollute our world. Etc,, etc.
Let us keep in mind that the most evil cloak themselves in the garb of peace, kindness and generosity, in order to dine on sheep who wishfully and willfully refused to judge behavior rather than be seduced with addictive slogans. Let us also keep in mind that no leaders can remain in power without the compliance of the rest of us.
Any of should be able to recognize Joe Biden as evil. His "track record" is one of corruption, budget cutting, war and authoritarian legislation. And Trump? One of the great mysteries of human civilization is that Trump, the ultimate swap creature, was elected by promising to "clean the swamp".

Julia , Jan 12, 2021 8:52 AM Reply to DimlyGlimpsed

I literally want to copy and paste this comment and send it to as many people as I can. You capture it precisely.

Sgt_doom , Jan 12, 2021 3:11 PM Reply to DimlyGlimpsed

That is fairly accurate but Trump did push back against America's China Class and the CCP -- more than you can say for commies like the Bidens, Obamas, Clintons, Bushes, etc.

REvail , Jan 12, 2021 5:35 PM Reply to Sgt_doom

Trump's America First Hoax: Trump is an Israeli agent. He put #Mossad asset #JaredKushner in charge of infiltration of US Intelligence and Defense. Bidens are Chinese agents? Charles Kushner (Jared's father), is an agent of #AnbangInsurance, a Chinese Communist front group.

Jams O'Donnell , Jan 13, 2021 6:54 PM Reply to REvail

All US presidents, vice-presidents, chiefs of staff, etc are Israeli agents, or more accurately, are in effect the same thing.

Jams O'Donnell , Jan 13, 2021 6:53 PM Reply to Sgt_doom

"commies like the Bidens, Obamas, Clintons, Bushes, etc."

If you think that the above mentioned capitalist clowns are "commies", then you really, REALLY, need to get an education, because clearly you don't know your arse from your elbow.

Igby MacDavitt , Jan 12, 2021 3:46 PM Reply to DimlyGlimpsed

"Trump, the ultimate swap creature " I do not think you have any idea what the 'swamp' is to make such a claim.

Otherwise, a great post.

Lost in a dark wood , Jan 12, 2021 12:40 AM

Note: I drafted this as a response, but the person is not worthy of a reply, so I'll post it here instead.
--

I've always said that Q is a deep-state operation. It's the NSA, military intelligence, etc. It's just a different deep state to the CIA/MI6 deep state. And I've always said that people should at least know what "the plan" is. They should know what it is because it's by far the most coherent explanation for what is happening now, and for what has happened over the last four years.

A couple of years ago I thought a deal had been struck between the opposing factions, and it was all going to be wound down. But I changed that view after the Covid911, attempted colour revolution. The overwhelming view on this site, from contributors and posters, was that Trump would fall in June 2020. I was one of only a handful of people saying Trump would survive.

I can't predict the details of what's happening now, but I think Trump will survive this because:
a) he has the ammunition
b) it would make no sense to go this far and not see it through
c) even though it seems to be going to the precipice, it still fits a coherent plan

For some time now, the best rolling updates have been provided by X22 Report:
https://rumble.com/c/X22Report

Lost in a dark wood , Jan 12, 2021 2:35 AM Reply to Lost in a dark wood

I've only recently started following Simon Parkes, but in his latest update he claims to have spoken to the real Q. Of course, as anybody who's been following Q posts would know, this would breach the "no outside comms" principle.

https://www.simonparkes.org/post/11th-january-third-update

Moneycircus , Jan 12, 2021 10:20 AM Reply to Lost in a dark wood

I'm not at all impressed. Appeared on the scene coincidental with Gen McInerney and all the misinformation about "hammer and scorecard" which was a blatant distraction from clear and convincing evidence of election fraud.

Parkes does far too much, "I could have told you beforehand but then I'd have had to kill you."

REvail , Jan 12, 2021 5:37 PM Reply to Lost in a dark wood

Your on the ball wow from 1 psyop to another Now your following simon charlatan parkes.
HE gets excepted into the Q nonsense and trump Savior psyop and becames one of there star leaders over night.
Do you not do basic checks on who you start to worship?? or do they have to say code words like Q and trump maga and its like there chosen to lead you.

Sgt_doom , Jan 12, 2021 3:13 PM Reply to Lost in a dark wood

Negative, far too silly and cartoonish and tracks back to a Filipino Maoist group directed by the CCP!

Asylum , Jan 11, 2021 7:34 PM

We've been manipulated into fighting against each other over trivial differences to divert us from the fact that we're all in the same boat.

Lost in a dark wood , Jan 11, 2021 6:33 PM

Andrew Korybko: "That, not whatever Q-Anon imagines, is the real "master plan", and it succeeded."

Okay, I'm trying to figure this out. With regard specifically to this thread, are we allowed to post direct links to Q posts? For instance, Q has stated explicitly that there is no "Qanon" (#4881). Instead, there is Q and there are anons. I personally think this is debatable, and that Qanon is a collective name for a highly amorphous movement and method of enquiry. Furthermore, that movement and method predates Q and was to some extent co-opted by Q. The movement will also outlive Q, though it may retain the name. As a movement, Qanon stands in opposition to the hierarchical, hive-mind vacuity of the Rationalists and Neo-Platonists. In short, Qanon is Blakean. Welcome to Jerusalem!

We do not want either Greek or Roman models if we are but just & true to our own imaginations, those Worlds of Eternity in which we shall live forever; in Jesus our Lord.
– William Blake
https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Milton_(excerpts)/Preface

Sophie - Admin1 , Jan 11, 2021 7:25 PM Reply to Lost in a dark wood

Oh please

Lost in a dark wood , Jan 11, 2021 7:40 PM Reply to Sophie - Admin1

So what happened to my other posts?

Lost in a dark wood , Jan 12, 2021 9:17 PM Reply to Lost in a dark wood

Q Alerts is back up so I'll try again. The following is a critical part of "the plan".
--

Q (Oct 17, 2020):
I'm going to bring the whole diseased, corrupt temple down on your head. It's gonna be Biblical.
Enjoy the show!
https://qalerts.app/?n=4884

https://www.youtube.com/embed/LUsLDzXWUU4?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en-US&autohide=2&wmode=transparent

Marion Reynolds , Jan 11, 2021 6:01 PM

Please – can we have more of Andrew Karybko. I've seen him on Peter Lavelle. For such an acutely well informed young chap about international politics, he demonstrates an equally rigorous understanding about Trumps psyche.

Loverat , Jan 12, 2021 6:28 PM Reply to Marion Reynolds

Andrew Korybko is probably one of the best geo-political analysts I've come across and his depth of knowledge across all continents shines through. A very warm and engaging person.

He runs a site called OneWorld Press. Recently accused by mainstream media and The Daily Beast of being GRU agents. Well if it is, they are most measured and balanced in the history of intelligence services.

Lost in a dark wood , Jan 11, 2021 5:18 PM

The best is yet to come.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ozWZYbYfkp4?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en-US&autohide=2&wmode=transparent

REvail , Jan 11, 2021 11:50 PM Reply to Lost in a dark wood

Your be saying that on the way to the concentration camps!!!
'trust the plan' is a never ending story psyop
Similar to the 'best is yet to come' ..
you trumpsters have your own Down Syndrome language.
WWG1WGA, another bunch of devotees similar to a cult who will not except there guru is a oppressor

mikael , Jan 11, 2021 1:09 PM

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."Reinhold Niebuhr

Pardon moi for the lenght.

I dont know whats with people this days, the shere avalange of bollocks is baffling, the inability to conect the dots to what was, the past, to the present is making me think there must be something, hehe, with the narrative, or should we say in this uh . conpiracy tinfoil hat wearing days, in the tap water, and the rethotic, about Trump, I have my issues, and I have never been quiet about them, but then to whine about things when most of it have been inplace before Trump came into the WH, incl children in gages to wars, Obamalama started more wars than any other American president ever, with Hitlary the Beast from Little Rock beside, after Her husband stole Social sec and now, witch could be massive, is completely eradicated out of existence, and the sactions, etc, most of them are just continuations of existing systems, we can always blame Trump for something, but please, do know the difference and dont just throw bollocks because of the people whom wanted change, when Obamalama said it, you belived, and what happened, again, he pissed upon you all, and have since laughed all the way to the bank, the economic crashes, the insane austeritys, the bailins and outs, you name it to color revolutions.
This isnt to defend Trump, for me, He was more an castrat, singing but otherwise balless, but also tied, unable to move, and been relentlessly attacked by those that defenses the past witch in no way was better.

Then we have the eh .. storming?, and if you look at videos, what sticks out is, what storming, some gass clouds, yea, means what, an Cop throving an gass can, but take an look for your self, it was never in any way what the MSM wants you to belive, and the army of people crawling all over the sites wants you to persive, along with profanitys about people whom did suported Trump, because they hoped for change, you cant attack them, maybe for been a bit naive, but one thing shal be the thing Trump did, exposed them all, in an way witch is unpresedented despite His flaws, nobody have done that in this level, He exposed them all, and if you havent gotten it yet, you have an problem, nobody else, incl the people whom did their duty as free citizens of the USA, did the protesting.
Rioting, again, what riot, the worst thing I can come up with, after watching some videos, is minore, a window, probably by the AntiFags/BLMs/eh leftards?, and one man whom ran off with an piece of the furiture, nothing else, and if I drag that further, maybe the stormers should have wiped their shoos off before entering the Hill, stepping on the fine carpets on the floor in the hallway, what an horrible crime, right.
What storming, do you see anything, do enlighten us.

So, I know I am pushing the attention span to the limit.
BUT, I have thru the years found out that Americans, not that I want to call em stupid, but regarding world poltics, more infantile, naive, brainwashed to such an extent thru the decades/centurys of propaganda, where the various Gov always have had an enemy, it have variated, from muslims etc to what it have become to day, domestic terrorism aka conservatives whatever that means, and not only in the MSM but also thru an army of so called Alternative MSM, witch have feed upon this narratives and played upon this, but overall, gone the same erant as the Gov wanted them to go, and witch have resulted in wars upon wars, and stil some want more wars, like the broad attack line on Iran, just to give you one ex to the strangling of others, like western sahara to the Palestinians.
Then we have the new enemy, in mainly the so called alternative ugh .. rightwinged? whatever whom sommehow manages to blame everything on socialism, yea, apart from the weather because thats Putins fault, despite that, I found Putin to be an scoundrel, the Russian Gov rotten to its core, that dont mean I hate Russians but there will always be those that cant differentiate at all.
Whom is the "enemy" Americans, socialism, China, Russia, Iran, huh.

I have saxed this from P. L. Gonzalez.
Social media networks, payment processors, airlines, hotels, streaming services, and online vendors are strangling people based on ideology but TPUSA is still complaining about "socialism." Burn your money or donate it to TPUSA, it's the same thing.

Yup, briliantly summarised everything in some few lines, and why, do you refuse to see them when they are right infront of your very own eyes, and yet, you blame some imaginary enemy witch have nothing to do with this coup, its an class war, its the oligarcs, the robber barons, witch have an army of buttspreaders in the capitol Hill to their abuse, and this bitches do whatever they are told, do notice how the RepubliCONs threw you under the buss, is that to the Chines fault.

So, I hope the Americans whom stil have some parts of their bran fuctional, can notice the difference, in Norway we have the same problem, but we are an so called socialistic nation, but we are held hostages by the same pack of scums that is plundering your nation and resources, and have nothing but contempt for everyone of us, and an Gov that do whatever they want and whom are we then to blame, the Hottentots, Maoris, communism is an tool for social unrest, and when they have done their job, thrown under the buss, because the PTB wants us to fight each others, as long we do, they will win.
Unite and you have an chanse, if not, well, I am old, and my life span expectanse isnt that long anymore and I will not have to live in the totalistaian regime that comes, but the sole reason for me to even bother, is for our children, and their children.
And to all of you whom went to the protest, you have my deepest respect.
It truly is an war, against the dark forces.
You all need to take an stand.
Be the light.

peace

Igby MacDavitt , Jan 12, 2021 3:53 PM Reply to mikael

We have the same problem worldwide. Singling out and scorning the Americans is simply divisive. It has always been the People against the Oppressors. The Americans are people and have Oppressors bearing down on them like the rest of us. There is a cancer that needs to be removed lest it devour us all.

Chris , Jan 11, 2021 10:57 AM

The overtone of Korybko's writing is excessively defeatist. When the "Deep State" applies such overt tools to steal the U.S. election, imposes censorship, labels millions of American citizens as potential "domestic terrorists", silences the still incumbent U.S. President, resorts to provocation, deprives Americans of essential liberties through Covid, curfews or other bogus emergencies, then it means that the establishment behind the "Deep State" is scared. Scared not as much of Donald Trump as scared of You – the People. I know it since I live in a central European country with a very bitter experiences with dicatorship. When the power starts to resort to an open forgery and uses coercion or force it reveals its weakness, not strength. Its power derives only from the passive attitude of majority of population, nothing more. What this so called 'liberal elite' in America hopes for is to return to the good old days, when the whole Middle America remained voiceless, silent, isolated, without any leadership or political representation. Now it is their objective to 'legally' separate the 'progressive America' from the 'populist' one and they might even inspire separation, violence or secessionist moves to achieve it. But MAGA movement must not play this delusional vision of retreat to entrench in false sense of local security. That's what the 'Deep State' wants to achieve – to herd the popular opposition into their home arrests and their privacy soon to be possibly separated by walls, sanitary wards, wired fences or a new Indian reservation. Americans would never win their Independence by acting in defense only, by retreating to 'wait and see' tactics as Korybko suggests. What must be done is to recapture Your state institutions that have been stolen and turned into a travesty of American political tradition. Before that happens a common awareness is needed that those who appear to rule as a new 'government' are just a tiny bunch of criminals who try to impress the whole world that their power has no limits, that they monopolised the mass media and economy, that they are invincible. Do not let this delusion of 'Deep State' victory to dominate Your outlook. Yes, I agree that Trump failed as a leader in a time of crisis but MAGA (or however we call it) but all the people who really care for America need to maintain representation, authority and leadership. They shouldn't accept a comfortable fantasy that sooner or later the 'Deep State' would crumble under its own weight and then by some miracle a new movement would be born. If Trump indicates that 'its only the beginning' then his supporters should join him in any action he offers. All Republican politicians, conservative or libertarian societies, local communities, state legislatures or any other active group must be engaged in this action. Struggle for political freedom always involves risk and mistakes. Trump certainly made a lot of them. But it is the People who are sovereign, not any office, institution or technological dicatorship. When the Constitution, the congressional debate and civil liberties are ruined by 'elite' it is the responsibility of the People to act in emergency to restore law, order and liberty. The 'Deep State' perfectly understands that after the four years of Trump and the emergence of trumpism as a social-political fact there can not be any turning back to the business as usual. Not under normal and peaceful circumstances. That's why they are so frightened and act in panic. That's why they impose health and security 'emergencies' to incapacitate the population, to make it superfluous and useless. We saw it in totalitarian regimes.
The world needs the U.S. not as an imperial power but as an example of well established social contract, human liberty and hope for a better future. The European 'elites' are in revolt against their people too but here we won't have a chance for any anti-establishment president to support us. That's why in Europe we still believe that not all has been lost in America.

Laurence Howell , Jan 11, 2021 12:17 PM Reply to Chris

Lt. General Thomas Mcinerney,

"special forces imbedded in Antifa rioters have Nancy Pelosi's laptop"

Panic in DC would ban understatement.

Bring it on

Asylum , Jan 11, 2021 2:56 PM Reply to Laurence Howell

laptop always the laptop it on the laptop he/she left the laptop at
it etc etc et was found there# etc etc etc bullshit
laptop psyop used as much as the immaculate passport psyop found at the scene of crime in a burning inferno it aimed at idiots

Asylum , Jan 11, 2021 7:24 PM Reply to Asylum

Laurence Howell , Jan 12, 2021 10:37 AM Reply to Asylum

Are you saying that Hunter Biden's laptop and the released information that it contains is of no value?

Conflating 911 with the current conspiracies is not helpful. This would need an article of longer length and written by an unbiased observer which you are not.

Instead of saying etc. etc. bullshit, why not explain why this is your position?
Or does this not fit in with your soundbite posting?

Jacques , Jan 11, 2021 9:41 AM

Historically speaking, the problem with the "deep state" is essentially that the current system has corrupted itself to a point where it is so far from what is claimed, or perhaps appears to be, that there is no way to fix it from within by rebuilding it, by "draining the swamp".

Klaus "Cockroach" Schwab et al understand this, hence the Great Reset, a new vision for the future. Of course, they want a future for themselves, but that's another story.

Even if Trump were entirely sincere in his effort to "drain the swamp", he had nothing to offer apart from some vague anachronistic concept of Making America Great Again. What the fuck is that supposed to mean anyway, eh? The only thing he had behind him was populism which in itself is an empty concept.

Like it or not, a change will only come if people formulate a new philosophy, ideology, and if the new ideology is proposed and embraced on a broad scale. Ideally in a non-violent fashion.

Right now, there is fuck all, people are still stuck on all sorts of left-right bullshit dichotomies, (fake) democracy, the games that have been played for decades if not hundreds of years.

If you ask me, it would be nice if the ideology of the future was loosely based on Hayek's spontaneous order.

Thom1111 , Jan 11, 2021 3:03 PM Reply to Jacques

If Trump can pull something off this week or early next, the new plan is already waiting in the wings. It's called Nesara/Gesara. It's a new economic system not based on a debt based system.

rechenmacher , Jan 12, 2021 3:45 PM Reply to Thom1111

Heard that one before. Fraud.

Thom1111 , Jan 12, 2021 7:09 PM Reply to rechenmacher

It's a real framework plan, it's just whether it can be implemented is the question.

Igby MacDavitt , Jan 12, 2021 3:57 PM Reply to Jacques

"Like it or not, a change will only come if people formulate a new philosophy, ideology, and if the new ideology is proposed and embraced on a broad scale. Ideally in a non-violent fashion."

Sure. So we the people have had centuries or more to figure the answer out. Repeating the dilemma is not enlightening. Idealism has no voice with tyrants.

ZenPriest , Jan 11, 2021 8:53 AM

All this talk of the 'deep state' yet no one can name them. Lol.

Thom1111 , Jan 11, 2021 3:04 PM Reply to ZenPriest

you must have been born yesterday. In America it's the alphabet agencies but obviously all runs back to Rothschild and the Vatican.

gordan , Jan 11, 2021 7:48 PM Reply to Thom1111

eustace mullins
book

the curse of canaan

old names
very old
and new ones

written in the 1980s
still up to date

ZenPriest , Jan 12, 2021 2:44 PM Reply to Thom1111

If you think it stops at the Vatican and Rothschilds, maybe you were born yesterday.

Thom1111 , Jan 12, 2021 7:11 PM Reply to ZenPriest

well actually no, it goes off planet or interdimensionally if you want to go that deep.

Igby MacDavitt , Jan 12, 2021 4:02 PM Reply to ZenPriest

https://www.corbettreport.com/?s=deep+state

Start here.

ZenPriest , Jan 12, 2021 5:02 PM Reply to Igby MacDavitt

Corbett is owned like almost everyone else. Gives you everything but the source.

Joerg , Jan 11, 2021 8:50 AM

ARCHBISHOP VIGANÒ: OPEN LETTER TO DONALD TRUMP, WARNS ABOUT 'GREAT RESET' PLOT TO 'SUBDUE HUMANITY,' DESTROY FREEDOM
https://counterinformation.wordpress.com/2021/01/10/archbishop-vigano-open-letter-to-donald-trump-warns-about-great-reset-plot-to-subdue-humanity-destroy-freedom-2/

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Researcher , Jan 11, 2021 2:13 PM Reply to Ashley

Look. Your spam filter, didn't catch the SPAM.

Asylum , Jan 11, 2021 2:59 PM Reply to Researcher

but it does catch certain comments funny that

aspnaz , Jan 10, 2021 11:47 PM

The 6 January protest march clearly shows that the majority of Trump voters had already given up on Trump so did not join the protest. There was originally talk of a possible one million people attending, it didn't get anywhere close. If half the nation was still behind Trump, this was a very puzzling showing.

Trump just did not have what it takes, or was not really trying, to ruthlessly cut out the cancer of corruption in government. History will show that he was a weak leader who allowed the deep state to distract him to the extent that he never did anything of note other than to reveal, through no action of his own, how extreme is the corruption that he had promised to drain.

The Democrat distractions, paid for by their oligarch owners, showed the world that extreme corruption is running the USA. Even the most loyal Democrats must be puzzled by the current purges and threats of extreme centralised thought control, the arrogance of the swamp now that it has gotten rid of the peoples' man.

To his credit, I am still willing to believe that Trump tried to do the right thing.

Although the author is trying to place Trump as a coward who resigned, going back on his word, I think this is not how his original supporters see him. From what I can see, the majority of his original supporters still support him and see him as a figurehead, but they recognise that he doesn't have the skills to do the job. He is not a coward, he did not cave in, he recognised, probably because of the low protest numbers, that he did not have what is takes to continue the fight, he could see that his base had already given up on him. He is still a figurehead in the patriot movement. He may have lost the far right, but he still has a lot of centre-ground supporters.

MaryLS , Jan 11, 2021 4:47 AM Reply to aspnaz

I disagree with your claim that the majority of supporters had already given up on him. It was the middle of the week. People have jobs. It was a significant turn out. People understand what is at stake. I would not place the blame for failure on Trump. He is amazing in so many ways.

Carmpat , Jan 12, 2021 8:39 AM Reply to MaryLS

I just don't understand here how anybody can believe Trump was sincere in wanting to change anything: he's a narcissistic bully in it for his own benefit and that of his offspring. Fighting corruption??? Come on!

Igby MacDavitt , Jan 12, 2021 4:06 PM Reply to Carmpat

The mere fact that hundreds and hundreds of treasonous actors throughout government and business have been clearly and openly revealed through the process started by Trump is a damn good start.

S Cooper , Jan 11, 2021 5:53 AM Reply to aspnaz

"What is going in DC right now is like what went on at Jonestown after Jim Jones went crackers. Except instead of cyanide laced Kool-Aid they are going to use 'Doc' Billy Eugenics EUTHANASIA DEATH SHOT to off the 'faithful'. If only Billy and they would just off themselves and leave the rest of the World out of it."

" EUTHANIZE the World! Corporate Fascism and Eugenics forever."

S Cooper , Jan 11, 2021 4:24 PM Reply to S Cooper

"Time now for Na n zi Pelosi, Chuckie 'Upchuck' Schumer and all the rest of the war criminal gang of CORPORATE FASCIST FABIAN EUGENICISTS to beam back to the mothership. They see insurrections, rebellions and conspiracies everywhere. They believe the humans are out to get them . They are going full Jim Jones. "

https://giphy.com/gifs/alien-they-live-john-caenter-3og0IUd5D9Y77EXtRK

S Cooper , Jan 11, 2021 6:40 PM Reply to S Cooper

"Also Nasty Na n zi should lay off the hooch. It is beginning to have a deleterious and harmful effect upon the sad thing's cognitive faculties and behavior."

Sgt Oddball , Jan 10, 2021 10:35 PM

I *Hope* they name the next Carrier after him – USS Donald J. Trump – CVN 83

😉

Sgt Oddball , Jan 10, 2021 10:38 PM Reply to Sgt Oddball

- Nickname: – 'Big Don'

Voxi Pop , Jan 10, 2021 9:57 PM

https://worldchangebrief.webnode.com INSURRECTION ACT "PROBABLY" SIGNED –
Military In Control of the US, Under Commander In Chief Trump/
Updates Will Follow Throughout The Day

Cal , Jan 10, 2021 9:56 PM

.

Sgt Oddball , Jan 10, 2021 9:26 PM

"Captain America's been torn apart,
Now he's a court jester with a broken heart,
He said, "Turn me around and take me back to the start",
"I must be losing my mind!" Are you blind?!
– I've seen it all a *Million Times* "

James Meeks , Jan 10, 2021 9:02 PM

Situation Update Jan 8th – Trump fighting from secure location, did NOT concede
https://www.hangthecensors.com/487773.html?fbclid=IwAR2Na1XhGeff0jKFmZWBWrQnd5hjKgFEsSqwJOjQIqZFFkzN7flG-FcGG_s

Sukma Dyk , Jan 10, 2021 8:50 PM

You are going to be very surprised. See what happens.

David Meredith , Jan 10, 2021 9:08 PM Reply to Sukma Dyk

I was just about to post a comment saying: It's not over yet, but you beat me to it! Well done.

John Smith , Jan 11, 2021 6:17 PM Reply to Sukma Dyk

Why the secrecy? If you know summit then spill.

Jacques , Jan 10, 2021 8:49 PM

I don't know what Trump's intentions were, and I couldn't care less.

From where I'm standing, it appears that he was elected on a wave of populism, which seemed to be an alternative to the "liberal democracy" fakery, the swamp. An interesting presentation of that was here ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qA50BE7d1X8 ). IMHO, Bannon kicked Frum's butt in that debate.

It would appear that populism was a big enough threat for the "swamp" to unleash four years of a hate campaign against Trump, possibly, probably culminating with COVID. Hard to believe that it was a coincidence.

Be it as it may, and allowing for the possibility that this or that or the other thing has been staged this way or that way, Trump's presidency has certainly set things in motion, woken up people. Had somebody more slick been elected, the transition to the dystopia that seems to be in the pipeline would probably have been less noticeable, perhaps not noticeable at all. With the shitshow that has been going down since last February, all of a sudden there is a public debate. Perhaps misinformed, perhaps mislead, but there is a debate nevertheless. Will it result in something positive? Hard to say, hopefully.

Bottom line, Trump's presidency has been historically a good thing.

YouTube_censors_unfortuna , Jan 11, 2021 10:05 AM Reply to Jacques

Covid19 was decided in 2010 and earlier.

Jacques , Jan 11, 2021 10:37 AM Reply to YouTube_censors_unfortuna

So what? What sort of relevance does it have to what I said?

First understand the bigger picture, then worry about details.

Carmpat , Jan 12, 2021 8:43 AM Reply to Jacques

Covid 19 was DECIDED? But of course, yes, it's just a detail .. lol

Researcher , Jan 10, 2021 8:45 PM

Turns out the Viking Guy aka QAnon Shaman aka Jake Angeli aka Jacob Anthony Chansley aka Actor and self proclaimed "Super Soldier" pals around with Bernard Kerik and Rudy Giuliani when he takes time off from memorizing the latest NSA script:

Lost in a dark wood , Jan 10, 2021 9:42 PM Reply to Researcher

Oh look, a photo at some sort of book-signing type event. I'll file it alongside the one of Oswald and Mother Teresa.

Researcher , Jan 10, 2021 11:32 PM Reply to Lost in a dark wood

Where's the book? Nowhere. Not a book signing.

Freemason handshake tho, Lost_In_Your_Tiny_Mind

Lost in a dark wood , Jan 11, 2021 4:37 PM Reply to Researcher

BTW: if that's what Bernard Kerik looks like when he's "palling around", you definitely wouldn't want to fall out with him!

James Meeks , Jan 10, 2021 10:10 PM Reply to Researcher

Haven't you figured out yet that QAnon is an intelligence agency psyop based in the type of magical thinking that will get you killed and lose the nation? If not, you really aren't qualified to participate in what is currently hitting us. The enemy has your number. This is obviously a photo op staged by the security state to feed the false narrative created around QAnon.

Researcher , Jan 10, 2021 11:23 PM Reply to James Meeks

Can you read? Read what I wrote again. Read it enough times until you understand.

QAnon = Q Group NSA

Nothing is hitting you except the Democrats and Republicans together against the citizens. That's not new.

Asylum , Jan 11, 2021 6:30 PM Reply to Researcher

S Cooper , Jan 11, 2021 10:25 PM Reply to Asylum

"If there was a non WAR RACKETEER CORPORATE FASCIST in SHAM DEMOCRACY USA for whom to vote and the REPUBLICRATS did not FAKE the counts and rig the SHAM elections WE THE PEOPLE might. Where is a Eugene Victor Debs when the world needs one?"

"Soon that is not going to be an issue, however. There will be no need for SHAM ELECTIONS after Billy EugenIcs and the CORPORATE FASCIST FABIAN EUGENICISTS cull all the untermenschen and useless eaters with their EUTHANASIA DEATH SHOT."

https://www.deviantart.com/redamerican1945/art/Eugene-V-Debs-Republican-Democratic-Party-674343047

https://www.youtube.com/embed/rsL6mKxtOlQ?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en-US&autohide=2&wmode=transparent&listType=playlist&list=FLnnoDlrP9jUXGwJPoM_f7sg

REvail , Jan 11, 2021 11:42 PM Reply to S Cooper

it was a compliment and joke on others who still be lie ve in what you eloquently posted

S Cooper , Jan 12, 2021 12:23 AM Reply to REvail

"Just can not give up the opportunity for a good lead up (segue'). In good faith and in all seriousness, thanks for providing it."

Cmiller , Jan 12, 2021 5:27 AM Reply to Researcher

Masonic handshake

Dayne , Jan 10, 2021 8:40 PM

Peasants in 19th-century Russia clung to a notion of the Czar as a benevolent, fatherly figure. Even when he rained misery and oppression down on them, it was only because he was "misinformed", "surrounded by bad guys", etc.

It makes sense: Those were desperate, illiterate people living in misery. Hoping against hope was all they had. But why would anyone in 2021 think of Trump in essentially the same way is beyond me. An entrenched military-industrial-media-psychiatric-intelligence system, hundreds of years in the making and with untold trillions in funding, just stood by as a Robin-Hood-type hero and people's champion rose to take the Oval Office? Sorry. Trump might as well sprout wings and fly.

Sgt Oddball , Jan 10, 2021 10:10 PM Reply to Dayne

Thanx for your comment, Dayne – I've been trying to put this into words, and as I'm autistic, I could frankly, literally *Sperg'-out* over this, right now

- TL:DR version is this, tho': – Ever wonder why 'Populism' is such a dirty word for the establishment and their MSM bullhorn? – The argument I've heard thus far generally goes like the South Park underpants gnome's plan for world domination: – Phase 1: Popular Uprising (aka: 'Civil Unrest') Phase 2: ? . Phase 3: Fascist 'Strongman' Dictatorship – Why is that?

- Also that we're *Too Stoopid*(/ie: Self-Absorbed) – Like the Mud-Pickin' peasants in Monty Python' Holy Grail

- I would suggest 2 reasons for this:

- 1.) The Davostanis (Global Banksters/Oligarchs) never *merely* back the *winning horse* in the race, – In fact they back *every* horse that they *allow* to run (ergo: Trump was an Establishment-groomed *Stalking Horse* )

- 2.) The Davostanis (again), have *long since* seen to it that *most everyone*, from birth onwards, is psychologically conditioned, first with childhood myths and fairy-tales about Charming Princes and Fair Princesses, then with religio-spiritual 'adult' myths and fairy-tales about (In Judeo-Christian terms) Messianic, White-Knight champion/rescuer types who, if *we would only* put our lives and our *Utmost Faith* in their holy, heaven-sent hands, would *Save Us All* from all the terrible, terrible *Mess We've All Made* for ourselves down here on Earth, by collectively *Shitting The Bed*

*Obviously*, this is *All* just so much *Childish Nonsense*, and, more to the point, a *Writ-Large Con-Job*

- Cutting to the chase: – The 'Great-Man' theory of history is *Bunk* – Always *Has Been*, always *Will Be*

If you're still "Holding Out For A Hero", I invite you to stare *Long And Hard* into the nearest available mirror, *Take A DEEP Breath*, and then go out and *Elect Yourself* to the office – *Better Yet*, elect your family, elect your friends, elect your neighbors, elect *Everyone*

- And then let's *Do This Shit* – *Together*!

James Meeks , Jan 10, 2021 10:23 PM Reply to Dayne

It could have something to do with the fact that Biden is backed by every billionaire member of the Davos gang of criminals getting ready to use this event, coupled with medical martial law, to stage the "great reset" scheme. A wet dream of Malthusian eugenecists like Faucci & Gates, since it includes a drastic reduction in world population aka genocide of the elderly, vulnerable, poor and non compliant. This Globalist Technocracy will be led by un-elected bankers and corporate CEO's effectively ending any form of Democracy planet wide. MSM mockingbirds are completing the programming of the public to make Casey's statement to Reagan ring true" We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is wrong."

janmarsh , Jan 10, 2021 8:16 PM

Insurrection Act signing brought forward.
Scroll down to 10th. January update:
https://www.simonparkes.org/

Asylum , Jan 11, 2021 3:31 PM Reply to janmarsh

Ow look Simon one trick pony parkes been laughed at and ridiculed and busted for his many many many many lies and it happening you watch just donate psyop
gets excepted into the Q nonsense and trump Savior psyop and became s one of there leaders!!!

doesn't anyone go back 5 years and do basic check on thsoes they watch and then make idols of them.

fools follow fools

Mike , Jan 10, 2021 8:15 PM

Trump was never going to be Ameica's hero. He was played to depict America as a fascist, racist, neo-nazi country that needs to be saved by the Left aka Joe Biden/Kamala Harris. The Left can now "save us all" from the "damage" caused by the MAGA movement and Trump. They can do this through heavily increased mass surveillance and what is essentially imprisonment, to make sure that we don't fall victim to the "domestic terrorism" that is represented by Trump and his fan base.

David Meredith , Jan 10, 2021 9:10 PM Reply to Mike

saved by the left? The left has been selling out the US to the globalist agenda for the last 20 years (in power or out). Trump is not finished restoring America to a country that doesn't sell out to China.

S Cooper , Jan 10, 2021 9:32 PM Reply to David Meredith

"Left-Center-Right" seems that paradigm is a tad askew. It is more like a top to bottom pyramid [scheme/racket]. The CORPORATE FASCIST OLIGARCH MOBSTER PSYCHOPATH SLAVE MASTERS sitting on their gold platinum thrones at the very top of the tower/pyramid and all their prole slave victims, WE THE PEOPLE (HUMANITY) in the mud at the base. The PSYCHOS will say or do anything to get the prole slaves at each others throats. IF WE ARE FIGHTING AMONG OURSELVES WE ARE NOT FIGHTING THEM."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/rsL6mKxtOlQ?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en-US&autohide=2&wmode=transparent&listType=playlist&list=FLnnoDlrP9jUXGwJPoM_f7sg

https://www.tumblr.com/search/v%20debs

Mike , Jan 10, 2021 11:12 PM Reply to David Meredith

Well, being saved by the left was a sarcastic comment. And Trump is clearly done with "restoring America" because it was never his to restore, let alone him conceding to the left after the Capitol "riots".

falcemartello , Jan 11, 2021 3:53 AM Reply to David Meredith

@ David
The left is as left as my right GONAD

Martin Usher , Jan 10, 2021 10:12 PM Reply to Mike

Biden/Harris "the left"? Surely you're joking? These two are conservatives, in another timeline they'd be Republicans. What they have going for them is they, like many Americans, believe in the Constitution of the United States, about what the country is and what its trying to acheve. It strives to build "a more perfect union".

This the fundamenal error many people made about the Deep State. I've no doubt that there's a fom of Deep State out there, an ingrained conservative streak in the bureaucracy, because there is in all bureaucracies. But the real Deep State is all of us, its every last person who believes in the system, in the American form of democracy and the principles upon which the nation was founded. There are innumerable personal interpretations of exactly what this means but the sum total is the United States.

Trump, MAGA and the modern GoP represent 'capture', the idea that the capture of the state can be turned to personal profit. In doing so Trump and his enablers degraded the notion of what the US is and why it exists. This is what's caused the backlash, its not 'the left' or 'socialism'.

Sgt Oddball , Jan 10, 2021 10:54 PM Reply to Martin Usher

"Biden/Harris "the left"? Surely you're joking?"

- The proverbial 'Overton Window' has, at this point, collapsed to a quantum singularity, about a nothingth of a planck length wide

- Prepare for *Teh Great Suck*!

Peanut butter wolf , Jan 10, 2021 8:11 PM

You seriously think Trump was genuinly elected? All the points you make show obviously he was a puppet and psy-op of the deepstate from the very beginning.
The deepstate won because they never had an enemy, they created him from the start, with or without him knowing we dont know, but anyone on that level is on a need to know basis anyway. It's clear that his every move is steered with the goal to bring down rogue antiestablishment sentiments.

And it worked very well. Radical left antiestablishment is suddenly prodemocrats and radical right antiestablishment is totally disillusioned and just became domestic terrorists.

David Meredith , Jan 10, 2021 9:12 PM Reply to Peanut butter wolf

you spelled Biden incorrectly on your fourth word in.

Sgt Oddball , Jan 10, 2021 10:57 PM Reply to Peanut butter wolf

- *Divide and Conquer* Churn, same as it ever was

BTW, My condolences for MF Doom

Asylum , Jan 11, 2021 3:07 PM Reply to Sgt Oddball

ironic dont you think a artist MF Doom who is known for wearing a mask gets sacrifices sorry dies on the usual astro constellation
zzzzzzzz

Thom1111 , Jan 11, 2021 3:15 PM Reply to Peanut butter wolf

Trump wasn't supposed to win in 2016. The deep state probably wanted liberal Jeb Bush or Rubio or Cruz in there. Trump destroyed all the competition in the GOP primaries. Remember, Trump wasn't picked by the deep state to be their guy. He financed his own campaign. He was a major burr in their saddle. The Trump phenomenon is real and he proved it with a landslide victory that was stolen.

Martin Usher , Jan 12, 2021 6:16 PM Reply to Thom1111

What 'landslide'? The numbers tell a very different story. Trump should have won a second term but he didn't because of two things, one being the grass roots efforts of Democrats to motivate voter groups despite systematic road blocks being placed in those groups' path and the other -- a important one -- being that there's quite a lot of life long Republicans out there that cannot stand Trump.

Trumpism is like a cult in many ways. One feature is that those who 'believe' find it difficult to come to grips with the fact that they might hold a minority view. They're used to being embattled, that's a signature feature of such groups (they're always fighting for something against an implacable enemy, preferably an unseen one) but its just inconceivable that they're really a fringe group. The events of last Wednesday have probably done more to promote Democrat candidates than anything else this cycle; fortunately for the most part the election was over so all they lost were the two Senate seats.

PS -- May I draw your attention to an old Beatles song -- "Revolution"? (I'd also suggest an even old song "Trouble Coming" from the Mothers of Invention.)

Voz 0db , Jan 10, 2021 7:58 PM

Under the CURRENT MAIN SYSTEM – The Monetary System – there is no "drain the swamp"!

James Meeks , Jan 10, 2021 10:29 PM Reply to Voz 0db

Then you're going to love the technocrats "social credits" scheme such as China currently imposes on it's population.

Voz 0db , Jan 11, 2021 10:43 AM Reply to James Meeks

China developed that system with the HELP of the Western Corporations, so that in a near future the tech will be deployed in the western Plantations. OPERATION COVIDIUS is just the 1st of many operations that will create the FEAR & PANIC conditions among the herds of modern western moron slaves, that will make it really easy for THEM to deploy that tech.

Why do you think China was the chosen one to practice a "city lockdown" during EVENT 201 planning?

Why do you think China was on the news of western countries while they were executing the lockdown and then no more China news?

China is also under the Shadow of the SRF & Billionaires at least for now. The only thing China is trying to achieve is to shift the POWER of the SRF into Chinese Families, nothing more.

maxine , Jan 10, 2021 7:48 PM

What has Off-G come to? .One must be truly mad to imagine that D. tHRUMP
"SINCERELY" thought ANYTHING EVER, let alone "changing the way America is run" .He's incapable of comprehending what the word "SINCERITY" means .Sorry the author has lost his hero.

wardropper , Jan 10, 2021 8:24 PM Reply to maxine

OffG publishes articles and anybody who wants to can comment on them.

It does not push, or imagine, any group philosophy other than to support us all in a deep distrust of what the mainstream media ram down our throats every day, and to give us space to express our personal disgust in our own way.

We are not going to imagine what you would like us to imagine merely on your say-so either, although you are quite free to tell us what your personal recommendations are.

OffG has never been pro-Trump, and we are all aware that the alternative is far from being any better.

Perhaps you would like to tell us what is really bugging you, given that you have never been under any pressure even to show up here At the very least, you could stay on topic:
So, what about the swamp, and who you think is most likely to succeed in draining it ?

Carol Jones , Jan 10, 2021 8:53 PM Reply to wardropper

Hear Hear!

Gezzah Potts , Jan 10, 2021 10:26 PM Reply to wardropper

Spot on W👍

YouTube_censors_unfortuna , Jan 10, 2021 7:40 PM

Trump's racist fan base supported America's bogus War of Terrorism against blameless Muslim countries, did they not? What goes around, comes around.

James Meeks , Jan 10, 2021 10:40 PM Reply to YouTube_censors_unfortuna

I think you are getting fan bases mixed up. Trump inherited these conflicts from Bush, Iraq 2002 invasion & Obama's 2015 invasion of Syria and it was Trump that threatened to end the propping up of the endless war industry. In fact that played the major role in why Trump had to be removed at all costs including selling treason and vote rigging as Democracy to be defended against "domestic terrorists".

YouTube_censors_unfortuna , Jan 11, 2021 9:45 AM Reply to James Meeks

Did America's white patriots oppose the demonisation of Muslims as being terrorists who did 9/11 or did they participate in this US government fiction?

Thom1111 , Jan 11, 2021 3:17 PM Reply to YouTube_censors_unfortuna

No, at least half of the patriots are and were aware that 9/11 was an inside job.

Geoffrey Skoll , Jan 10, 2021 7:25 PM

Right! The Donald was too weak and too stupid. A smarter president got shot for his troubles, but the rulers knew they didn't have to resort to that against the Donald. He was obsessed with his mirror. All those meeting between Ike and JFK, what do you think they were talking about?

Sgt Oddball , Jan 10, 2021 11:01 PM Reply to Geoffrey Skoll

- Please also note the *Extreme* copypasta, every other sentence, in the article – Who *Actually Is* this guy?

DM: , Jan 11, 2021 12:22 AM Reply to Sgt Oddball

A fifty-center.

Lisa , Jan 10, 2021 7:09 PM

Fuck Trump and his knuckle dragging moron supporters. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_P-0I6sAck

Mr Y , Jan 10, 2021 7:21 PM Reply to Lisa

Now tell us what *you* like.

David Meredith , Jan 10, 2021 9:14 PM Reply to Lisa

hey, my knuckles don't drag – how dare you suggest such a thing.

James Meeks , Jan 10, 2021 10:44 PM Reply to Lisa

Sounds like you came to Off Guardian thinking it was the Guardian and expected to find a group of like minded consumers of security state propaganda in a Trump bashing fest.

Sgt Oddball , Jan 10, 2021 11:02 PM Reply to Lisa

"Oook, Oook, Oook!!! "

*Flings Monkey-Poop *

sue , Jan 10, 2021 6:55 PM

A premature judgement. Time will tell.

MANUEL , Jan 10, 2021 6:55 PM

Do u relly guys think Trump was a hope for all pf us? I am still amazed that people(including off-guard) still thinks in terms of left vs right, good vs bad, and all that narrative. I am afraid that nnarrativ has never been true. It is part of the game of "the matrix" to keep us entertained in shows programmed for tth masses, division, polarizaiomn, saviours and "heros". In my opinion it is time for a deep shift. Continuing to hope that some guy will save us all, it is just seeing a tree but not being able to see the woods. While some keep waiting for somebody to save us, they are moving forward with their plans really fast. But no problem guys. Sooner or later the rrality will knock on you door, and you will have to decide if you are going to be a slave or a free human. And it will be all about what you decide. No american hero or any messiah will do it for you.

Sophie - Admin1 , Jan 10, 2021 9:50 PM Reply to MANUEL

We have warned against accepting the Left/Right paradigm many times. This is NOT an editorial and therefore is not 'the voice of OffG'.

Some visitors here need to up their sophistication level to the point they understand we publish a SPECTRUM of dissident opinion that we consider merits discussion or a wider audience, without necessarily agreeing with all of it.

Sgt Oddball , Jan 10, 2021 11:15 PM Reply to Sophie - Admin1

"Some visitors here need to up their sophistication level to the point they understand we publish a SPECTRUM of dissident opinion "

- Yep, well that's as may be, but Andrew Korybko's position is *Lame As All Hell* – Every establishment talking point *Covered* – just from the 'Contrarian' side

- Trump was an 'Outsider' who 'Became' an 'Insider'?! – Aww Puh-lease! – He was a *Stalking Horse

- "He didn't have the *'Strength'* to 'Drain The Swamp'(tm)"??!?! – *No-One* *Indivudal* in all Creation could've

- Do you think we're *Children*?!

Asylum , Jan 11, 2021 3:26 PM Reply to Sgt Oddball

been on this site a whole while now not seen any articles discussing trump failures

James Meeks , Jan 10, 2021 11:06 PM Reply to MANUEL

We are all aware that we are the playthings of the rich and powerful but all you're doing is stating what most of us already know. What is your solution? So tell us please what you are doing to that makes you feel free and not a slave? Are you living off the grid? Not using currency? What is it you're doing that makes you different from those of us you claim are not facing reality? I think many people, myself included, who have no love for Trump see that he is being denounced by every billionaire member of the Davos gang of criminals as a threat to world order and the economy while they shut down the planet with medical martial law and create an authoritarian Globalist Technocratic dictatorship ending Democracies worldwide and targeting "domestic terrorists" who oppose them.

George Mc , Jan 10, 2021 6:35 PM

The steps on how to destroy all of the services, public and private though focussing on the NHS:

Seize on a moderate flu variant. Build it up to be the blackest death since the black death. Seize on all the old people who die anyway and claim their numbers as an indication of the carnage. For anyone still hesitant, introduce hypocritical emotional blackmail about "the most vulnerable" in our society to shame everyone into the game On the basis of those appropriated death figures, endlessly circulate fear porn – enhanced by the fact that the symptoms of this apocalyptic virus are indistinguishable from the regular flu or even the common cold. Get everyone to steer clear of everyone else. Close down all "inessential" work plus communal gathering places to ensure everyone is isolated before the droning monolithic message you are pumping out. Introduce even more draconian measures for anyone who "has" the bug – effectively barring them even (especially) from care work. Prioritise the new bug cases so that they have access to hospital facilities – while anyone with other (real) illnesses are barred to "protect" them! This fills up the hospitals with hypochondriacs with the common cold. Introduce the notion that some may carry the bug without symptoms. Introduce a new test which can determine who has the symptomless bug. On the basis of those magical symptomless bug test kits, bar the essential workers from supporting the vulnerable – in order to "protect the vulnerable"! Constantly report on how the NHS is collapsing – which it is, being filled up with folks with the cold and turning everyone else away, and also being deprived of essential workers who tested positive for the symptomless bug. Just stand back and watch it all collapse whilst continuing to report on it with increasing horror!

George Mc , Jan 10, 2021 6:41 PM Reply to George Mc

PS the list is not exhaustive. I didn't even touch on the phony Left/Right divide.

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL , Jan 10, 2021 7:18 PM Reply to George Mc

EXCERPTS FROM THE AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL REPORTS INTO COVID-19 AND CARE HOMES.

A must read.

The Department of Health and Social Care . adopted a policy, that led to 25,000 patients, including those (known to be) infected (with Covid-19, and also those who were) possibly infected with Covid-19 (but) had not been tested, being discharged from hospital into care homes between 17 March and 15 April -- exponentially increasing the risk of transmission to the very population most at risk of severe illness and death from the disease. (This, while being denied) access to testing, (being denied) personal protective equipment, (while having) insufficient staff, and limited (and confusing) guidance.

(As expected) care homes were overwhelmed.

http://www.preearth.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1184

James Meeks , Jan 10, 2021 11:10 PM Reply to AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

Amnesty International is US State Department Propaganda Amnesty run by US State Department representatives, funded by convicted financial criminals, and threatens real human rights advocacy worldwide.
https://www.globalresearch.ca/amnesty-international-is-us-state-department-propaganda/32444

DM: , Jan 11, 2021 12:30 AM Reply to George Mc

Who the hell down-voted this. I want a name, address, and employment details.

Teresa , Jan 10, 2021 6:27 PM

No, the entire "game" hasn't played out yet. Hold back on your final conclusions for now. Watchful waiting at the moment.

Moneycircus , Jan 10, 2021 6:21 PM

Computah sez. I mean computer is science, right? And you gotta trust the science Just Google it, OK?

So, AI sez BABY FILTER!

https://www.youtube.com/embed/qUm2KWPmnHg?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en-US&autohide=2&wmode=transparent

George Mc , Jan 10, 2021 6:04 PM

The tackiest of plays unfolding with the most tedious predictability: "And the NHS can't take much more as .."

Yes yes yes – as if we didn't fucking know!

YOU MEAN TO DESTROY THE NHS AND YOU WILL REPEAT THIS OVER AND OVER AND OVER UNTIL IT IS DONE!

[Jan 19, 2021] Is Trump a populist, or a populist wanna-be?

Looks like Trump is elevated well beyond his standing and abilities. He proved to be mediocre politician who got into the prepared trap and endangered and then betrayed his supporters.
Notable quotes:
"... Four years ago the Anglo-American deep state concluded that liberal democracy is no longer guaranteed to keep them in power. The new threat comes from populist like Trump. Instead of democracy they decided to turn to totalitarianism. The first step was a totalitarian media regime . ..."
"... LMFAO. Trump is no threat. Listen to his farewell speech . Summary: bend over and salute the flag. ..."
Jan 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Petri Krohn , Jan 19 2021 22:34 utc | 44

Four years ago the Anglo-American deep state concluded that liberal democracy is no longer guaranteed to keep them in power. The new threat comes from populist like Trump. Instead of democracy they decided to turn to totalitarianism. The first step was a totalitarian media regime .

Jackrabbit , Jan 19 2021 23:25 utc | 52

Petri Krohn @Jan19 22:34 #44

The new threat comes from populist like Trump.
LMFAO. Trump is no threat. Listen to his farewell speech . Summary: bend over and salute the flag.

!!

[Jan 19, 2021] McConnell addressed the floor claiming that "The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people."

I think McConnell is right. Trump speech was very incoherent but it contained some elements that can be classified as incitement. But I think that he got into trap organized by neoliberal wing of DemParty. BTW giving a 78-year-old Senator a six-year term is a modest gamble, as an actuarial table will show you .
Probably McConnell, who is pretty shrewd political operative despite his age, understands that Trump does not matter anymore. He was spent. Politically on Dec 6, he committed a suicide. So his impeachment might not as harshly affect the Republican Party as some ZH commenters assume. The party does need a new leader, anyway. Trump proved to be mediocre politician and this is an worse then any of his real or imaginable crimes.
Jan 19, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

McConnell went on:

" We stood together and said an angry mob would not get veto power over the rule of law in our nation. Not even for one night. We certified the people's clear choice for their 46th president.

Tomorrow, President-elect Biden and Vice-President-elect Harris will be sworn in. We will have a safe and successful inauguration right here on the west front of the Capitol -- the space that President Bush 41 called 'democracy's front porch.' And then we'll move forward ."

... ... ...

This, according to Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, is a major problem for the GOP who told Fox News' Ingraham Angle on Friday that he believes that if Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Senate Republicans join the Democrats to impeach President Donald Trump, a third of Republican voters will permanently abandon the party as a result.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/xroBI23G_eA

PlanetFreeWill.news' Tom Papper notes that, speaking first about the Democrats' aims for impeachment, Paul expressed incredulity.

"I don't understand how they can be moving forward with this," he said, before adding

"The thing they're doing now is an overreaction, and if they think they're going to have a positive feeling from the public, when they're going to go through a partisan impeachment again, I think that's absolutely insane and wrong headed ."

Ingraham then asked Paul if he was surprised that McConnell is reportedly planning to instruct Republicans to vote to convict President Trump after he leaves the presidency, in a move that could strip him of his security and prevent him from running for office in 2024.

"I don't often get asked my advice from leadership on how they should react, but my unsolicited suggestion would be this: They will destroy the Republican Party if leadership is complicit in impeachment, or if leadership votes for impeachment, they will destroy the party."

"Impeachment is purely a partisan thing, it's for the moral, 'Oh I'm so much better than you, and you're a bad person, because I'm so moral.'" Paul added, "These are the kind of people that are going to do this."

"The impeachment is a wrongheaded, partisan notion. If Republicans go along with it, it will destroy the party. A third of Republicans will leave the party."

"This isn't about, anymore, the electoral college," Paul concluded.

"It's about the future of the party, and if you're going to ostracize and excommunicate President Trump from the party, then guess what, millions of his fans will leave as well."

Additionally, congressional leaders, including House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, will skip President Trump's departure ceremony in Maryland tomorrow morning in favor of attending mass with incoming President Joe Biden ahead of his inauguration, congressional sources familiar with their plans tell Axios .

lay_arrow

Gaius Petronius 31 minutes ago (Edited)

No. If McConnell impeaches Trump, the U.S. becomes an instant one party state. The entire GOP will collapse and collapse quickly. It would destroy the party. But maybe it's time for the GOP to die? The Senate has a bunch of RINOs in it. Impeaching Trump will end their Senate career come their next election. I think if Mitch is doing this, he knows he is doing this and he knows the consequences and he doesn't give a damn because this is really *NOT* about Trump, it's about preventing a true outsider (like Trump) from coming in and running the country when for decades who runs the country has always been decided by the elite. They don't like the people being able to pick their president. They want to be the ones who pick the president. The surest way to make sure that Trump never runs again is to impeach him, but Mitch better get ready to change his party affiliation to D because there won't be a Republican party after that.

zerofucks 28 minutes ago

the uniparty needs the 2 party cover to keep the illusion going

Gaius Petronius 23 minutes ago remove link

He's just part of the deep state. He likes his power.

Buzz-Kill 6 minutes ago (Edited)

Yep... McConnel is a Deep State operator.

chunga 1 hour ago

People love to throw around this term "rino" which is misleading and dumb. It suggests there are a handful of them that suck and block the good ones.

If that were the case Moribund Mitch and House Minority leader what's his name would not be in these "leadership" positions. And they are.

[Jan 19, 2021] Fake President - Book by Mark Green, Ralph Nader - Official Publisher Page - Simon Schuster

Jan 19, 2021 | www.simonandschuster.com

"Read Fake President .This book can help us replace Trump with truth."
-- Gloria Steinem

"Terrific new book . Fake President informs as it entertains."
-- Laurence Tribe

An incisive, witty roadmap into the disinformation and betrayals of President Trump -- just in time for the impeachment hearings and the 2020 election.

Donald Trump was lawfully selected as the US president...but is still a "fake" president because he simply lacks the integrity, intelligence, and stability to perform the duties of the office as the Constitution intended. "If you spend so much time golfing, tweeting, and seething," write Green and Nader, "it's understandable that a POTUS doesn't get around to appointing one-third of all agency inspector generals...Might as well expect a surgeon to be an opera singer."

As the House Impeachment Inquiry unfolds based on a similar premise , Fake President decodes many of his worst scandals and "twistifications" (a Jefferson coinage). And it's bound to get even worse as the House gets closer to actual Articles of Impeachment and the Fall election approaches. Since it's nearly impossible to keep track of Trump's "daily lava of lies," two of America's foremost public advocates do that work for you. This is your one-stop shop that explains what the Lyin' King means to our democracy.

It's a cheeky, deadly rebuke of Trump's incorrigible "fakery"...from his dishonesty about foreign policy to blatant ignorance about the environment to his messianic narcissism.

Fake President is an essential guide to help you understand the two biggest news stories of the coming year -- impeachment and the 2020 presidential election.

[Jan 19, 2021] US expands sanctions against Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, targeting ships Russian firms working on vital pan-European projec

Jan 19, 2021 | www.rt.com

46 Follow RT on RT Outgoing US President Donald Trump has delivered his "parting gift" to the Moscow-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, with newly announced sanctions targeting a pipe-laying vessel and companies involved in the multinational project.

The specialist ship concerned, named, 'Fortuna,' and oil tanker 'Maksim Gorky', as well as two Russian firms, KVT-Rus and Rustanker, were blacklisted on Tuesday under CAATSA (Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) as part of Washington's economic war on Moscow. The same legislation had been previously used by the US to target numerous Russian officials and enterprises.

Russian energy giant Gazprom warned its investors earlier on Tuesday that Nord Stream 2 could be suspended or even canceled if more US restrictions are introduced.

ALSO ON RT.COM Gazprom warns investors that Nord Stream 2 could be canceled as Trump announces more US sanctions in 'parting gift'

However, Moscow has assured its partners that it intends to complete the project despite "harsh pressure on the part of Washington," according to Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov. Reacting to the new package of sanctions on Tuesday, Peskov called them "unlawful."

Meanwhile, the EU said it is in no rush to join the Washington-led sanction war on Nord Stream 2. EU foreign affairs chief, Josep Borrell, said that the bloc is not going to resist the construction of the project.

"Because we're talking about a private project, we can't hamper the operations of those companies if the German government agrees to it," Borrell said Tuesday.

Nord Stream 2 is an offshore gas pipeline, linking Russia and Germany with aim of providing cheaper energy to Central European customers. Under the agreement between Moscow and Berlin, it was to be launched in mid-2020, but the construction has been delayed due to strong opposition from Washington.

ALSO ON RT.COM One more European firm caves to US pressure on Nord Stream 2 project – media

The US, which is hoping to sell its Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) to Europe, has hit the project with several rounds of sanctions over scarcely credible claims that it could undermine European energy security. Critics say the real intent is to force EU members to buy from American companies.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

46 Follow RT on RT Trends:

Fatback33 4 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 11:20 AM

The group that owns Washington makes the foreign policy. That policy is not for the benefit of the people.
DukeLeo Fatback33 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:06 PM
That is correct. The private banks and corporations in the US are very upset about Nord Stream - 2, as they want Europe to buy US gas at double price. Washington thus introduces additional political gangsterism in the shape of new unilateral sanctions which have no merit in international law.
noremedy 4 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 11:22 AM
Is the U.S. so stupid that they do not realize that they are isolating themselves? Russia has developed SPFS, China CIPS, together with Iran, China and Russia are further developing a payment transfer system. Once in place and functioning this system will replace the western SWIFT system for international payment transfers. It will be the death knell for the US dollar. 327 million Americans are no match for the rest of the billions of the world's population. The next decade will see the total debasement of the US monetary system and the fall from power of the decaying and crumbling in every way U.S.A.
Hanonymouse noremedy 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 01:37 PM
They don't care. They have the most advanced military in the world. Might makes right, even today.
Shelbouy 3 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 12:25 PM
Russia currently supplies over 50% of the natural gas consumed by The EU. Germany and Italy are the largest importers of Russian natural gas. What is the issue of sanctions stemming from and why are the Americans doing this? A no brainer question I suppose. It's to make more money than the other supplier, and exert political pressure and demand obedience from its lackey. Germany.
David R. Evans Shelbouy 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 01:58 PM
Russia and Iran challenge perpetual US wars for Israel's Oded Yinon Plan. Washington is Israel-controlled territory.
Jewel Gyn 4 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 11:34 AM
Sanctions work both ways. With the outgoing Trump administration desperately laying mines for Biden, we await how sleepy Joe is going to mend strayed ties with EU.
Count_Cash 4 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 11:20 AM
The US mafia state continues with the same practices. The dog is barking but the caravan is going. The counter productiveness of sanctions always shows through in the end! I am sure with active efforts of Germany and Russia against US mafia oppression that a blowback will be felt by the US over time!
Dachaguy 4 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 11:24 AM
This is an act of war against Germany. NATO should respond and act against the aggressor, America.
xyz47 Dachaguy 42 minutes ago 19 Jan, 2021 03:20 PM
NATO is run by the US...
lovethy Dachaguy 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 01:04 PM
NATO has no separate existence. It's the USA's arm of aggression, suppression and domination. Germany after WWII is an occupied country of USA. Thousand of armed personnel stationed in Germany enforcing that occupation.
Chaz Dadkhah 3 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 12:19 PM
Further proof that Trump is no friend of Russia and is in a rush to punish them while he still has power. If it was the swamp telling him to do that, like his supporters suggest, then they would have waited till their man Biden came in to power in less than 24 hours to do it. Wake up!
Mac Kio 3 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 12:34 PM
USA hates fair competition. USA ignores all WTO rules.
Russkiy09 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 01:33 PM
By whining and not completing in the face of US, Russia is losing credibility. They should not have delayed to mobilize the pipe laying vessel and other equipment for one whole year. They should have mobilized in three months and finished by now. Same happens when Jewtin does not shoot down Zio air force bombing Syria everyday. But best option should have been to tell European vassals that "if you can, take our gas. But we will charge the highest amount and sell as much as we want, exclude Russophobic Baltic countries and Poland and neo-vassal Ukraine. Pay us not in your ponzi paper money but real goods and services or precious metals or other commodities or our own currency Ruble." I so wish I could be the President of Russia. Russians deserve to be as wealthy as the Swiss or SIngapore etc., not what they are getting. Their leaders should stand up for their interest. And stop empowering the greedy merchantalist Chinese and brotherhood Erdogan.
BlackIntel 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:27 PM
America i captured by private interest; this project threatens American private companies hence the government is forced to protect capitalism. This is illegal
Ohhho 3 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 12:15 PM
That project was a mistake from the start: Russia should distance itself from the Evil empire, EU included! Stop wasting time and resources on trying to please the haters and keeping them more competitive with cheaper Russian natural gas: focus on real partners and potential allies elsewhere!
butterfly123 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 01:58 PM
I have said it before that part of the problem is at the door of the policy-makers and politicians in Russia. Pipeline project didn't spring up in the minds of politicians in Russia one morning, presumably. There should have been foresight, detailed planning, and opportunity creation for firms in Russia to acquire the skill-set and resources to advance this project. Not doing so has come to bite Russia hard and painful. Lessons learnt I hope Mr President!
jakro 4 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 11:37 AM
Good news. The swamp is getting deeper and bigger.
hermaflorissen 4 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 11:49 AM
Trump finally severed my expectations for the past 4 years. He should indeed perish.
ariadnatheo 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 03:06 PM
That is one Trump measure that will not be overturned by the Senile One. They will need to amplify the RussiaRussiaRussia barking and scratching to divert attention from their dealings with China
Neville52 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:01 PM
Its time the other nations of the world turned their backs on the US. Its too risky if you are an international corporation to suddenly have large portions of your income cancelled due to some crazy politician in the US
5th Eye 2 hours ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:03 PM
From empire to the collapse of empire, US follows UK to the letters. Soon it will be irrelevant. The only thing that remains for UK is the language. Probably hotdog for the US.
VonnDuff1 1 hour ago 19 Jan, 2021 02:10 PM
The USA Congress and its corrupt foreign policy dictates work to the detriment of Europe and Russia, while providing no tangible benefits to US states or citizens. So globalist demands wrapped in the stars & stripes, should be laughed at, by all freedom loving nations.

[Jan 14, 2021] Trump as populist

Is there anything more pathetic than competition between two political mafias hiding as some sort of disagreement over principle?
Notable quotes:
"... Absolutely his instinct to rebalance the economic relationship with China was correct. But he's too stupid to do it in a way that actually benefits or improves the US long term. Every once in a while with him there was hint of a good instinct but he never followed through because his base instincts always win out. ..."
"... The cries of censorship are asinine. Real censorship of diverging opinions was accomplished decades ago. Banning Donald trump from twitter isn't censorship. They didn't ban the POTUS account (they did delete tweets when he tried to use it), they banned his personal account because he's an asshole who broke the rules. Republicans have been telling me about the sanctity of property my whole life. Now they change their minds? ..."
Jan 14, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
Lex , Jan 13 2021 23:25 utc | 55

It's all just farts in a jar. The trajectory was set decades ago and the political oligarchy and gerontocracy aren't going to let go of that trajectory. Trump was only a "populist" insofar as it was a means for him to be popular. In reality, he's a dishonest, craven asshole. If he was a populist he would have responded to Covid way differently. What he is, however, is a nationalist. Those are dangerous because they don't think clearly.

Absolutely his instinct to rebalance the economic relationship with China was correct. But he's too stupid to do it in a way that actually benefits or improves the US long term. Every once in a while with him there was hint of a good instinct but he never followed through because his base instincts always win out.

The cries of censorship are asinine. Real censorship of diverging opinions was accomplished decades ago. Banning Donald trump from twitter isn't censorship. They didn't ban the POTUS account (they did delete tweets when he tried to use it), they banned his personal account because he's an asshole who broke the rules. Republicans have been telling me about the sanctity of property my whole life. Now they change their minds?

The empire is in terminal decline. Trump doesn't change it. Biden doesn't change it. Who controls Congress doesn't change it. Because all of them are beholden to the declining empire and/or they believe in America's myths (they are nationalists). A failed color revolution run by people who don't want to accept an election result just says real loud that the empire is falling.

[Jan 11, 2021] Trump is a monster of self-centredness.

Notable quotes:
"... I hate virtually all of Trump's policies. I hate his stupidity in continually hiring people who hated him. He could have turned to members of the genuine left -- men such as Stephen Cohen -- for advice. ..."
"... n a classic act of projection, woke Dems accuse Trump of not conceding, whereas in fact they are the ones who never conceded the presidency in 2016. This is so obvious, and yet it has apparently become invisible to most!!! Memory hole opened up like a crack in the earth behind each step. ..."
"... The gullibility of Trump is astounding. He did everything to keep the swamp happy, to keep Israel happy, flipped on Nato and on Russia, had hawks left and right and at the end he will be discarded like a used condom. ..."
"... can't help but think that Donald Trump is a man with no common sense, lacking the real conviction of his words and just not very bright or he was to some degree willfully complicit in this now obviously dire state the U.S. finds itself. ..."
"... If anyone thinks there is some good news because this murderous, warring empire is coming to an end, I suggest you think again. The war machine is still fully intact and funded. The international bankers who are in complete control are buying up everything and are planning on a 'reset' dictated by them. To the world! Understandably, there will likely be a few countries who do not feel inclined to agree with this reset and it's terms. There will have to be war to correct this thinking, even if a billion or more are killed. The more the merrier. Less 'useless eaters' to deal with. ..."
Jan 11, 2021 | thesaker.is

Mike from Jersey on January 07, 2021 , · at 8:00 pm EST/EDT

Mr. Roberts is right on point when he says that Trump will be locked up.

The people running the United States are going to make an example of Trump. They will send a message that no "outsider" should ever again dare to run for President.

Trump will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Mark my words.

citymouse on January 08, 2021 , · at 1:07 am EST/EDT

I fear you are right. In this case it might be better if he weren't such a street fighter, because standing up for himself to me isn't worth the price he will pay. He should get himself and his family post haste to a country with no extradition and simply live the rest of his life in peace. No one needs the vitriol that has been and will continue to be heaped on him.

Jimmy on January 08, 2021 , · at 2:58 am EST/EDT

Trump _should_ spend the rest of his life behind bars -- for contributing to the deaths of tens of thousands of human beings. Ordinary Syrians, Iranians, Cubans, and Venezuelans died because of the murderous sanctions Washington put on their countries, and Pres. Trump did nothing to help -- and in fact, intensified them.

Very similar to his indifference to the plight of Edward Snowden & Julian Assange. Trump is a monster of self-centredness. In fact, in the words of his own former White House Chief of Staff, he is 'the most damaged human being I have ever met.' Just the sort of creature we would expect to find as head of the US empire

James on January 08, 2021 , · at 5:02 am EST/EDT

I'm afraid you are spot on -- Trump lies to the World when he was running for President & then broke almost all of his promises -especially to drain the Swamp. He also unforgivably allowed the Jews to take over Palistinian land etc. He has alot to answer for even if he wasn't as War like as the 3 Presidents before him.

augusto on January 08, 2021 , · at 8:37 am EST/EDT

YOu re problably right, Jimmy.
But it turns out differently when one gets the point where Trump locked up prospect here is not him but a whole lot of american people trying to get rid of globalism and the need for wars
Who might be buried up along with him.

Bill Osborne Jr on January 08, 2021 , · at 9:40 am EST/EDT

Trump should have pardoned Snowden and Assange instead of Jared Kushner's criminal father.

Boris Kazlov on January 08, 2021 , · at 4:14 pm EST/EDT

You are only looking to his overseas policy.
That is an imposition of the military and Zionists, when you dance with a gorilla you gotta him a banana.

eagle eye on January 08, 2021 , · at 6:43 pm EST/EDT

But not a word about the crimes of those who preceded him, which included the ultimate crime, that of engaging in unjustified warfare?

Your post implies you have a standard of behaviour you are judging Trump by. By definition it must be universally applied, otherwise all you are seeking is the selective imposition of your view.

Katherine on January 09, 2021 , · at 9:19 pm EST/EDT

I agree. If Trump deserves lockup, so do Obama, Bush, and the Clintons.

I hate virtually all of Trump's policies. I hate his stupidity in continually hiring people who hated him. He could have turned to members of the genuine left -- men such as Stephen Cohen -- for advice.

But that is not the point. Since 2016 those who tried to eliminate Trump did so not for his real crimes but for made-up. Basically his crime of being president in the first place.

I n a classic act of projection, woke Dems accuse Trump of not conceding, whereas in fact they are the ones who never conceded the presidency in 2016. This is so obvious, and yet it has apparently become invisible to most!!! Memory hole opened up like a crack in the earth behind each step.

Trump's crime, for which he may actually be locked up, was in truth just winning the presidency in 2016 and humiliating Hillary (whom everyone hated anyhow). I am becoming quite terrified of people I have known all my my life and even am related to.

Katherine

Disaffected on January 08, 2021 , · at 7:56 am EST/EDT

Trump is already charred toast. It appears that he's not even in charge now. Self-preservation is his only concern now.

Maltus on January 08, 2021 , · at 7:49 pm EST/EDT

Corrected assessment. His wealth and his 5 children (and their future) are too much of a liability for him to do the necessary. His policy of appeasement will not work though with the rabid bolshevik kabal.

I think he and his family will be persecuted and likely prosecuted unless the has the foresight to move to Russia and save his skin.

Gorgeous George on January 08, 2021 , · at 1:19 pm EST/EDT

The gullibility of Trump is astounding. He did everything to keep the swamp happy, to keep Israel happy, flipped on Nato and on Russia, had hawks left and right and at the end he will be discarded like a used condom.

Russia saw it from the get go, at the end he will have the full weight of both parties against him, and instead of locking her up it will be the other way around. The cowards have no sense of decency, they will not show any good will like he did.

Trump betrayed his base, failed to organize again and again, put his trust in all the wrong people and now is done. I'll be surprised if he doesn't face jailtime on some trumped up charges.

For all his charisma and good intentions he turned out a clueless clown, sad clown at the end. History will not be kind, and neither will the victors.

True Americans have seen their last train leave the station, it will take time to realize that there are no more trains. Game over.

Craig Mouldey on January 08, 2021 , · at 2:07 pm EST/EDT

I thought this was a good summation by Dr. Roberts. I can't help but think that Donald Trump is a man with no common sense, lacking the real conviction of his words and just not very bright or he was to some degree willfully complicit in this now obviously dire state the U.S. finds itself. Maybe he owed the Rothschild clan a favour.

If anyone thinks there is some good news because this murderous, warring empire is coming to an end, I suggest you think again. The war machine is still fully intact and funded. The international bankers who are in complete control are buying up everything and are planning on a 'reset' dictated by them. To the world! Understandably, there will likely be a few countries who do not feel inclined to agree with this reset and it's terms. There will have to be war to correct this thinking, even if a billion or more are killed. The more the merrier. Less 'useless eaters' to deal with.

Try to see something good in creation every day. Try to do good every day. This world as it is does not have much time. Someone said that what cannot go on forever won't! At some point, the One who gives life to all will say it is enough. Some of us just celebrated his most blessed nativity.

Alabama on January 08, 2021 , · at 2:26 pm EST/EDT

This guy biden is king of promises, and as every year goes by and so many promises are not met, don't think these people wont show up on D.C.'s doorstep looking for revenge.

This is just the tip of the iceburg.

Disaffected on January 08, 2021 , · at 3:20 pm EST/EDT

Who better to preside over the collapse of the empire? The usual rules will apply: the feckless Dems – always at their abysmal worst when they assume power – will blame the "evil Reps" for everything that goes wrong (and there will be plenty – although none of it will ever be discussed publicly!), and the Reps will be at their sterling obstructionist best. Talk of impeachment for Biden – who will be nowhere in sight for most of his term – will linger throughout his term, while Trump will soon be prosecuted and jailed, his entire administration canceled from the official histories, with Queen Hillary named "Presidentess in Exile" for 2016-2020 due to alleged Russian interference with her rightful coronation. The Empire will trumpet from on high for all to hear that this signals the glorious victory of US Democracy (angelic chorus sounds here) over the forces of darkness, or some such agitprop; and the skies will clear, the birds will sing, and a rosy glow will return to the cheeks of all the fair maidens and indeterminant gendered of our great land. The masks, of course, will remain firmly in place, as the "new normal" slowly becomes merely business as usual, and the sheeple graze contentedly in their prison stalls, content in the knowledge that Big Brother is looking out for their health and welfare, at least until the ritual sacrificial slaughter of the lambs should be deemed necessary. For the good of all, of course. Should all make for some excellent reality TV.

Alabama on January 09, 2021 , · at 7:35 am EST/EDT

Well the empire is going to collapse the citizens before it collapses, and even before the empire collapse comes a global scare of epic proportions to shake and rattle the cage for those whom are not prepared.

Ken Leslie on January 08, 2021 , · at 2:29 pm EST/EDT

The moronic face of the fake revolution – looks like the fake American wrestling – only Hulk Hogan was more convincing.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1347035563635986432

evilempire on January 08, 2021 , · at 2:54 pm EST/EDT

Trump isn't going anywhere. I was at the rally in DC and listened to his
entire speech on the ellipse. He stated that he would not concede. With
this assurance why would the demonstrators have any reason to aggressively
breach the Capitol building? The whole thing was a staged provocation by antifa.
There are videos of how this was staged all over the internet. Let us all
hope and pray that the Scarlet(Whore) color revolution against Trump is finally
eradiated and extirpated now that all the Deep Satanists have been exposed for
their participation in the coup and election fraud.

Beirut on January 08, 2021 , · at 3:53 pm EST/EDT

The question has been asked – what is the US military going to do? Will they just stay put and watch the theft unfold?
Whilst many commentators were soiling themselves in phantasies of a pro trump military coup to end the charade, drain the swamp and burn down DC, PCR had a very clear view (expressed elsewhere): why would the military object to a new leadership if it promises more war, more blood, more money? It won't, it will welcome it in fact.

Be it as it may, and despite all the stinkin' lies about the election I would think it is too tall an order for a non-murrican to mourn the self-destruction of the most evil, ghastly, ruthless hegemon the world has seen in the last 100 years.

Ken Leslie on January 08, 2021 , · at 4:38 pm EST/EDT

Dear Beirut,

I second the sentiment. It's not even that. The media are full of Muricans' moaning about their fate. It's everywhere – and on top of that, the scumbags are accusing China and Russia for their "tribulations".

We don't care and we don't want to hear about how hard the life is for Billy Bob who would die for the very criminals that have condemned him to a life of meth, moonshine and malingering – while telling him that he is solely responsible for his own miserable existence.

There is a huge big world elsewhere that is currently booming – thousand flowers are blooming despite the oppression by the parasitical cancerous sub-empire – and yet, we obsess over whether Trump is a fraud or not.

I suppose it provides a great platform for ranting :-)

[Jan 10, 2021] Trump's Last Stand, by Israel Shamir

Highly recommended!
Trump run his election complain of 2016 as champion of common Americans. After he won the office the betrayed them all and governed like Bush III with his own cabal of neocons and neoliberals. \
He betrayed his followed again on Dec 6, when he first incited them for the action but did not provide organization, security and the plan needed to press Congress to appoint the commission for investigation of election "irregularities" for then days before Biden inauguration. He is now completely spent politically and his enemies and first of all, Ms Pelosi, are after him. Moreover he gave a shot in the arm for the gang of Russiagaters who were pursuing him since his inauguration.
The fact that Trump leaves the political scene is good. While useful as a wrecking ball for the neoliberal empire and neoliberal establishment he proved to be completely inept as a politician and lack courage necessary for the national leader. Which he proved again on Dec 6. Famous quote from Friedrich Schiller's play Fiesco "The Moor has done his duty. The Moor can go." is probably applicable. What is interesting is that Zionists betrayed Trump.
But the fact hat he will be replaced by neocon warmonger and staunch neoliberal Biden means that there is no light at the and of tunnel for the common people.
Like Trump, Biden was never Presidential material. He a a mediocre politician, by all accounts. And extremely corrupt in addition to that.
Notable quotes:
"... Donald Trump denounced the people whom he personally called to protest. His close political allies withdrew their support. ..."
"... The deck was stacked against President Trump from Day One. His orders were ignored. The US courts, judges, police, the whole system of law enforcement was against him; his orders were blocked or overturned, while the media made fun of him and the opposition relentlessly delegitimised him. ..."
"... On January 6, a massive demonstration in his support gathered in Washington, DC. Hundreds of thousands Americans came to the capital to demand justice after the election fraud became obvious. They hoped that the Republican representatives would refuse to certify the fraud and appoint a commission to check and recount the votes. ..."
"... The horror and outrage of the Dem politicians and media were as faked as their news. During last year, many government buildings were taken over by Dem-sponsored BLM activists, and in not one case did the police use lethal weapons or even rush the protesters out of buildings. ..."
"... For them, it was an honest and funny way to express their indignation. But the real gambit plotters intended to frame them. They even murdered four protesters hoping they would respond with violence, but in vain. ..."
"... White American protesters are exceptionally non-violent lot; as with Occupy Wall Street a few years back the January 6 Capitol protesters were timid and obedient as lambs. For this reason, BLM was invented, for Blacks are able to riot violently, as opposed to well-trained whites. It is not a race thing: lily-white French Yellow Vests and Ukrainian nationalists have fought the police all right. But US whites are not prone to riot, not since the Civil War. ..."
"... Anyway, their non-violence didn't help them. The president-elect Biden begrudged them even the name of protesters: "Don't dare call them protesters. They were a riotous mob, insurrectionists, domestic terrorists." Indeed, the name should be preserved for Deep State-authorised looters and their brethren all over the world, whether in Hong Kong or Minsk, in Seattle or Portland. ..."
"... researchers will argue whether duplicitous Biden's minions organised it or just capitalised on the Trumpers' sincere protest. ..."
"... There is no doubt that to an objective observer the 2020 elections were profoundly unfair. I won't trouble you with too many published details about the statistically impossible results, but here is one example of fraud. The city of Detroit gave 95 per cent of its vote to Biden/Kamala, a number that Mr Kim Jong-un would view with slight envy, while Mr Lukashenko would murmur, "How can it be done?" It is highly likely this mind-boggling result was achieved in the following way. ..."
"... The problem is, Trump was a poor organiser. He could win elections, if he could prevent Cynthia Stephens's kind of legislation, outlaw postal ballots, enforce obligatory IDs for voting, mobilise his people for election control. A formidable task, but not impossible, while dealing with a prone-to-cheat adversary. He could even do a revolution on January 6, tasking the right people to act, forming a revolutionary HQ, planning a strategy of takeover, but he didn't do anything of the sort. He probably thought Congress would see the vast crowds and allow for the checking of election results. ..."
"... Alternatively, he was so naïve that he believed revolutions just happen by themselves, as in the movies. They do not. Behind every successful revolution, there is a lot of planning, armed force, weapons ready for use, supply lines, logistics, media support, and communications. Trump had none of that. It was enough to turn off Twitter to make him deaf and dumb. ..."
"... There was no coup attempt, as correctly stated by Tyler Durden : "Trump has never had the concentration, organizational acumen, or ideological coherence to mount a bona fide "coup," and a mob intrusion which was swiftly dispersed by armed agents of the state doesn't change that. ..."
"... Many Trumpists believed in the QAnon and Kayfabe conspiracies; they posted reports of bad guys being arrested, of servers snatched by the FBI, of Clinton and Biden waiting for rough justice behind bars. This belief disarmed people who would otherwise have fought to achieve this very result. That is the problem with conspiracies: imaginary conspiracies prevent real action. ..."
"... He succeeded against enormous odds in improving the lot of American workers: for the first time since the 1970s, their incomes rose in relation to the other classes. He stopped mass migration to the US: legal immigration went down to a trickle. He avoided new wars; he tried to make peace with Russia. He refused to bomb Iran even in the last days of his presidency, though some pro-Israel supporters promised him a second term if he would. ..."
"... His fight against the corona madness was his great achievement. He was against the lockdowns that are about to destroy our world so completely that few things will survive. The last great US ruler who didn't wear the cowardly mask will be remembered. He could not defeat the mighty medical complex, or FAGMA, or the Masters of Discourse, but he tried. ..."
"... Israel Shamir can be reached at ..."
"... The Unz Review ..."
Jan 10, 2021 | www.unz.com

President Trump was decisively beaten, if not fair and square. The hopes of millions of American voters were squashed and extinguished. The saga of the Orange Man is over. The victors used a gambit: they sacrificed the sanctity and security of the Capitol, allowed intruders in, permitted them to take selfies in the Speaker's office, and then faked horror and outrage. The attempted calls for electoral transparency were deflated in real time as huge crowds were dispersed, electors were confirmed, and the ascendancy of Biden was assured, while Trump followers were branded 'domestic terrorists'.

Donald Trump denounced the people whom he personally called to protest. His close political allies withdrew their support. Within hours, or even minutes, this ruler of the world admired by millions became a non-person. Like a boy who posted an obscenity, he was banned by Twitter and Facebook. Time will tell whether he will go to prison, as so many Dems pray for, but his political life seems to have ended, even if his cause may live.

The deck was stacked against President Trump from Day One. His orders were ignored. The US courts, judges, police, the whole system of law enforcement was against him; his orders were blocked or overturned, while the media made fun of him and the opposition relentlessly delegitimised him. He was blocked even by Fox News. Dem-run states adjusted their laws to assure the elections' result. Trump was a lame duck from the very beginning of his presidency to its bitter end. He was kept on a short leash by the almighty Deep State, and when he tried to free himself, they pulled the leash.

On January 6, a massive demonstration in his support gathered in Washington, DC. Hundreds of thousands Americans came to the capital to demand justice after the election fraud became obvious. They hoped that the Republican representatives would refuse to certify the fraud and appoint a commission to check and recount the votes. Some of the protesters managed to break into the Capitol, or were let in by the police. This peaceful Occupy Capitol action, the exercise of a natural right to protest, was met with lethal fire, and a young female protester from San Diego, Ashli Babbitt, was murdered by the plainclothes police. The Republican representatives were cowed and surrendered; Biden was confirmed to take office.

The horror and outrage of the Dem politicians and media were as faked as their news. During last year, many government buildings were taken over by Dem-sponsored BLM activists, and in not one case did the police use lethal weapons or even rush the protesters out of buildings.

"Shortly after 8 p.m. Wednesday, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the locked King Street entrance to the Capitol, chanting "Break down the door!" and "General strike!" Moments later, police ceded control of the State Street doors and allowed the crowd to surge inside, joining thousands who had already gathered in the Capitol to protest the votes. The area outside the Assembly, which is scheduled to take the bill up at 11 a.m. today, was crowded with protesters who chanted, "We're not leaving. Not this time."

Department of Administration spokesman Tim Donovan said although protesters were being encouraged to leave, no one would be forcibly removed. Mayor Dave Cieslewicz said he had instructed Police Chief Noble Wray not to allow his officers to participate in removing demonstrators from the building."

This was what happened in Madison, Wisconsin in March 2011, as Steve Sailer reminded us. Indeed, this is what the protesters expected; some were dressed in flamboyant carnival attire; they behaved well and peacefully, within acceptable limits. It was not an insurrection; they didn't try to take over the Congress in any meaningful sense. For them, it was an honest and funny way to express their indignation. But the real gambit plotters intended to frame them. They even murdered four protesters hoping they would respond with violence, but in vain.

White American protesters are exceptionally non-violent lot; as with Occupy Wall Street a few years back the January 6 Capitol protesters were timid and obedient as lambs. For this reason, BLM was invented, for Blacks are able to riot violently, as opposed to well-trained whites. It is not a race thing: lily-white French Yellow Vests and Ukrainian nationalists have fought the police all right. But US whites are not prone to riot, not since the Civil War. Being a foreigner, I do not understand why the Americans want to keep their guns if they never use them, but that's the way they are.

Anyway, their non-violence didn't help them. The president-elect Biden begrudged them even the name of protesters: "Don't dare call them protesters. They were a riotous mob, insurrectionists, domestic terrorists." Indeed, the name should be preserved for Deep State-authorised looters and their brethren all over the world, whether in Hong Kong or Minsk, in Seattle or Portland.

Russian social networks were comparing the Washington DC events with those nearer to home and complained of 'double standards'. The US media expressed no indignation when their appointee Boris Yeltsin shelled the Russian Parliament in 1993. The New York Times and the State Department had encouraged the nationalist mob to storm Ukrainian government offices in 2014. They cheered on the opposition in Minsk in taking over their parliament after failing to win elections. The Belarus protesters claimed their country's election results were rigged, just like Trump supporters did for the US elections, but Biden didn't call them "domestic terrorists". (Actually, neither did President Lukashenko: he called them 'protesters', and their violent demos were dispersed without a single shot fired.) In such cases, Jews respond with "How can you compare?!"

The Russians compared the Capitol 'coup attempt' with their own semi-staged 'coup' of 1991, a partly pre-planned provocation. In 1991, the feeble coup organisers could not detain Yeltsin and surrendered as if on cue; the wave of indignation removed Gorbachev and the Communist party from power. In the Capitol, too, police waved the 'invaders' in, as you can see on this video forwarded by the BBC. More videos suggesting Capitol police involvement in the ostensible provocation are presented here . The orchestrated indignation allowed the victors to censor and purge the defeated Trump and his followers. Just as the USSR went down in August 1991, Trump's America went down in January 2021, and the liberal elites representing the big corporations came to power. It was achieved by a provocation, but ordinary Trump followers were really angry with the Election Steal. Likewise, 1991 was a provocation, but ordinary Russian citizens were angry at Gorbachev's perestroika, while the liberal elites used it to dismantle the Soviet state and transfer all assets to their oligarchs.

People with a good knowledge of history refer to the Reichstag Fire of February 1933, the arson contrived by the newly formed Nazi government itself to turn public opinion against its opponents and to assume emergency powers. Alternatively, other researchers have contended that there was no proof of Nazi complicity in the crime, but that Hitler merely capitalised on the Dutch Communist van der Lubbe's independent act. The fire is the subject of continued debate and research, says the Encycopaedia Britannica . Probably the same will be said about the Capitol "invasion", and researchers will argue whether duplicitous Biden's minions organised it or just capitalised on the Trumpers' sincere protest.

There is no doubt that to an objective observer the 2020 elections were profoundly unfair. I won't trouble you with too many published details about the statistically impossible results, but here is one example of fraud. The city of Detroit gave 95 per cent of its vote to Biden/Kamala, a number that Mr Kim Jong-un would view with slight envy, while Mr Lukashenko would murmur, "How can it be done?" It is highly likely this mind-boggling result was achieved in the following way.

Detroit Dems outsourced ballot harvesting to local drug lords, offering them as a prize – recreational marijuana business licenses. These licences are the best thing since a licence to print money . Having such licenses is like having your own ATM. Here you can read about their profitability and the lengths criminals will go to obtain them. Detroit Dems had changed local laws allowing the sale of marijuana in their fine city (it was forbidden until November 2020). They changed local laws prescribing the issuing of marijuana licences to drug dealers with previous convictions for drug dealing. They let drug lords out of jail . They changed local laws to allow ballot harvesting; that is, collecting postal votes and assisting with the filling in of ballots. After that, the drug dealers went around collecting postal ballots and filling them in immediately, if they were conscientious, or just filling them in at their leisure, if feeling lazy. They had a judge at their disposal, Cynthia Stephens , who single-handedly changed Michigan election laws, and then rejected Trump's claims of fraud.

Yes, Virginia, there was election fraud in many American states. They are used to gambling; they aren't surprised by a beautiful hand of four aces, as Mark Twain suggested. Usually the two parties deal in turns, and cheat in turns. Only this time, Trump convinced many people that it is different; that this is their last chance.

The problem is, Trump was a poor organiser. He could win elections, if he could prevent Cynthia Stephens's kind of legislation, outlaw postal ballots, enforce obligatory IDs for voting, mobilise his people for election control. A formidable task, but not impossible, while dealing with a prone-to-cheat adversary. He could even do a revolution on January 6, tasking the right people to act, forming a revolutionary HQ, planning a strategy of takeover, but he didn't do anything of the sort. He probably thought Congress would see the vast crowds and allow for the checking of election results.

Alternatively, he was so naïve that he believed revolutions just happen by themselves, as in the movies. They do not. Behind every successful revolution, there is a lot of planning, armed force, weapons ready for use, supply lines, logistics, media support, and communications. Trump had none of that. It was enough to turn off Twitter to make him deaf and dumb.

There was no coup attempt, as correctly stated by Tyler Durden : "Trump has never had the concentration, organizational acumen, or ideological coherence to mount a bona fide "coup," and a mob intrusion which was swiftly dispersed by armed agents of the state doesn't change that. Shortly after the breach, he released a video instructing his followers not to take Senators hostage or imprison Mike Pence, but to "go home." No factions of the federal government joined the mob on Trump's orders, because he didn't bother issuing any. The whole episode never stood the remotest chance of preventing the certification of Joe Biden, much less overthrowing the government. It was just another goofball charade, and in that sense, a fitting end to the Trump presidency."

Conspiracy theories played their disappointing part in the debacle. Many Trumpists believed in the QAnon and Kayfabe conspiracies; they posted reports of bad guys being arrested, of servers snatched by the FBI, of Clinton and Biden waiting for rough justice behind bars. This belief disarmed people who would otherwise have fought to achieve this very result. That is the problem with conspiracies: imaginary conspiracies prevent real action.

Still, I do not want to finish this piece on such a sad and disappointing note. President Trump was a great leader. He succeeded against enormous odds in improving the lot of American workers: for the first time since the 1970s, their incomes rose in relation to the other classes. He stopped mass migration to the US: legal immigration went down to a trickle. He avoided new wars; he tried to make peace with Russia. He refused to bomb Iran even in the last days of his presidency, though some pro-Israel supporters promised him a second term if he would.

His fight against the corona madness was his great achievement. He was against the lockdowns that are about to destroy our world so completely that few things will survive. The last great US ruler who didn't wear the cowardly mask will be remembered. He could not defeat the mighty medical complex, or FAGMA, or the Masters of Discourse, but he tried.

The day of his defeat, January 6, was the Epiphany, or Adoration of the Magi, of the Three Wise Men who came to worship Jesus in his cave. It was also Christmas Eve for the Eastern Church. It is the darkest time of the year; from now on, the day will increase and so will our hopes.

Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net

This article was first published at The Unz Review .

[Jan 09, 2021] But Trump did do something very important. He awakened the country to what's really going on. I don't see that as failure. The elite don't either; that's why they're fighting him so hard.

Notable quotes:
"... Monitors, equipped with distinguishing "uniforms", bullhorns and an array of communications devices, along with a set of security personnel, should have been front and center at the capitol to make sure that agents provocateurs, contract hired by the intel agencies of the Deep $tate, would not be able to fool a number of genuine Trump supporters into entering the building at the behest of these highly organized and ultimately protected Cointelpro types. ..."
Jan 09, 2021 | www.unz.com

Majority of One , says: January 8, 2021 at 5:55 pm GMT • 5.5 hours ago

Was Trump for real, or was he an actor following a predetermined script? There were many occasions where he could have used the presidential powers to disarm the corporate state, the deep state and even the ruling banksters. Yet he did not act. Perhaps the most telling of all his "failures" was the fact that he called a rally in the Di$trict of Corruption without setting up an organization (or even having one) that would have been specifically instructed to make certain there would be no "riotous" disruptions in the process.

Monitors, equipped with distinguishing "uniforms", bullhorns and an array of communications devices, along with a set of security personnel, should have been front and center at the capitol to make sure that agents provocateurs, contract hired by the intel agencies of the Deep $tate, would not be able to fool a number of genuine Trump supporters into entering the building at the behest of these highly organized and ultimately protected Cointelpro types.

It was a setup, folks. That should be obvious to any informed observer. Did Trump play a role, whether passive or active, in creating the media spectacle which is now being used to once again convince the terminally deluded boobtoob noose addicts that the Kamala's Foote and Biden nominees were the "good guys" who actually won the election fair and square and that the bedizened patriots who showed up in DC in huge numbers were actually the foes of "democracy"?

... ... ...

Thomasina , says: January 8, 2021 at 7:01 pm GMT • 4.4 hours ago
@Majority of One ut the Insurrection Act and how he should have used this or that presidential power, but unfortunately he didn't know enough about what he COULD do. I'm sure he had lousy counsel. He was surrounded by people like Mitch McConnell and Newt Gingrich who would have strung Trump along, saying, "No, you can't do that, we are a democracy," etc. Blah, blah, blah.

Hard to govern when you're surrounded with knives. The White House should be called "The House of Knives".

But Trump did do something very important. He awakened the country to what's really going on. I don't see that as failure. The elite don't either; that's why they're fighting him so hard.

Curmudgeon , says: January 8, 2021 at 7:05 pm GMT • 4.3 hours ago
@Miro23 oulda, coulda, shoulda.

What people do not understand, is that he was screwed before he got the nomination. Republican Inc. would have fixed the convention to deprive him of the nomination, had he not agreed to take Pence and Priebus.

Priebus had met with a group of never Trumpers when it became clear there was no way Trump was going to lose. https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/priebus-meets-privately-mike-lee-never-trump-leaders-discuss-procedural-compromise/
He never had a chance.

[Jan 02, 2021] PATRICK LAWRENCE- Trump's Foreign Policy Explained Consortiumnews

Notable quotes:
"... International Herald Tribune ..."
"... Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century ..."
"... The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News. ..."
Jan 02, 2021 | consortiumnews.com

rump the New Yorker was a stranger in a strange land, having nothing of the sensibility of the insular, self-serving swamp-dwellers in Washington and no grasp whatsoever of the power of the Deep State, whose ire he quickly aroused. Trump was a terrible statesman, too seat-of-the-pants, but what was to him dealmaking was at bottom diplomacy, an activity Washington has little time for.

Why did Trump surround himself with people who opposed him and not infrequently sabotaged those few foreign policy ideas one can approve of -- constructive ties with Russia, an end to wasteful wars, peace in Northeast Asia, sending "obsolete" NATO into the history books? What were H.R. McMaster, John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, and numerous others like them but of lesser visibility doing in his administration?

I am asked this not infrequently. My reply is simple: It is not at all clear Trump appointed these people and at least as likely they were imposed upon him by the Deep State, the permanent state, the administrative state -- whatever term makes one comfortable. Let us not forget, Trump knew nobody in Washington and had a lot of swivel chairs to fill.

We must add to this Trump's personal shortcomings. He is by all appearances shallow of mind, poorly read (to put it generously), of weak moral and ethical character, and overly concerned with appearances.

Put these various factors together and you get none other than the Trump administration's nearly illegible record on the foreign policy side.

Trump is to be credited with sticking to his guns on the big stuff: He held out for a new-détente with Russia, getting the troops out of the Middle East and Afghanistan, making a banner-headline deal with the North Koreans. He was scuttled in all cases.

Complicating the tableau, the prideful Trump time and again covered his impotence by publicly approving of what those around him did to subvert his purposes. A year ago, the record shows, Pompeo and Mark Esper (then the defense secretary) concocted plans to assassinate Qasem Soleimani, the Iranian military leader, flew to Mar–a–Lago, and presented Trump with a fait accompli -- whereupon Trump acquiesced as the administration and the press pretended it was White House policy all along.

Now We Come to Iran

Hassan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly's General Debate, Sept. 25, 2019. (UN Photo/Cia Pak)

Pulling out of the Iran nuclear accord a year into his administration was among the most destructive moves Trump made during his four years in office. It was afterward that the shamefully inhumane "maximum pressure" campaign against Iranians was set in motion.

Trump's intention, however miscalculated, was the dealmaker's: He expected to force Tehran back to the mahogany table to get a new nuclear deal. As secretary of state, Pompeo's was to cultivate a coup or provoke a war. It was cross-purposes from then on, notably since Pompeo sabotaged the proposed encounter between Trump and Rouhani on the sidelines of the UN GA.

Now we have some context for the recent spate of Iranophobic posturing and the new military deployments in the Persian Gulf. We have just been treated to four years of a recklessly chaotic foreign policy, outcome of a war the Deep State waged against a pitifully weak president who threatened it: This is the truth of what we witness as Trump and his people fold their tents.

Trump the dealmaker a year ago now contemplates an attack on Natanz on the pretext Iran is not holding to the terms of an accord he abandoned two years ago? The only way to make sense of this is to conclude that there is no sense to be made of it.

Who ordered the B–52 sorties and the Nimitz patrols? This question promises a revealing answer. It is very highly doubtful Trump had anything to do with this, very highly likely Pompeo and his allies in hawkery got it done and told the president about it afterward.

Trump is out in a few weeks. The self-perpetuating bureaucracy that made a mess of his administration -- or a bigger mess than it may have been anyway -- will remain. It will now serve a president who is consonant with its purposes. And the eyes of most people who support him will remain wide shut.

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune , is a columnist, essayist, author and lecturer. His most recent book is Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century . Follow him on Twitter @thefloutist . His web site is Patrick Lawrence . Support his work via his Patreon site .

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.


Ed Rickert , December 31, 2020 at 10:06

A first rate analysis of the inconsistent and inchoate policies of Trump as well as an acute assessment of his psychology, notably his weakness when challenged. Equal cogent is Lawrence's trepidation and concern over the policies and potential actions of the administration that is to replacement Trump. Thank you for your thoughtful work.

Pierre Guerlain , December 31, 2020 at 06:51

I would just like to have a linkto the sources for Pompeo hoodwinking Trump for the assassination of Soleimani.

Linda , December 30, 2020 at 18:42

Thank you, Patrick, for this very clear article summarizing Trump's clumsy attempts at making peace with other countries (a campaign offering to voters) and the Deep State's thwarting of those attempts. My friends and I intuitively knew the people taking roles around the Trump presidency were put there by the "system". Trump had been made into a pariah by the Press, his own Republican Party, and shrieks for 'Resistance' by Hillary Democrats in the millions across the country even before he was inaugurated. There was no 'respectable' person in Washington DC who would dare help Trump make his way in that new, strange land. Remember one of the Resistanace calls to the front? . "Become ungovernable!!!!" Tantrums, not negotiations, have become the norm

So long, any semblance of Washington DC respectability. It was nice to think you were there at one time.

Jerry Alatalo , December 30, 2020 at 16:52

Dear readers and supporters of Consortium News around the Earth,

Please pass the following important message along to the genuine war criminals United States President Donald Trump and United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson:

"Do the right & moral thing for once in your hideous, miserable & pathetic lives, – and free genuine peacemaker Julian Assange."

***

Please consider making the (1st ever in history) establishment of genuine Peace on Earth the absolute overwhelming #1 New Year's Resolution worldwide for 2021. The quality of life for future generations depends on the good actions of this generation.. Thank you.

Peace.

Patrick Lawrence , December 30, 2020 at 14:32

I thank these commentators, a couple of whom read these pieces regularly, and all others who've taken the time this year gone by to put down their thoughts. I read them always and almost always learn things from them. Blessings to all and wishes for a superb new year! -- Patrick.

Lee C Ng , December 30, 2020 at 14:02

I agree 100% with the writer. Example; if Bolton, probably pushed into the administration by the Deep State, didn't sabotage Trump's talks with the N. Koreans in Vietnam, we might've had a peaceful settlement on the Korean peninsular by now. And it's no surprise that Trump on several occasions prevented the success of US-China trade talks – it was more than likely he was forced to do so. Trump wasn't a politician, much less a statesman. But he wasn't an orgre either, despite the hostility of the corporate press towards him (and I'm no fan of Trump).

Biden will represent better the real forces behind all US administrations – the forces responsible for the over 200 wars/military interventions in its 242 years of Independence.

Jeff Harrison , December 30, 2020 at 00:19

Thank you, Patrick, you have made some sense out of a nonsensical situation. "We have just been treated to four years of a recklessly chaotic foreign policy, outcome of a war the Deep State waged against a pitifully weak president who threatened it: This is the truth of what we witness as Trump and his people fold their tents." What is it that the Brits call their Deep State? It's something like the civil service but it's actually called something else.

You called Donnie Murdo a deal maker. Donnie Murdo is a New York hustler. His "negotiation" style only works when his interlocutor must make a deal with him. If his interlocutor can walk away, he will and Donnie Murdo will go bankrupt. The real problem is that the US doesn't need a deal maker – we have people for that. The Prezzy & CEO is frequently called that, the chief executive officer. But that's an administrative title. He is also frequently called the commander in chief but that really only applies if we are at war which we should be at as little as possible. What the prezzy really is supposed to be is a leader. If Donnie Murdo were, in fact, a leader, John Bolton would have been taking a commercial flight back to the US after his little stunt in Vietnam. But he didn't. So the question isn't what could Donnie Murdo do in the next three weeks, it's what can Donnie Murdo's henchmen do in the next three weeks?

Casper , December 29, 2020 at 18:19

One of the other personal things about Donald Trump, was that he had no skill nor experience in leading and manipulating a bureaucracy. He had basically directed a family business and his personal publicity machine. To the extent that Trump hotels had thousands of employees, Trump hired managers to do that. It would appear that the Trump family business largely concentrated on making of new deals for new hotels.

Thus, Donald Trump arrived in Washington completely unprepared to be the leader of a bureaucracy and completely unskilled at being able to get it to do what he wanted it do do.

I'm not a Joe Biden fan, but he's been in Washington since the 1970's. He's seen the bureaucracy from the Senate point of view for 40 years, then got at least a view of what it was like to try to direct it from watching as Veep. I still suspect the real power lies with the military command, and has since the 1950's, but this administration is going to come in with at least some skills in terms of trying to get a government to do what it wants.

PEG , December 29, 2020 at 17:46

Perfect article – and epitaph on Trump's foreign policy record.

Anne , December 29, 2020 at 14:00

Indeed, Patrick, they (the eyes of most of the electorate) will remain shut, eyelids deftly closed Only other peoples commit barbaric, heinous war crimes, invade other cultures completely without cause, bomb other peoples to death, devastation, loss of livelihood, home water supply We, the perfecto (along with one other group now ensconced – illegally, but apparently western acceptably – in the ME) people do what we do because, well, we are perfecto and thus when we commit these barbarisms, they aren't such. And are, it would seem, totally ignorable. Wake me in the morning style .

Truly, the vast majority of those – whatever their skin hue, ethnic background – who voted for the B-H duo are comfortably off, consider themselves oh so bloody "liberal" (do they really know what that means, in fact? Or don't they care?), so to the left of Attila the Hun (which obviously doesn't mean much, Left wise) .and what the MICMATT does to other people in other societies matters not flying F .After all, aren't they usually of "swarthy" skin hue and likely not western and of that offshoot religion of the one gawd, the third go around?

The west (US, UK, FR, GY etc ) really and truly need to develop a Conscience, a real morality, humanity but I fear that that is all too late

[Dec 13, 2020] Can Trump appoint special prosecutor to investigate election fraud

Notable quotes:
"... 1. When campaigning in 2016, he promised his non-Goldman Sachs supporters (i.e., the "deplorables") that infrastructure and a wall to be paid by Mexico would be among the major priorities during his first two years; instead he came out of the chute with a tax-cut for the wealthy and a phony "repeal and replace" assault on the Affordable Care Act which led to the R loss of the House when it became clear to voters in November 2018 that the Rs and the President had nothing to offer as a replacement ..."
"... He failed to purge the bureaucracy of Obama administration holdovers on January 21, 2017, unlike Dick Cheney who threw all the Clintonians out of government on January 21, 2001, thus, leaving people in place like Sally Yates and the Vindman brothers who never missed an opportunity to knife President Trump in the back. ..."
"... He failed at the outset to investigate the case against General Flynn (engineered by Strzok, Comey and David Ignatius) who was his only close advisor with previous governmental experience and left the General twisting in the wind. ..."
Dec 13, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Alexandria , 12 December 2020 at 06:45 PM

The optics of a defeated outgoing President appointing a Special Counsel to investigate the electoral victory of his victorious successor at the ballot box and in the Electoral College, over the objections of his attorney General, do not look particularly palatable and doubly so if the President had to fire the Attorney General to make the appointment. The ensuing firestorm would make Nixon's firing of Archibald Cox look like a brush fire.

If the outgoing President were to make such an appointment, one can be assured that Joe Biden's first executive on January 21,2021 would be the firing of the putative Special Counsel, and he would be generally applauded for doing so.

Even if Biden didn't move quickly, there is the question of who should be appointed (and Trump is not particularly good at hiring good lawyers), funding (is Pelosi going to be particularly keen on appropriating the funds?) and staffing up with supporting (and supportive) attorneys, paralegals and FBI agents (you can be sure that Chris Wray will not be too enthusiastic about helping out).

That said, there is one Special Counsel that needs to be appointed and that is a Special Counsel to investigate the Hunter Biden affair[s} which reached all the way to the "Big Guy", according to Tony Bobulinski. Joe Biden appears to have been the electoral beneficiary of a massive cover-up of "Biden-gate" with the black-out of the New York Daily News story by Big tech, the almost-total suppression of the Hunter laptop and the Tony Bobulinski revelations by the MSM and the coordinated fabrications of the former IC biggies, like Clapper, Brennan and Morrell, who very publicly dismissed the New York Post Story and Bobulinski revelations as the product of Russian disinformation and artful lies embedded in a KGB-engineered fake lap-top.

The 2020 election, with its cover-up and potential denouement, is beginning to look more and more like the 1972 election where the cover-up led to the resignation of a President who just 20 months prior had been elected in one of the biggest landslides in American history. This is the investigation we need NOW to save our Republic.

turcopolier , 12 December 2020 at 09:08 PM

Alexandria

IMO the presidential election was stolen and Biden is a crook, has always been a nasty. That being said if you want a special prosecutor for l'affaire Hunter, have at it.

Fred , 12 December 2020 at 09:25 PM

Alexandria,

Hunter the bag man for crooked Joe? What did Obama know and when did he know it? The same should be asked about his and Brennan and Clapper's involvement in The Steal.

BillWade , 12 December 2020 at 09:47 PM

Given that Hunter's troubles were non-news but a month ago and now are big-news the vision in my head is Hillary sneaking up on China Joe's back with a rather large dagger. Good luck Joe!

Deap , 13 December 2020 at 02:24 AM

Gosh, what about the optics of the outgoing Obama administration plotting to take down Flynn and Trump.

Bad manners for sure, because a lot of this anti-Trump plotting sure looked like the work of the sore losers still occupying the WH until the 11th hour when the infamous Susan Rice CYA memo was typed and filed. And the last Samatha Power FISA unmasking request was unmasked for purposes still unknown.

Ah, yes, the bad optics of it all. Bummer. Bad optics is seeing the thoroughly discredited and rejected Obama team warming up in the dug out.

Bad optics is Trump leaving office and NOT appointing a special counsel to investigate both election fraud and Hunter Biden incestuous influence peddling. Two transgressions we never want to see in this country again.

Seamus Padraig , 13 December 2020 at 04:13 AM

@Alexandria | 12 December 2020 at 06:45 PM

The optics of a defeated outgoing President appointing a Special Counsel ...

Who cares about optics. I mean, what're the Dems going to do at this point? Impeach Trump again? Meanwhile, our constitution is dying. THAT'S the only issue that matters at this point.
That said, there is one Special Counsel that needs to be appointed and that is a Special Counsel to investigate the Hunter Biden affair[s} which reached all the way to the "Big Guy", according to Tony Bobulinski.

Hunter Biden is beside the point. His daddy ain't gonna be president for too long anyway. The only issue that matters now is the fraud and nothing else. Don't let the Mockingbird media--the same that adamantly refused to cover anything about Hunter BEFORE the election--distract you with a bunch of irrelevant BS now.
turcopolier , 13 December 2020 at 09:08 AM

Alexandria et al

SWMBO says do both otherwise we end up with KH when he resigns or is impeached.

irf520 , 13 December 2020 at 10:03 AM

@akaPatience: If they weren't Trump's picks, then what was Trump doing there? If he can't pick his own cabinet, he was just wasting his and everyone else's time. Yes, they have to be approved by the senate. What happens if the president and the senate can't agree?

As for the remarks about optics, I think it's all a bit late to worry about optics. The dems just stole the election right in front of everyone's faces. They aren't worrying about optics. They essentially just stole it and then turned round and said, "What are you going to do about it?"

Artemesia , 13 December 2020 at 10:55 AM

Col., OT, perhaps impertinent, but inspired by the Wisdom of SWMBO--

I'm just a few years younger than you. I carry a few excess pounds but retain the immune system of my Italian peasant ancestors. Not a chance in the world that I will allow myself to be injected with an "emergency authorized" vaccine.

If I may ask: Will you?

nb. Not entirely off-topic, since the rigged election relied on Covid hysteria propagated by media and the same usual suspects as should be the subject of Special Counsel.
In other words, the Covid pandemic should be investigated. More urgently: distribution of vaccine should be HALTED before anyone is (potentially} harmed.

turcopolier , 13 December 2020 at 11:41 AM

Artemesia

I had a talk with my immigrant Chinese doctor about this. That was two days ago. He was still working out how this would be funded but he said to me that we (his family and mine) would wait just a bit to see how bad the reactions are.

Deap , 13 December 2020 at 12:35 PM

My memory of the very early days of Trump WH staffing was having to run interference past the Democrats standard and vicous politics o personal destruction out to destroy anyone who even thought about particpating in the Trump administration, the renegade GOP establishment undermining him at every turn denying him any establishment help or advice, and the normal learning curve of someone 100% outside of the political establishment who was bound to stumble and falter before hitting his stride.

Democrats declared it was treason for anyone to aid and abet the "enemy" even though Trump did try to reach out - remember his very early High Tech guru meeting? The liberal media never let up, the deep state leaked and sabotaged as a fifth column from within.

The most remarkable thing about Trump is what in fact he did accomplish anyway, despite the constant opposition, churning and revolving door of staff appointments.

#45 presidency remains a story of amazing accomplishments. Thank you President Trump. I did not think you had this in you. But you did. Sitting in Dr Norman Vincent Peale's Marble Collegiate Church in NYC, taking early lessons from his Power of Positive Thinking and practicing The Method held you in good course.

(See PBS Peter Graves Biography on the early Donald Trump -from the Marla Maple days - what you saw then is what you also got in 2026 - youtube)

The man is transparent and consistent. No one can complain they were duped or he is a false charade. He is what he says and he delivered. How refreshing.

Alexandria , 13 December 2020 at 12:36 PM

Colonel and Others,

Please excuse my "politeness" in using the phrase "bad optics" to describe a proposed potential action by a defeated outgoing President to appoint a "Special Prosecutor" to investigate the election of his victorious successor when such an action, to be blunt, would be politically stupid, subversive of our Constitutional order and futile, as such action would be immediately reversed in the first minutes of the incoming administration. If we are talking about "savor[ing]", it would only give the Ds an opportunity to "savor" another victory.

The President has only himself to blame for the legal setbacks suffered by his ineffective lawyers who have never been able to produce sufficient evidence to convince even his judicial appointees that substantial electoral fraud took place during the 2020 balloting. Constitutional challenges to gubernatorial changes to balloting procedures for usurping legislative authority should have been mounted immediately after they were announced, not at the 13th hour after the ballots had been counted. In 2000, Jim Baker organized a team that included four lawyers who now sit on the Supreme Court. The failing, flailing Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell (as much as I admire her advocacy for General Flynn), by contrast, have not cut any mustard with their post-hoc and sometimes bizarre arguments. IMHO, the President should cease and desist now from taking actions which detract from the R effort to save the Senate seats in Georgia which, if lost, will immediately begin the de-Republicanization (used Constitutionally) of our American system of government.

IMHO, the President has only himself to blame for losing the 2020 election due to a succession of self-inflicted miscues which began on Day 1 of his administration. Let me count the ways:

1. When campaigning in 2016, he promised his non-Goldman Sachs supporters (i.e., the "deplorables") that infrastructure and a wall to be paid by Mexico would be among the major priorities during his first two years; instead he came out of the chute with a tax-cut for the wealthy and a phony "repeal and replace" assault on the Affordable Care Act which led to the R loss of the House when it became clear to voters in November 2018 that the Rs and the President had nothing to offer as a replacement . Thus, he repeated the same mistake that Clinton and Obama made in 1993 and 2009 and suffered the same fate that they suffered in 1994 and 2008 when they lost the House. In this case, President Trump's mistake was near fatal as he gave his bitter enemy, Nancy Pelosi, the whip hand in which to drive the Country to impeachment. We are still waiting for a "replacement" and a completed "Wall".

2. He failed to purge the bureaucracy of Obama administration holdovers on January 21, 2017, unlike Dick Cheney who threw all the Clintonians out of government on January 21, 2001, thus, leaving people in place like Sally Yates and the Vindman brothers who never missed an opportunity to knife President Trump in the back.

3. He failed at the outset to investigate the case against General Flynn (engineered by Strzok, Comey and David Ignatius) who was his only close advisor with previous governmental experience and left the General twisting in the wind.

4. He bungled the firing of Jim Comey after getting Rod Rosenthal to sign onto a memo citing Comey's botched and procedurally defective Clinton email investigation as the reason, then publicly boasted of having done so with the Russian Foreign Minister and Ambassador and, for a self-inflicted coup de grace, told Lester Holt that he fired Comey because of Russia fatally undermining the laboriously constructed Justice Department rationale. The Comey firing and the President's ineptitude led directly to the appointment of a Special Prosecutor.

5. Moving ahead three years, after narrowly escaping the Mueller noose, the President immediately bungled the effort to get the Hunter Biden/Joe Biden corruption story out to the public, thus putting the noose back around his neck, by seeking in a conversation with the Ukrainian President, with his many enemies listening in, to get the Ukrainians to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Biden-Burisma connection. Surely, there was a competent way to get the story out without igniting an impeachment controversy. He could have taken a seminar with Dick Cheney to figure out how this is done, all the while keeping his fingerprints off the weapon.

6. Another egregious self-inflicted and, perhaps, fatal wound: He gives Bob Woodward (a mortal enemy) the right to conduct a taped-interview during which he admits to Woodward, among other things, that he had been briefed at the outset about the lethality of COVID19, which gave the lie to his previous pronouncements that the virus was little more than another version of the flu. The election of 2020 was in many respects a referendum on President Trump's handling of the Corona Virus. Had he leveled with the American people, under-promised and over-delivered, instead of over-promising and under-delivering by election day, he would most likely be taking the oath of office for a second term. BTW, Pfizer had all the information that it needed to announce prior to the last weekend in October that its vaccine was 90+ % effective, but, instead, Pfizer stopped trials the Friday before the election and did not make its announcement until after the election. It's amazing that the President's people did not have their fingers on the pulse of what was happening at Pfizer. One more fatal error.

7. On Attorney General Barr, the AG saved Trump's bacon and what was left of our Republic when he put a harness on Bob Mueller, took control of the Mueller Report, ordered up the Horwitz investigation (disagreeing with Horwitz's conclusion that there was no impropriety at the outset), put his own gloss on the Mueller Report before its dissemination, appointed a Special Counsel to investigate the origins of the Russia Investigation. If he can't find the demonstrable, provable evidence of ballot fraud sufficient to overturn the election and is hesitant to undertake a Constitutionally dubious and futile action, I am satisfied with the AG's conclusions.

turcopolier , 13 December 2020 at 01:19 PM

All

"Alexandria" is a Rhodes Scholar, Harvard Law School grad who was a senior person in Clinton's USAID, very senior.

turcopolier , 13 December 2020 at 01:25 PM

Alexandria

I do not think the COVID economic disaster can be blamed on him. What you face now is infinitely worse than the political blunders that can be blamed on him.

[Oct 26, 2020] A Vaporware Executive- An Attitude, Not a President by Fred Reed

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Here context matters. The US, or those who control the US, are trying to maintain American hegemony, or near hegemony, over the world. America has 600-800 military bases around the globe depending on what you regard as a military base. While many tens of thousands of America sleep on the sidewalks, while infrastructure crumbles, while standards of living fall and medical care is pricey but poor, the Pentagon always gets its budget. At the level of the White House, the Five-Sided Wind Tunnel, the arms industry, the important thing is to maintain the flow of money. And dominate the world. ..."
"... Trump is the embodiment of this looking-for-a-fight attitude. Not good. He has surrounded himself with over-age Cold Warriors, with generals, with the pathologically aggressive hangers-on from think-tank Washington: John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, Nikki Haley, Steve Bannon, and minor squibs of like outlook. He has pulled the US out of the arms-control treaties, START, INF, Open Skies. He has pushed NATO against Russian borders. In the Legion halls of Idaho, this may seem virile, the sort of thing that John Wayne would do. Back the commies down. Show them who is boss. No. It is just pointless and dangerous. ..."
"... Worse, there is a new kid on the block. China is growing. It behaves no worse than other countries, does not inflict on the world nearly the destruction and horror that the United States does, but it is growing. For Washington, this makes it not a competitor but an enemy. This is very much Trump's policy. Don't negotiate. Threaten. "Do as I say, or I will break you." ..."
"... Those favoring the continuance of Empire might note that, even at this, Trump has been a disaster. The First Rule of Empire is Don't let your enemies unite. Trump, having made Russia and China into enemies (why?) has forced ..."
"... Then there is Iran, a geopolitical linchpin, having eighty million people, a large and competent military, and lots and lots of oil. Under the JCPOA, the nuke deal, the Iranians were posed happily to integrate themselves into the Western economy -- buy hundreds of airliners from Boeing and Airbus, telecommunications gear, sell oil, have western companies develop its huge hydrocarbon reserves. ..."
"... Then Trump pulled out of the treaty and, led by the egregious Pompeo, tries to starve the Iranians into installing a puppet government. Iran, seeing that the West is not friendly, turns to the East, allies itself tightly with Russia and China. Tehran and Beijing are about to sign a twenty-five year, multimanymuchoslotsa billion dollar development deal. ..."
"... Then Trump had Soleimani, an Iranian hero, murdered. This doubtless played well with his partisans in Joe's Bar in Chicago, being manly and decisive and making America great again. It was also idiotic, making Iranians even less likely to cave to American pressure. ..."
"... With Trump the country elected an attitude, not a President. Truculence, bravado, and an in-your-face aggressiveness are no substitute for competence. ..."
Oct 26, 2020 | www.unz.com

Everybody and his goat has weighed in on the election, so I will too. This will make no difference to Trump's core followers, for whom he is a cult figure, or to those who detest him. The undecided may be interested.

Note how insubstantial Trump has been, pretending to be what he isn't and claiming to have done what he hasn't. Does no one notice? He has heavy support from Evangelicals. Ask him to name the books of the Pentateuch, or the second book, or what church he regularly attended, or ever attended, in New York. He was going to end the wars, but what war has he ended? To reduce the trade deficit, but it has grown . To get rid of all illegal aliens withing two years, but have they gone? To bring back factories from China and Mexico, but how many have returned? He is called a law-and-order President. Yet he hid, besieged, in the White House during the greatest eruption of lawlessness the country has ever seen, with a statue being pulled down across the street from his house. His handling of the virus? America remains hardest hit in the world, and it worsens by the day.

Trump, like all Presidents, has fulfilled the two critical jobs expected of him, protecting Wall Street and the military budget. What else has he done?

Almost nothing. All in good fun. But in the crucial field of international relations, he has been a disaster. I suspect that few of his followers in Flint and Gary study things beyond the borders. They should.

Here context matters. The US, or those who control the US, are trying to maintain American hegemony, or near hegemony, over the world. America has 600-800 military bases around the globe depending on what you regard as a military base. While many tens of thousands of America sleep on the sidewalks, while infrastructure crumbles, while standards of living fall and medical care is pricey but poor, the Pentagon always gets its budget. At the level of the White House, the Five-Sided Wind Tunnel, the arms industry, the important thing is to maintain the flow of money. And dominate the world.

Trump is the embodiment of this looking-for-a-fight attitude. Not good. He has surrounded himself with over-age Cold Warriors, with generals, with the pathologically aggressive hangers-on from think-tank Washington: John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, Nikki Haley, Steve Bannon, and minor squibs of like outlook. He has pulled the US out of the arms-control treaties, START, INF, Open Skies. He has pushed NATO against Russian borders. In the Legion halls of Idaho, this may seem virile, the sort of thing that John Wayne would do. Back the commies down. Show them who is boss. No. It is just pointless and dangerous.

Worse, there is a new kid on the block. China is growing. It behaves no worse than other countries, does not inflict on the world nearly the destruction and horror that the United States does, but it is growing. For Washington, this makes it not a competitor but an enemy. This is very much Trump's policy. Don't negotiate. Threaten. "Do as I say, or I will break you."

Those favoring the continuance of Empire might note that, even at this, Trump has been a disaster. The First Rule of Empire is Don't let your enemies unite. Trump, having made Russia and China into enemies (why?) has forced them to unite. This is -- how shall I put it? -- stupid. Russia and China are not natural allies. China is a crowded country with 1.4 billion smart, industrious people, rapidly growing influence, and a very long indefensible border with Russia. Russia has barely 146 million people, a comparatively static economy, vast empty lands with rich resources. The Russians may have noticed this. The two have had territorial disputes. This is not a marriage made, as we say, in heaven. Instead of playing them against each other, allying with one against the other, or leaving them the hell alone, Trump has forced them into close alliance.

This is Trump's policy, in the sense that if it happens during his presidency, it is his baby, though it is fairly evident that Pompeo is Trumps brains and Trump is Pompeo's enabler.

Then there is Iran, a geopolitical linchpin, having eighty million people, a large and competent military, and lots and lots of oil. Under the JCPOA, the nuke deal, the Iranians were posed happily to integrate themselves into the Western economy -- buy hundreds of airliners from Boeing and Airbus, telecommunications gear, sell oil, have western companies develop its huge hydrocarbon reserves.

Then Trump pulled out of the treaty and, led by the egregious Pompeo, tries to starve the Iranians into installing a puppet government. Iran, seeing that the West is not friendly, turns to the East, allies itself tightly with Russia and China. Tehran and Beijing are about to sign a twenty-five year, multimanymuchoslotsa billion dollar development deal.

Three enemies, united, where none was before. Fucking brilliant, Mike. Just fucking brilliant.

Then Trump had Soleimani, an Iranian hero, murdered. This doubtless played well with his partisans in Joe's Bar in Chicago, being manly and decisive and making America great again. It was also idiotic, making Iranians even less likely to cave to American pressure.

The same counterproductiveness appears in his "trade war" with China, in fact an attempt to wreck China commercially and technologically. This is packaged by Trump as "standing up to China," "deterring China," "containing China," but it might as accurately be called "encouraging the genie to leave the bottle," or "asking for it."

A quick example: Huawei was contentedly using Google's Android operating system on its smartphones. Android and iOS, both American, dominated the world market for operating systems. Huawei, with the predictability of sunrise, responded by crash-developing its own OS, Harmony . With equal predictability and suddenness it will improve it, further grow its app store (HMS, Huawei Mobile Services) and, on a guess, encourage other companies to use it. It will be said that a new OS won't work, can't compete, will take decades, and all the things that are customarily said of things China does. Wait.

Trump's result: A new and, likely, serious competitor to Google. Good job, Don.

There is more to come. Precisely because of Trump's technology-denial policy, China has launched a massive program to make itself tech-independent. It will take time, but it will happen. Every time China develops a replacement for an American product, US companies will lose the Chinese market for it -- and shortly face a competitor.

The root of the matter? With Trump the country elected an attitude, not a President. Truculence, bravado, and an in-your-face aggressiveness are no substitute for competence. Trump has demonstrated repeatedly that he is blankly ignorant of history, geography, technology, the military. In Hawaii, when taken to the USS Arizona memorial, he didn't know what it was. He has opined that the Spanish flu of 1917 (his date) influenced the end of WWII . It would be instructive for a reporter to ask him what countries border Iran, where one finds the Strait of Malacca, and why it matters.

The more enthusiastic of his followers seem to be equally ignorant and, worse, have no idea why a President should know such things. Is this how we choose Presidents, and the sort of Presidents we choose?

Write Fred at jet.possum@gmail.com Put the letters pdq anywhere in the subject line to avoid heartless autodeletion.

Check out Fred's splendid books ! Sedition, outrage, distortion, treason and other amusements. Enjoy accounts of America, not the disaster by the same name now peddled as the real thing. Cheap at the price.


Bragadocious , says: October 25, 2020 at 1:31 am GMT

This chart is a good reminder why Trump should be re-elected.

Suck it, Fred.

Oh and Mexico's doing worse on Covid when you account for their criminal undercounting of Covid deaths. When you have one of the lowest testing rates of any large country, then it's easy to undercount.

Achmed E. Newman , says: Website October 25, 2020 at 2:59 am GMT

This article would read fairly well if you would just replace all instances of "Trump" with "the US Feral Government". You're gonna blame the continuing stupidity of this huge Beast of a Government on the one man? Do you think he is King of America? He can hardly get anything done, which IS, BTW, partly his problem – the one thing you are quite right about is the stupidity in the President's hiring of swamp creatures to drain the swamp. I don't understand this myself but chalk it up to a lack of confidence in his own instincts.

Commenter Bragadocious has already brought up the very encouraging numbers of admitted "refugees" that I have read on VDare, but there are other below-the-radar good efforts by the President regarding immigration. Of course, most of us have been disappointed quite a bit, but lately I've been more gung-ho – anyone interested, please read VDare's "NYT Delivers Unintentional Endorsement Of Trump's Immigration Triumph" . (Hey, didn't you use to work there, Fred? You ought to at least keep up a bit.)

Peak Stupidity points out "The Bad, the Good, and the Ugly" regarding the President and this election – see "The Bad" , "The Good" , and "The Ugly" .

I honestly don't understand why you're so concerned with what happens to America anyway, Fred. You live in the great country of Mexico. Is it that everything disparaging you write makes you feel better about your decision to high-tail it down there?

gay troll , says: October 25, 2020 at 3:32 am GMT

COVID came from Fort Detrick and Trump knows it.

another fred , says: October 25, 2020 at 3:38 am GMT

Presidentially and socially we face two alternatives: an easy anesthetized slide into certain doom or a panicked descent kicking against the looming walls of our trap. Of course, that is not what either pretends to be, nor what the masses think they are.

In the end I can't tell a nickel's worth of difference. If someone could guarantee that one alternative was more likely than another to end in nuclear holocaust than the other I would allow a difference, but I don't see it. Which ever we "choose" this time, the pendulum will swing until a tipping point is reached.

It would be nice to have a serious realist in the White House, but I don't see the people voting for one. Maybe one will ride in on a white horse.

Carlton Meyer , says: Website October 25, 2020 at 4:23 am GMT

An excellent and accurate article. However, it should note that Biden's history shows he will probably be worse. Despite his tough talk, Trump never started a new war, which is why the Deep State hates him. They teed up four excuses to attack Iran: the strange drone attack on a Saudi oil facility, the strange mines placed on a tanker, flying a drone over Iran that was shot down, and doing nothing when Iran fired missiles at American bases in Iraq.

Weston Waroda , says: October 25, 2020 at 4:27 am GMT

Those favoring the continuance of Empire might note that, even at this, Trump has been a disaster. The First Rule of Empire is Don't let your enemies unite. Trump, having made Russia and China into enemies (why?) has forced them to unite. This is -- how shall I put it? -- stupid.

This isn't accurate, letting Russia and China unite was a notable feature of the Obama administration and probably goes back further than that. Remember the pivot to Asia? Remember Victoria Nuland handing out cookies at the Maidan? But you are absolutely right about Trump solely pushing Iran into the arms of Russia and China.

GreatSocialist , says: October 25, 2020 at 4:51 am GMT

Fred is right, Trump is a hee-haw Jackass who takes the prize for the dumbest, most delusional, most corrupt and most incompetent POTUS in all history.

He's run America into the ground with his failed trade war, his delusional (un)management of Covid-19 and all his damn fool gross stupidity. Just like his 6 failed casinos, his Trump University and his bankrupt listed company DJT.

Everything just fail, fail, and fail. Even an Orangutan taken from the zoo would have done better as POTUS than him.

Ghali , says: October 25, 2020 at 5:30 am GMT

Sorry, but to rewrite your comment, Trump, just like all his predecessors, has fulfilled the Three critical jobs expected of him: 1. Armed and expanded Jewish colonial fascism in Palestine, 2. Continue to protect the 1% (Wall Street) and 3. Increased U.S. military budget by continuing to sale arms to fascist regimes.

David J , says: October 25, 2020 at 8:16 am GMT

Yes, he is a blathering, bullshitting salesman who built hotels and had a reality TV show. But he didn't start any wars. Bombed the odd airstrip, but that was about it. Who was the last President you could say that about? If he loses, strap in for more wars, possibly even the Big One. And as for China, before we get too awestruck about their economic 'miracle' -- which was remarkable -- note that their money supply (M2) is 2.5 times their GDP. $2.50 for every $1 they need for their economy. Why? To prop up a banking system that is a total Ponzi scheme. To say they have an internal debt problem doesn't begin to cover it. Sure, it allowed them to build super fast trains and cities with no-one in them, but they can't get Chinese people to consume because they are all desperately saving for health care. The public health care is dreadful. It was a miracle, sure, but full of holes (which makes it no less impressive).

Ilya G Poimandres , says: October 25, 2020 at 8:25 am GMT

Fred highlights lots of problems, but I don't see why the other two Presidents will be better at solving them. They certainly won't be, because they don't see them as problems.

They will start more wars, they will ignore the trade deficit, they will bring in millions of immigrants, they will keep selling off manufacturing to cheaper places indifferently, and they will be indebted to their BLM fascists when in power, meaning violence will increase either way.

They are for Empire, and they don't keep to the treaties anyways – at least Trump is honest when he tears them up. It is, according to Al-Anfal 55-63 at least, up to those who get betrayed to tear up the treaties, and they should have long done so anyways.

Killing Suleimani? Is there a bigger misstep that could have been done by the Empire, that cost so little in terms of human life to the ME, and actually improved the reputation of Trump with the crazies whilst making the wind down accelerate?!

They will be for NATO, which will stop being an NA and will become a World Treaty Organisation.

He sure ain't perfect – he is a very weak or trusting manager, it seems – but he tries to move in the right direction often, even if he is prevented from taking even more than baby steps. The other two Presidents will march into the abyss whilst laughing at their awesome brilliance!

Jon Halpenny , says: October 25, 2020 at 8:51 am GMT

The reason Trump forced Russia, China, and Iran into alliance is because America conducts its foreign policy for the benefit of Israel.

OilcanFloyd , says: October 25, 2020 at 9:35 am GMT

Why was Trump elected in the first place, Fred? In a well-run country with real options, Trump would have been laughed at. When your rulers actively sell you out, hate you, and are in the process of replacing you, a Donald Trump is a realistic option. That is sad. What's worse is that even after Trump's election, the PTBs are doubling down on the treason and hatred of Americans. As bad as Trump is, what is the option? And what can one man really do?

It's too easy to just blame the situation on stupid Trump supporters, as if their votes created America's problems.

GMC , says: October 25, 2020 at 10:52 am GMT
@Weston Waroda rm the Ukraine military. Ukies don't just take their kalashnikovs and send them to the metal cutters – their corrupt generals sold all the rifles, motors, and assorted other arms and kept the 35 million. This makes Neo Nazi's much more stronger at the Maidan, which was delayed because of Yanukovych and his kleptocrazy regime. Thanks to the African born Obama and Joe the War lover – Ukraine to day is totally CIA,Mossad, Nato etc. We could dissect Libya and Syria but we would find the same Satanic World Order boys – Barrack and Joe – doing their thing for the Cabal. Oh – I lived in Ukraine 08 – 2014 and then had to switch residency – for obvious reasons. Spacibo
Anon [421] Disclaimer , says: October 25, 2020 at 10:54 am GMT

You have to give credit to Trump for stopping the anti white brainwashing AKA
as 'diversity training' which was based on the white hating manifesto AKA 'critical
race theory.' It turned out that under the radar big business and many parts of the
government were forcing whites to repent for their racist attitudes and write forced
confessions. President Trump gave the middle finger to that with much deconstructing
still to come.
I can't fathom how a descendant of the illustrious Tidewater Reeds can
turn his back on the accomplishments of his Anglo Saxon people.
America began as a Protestant project which is why we are fortunate to have
the most enlightened system of jurisprudence in the world. Say what you will about
Trump's brash New York City manner but at least he is a defender of Western
Civilization. I most look forward to cleaning house at the DOJ & CIA if he wins.
That and smashing Big Tech into a thousand pieces.

Under The Bridge , says: October 25, 2020 at 11:21 am GMT
@Bragadocious

"Oh and Mexico's doing worse on Covid when you account for their criminal undercounting of Covid deaths."

Indeed! Anything less than American-style overcounting is undercounting! It's CRIMINAL! They should be put in jail! Or quarantined! I repeat myself!

"When you have one of the lowest testing rates of any large country, then it's easy to undercount."

When you test for the ubiquitous presence of viral fragments in people who are not sick, it's easy to overcount. FTFY.

Mikael_ , says: October 25, 2020 at 11:32 am GMT

I'm not sure I want someone like you lecturing us on morality, Fred.

You're basically stating over and over, that the US should strive to maintain its 'Only Empire in the World' approach (which it did since at least Clinton),
but Trump is just doing it wrong.

Achmed E. Newman , says: Website October 25, 2020 at 11:33 am GMT
@Craig Nelsen f stupidity is Mr. Reed's part about Trump causing Russia and China to be allied. WTH? Trump wanted to ignore the pretension by the Neocons (if they are serious it be even stupider) that Russia is still the USSR, our arch enemy. The MIC and Neocons blocked his rapprochement with Russia. President Trump's attempt to end the completely unfair trade deal the sell-outs handed to China in the mid-1990s is one of his admirable efforts. Relations have become bad mostly due to that the Chinese don't want a fair deal with trade. They are used to taking advantage of us in every way possible – even the Great Chinese Visiting Scholar Scam .
antibeast , says: October 25, 2020 at 11:59 am GMT

Trump is a symptom of the disease which the author mistakes for the disease itself. That's why Trump won in 2016 because the white masses who elected him needed to vomit their own existential angst against the System. The more petulant Trump became, the more love the white masses have for him because that's how they feel against the System which has betrayed their own white interests.

The author correctly points out that Trump does exactly what other US Presidents before him have done which is to promote the economic interests of the US Capitalist Class and the US Military-Industrial Complex, by cutting income taxes and increasing the defense budget, respectively. He also mentions Trump's trade war and technology bans against China which has served more as a "canary in a coal mine" than anything else, hastening the pace by which Chinese companies have been diversifying away from the USA, since the GFC in 2008, including developing their own indigenous technologies which have given rise to homegrown tech giants like Huawei and TikTok. While Trump's anti-China moves were driven by political self-aggrandizement, China's response was driven by its economic self-interest, which explains its low-key approach to resolving its trade disputes with the USA.

But the author missed something else which is Trump's hostility to Globalist causes such as unrestricted immigration, outsourcing of manufacturing and services jobs, foreign wars, multilateral treaties such as the Paris Climate Accord, international institutions such as the WHO, trade deals such as the TPP and NAFTA, among others. His most glaring omission is to avoid any mention of Trump's decision to withdraw US troops out of Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany as well as preventing another regime-change war against Iran.

While his economic policies range from the patently mediocre (promoting "fracking") to outright stupid (imposing tariffs), Trump's biggest successes are in fact in the areas of US foreign policy in which he DID carry out his "America First" strategy which has endeared him to his white supporters but which has disheartened his enemies in the US Deep State.

Of course, that's exactly why his white supporters elected him in 2016 and why the US Deep State is doing everything it can to defeat him in 2020 because a second term of Trump would hasten the decline and fall of the US Empire.

Michael888 , says: October 25, 2020 at 12:01 pm GMT

"He has pushed NATO against Russian borders." No, after Reagan assured Gorbachev that NATO would not move an inch closer to Russia with the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Bill Clinton moved NATO to Russia's borders as a provocation, along with slaughtering Slavs and proving the inability of Russia to continue its traditional role as protector of the Slavs. This was followed by BUSH's and OBAMA's continuation of Color Revolutions to establish US puppets in former Soviets (and more NATO bases).

The Biden/ Nuland-led Maidan Revolution in Ukraine meant that the per capita GDP dropped over half by deflecting the internal corruption into external Americans' and American Ukrainians' pockets. For calling out that US corruption and briefly holding up more weapons, money and provocation with Russia, Trump was impeached. Ukraine lost Crimea BEFORE Trump, and he was stymied from removing troops by a Congress who refused to accept him as an Elected President and Commander-in-Chief.

While Trump has lots of issues, calling him out for doing exactly what the last three Presidents before him did, really undercuts the article's message. Scapegoating Trump doesn't change reality.

aspnaz , says: October 25, 2020 at 12:10 pm GMT

Trump is the embodiment of this looking-for-a-fight attitude.

Wow, you have been asleep for the last four years? The antics of the Democrats and their female goddess seem to have completely passed you by. Just to fill you in on some basic detail, the Democrats (what an ironic name) have been waging battle after battle, you could call it a war, against the President because they just couldn't accept the result of the last election. They felt they were entitled to the presidency. You say Trump is looking for a fight, the Democrats didn't just look, they launched the war and lost.

KenH , says: October 25, 2020 at 12:17 pm GMT

We all know that Trump is bellicose and a blowhard but he said all the right things in 2015-16. My issue with Trump is his betrayals. He threatened to end birthright citizenship but never followed through. He was working with Tom Cotton to reduce legal immigration and end chain migration but gave up after less than a year. He should have ended AFFH shortly after taking office but didn't do so until just two months ago. The list goes on.

Another reason his administration wasn't as successful as we all hoped is that he didn't know how to staff a government as PCR feared and predicted. He thought he could just ride in to Washington and wing it and start barking orders it doesn't work that way.

Trump is not a visionary like Obama was. In order to qualify for Obama's administration you had to think and see the world exactly like he did. Trump seems to get his jollies from hiring people who disagree with him and work to undermine his agenda.

Now Trump is courting black nationalists like rapper Ice Cube while condemning white nationalists. This would be like Obama courting David Duke on a plan to help poor and working class white Americans.

VinnyVette , says: October 25, 2020 at 12:28 pm GMT

Trump has given us three conservative SCOTUS's justices. He has also exposed the deep state, the alphabet agencies, and the MSM for what they are. Evil anti American forces.
And all the while, staving off three bullshit coup attempts and constant personal and political assault!
And what better would we get from proven corrupt and dementia laden career politician Joe Biden Fred?
Fuck you!

Old and Grumpy , says: October 25, 2020 at 12:35 pm GMT
@another fred

I'm voting for the entertaining one. Politics is interactive theater. Was it George Carlin who said that if voting mattered they wouldn't let us do it? No truer words. Plus I like the Melania fashion watch on Breitbart....

Old and Grumpy , says: October 25, 2020 at 12:41 pm GMT
@Jon Halpenny

BRICS began back in Obama days. More importantly its inception was due to crippling Russian sanctions due to the bogus Magnitsky Act, which was passed during the W. Bush reign. BTW do you know who sponsored the act in Congress? McCain, Biden, and Obama. All are/were Zionists and Necon approved.

Trinity , says: October 25, 2020 at 1:08 pm GMT

Hmm, as disappointing as Trump has been, and believe me, he has been a disappointment, he is the best President in my lifetime of 59 years. Of course, given the list of empty suits that we have been given as our leaders over the last 59 years, saying Trump is the best of the lot is not saying much. Honestly has America elected a decent man to hold the office of POTUS in the last 120 years?

At the very minimum Trump has exposed the FAKE MEDIA, hell, that is more than the others ever did while in office because as we all know the American people have been lied to by the Jew Media for over 100 years and counting. IF anyone can come up with reasons why anyone from JFK to Obama were better for America than Trump, I am all ears. Personally, I give Trump an overall D on his report card while the others I give a flat F. Do Whites really want a Biden/Harris Presidency? I voted Trump, again. No REAL choice as usual.

John Achterhof , says: October 25, 2020 at 1:55 pm GMT

The root of the matter? With Trump the country elected an attitude, not a President.

Outstanding essay, Fred, and much of the reaction to it confirms it's validity.

I only have a petty disagreement with this one observation:

Russia and China are not natural allies.

All countries, in civilization and decency, are natural allies. It's only predatorial interests of states that upset this natural human alliance.

Desert Fox , says: October 25, 2020 at 2:37 pm GMT

All the potus have been under zionist control since they had JFK assassinated and then came the zionist/Israeli and traitors in the ZUS government attack on the WTC on 911 and this was blamed on the Arabs and gave the zionists the excuse to destroy the middle east for Israels greater Israel agenda, using the ZUS military and AL CIADA and MOSSAD and MI6 created mercenaries to to the destruction and the killing.

Trump is just another in a long line of zionist puppets and Biden is the same and the one ie the libertarian Joanne Jorgensen who is against these wars, is ignored, and the beat goes on.

God's Fool , says: October 25, 2020 at 2:48 pm GMT

Nobody gives a shit in Joe's Bar in Chicago about the killing of the Iranian general but you may want to check the bars in Tel Aviv to see if they're rejoicing

Now enough about China there are plenty of other sycophants on unz.com without you joining in. Stick to defending wetbacks which suits you naturally and it's more palatable.

As to Russia and China: first, you outline Chinese population treat to Russia and then second, you breathlessly claim they're boon companions so, which is it?

Lastly, I noticed that the one group which has most benefited from the orange man presidency while undercutting his nationalist credentials which would help traditional Americans isn't even mentioned in the article no names or hints. What gives?

Wally , says: October 25, 2020 at 4:02 pm GMT
@GreatSocialist nbsp;
https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2020/07/president_trumps_handling_of_the_virus_was_not_a_failure.html

50 Things Neo-Marxists Don't Want You to Know About Trump:
https://www.breitbart.com/entertainment/2020/07/29/50-things-they-dont-want-you-know-trump-harpercollins-reveals-breitbart-editor-jerome-hudsons-book-cover/#

[Aug 22, 2020] One thing that is definitely Not Happening is the psychopaths in both parties, the media, the medical mafia, Wall Street, and corporations taking responsibility for their crime spree and fraud.

Aug 22, 2020 | www.unz.com

No Friend Of The Devil , says: August 20, 2020 at 8:48 pm GMT

One thing that is definitely Not Happening is the psychopaths in both parties, the media, the medical mafia, Wall Street, and corporations taking responsibility for their crime spree and fraud.

Now the medical community has been fully exposed to be less legitimate than crack dealers, because at least crack dealers are not pretending to cure people like the medical mafia is all based on blatant scientific fraud!

Now that these evil fraudulent psychopaths have totally destroyed the lives of hundreds of millions locking the country down resulting in people losing their businesses, jobs, homes, and apartments let Nuremburg 2 trials begin!

[Aug 01, 2020] Trump administration overspent on ventilators by as much as $500 million, Democrats' report says

Aug 01, 2020 | www.msn.com

WASHINGTON -- An investigation released Friday by House Democrats says President Donald Trump's administration overpaid by up to $500 million on ventilators as the coronavirus pandemic first struck the United States.

Click to expand 00:00 00:47 Fauci optimistic on COVID-19 vaccine availability

In a review of thousands of pages of internal administration documents, Democrats on the House Oversight Committee said Phillips North America was contracted to deliver 43,000 ventilators to the federal government for a significantly higher price than it did under previous contracts for functionally identical ventilator models delivered under contracts dating to President Barack Obama's administration.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at the White House. © Evan Vucci, AP Images President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at the White House.

"The American people got ripped off, and Donald Trump and his team got taken to the cleaners," said Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., whose subcommittee led the investigation. "The Trump Administration's mishandling of ventilator procurement for the nation's stockpile cost the American people dearly during the worst public health crisis of our generation."

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Democrats called for Phillips to return the amount of money they said the government was overcharged.

More: Trump praises Jim Jordan and Anthony Fauci after they clashed during coronavirus hearing

More: Biggest coronavirus vaccine deal yet: $2.1 billion to Sanofi/GSK for up to 100 million doses

Phillips denied the report's findings, saying the company did not raise prices in relation to the pandemic, and argued the increased price of the ventilators actually represented a "discount."

Frans van Houten, CEO of Royal Philips, said in a statement the company did "not recognize the conclusions in the subcommittee's report, and we believe that not all the information that we provided has been reflected in the report."

"I would like to make clear that at no occasion has Philips raised prices to benefit from the crisis situation," van Houten said.

According to Phillips, the list price of the ventilator ordered under the contract is $21,000 and was supplied to the Trump administration for $15,000, which the company called a "discount" given the rushed production schedule.

More: How ventilators work and why COVID-19 patients need them to survive coronavirus

The report, however, disagreed with Phillips' claim. A functionally identical ventilator was delivered to the Obama administration under a 2014 contract for $3,280. Based on the report's review of purchases between December 2019 and May 2020, other small purchasers, even those that purchased only one ventilator of the same model, secured them for as low as $9,327.

"No American purchaser paid more than the U.S. government," the report said.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere told USA TODAY in a statement the report was "misleading and inaccurate."

"Because of the President's leadership, the United States leads the world in the production and acquisition of ventilators. No American who needed a ventilator was denied one, and no American who needs a ventilator in the future will be denied one."

Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson Ryan Murphy said the Trump administration's efforts ensured the "federal government procured enough equipment to care for all hospitalized patients in the United States who needed a ventilator for respiratory support related to COVID-19 infections."

Some of the ventilators ordered under the contract were already in use to treat COVID-19 patients, he added.

Murphy declined to comment on an ongoing contract, but said HHS follows "all Federal Acquisition Regulations for Strategic National Stockpile contracting efforts."

The Trump administration has frequently touted the production of ventilators as evidence of its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

"When you look at the United States response, you look at the fact that we were supposed to have a ventilator shortage. In fact, we had a ventilator surplus," White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said at a Friday briefing.

Phillips had first signed a contract with the Obama administration to deliver 100,000 ventilators in the event of a pandemic by June 2019, but the delivery date was pushed back, eventually to June 2021, as the company missed deadlines, the report said. Phillips approached the Trump administration about moving up the delivery date in January 2020, when the first coronavirus cases were reported in the United States, but the Trump administration ignored the offer, according to the report.

Then, in March 2020, the Trump administration agreed to extend the ventilator delivery deadline to September 2022, but did not ask Phillips to produce more ventilators or move up delivery times. Instead, in April 2020, the Trump administration negotiated a new contract with Phillips to deliver 43,000 ventilators at a price of $15,000 per ventilator.

According to the report's review of documents, "the Administration accepted Philips' first offer without even trying to negotiate a lower price."

According to emails released by the committee, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, who served as the lead negotiator with Phillips, offered to prepay half of the total cost, or over $323 million, to Phillips before a single ventilator was even delivered. Department of Health and Human Services staff later reduced the amount prepaid to 10% of the total cost of the contract, or about $65 million.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump administration overspent on ventilators by as much as $500 million, Democrats' report says


[Jul 23, 2020] Beyond Trump vs. Trump- We Have a Nation to Safeguard

Jul 23, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The seldom-seen niece's shoddy attempt at psychoanalysis may, despite its flaws, point to worthwhile considerations. (By Gino Santa Maria/Shutterstock)

JULY 23, 2020

|

12:01 AM

JAMES PINKERTON

President Trump is obviously not happy about about the highly unflattering portrait of him painted by his niece, Mary Trump, in her best-selling book, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man.
On July 17, reacting to her description of him as "narcissistic," "dysfunctional," and "perverted," the president jabbed back in a tweet , describing her as "a seldom seen niece who knows little about me, says untruthful things about my wonderful parents (who couldn't stand her!) and me."

Of course, the Main Stream Media loves the new book; indeed, pressies are always careful to insert that Mary Trump is a "clinical psychologist," thereby seeking to assign greater weight to her judgment on the famous uncle; she's not just an estranged family member, she's a trained clinician . Thus when Mary declares that Donald's "pathologies are so complex and his behaviors so often inexplicable that coming up with an accurate and comprehensive diagnosis would require a full battery of psychological and neuropsychological tests that he'll never sit for" -- the MSM treats her words as the voice of an oracular psycho-authority.

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13045197114175078?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13045197114175078-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theamericanconservative.com&rid=www.theamericanconservative.com&width=838

Indeed, speaking of long-distance diagnosis, it might be small comfort to the 45th president to know that plenty of other American presidents have been similarly psychoanalyzed. In fact, no less than the father of psychoanalysis himself, Sigmund Freud, co-authored an unsparing assessment of our 28th president, Thomas Woodrow Wilson: A Psychological Study .

Moreover, we've learned, over the last century or so, that the mind of any individual, when perceived though the Freudian prism, appears to be nothing more than a heaving mass of Greek-named complexes and phobias. And yet through it all, most people manage to get off the couch and do things, including becoming politicians -- a very few even becoming president of the United States. So how do they manage that? And what does that mean for the rest of us?

Some enduring answers to such questions can be found in Harold Lasswell's 1930 book, Psychopathology and Politics. Lasswell is obscure now, but in his day, he was a professor at Yale Law School as well as president of the American Political Science Association. Moreover, he was active when Freud was at the peak of his influence; Psychopathology and Politics is much shaped along the contours of the Viennese Herr Doktor 's thought.

Evidently realizing that the word "psychopathology" in the title would send a strong signal, Lasswell opened his book, a bit defensively, with the declaration, "The purpose of this venture is not to prove that politicians are 'insane.'" In fact, Lasswell, being mostly a political scientist, was careful to stipulate that "the specifically pathological is of secondary importance to the central problem of exhibiting the developmental profile of different types of public characters." In other words, for all his fascination with individual minds, in the end, the author was actually most interested in collective political outcomes.

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For purposes of analysis, Lasswell categorized three types of political personality: the "agitator," the "administrator," and the "theorist." To illustrate this triptych, Lasswell named a few names; Herbert Hoover, for instance, was labeled an administrator, while Old Testament prophets were labeled as agitators, and Karl Marx labeled as a theorist. Interestingly, Vladimir Lenin was listed as all three types.

Still, for the most part, Lasswell chose to focus, in the Freudian clinical style, on anonymized exemplars of each political personality type, detailing the mental circuities of "Mr. A," as well as "B," "C," and so on.

From there, Lasswell considers how each type meshes with politics. As he puts it, the state is a "manifold," into which political figures enter, and through which political events "are to be understood."

He writes, "political movements derive their vitality from the displacement of private affects upon public objects." Using dark Freudian terminology, Lasswell asserts that "Political crises are complicated by the concurrent reactivation of specific primitive impulses." In that same bleak spirit, he also avers, "Politics is the process by which the irrational bases of society are brought out into the open."

Yet while phrases such as "primitive impulses" and "irrational bases" are the stuff of psychiatry, Lasswell also wrote in political science-y language, as when he laid out his equation for political action: p } d } r = P . Here, p stands for "private motives," } stands for "transformed into," d equals "displacement on to public objects," r stands for " rationalization in terms of public interest," and P "signifies the political man."

In Lasswell's formula, individuals bring their personality with them into the political arena, and then, if they wish to make a mark in politics, they must reconcile, somehow, their own personalities with the political environment. As Lasswell explains, "The distinctive mark of the homo politicus is the rationalization of the displacement in terms of public interests."

We might note that in no sense was Lasswell saying that homo politicus was necessarily good-hearted, or that people were always wise about their own well-being; as he put it, oftentimes, "people are poor judges of their own interests." And so the "solution" in politics, he continued, is "not the 'rationally best' one," but rather, "the emotionally satisfactory one."

Still, Lasswell did not believe in autocracy or dictatorship; he approvingly quoted another political scientist who argued, "Society is not safe . . . when it is forced to follow the dictations of one individual."

Yet because Lasswell shared Freud's gloomy view of human nature, he argued for a sort of guided system, dubbing it "preventive politics." As he put it, "The politics of prevention draws attention squarely to the central problem of reducing the level of strain and maladaptation in society." Thus Lasswell endorsed the application of therapeutic psychology to the population as a whole -- putting the country, as it were, on the therapist's couch.

If that doesn't sound like a plausible solution, we might note that we often do just that to our country's leaders -- and the latest instance is what Mary Trump has done to her uncle.

Yet even those who mistrust a long-distance diagnosis -- and who might see Mary Trump's book as opportunistically timed to the election -- might nonetheless reflect on Lasswell's political equation, p } d } r = P.

After all, individuals do enter into the political system, and they do what they do -- and so it's best if we understand them as well as we can. Indeed, each new entry can be seen as a case study, providing us with an opportunity to learn: What went right? Or, what went wrong? And who makes a good leader?

Such cumulative study gives us all a chance to practice a Lasswellian "politics of prevention." That is, while we don't seem to be able to cure the mentally ill, we can nevertheless take sterner measures to keep the pathological out of political office, especially high political office.

In particular, we might take the view that the electoral political system should serve as a kind of filter, separating out the gold from the dross. If, as Max Weber put it, politics is "the slow boring of hard boards," then maybe we should favor politicians who actually know how to drill a hole, and who know to drill it in the right place -- and not smash the board.

Indeed, if we think of prosaic electoral politics as a filtering process, we might gain more respect for those who prove themselves in a minor office before seeking a major office -- and major responsibility. To put the matter bluntly, if a wannabe pol is maladaptive, let's know early on, when the stakes are low.

This wisdom was well expressed by Sam Rayburn, the Texas politician who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 48 years, as well as in the Texas state house for six years before that -- and, remarkably, rose to be speaker in both chambers, in Austin as well as in Washington, D.C. As recorded in David Halberstam's classic book about the origins of America's fiasco in the Vietnam War, The Best and the Brightest , in 1961, then-Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson gushed to his old pal Rayburn about how smart and impressive were the men of John F. Kennedy's administration, bandying about brilliant ideas for saving the world. To which Rayburn responded to LBJ, "You may be right and they may be every bit as intelligent as you say, but I'd feel a whole lot better about them if just one of them had run for sheriff once."

In other words, it would be better if the soaring kites of their intellects were tethered to mundane human experience and political reality -- including the reality of running for office. As we know, absent such tethering, those best and brightest led us into an Asian quagmire, drowning even the political career of LBJ.

So now, in 2020, in these extraordinarily trying times, the voters are about to run their political filter yet again. Indeed, if the presidential polls are to be believed, this filtration system is favoring Joe Biden, who has, after all, undergone the "extreme vetting" of a half-century in elective politics.

So is this an instance in which Lasswell's idea of "preventive politics" is being applied? We can never know from the Yale professor himself, of course, since he long ago went to that great ivory tower in the sky. Yet still, one senses that the author of Psychopathology and Politics would be pleased.

Because, after all, the fate of the nation is more important than the strange case of Trump vs. Trump. ABOUT THE AUTHOR

James P. Pinkerton is a longtime contributing editor at The American Conservative , columnist, and author. He served as longtime regular columnist for Newsday. He has also written for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, National Review, The New Republic, Foreign Affairs, Fortune, and The Jerusalem Post. He is the author of What Comes Next: The End of Big Government--and the New Paradigm Ahead (1995) . He worked in the White House domestic policy offices of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and in the 1980, 1984, 1988 and 1992 presidential campaigns.

[Jun 24, 2020] Trump has caved numerous times, he is an idiot when it comes to hiring his enemies hoping to appease them, but there is no question that he opposes mass immigration and invasions.

Jun 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

Hegar , says: Show Comment Next New Comment June 23, 2020 at 5:44 pm GMT

Giraldi's first paragraph is spot on. But after corona dealing the economy a heavy blow, I don't think Trump will start a war before the election. I don't think he would have done that otherwise either, though there was some risk. Trump has caved numerous times, he is an idioht when it comes to hiring his enemies hoping to appease them, but there is no question that he opposes mass immigration and invasions.

I suppose most people here know this, but let's look at how many of the pro-war names mentioned belong to the 2.5 % "Chosen":

George Bush
Donald Rumsfeld
Hillary Clinton
Michael Ledeen (White, but studied history under *George Mosse, immigrated from Germany)
Reuel Gerecht
Dan Senor

*Richard Perle
*Paul Wolfowitz (The architect of the Afghan-Iraq invasions, who gathered support for them in Congress and organized the pro-war communication)
*Douglas Feith (would have been the Sec. of Defense if people hadn't objected too much, as he was infamous after the Iran-Contra affair)
*Eliot Abrams
*Lewish "Scooter" Libby of the dead eyes
*Robert Kagan
*Frederick Kagan
*Victoria Nuland
*Madeleine Albright (Half a million dead Iraqi children from starvation sanctions and bombing the infrastructure for twelve years was "worth it")

That's six Whites and nine Tribe.

If those nine hadn't existed millions would have been alive today, there would have been no flood of Somalis, Afghans, Iraqis and Syrians to Europe, and the U.S. and the Middle East would have been far better off.

[Jun 15, 2020] In the 20th Century approximately 30 world leaders were assassinated. I bet in most cases those prosecuted for the crime were little more than Oswald-like patsies. And this list doesn't even include government leaders killed in mysterious plane crashes.

Jun 15, 2020 | off-guardian.org

Charlotte Russe Jun 13, 2020 1:21 PM CONTROLLED OPPOSITION

In the 20th Century approximately 30 world leaders were assassinated. I bet in most cases those prosecuted for the crime were little more than Oswald-like patsies. And this list doesn't even include government leaders killed in mysterious plane crashes.

One such political figure was Senator Paul Wellstone who died in a highly suspicious 2002 plane crash. "Wellstone's death comes almost two years to the day after a similar plane crash killed another Democratic Senator locked in a tight election contest, and that was Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan, on October 16, 2000.

Wellstone was in a hotly contested reelection campaign, but polls showed he was beginning to pull ahead of Republican nominee Norm Coleman, the former mayor of St. Paul, in the wake of the vote in the Senate to authorize President Bush to wage war against Iraq.

The liberal Democrat was a well-publicized opponent of the war resolution, the only Senator in a tight race to vote against it. there are enormous financial stakes involved in control of the Senate. Republican control of the Senate would make it possible to push through new tax cuts for the wealthy and other perks for corporate America worth billions of dollars -- more than enough of an incentive to commit murder." The death of US Senator Paul Wellstone: accident or murder?

It would appear, politicians risk being murdered if they "genuinely" go against the grain remaining true to their beliefs and principles by deliberately using their power to jeopardize insidious ruling class lucrative schemes and scams. By the way, this is how you know ALL the nonstop "resistance" against the orange buffoon is just utter bullshit. If Trump was a actually a threat to the military/security/surveillance/corporate state he would have already been JFK'd or Olof Palme'd.

The worldwide gangster ruling class is just like any other criminal organization which regularly eliminates anyone who has the power to alter the status quo. The security state like common mobsters use extortion or murder to get their way. We all know about J Edgar Hooverr and his extortion files. Hoover maintained a special official and confidential file in his office. The "secret files," as they became widely known, guaranteed Hoover's longevity as Director of the FBI. In fact, today those intelligence agency "dirty files" are even more extensive given the sophisticated and heightened nature of surveillance. Funny, that gives the term "controlled opposition" a whole new meaning. Gezzah Potts Jun 13, 2020 1:57 PM Reply to Charlotte Russe You hit the nail on the head Charlotte. If Trump really was a genuine threat, they would've already got rid of him. It's all one giant charade.
A Punch and Judy Show for the masses.
Find it quite startling the divisiveness in the United States, and those that I often come across who fervently believe that Trump or Qanon will save the United States and also lock up Obama, the Clinton's, Soros, etc, etc. What can you say?
While reading your comment, four names popped into my head: Thomas Sankara, Patrice Lumumba, Maurice Bishop and Salvador Allende.
And we know what happened in Chile after Allende's death. It became the test tube guinea pig for Neoliberalism. 6 0 Reply Charlotte Ruse Jun 13, 2020 3:47 PM Reply to Gezzah Potts Yes it's all showbiz ..

[Jun 06, 2020] One crisis too many -- Will the riots be Trump's undoing by Arnon Mishkin

Jun 06, 2020 | www.foxnews.com

But even among those who justified the unrest, there was a sense that it, particularly the video of looting and violence, could result in a sense of "white backlash" and play into President Trump's reelection effort. This is a president who used his inaugural address to promise to fight "American Carnage" and has successfully appealed to "white backlash" throughout his career.

The history of urban unrest – starting with the 1967-68 riots, but extending through 1992 and 2014 – was consistent with the belief that Trump could benefit politically. Indeed, the 1968 riots helped both George Wallace and Richard Nixon run on "law and order" platforms, the 1992 riots arguably helped lead to the 1994 "Super Predators" crime bill, and the 2014 protests clearly, in the end, benefited Trump politically.

Indeed, many assumed that the response would help Trump successfully benefit from the 2020 unrest. Among those was Trump himself, who came out strongly arguing for "law and order" –criticizing governors who were not dealing sufficiently harshly with protesters, sending the U.S. military into Washington, D.C., and suggesting he was going to send them into other cities as well.

But so far, it hasn't worked out politically as some expected. Trump's poll numbers continue to decline – Biden currently leads him by eight points in the RealClearPolitics average

[Jun 02, 2020] Trump vs spring riots

Notable quotes:
"... All this race hatred, discrimination and societal engineering should have been over in the 60s and 70s , but the USG always needs to have an enemy . In fact it pays to have several , ask the Pentagon and the Law Enforcement Agencies, in regards to wages, benefits, kickbacks, cash theft, and pensions , these days. ..."
"... You want the Trump you voted for? You got him. A liar with all the integrity of a corona virus. You indirectly voted for Bibi too. Don't try to claim you didn't know for heavens sake. Kushners and Trumps are openly in Bibi's pocket. It was in plain sight and you voted accordingly. ..."
"... Trump was always a weak coward who believes in nothing, save the ego of Trump. Events have simply caught up to him. If the Republicans stick with this useless coward, not only are they committing suicide as a Party, they are dooming the nation as well. ..."
Jun 02, 2020 | www.unz.com

vot tak , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 9:29 am GMT

Trump hid from protesters in UNDERGROUND BUNKER, claims NYT, triggering #BunkerBoy trend

https://www.rt.com/usa/490358-trump-underground-bunker-hashtag/

"Trump wants to portray himself as a strongman, authoritarian did he really go hide in a bunker from some 20 year old kids? real tough guy"

Actually likud quisling trump is an ideal poster boi for vdare "values".

Truth3 , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 9:33 am GMT
Trump is a narcissistic windbag clown, that lied his way into Bill Clinton's Oral Office.

I know, personally, how evil he is.

Total JooStooge and he deserves nothing less than complete rejection by those he fooled honest law-abiding working Christian Americans.

Good riddance.

Of course Hillary is worse. Of course Biden is worse.

But until real Americans finally realize that we can't wait for a saviour, but have to save ourselves, Trump and his kind will continue to drag us deeper into the bog of Joogoo.

GMC , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 9:37 am GMT
All this race hatred, discrimination and societal engineering should have been over in the 60s and 70s , but the USG always needs to have an enemy . In fact it pays to have several , ask the Pentagon and the Law Enforcement Agencies, in regards to wages, benefits, kickbacks, cash theft, and pensions , these days.

But the Owners knew, that keeping the populace fighting, is like money in the Banks { literally } so those folks breaking through for Peace in the 60s, had to be silenced, bought off, run off or assassinated. It's been one evil social game after another – and its more visible today , than it was 50 yrs ago- I won't get started on what or who put the nail in the coffin, with the 1965 Open, Unlimited, Unvetted Immigration changes.

Emily , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 10:14 am GMT
You want the Trump you voted for? You got him. A liar with all the integrity of a corona virus. You indirectly voted for Bibi too. Don't try to claim you didn't know for heavens sake. Kushners and Trumps are openly in Bibi's pocket. It was in plain sight and you voted accordingly.

Where were all these voters weeping into their coffee when the primaries were held?. The best choice was Rand Paul – got nowhere – as all these now weeping cupcakes voted for Trump – a man with such an appalling record of honesty and integrity and an insult to any decent person.

You voted for Trump. And have voted for Hillary for years too. Probably the worlds biggest financial criminal and a war criminal without parallel even by US standards.. You also voted for Bush one and two. Obama twice. And one of the most corrupt and hideous candidates – Bill Clinton also Twice. And you imposed this roll of lies and dishonour onto the entire planet.

No wonder America and its people are being seen as depraved and stupid, lacking in simple understanding of international law and any decency and honour.
And now all set to vote for Biden are you? A rapist and vilely corrupt, outstandingly so in a bed of of corruption misnamed Washington.

Emily , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 10:25 am GMT
@ebear

So you will vote for a man who has so far refused to arrest and put on trial the group of men and women who would appear to be guilty of sedition and treason against your country?

Wow!. Traitors going to walk – so it seems.. Vote for a man so devoid of respect for America, its people, its rule of law and its constitution. A band of absolute traitors to the state – laughing..

The day you see indictments of Comey, Brennan, McCabe and the rest of the nest of vipers – then consider your vote – but to vote for a man who refuses – so far and its now years – to take action against those guilty of trying to overthrow the governance of the United States – is not a man fit for the office of President. You need an outstanding third party candidate and the brains to vote for them

Dream on. Biden ot Trump – are you mad or just brainwashed psychos. Its makes Xi look good.

theMann , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 10:29 am GMT

Trump was always a weak coward who believes in nothing, save the ego of Trump. Events have simply caught up to him. If the Republicans stick with this useless coward, not only are they committing suicide as a Party, they are dooming the nation as well.

Anonymous [661] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 10:53 am GMT
The current situation is nothing new. In '92 Mayor Bradley publicly announced no police would intervene in the LA riots because it was too dangerous–thereby guaranteeing widespread arson and looting. Same thing in Baltimore a few years ago, it's okay 'we just need to let the rioters blow off some steam'.

And why wasn't Antifa declared a terrorist organization three years ago? Why did they get a free pass all this time?

I guess nothing will happen until Netanyahu picks up the phone and tells Trump what to do.

Emslander , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 11:38 am GMT
@Herald Don't believe for a second that Joe Biden is being helped by any of this. Trump is a weak blowhard, but naming Antifa a terrorist organization will be very important over the next three months.

Trump will win, but it'll be a vapid and lukewarm next four years of him trying to develop a "legacy" of sweetness and liberality. Someone will come along, then, who will make him look like a pussy.

Realist , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 11:49 am GMT
@Really No Shit

Trump has one weakness that he can't overcome even if his life depended on it. the love of money which is the driving force behind his decisions and not the jingoistic hogwash about the love for America!

That weakness is one that is shared by those that rule this country. It is called avarice avarice for wealth and power. Trump is a minion of the Deep State. Today in spite of all the shit the stock is up in pre market trading. If the market were valued realistically it would have been down at least 30% from here before the recent bullshit.

Manfred Arcane , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 12:06 pm GMT
@Anonymous Kirkpatrick was declaring Trump in freefall, a fool who abandoned his early promises, etc., as early as the 2016 Wisconsin primary. He has been writing variations on this theme for four years, and I don't know why anyone takes him seriously. Do I want Trump to declare martial law, round up every last BLM and Antifa member, and start telling everyone that Floyd got what was coming to him? Of course. Do I expect him to do it? Of course not. A lot of people don't seem able to understand that Trump is not playing to us, or to the blacks, when he tries to take the middle road when dealing with situations like this; he's playing to the enormous amount of middle-class suburban Boomers and Evangelicals out there, who unfortunately he can't get elected without, and who will never be willing to accept the truth about vibrancy and its effects. To them, black folks are still sacred objects, and they will freak out in large numbers if the President starts mouthing "white nationalist" rhetoric and having "protesters" gunned down in the streets. I love Trump and appreciate what he's been able to do, but he can't save people who aren't willing to be saved–and since that includes a majority of the "conservative" citizens, America is ultimately unsalvageable, regardless of what Trump does or doesn't do.
Norman , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 4:08 pm GMT
@NDarwish No, you have it backwards. WE never gave up on Trump. Trump gave up on US. Filling the white house with the Tel Aviv mafia.

[Jun 02, 2020] Where Have You Gone, Donald Trump A Nation Turns Its Yearning Eyes To You by James Kirkpatrick

This riots in no way represent a danger to Trump other then in PR. They have zero organization and most rioters soon iether be arrested or gone home. In a way "Occupy Wall Street" was a more dangerous for the elite movement. This is just a nuisance.
As for elections on one side Trump again demonstrated upper incompetence and inability to act with some nuance, on t he other it discredited Democrats identity politics.
Notable quotes:
"... Live Updates, George Floyd Protests Continue ..."
"... Twitter changed its profile to honor Black Lives Matter amid George Floyd protests ..."
"... Business Insider, ..."
"... Looter shot dead by pawn shop owner,' during George Floyd riots ..."
"... Family identifies federal officer shot, killed in connection with George Floyd protest in Oakland ..."
"... Woman Found Dead Inside Car In North Minneapolis Amid 2 nd Of Looting ..."
"... , Fires, CBS Minnesota, ..."
"... Separate shootings leave 3 dead in Indianapolis overnight ..."
"... Attorney General William P. Barr's Statement on Riots and Domestic Terrorism ..."
"... , Department of Justice, ..."
"... Tim Walz Blames Riots On 'Outsiders,' Cartels And White Supremacists -- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Joy Reid Join in ..."
"... St. Paul police rebut social media theory that officer instigated Minneapolis unrest ..."
"... Right-Wing Conspiracists Pull From Old Playbook: Blame George Soros For Riots ..."
"... LA appeals for National Guard as looting spreads, ..."
"... George Floyd's brother says Trump 'kept pushing me off' during call ..."
"... Advantage Biden, with risks; Trump disapproval grows: POLL ..."
"... Bush Wins Points for Speech on L.A. Riots ..."
"... The Christian Science Monitor, ..."
"... When trump spoke at AIPAC before the 2016 election, I already wrote him off. I was 1000% on the money. ..."
"... Trump was always the Pied Piper, following Hillary's orders while leading foolish populists off the cliff. If you're still expecting anything else from him, you're deluded. ..."
"... A true opponent of Deepstate would have spent the first month firing and jailing thousands of bureaucrats. Trump didn't fire anyone at all. ..."
"... Trump is finished. Unfortunately, his opponents are just as corrupt and criminal. ..."
"... I see a lot of whites among the protesters. How much of that is anger over Floyd and how much is pent up rage over the senseless lockdowns I cant say. ..."
"... As in 2016, people will again vote Trump as a giant FU to the Left, which they'll perceive as having caused, if not instigated this crisis. Disaffected Trump supporters who might not have bothered this time, are rethinking that as we speak. At this point, a Trump landslide is a very real possibility. ..."
"... the unholy and fragile Democrat alliance that includes white-hating blacks, left-indoctrinated students, hysterical femmes, radical queers, antifa terrorists, disaffected POC, and white 'moderates' constitutes an arranged political marriage that will not endure ..."
"... On the other hand, Trump now gets to advocate for political stability, cultural continuity, and even physical safety. The unhinged, far-too-left looters now seen on TV are actually a Godsend for Trump. Watch him amass most of what's left of America's silent (white, middle class) majority on election-day. Regular folks will reemerge as a unified block in the wake of these despicable acts of lawlessness and greed. ..."
"... It would take more then a department store and a police precinct to make a point: "We want leadership, not profiteering", "Bust the bulb" add focus. Corporate headquarters, gated communities, the White House, Capitol Hill, Millionaire communities, airports, bridges, paralysing the hardware farms of Google, Facebook and Twitter, spreading to cities as London, Amsterdam, Paris, great opportunities there. "No borders, no castles". Disruption is a start and a means to an end. Explaining comes later. Only going that direction would cause any effects that last. ..."
May 31, 2020 | www.unz.com

President Donald Trump ran on a Law And Order platform in 2016 but he's currently presiding over the most widespread civil disorder of this generation. The obvious reality: these riots are simply an excuse for blacks to loot without fear of punishment. Without an immediate policy of ruthless coercion directed and executed by the federal government, most Americans will correctly assume that Trump is unwilling or incapable of defending their lives and property. If so, his re-election campaign is probably finished -- and America along with it.

Link Bookmark It's hard to overstate the extent of the violence, with riots, arson and looting in Scottsdale, Dallas, New York , Ferguson, St. Louis, Richmond and countless other cities [ Live Updates, George Floyd Protests Continue , by Tony Lee, Breitbart, May 30, 2020]. In Minneapolis, where the riots began, Mayor Jacob Frey blamed riots on " white supremacists ," an insane conspiracy theory which went completely unchecked by Twitter's "fact checkers." Twitter itself, showing utter contempt for President Trump's executive order alleging political bias, changed its profile to show solidarity with Black Lives Matter [ Twitter changed its profile to honor Black Lives Matter amid George Floyd protests , by Ellen Cranley, Business Insider, May 31, 2020].

President Trump had previously tweeted that " when the looting starts, the shooting starts " (a tweet censored by Twitter). However, while Minneapolis police were unable to prevent their own precinct headquarters from being burned down , they did have the time to arrest a man for allegedly shooting looters near his business [ ' Looter shot dead by pawn shop owner,' during George Floyd riots , by James Hockaday, Metro, May 28, 2020]. Unless President Trump demands pardons for all those who will be in a similar situation, such anarcho-tyranny will continue.

There have already been deaths, few of which attracted much attendance from the Narrative-promoting Main Stream Media . These include:

Federal Protective Service officer Dave Underwood, a black man whose life doesn't Matter to Black Lives Matter [ Family identifies federal officer shot, killed in connection with George Floyd protest in Oakland , by Dan Noyes and Lauren Martinez, ABC News, May 31, 2020]. A woman found dead in Milwaukee "trauma visible" on her body; some reports on social media suggest she was kidnapped before being murdered [ Woman Found Dead Inside Car In North Minneapolis Amid 2 nd Of Looting , Fires, CBS Minnesota, May 29, 2020] Three dead in Indianapolis, another city which has been ravaged by recent anti-police protests; none of the shootings involved police officers [ Separate shootings leave 3 dead in Indianapolis overnight , WISHTV8, May 31, 2020].

There were also countless beatings, including of a man holding an American flag in Portland and another who tried to help him , a man who allegedly tried to defend his business with a sword , and people at a shop in broad daylight .

It is useless to try to find all the examples, they are incalculable, as is the number of businesses destroyed or the amount of property damage.

President Trump said Sunday morning the government would declare Antifa a terrorist organization. Attorney General William Barr said violence "instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly" [ Attorney General William P. Barr's Statement on Riots and Domestic Terrorism , Department of Justice, May 31, 2020].

We'll know that this is serious if these Leftist networks, which raise money and operate openly, are arrested using the RICO statutes and other prosecutorial tools.

I have my doubts but also my hopes.

It is truly amazing is that Leftists have decided to believe that the rioting is being carried out by whites, or at least is directed by whites. Leftists, not just in Minnesota, think " white supremacists " are to blame [ Tim Walz Blames Riots On 'Outsiders,' Cartels And White Supremacists -- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Joy Reid Join in , by Virginia Kruta, Daily Caller, May 30, 2020]. Others think the police are instigating the violence with undercover officers [ St. Paul police rebut social media theory that officer instigated Minneapolis unrest , by John Shipley, Pioneer Press, May 29, 2020].

It's important to note that Leftists actually believe this. They believed in the Russia Hoax, didn't they?

Meanwhile, President Trump and conservatives' focus on white "Antifa" or George Soros makes a similar mistake [ Right-Wing Conspiracists Pull From Old Playbook: Blame George Soros For Riots , by Sergei Klebnikov, Forbes, May 30, 2020]. Much of this violence is simply blacks robbing and looting because they can , not because there is any political end beyond a vague fury at police and whites generally.

President Trump has avoided addressing the nation, reportedly because First Son-In-Law Jared Kushner thinks it will make things worse [ LA appeals for National Guard as looting spreads, by Ella Torres, William Mansell, and Christina Carrega, ABC News, May 31, 2020]. But, as with his handling of the coronavirus, Trump is suffering politically not because he is being too forceful, but because he is being too weak.

Trump called George Floyd's family, but the family is condemning him for it, not praising his compassion [ George Floyd's brother says Trump 'kept pushing me off' during call , by Martin Pengelly, The Guardian, May 31, 2020]. He now heavily trails Joe Biden in the polls and is once again falling into his signature trap: saying tough things that infuriate Leftists without backing up his words with action that rallies the Right [ Advantage Biden, with risks; Trump disapproval grows: POLL , by Gary Langer, ABC News, May 31, 2020].

During the Los Angeles Riots, even President George H.W. Bush eventually sent in the Marines and then addressed the nation, simultaneously displaying leadership and paternal concern for the American people [ Bush Wins Points for Speech on L.A. Riots , by Linda Feldmann, The Christian Science Monitor, May 4, 1992].

https://www.youtube.com/embed/KD_3NOIEk-0?feature=oembed

President Trump thus far is limited to vague tweets about "STRENGTH!' without much tangible proof of it.

Even worse, in the case of this "STRENGTH" tweet, Twitter once again instantly suspended the account of the person President Trump quote-tweeted.

The company knows the White House won't do anything. This situation is becoming increasingly humiliating not just for the president, but for his supporters.

During the 2016 campaign, Trump seemed to have remarkable luck, with extraordinary events breaking in his favor. In the run-up to this election, he hasn't had great luck, but he has had a series of crises that any competent nationalist politician could have easily exploited:

He had a foreign pandemic and huge public support for enacting at least a temporary immigration moratorium or more creative economic populist policies . Instead, he disastrously tried to downplay the pandemic to try to appease the stock market in the short term. He has Twitter revealing its bias to the entire world, giving him a sure-fire rationale for protecting the free speech of his supporters. This would dramatically ease his task of fighting the Main Stream Media/ Democrat cartel during the re-election campaign. However, the president has done nothing substantive, once again coming off as weak and feckless and leaving his supporters isolated. Now, he has nationwide riots and videos of businesses being burned to the ground, all being essentially cheered on by his MSM/Dem opponents. America is begging for a crackdown. Instead, President Trump is blaming Democratic state and local elected officials rather than taking action himself.

President Trump simply can't afford any more mistakes. America is burning. The nationalist that voters thought they were electing in 2016 needs to act.

If he doesn't, he can't be surprised if Leftists simply become more emboldened, and if demoralized patriots stay away from the polls.

This is President Trump's one last chance not to let his voters down. If he blows it, I think the 2020 campaign will be irredeemable -- and unlike Republicans, Democrats will have no problem in using government power to crush their political enemies once they are in the White House again.

James Kirkpatrick [ Email him |Tweet him @VDAREJamesK ] is a Beltway veteran and a refugee from Conservatism Inc. His latest book is Conservatism Inc.: The Battle for the American Right . Read VDARE.com Editor Peter Brimelow 's Preface here .


Anon [333] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 4:40 am GMT

Why doesn't Trump realize Jared is a viper at the heart of his family and administration? He absolutely needs to address the nation. Jared might be setting up another style of coup attempt.
Astuteobservor II , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 4:43 am GMT
When trump spoke at AIPAC before the 2016 election, I already wrote him off. I was 1000% on the money.
polistra , says: Website Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 4:44 am GMT
You're four years late. Trump was always the Pied Piper, following Hillary's orders while leading foolish populists off the cliff. If you're still expecting anything else from him, you're deluded.

There's one small point of forgiveness for fools. Obama showed his Deepstate loyalty BEFORE the 2008 election, so there was no reason for any honest observer to vote for him. Trump didn't show his hand until just AFTER the 2016 election. After the first week it was amply clear that he had no intentions of "draining the swamp". A true opponent of Deepstate would have spent the first month firing and jailing thousands of bureaucrats. Trump didn't fire anyone at all.

Uncle J , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 4:44 am GMT
Another white supremacist trash piece. You guys never learn. Trump is finished. Unfortunately, his opponents are just as corrupt and criminal. This country is doomed and it will not be able to redeem itself, and deserves what's coming to it. Especially, not with the moronic and insensitive example of articles, authors and a blind culture that is portrayed above.
Pft , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 5:17 am GMT
I see a lot of whites among the protesters. How much of that is anger over Floyd and how much is pent up rage over the senseless lockdowns I cant say.

If you look back to last year Barr developed his precrime program, Trump pushed HARPA/SAFE HOME, bills for Domestic Terrorism were proposed, FBI issues memo that conspiracy theories (question official narratives) promote terrorism , etc. This all happening while Crimson Contagion exercises, Urban Outbreak Exercises and Event 201 simulation are happening. Coincidence?

The Rockefeller Lockstep Report in 2010 predicted pushback

After Lockdowns over the virus , conditions were ripe for an explosion that would allow the pre-crime/domestic terrorism agendas to get political support. Just needed a trigger and I think the Floyd killing was an operation intended to be that trigger. Push back begins. The protests gone violent with a convenient supply of bricks may be due to agent provocateurs. Contract tracing apps issued before the protests will certainly be put to good use. Contract tracers will be given another job.

Trump now declares antifa a Terrorist Group. Basically anyone opposed to fascism and authoritarianism can be suspected of being antifa and a terrorist. How convenient for fascists and authoritarians.

Trapped on Clown World , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 5:20 am GMT
At this point people have to be considering the fact that Trump is more of a hindrance than a help. He appears to be nothing more than a lullaby used to put his supporters to sleep, secure in their delusions that they have a viable political future as long as they vote hard enough.

If it takes a president Stacy Abrams to wake them up, then why not now? In the extremely unlikely event that Trump pulls off another victory, what will be the purpose? He's clearly demonstrated that he is incapable of any action beyond nominating a SC justice and tweeting. 4 more years of having to listen to delusional MAGA people is too much to stomach for no payoff.

I'd rather have an obese gap toothed woman of color ordering the construction of all POC settlements in white neighboorhoods. Maybe then the MAGA folks would wake up. Of course it's more likely that they would start cheering Marco Rubio by claiming that he only wants to build 10 apartments per un-diverse town instead of 30.

I have America fatigue.

ebear , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 6:16 am GMT
I'll preface this with I'm no fan of Donald Trump.

That said, I believe the soon-to-be-wrath of the people will fall mainly on state governors and city mayors rather than on Trump. Polls mean nothing these days. 2016 proved that one. What's right in front of many people today is that they've not only lost wages to CV-19, but now, just as they're gearing up to return, their workplace is gone -- either burned down, or indefinitely closed due to the riots and related damage to public infrastructure.

Meanwhile in flyover country, people look on in horror at what, rightly or wrongly, is associated in their minds with BLM and ANTIFA. That is to say The Left. Cartoonish, yes, but that's what they see.

As in 2016, people will again vote Trump as a giant FU to the Left, which they'll perceive as having caused, if not instigated this crisis. Disaffected Trump supporters who might not have bothered this time, are rethinking that as we speak. At this point, a Trump landslide is a very real possibility.

This is not the outcome I want -- that doesn't actually exist at this time -- but FWIW, it's the way I see it playing out. I know history doesn't always repeat, but this looks a lot like 1968 to me.

Franz , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 7:29 am GMT
@Meena

Trump is hiding in a bunker . Hope he stays there for good.

Yes. It's why some of us stayed home in 2016. A choice between Hillary, a lifelong flake, and yet another third-rate actor. Did everyone forget that the other third-rate actor, Reagan, gave the country away?

It's fitting for Trump to tweet and hide. He has successfully updated hit and run.

green , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 7:43 am GMT
Welcome back, James Kirkpatrick! Trump has disappointed, and he may be down in the polls, but he's not out.

This Mau Mau power grab (and the media's role in promoting it) is actually winning votes for Trump. The President represents the rule of law. Civilization. This is a winning ticket. And people are fed up with all the slick media favoritism. It's toxic.

Meanwhile, the unholy and fragile Democrat alliance that includes white-hating blacks, left-indoctrinated students, hysterical femmes, radical queers, antifa terrorists, disaffected POC, and white 'moderates' constitutes an arranged political marriage that will not endure . Most of these assorted malcontents have only one thing that unites them: hatred of Trump and his base. This is not a winning platform. Plus, sleepy Joe will have to repudiate all this liberal violence and looting if he's to maintain his (allegedly) leading position in the polls. BLM may not like this, nor will the uber-progressive wing of the Democrat party. Expect fireworks.

On the other hand, Trump now gets to advocate for political stability, cultural continuity, and even physical safety. The unhinged, far-too-left looters now seen on TV are actually a Godsend for Trump. Watch him amass most of what's left of America's silent (white, middle class) majority on election-day. Regular folks will reemerge as a unified block in the wake of these despicable acts of lawlessness and greed.

After Trump chews up sleepy Joe in the debates, watch this race flip into a Trump landslide. It happened for Nixon. Maybe then, Trump the two-term President will revisit the agenda that got him elected as a candidate in 2016. This final scenario might not be likely, but stranger things have happened.

Carlos22 , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 7:45 am GMT
So what's the difference between this and the Rodney King riots?

They'll blow off some steam and will return back to their shitty little lives by the end of the week.

Commentator Mike , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 7:57 am GMT
@Pft Even all this arson may be of benefit the business community. Weren't we reading endless comments how the lockdown has badly affected small businesses, many of which would go bankrupt due to lack of customers? Perhaps the best thing for them is to get burnt down so they can claim the insurance as many of them would probably have had to close shop anyway.
nietzsche1510 , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 8:00 am GMT
@Anon show me one single pick of his admin. who ended up beneficial for him or his reelection: Jared is the personification of Netanyahu in the White House: clusterfuck nation will be his signature at the court of History.
anon [113] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 8:03 am GMT
@Pinche Perro This is the same guy who sat back and did nothing as Covid-19 approached American shores. You think he cares about you now?

Trump allegedly asked Fauci if officials could let coronavirus 'wash over' US

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/492390-wapo-trump-allegedly-asked-fauci-if-officials-could-let-coronavirus

nietzsche1510 , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 8:12 am GMT
Minnesota is diverting the looming class war to racial rioting.
PetrOldSack , says: Show Comment June 1, 2020 at 8:54 am GMT

Where Have You Gone, Donald Trump? A Nation Turns Its Yearning Eyes to You
James Kirkpatrick • May 31, 2020

Out of context, the whole of the elites bulb is irrecoverable. The "bend" to turn it into politics, is going to be little of a patch, won´t last the next round.

The "ramble" in the streets is way exaggerated, nothing will come of it if all semi-organized groups that have ambitions do not add to the noise, and get some pertinent rusults: bargaining power. It is a dream opportunity to "vote" with one´s feet. Real disorder cannot be worse, when the asserted elites are morally corrupt and have no ethics.

It would take more then a department store and a police precinct to make a point: "We want leadership, not profiteering", "Bust the bulb" add focus. Corporate headquarters, gated communities, the White House, Capitol Hill, Millionaire communities, airports, bridges, paralysing the hardware farms of Google, Facebook and Twitter, spreading to cities as London, Amsterdam, Paris, great opportunities there. "No borders, no castles". Disruption is a start and a means to an end. Explaining comes later. Only going that direction would cause any effects that last.

These are few things that come to mind. When historically, "real" leaders can have a chance to re-assert and reorganize, effectively stump out the "rot at the top", there must be some serious rioting first.

There is not much of an alternative, and outside the US forces, Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, people up to dumps as Bangladesh, Libya, will gladly stomp the US obese backside.

These above are thoughts that come to mind, regarding a minor overblown bush-fire for now. The thing is a fizzle.

[May 28, 2020] U.S. Declares a Vaccine War on the World

Notable quotes:
"... The failure of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) against COVID-19, with nearly four times the annual budget of the WHO, is visible to the world. The CDC failed to provide a successful test for SARS-CoV-2 in the critical months of February and March , while ignoring the WHO's successful test kits that were distributed to 120 countries. ..."
"... Trump has yet to hold his administration and the CDC responsible for this criminal bungling. This, more than any other failure , is the reason that the U.S. numbers for COVID-19 are now more than 1.5 million and about a third of all global infections. Contrast this with China, the first to face an unknown epidemic, stopping it at 82,000 infections, and the amazing results that countries such as Vietnam and South Korea have produced. ..."
"... Taiwan was the first to inform the WHO of human-to-human transmissions in December, but was completely ignored. ..."
"... "Just how evil does this situation become? Is the general leadership of the American political economy trying to be evil just for the fun of it?" ..."
"... And at what point does the general indifference to this state of affairs that still, incredibly, obtains, turn over into mass outrage and condemnation? Skrelli, Bayer, and all the rest are frelling evil. Extortion writ large, with easily preventable death and suffering. ..."
"... As you note it's about profits. One of the disturbing condemnations of the now fading American Century, which most USians remain contentedly oblivious to is that during their watch as global hegemon, the US, in what can be seen, in the best light, as bad faith, worked to undermine the democratic functionality of international cooperative organizations like the WHO, the UN, etc. ..."
"... The intention of granting copyrights and patents was noble, to provide a limited monopoly on an invention or literary work for a limited period. IP has been distorted and twisted, extended to insane time limits to protect works that for any common sense thinkers have already become public domain (see, e.g. the Happy Birthday song, Mickey Mouse or re-formulation of a drug that's gone out of patent). Software should have had its own IP regime but that ship has sailed (thanks Bill G.). ..."
May 28, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Donald Trump launched a new vaccine war in May, but not against the virus. It was against the world. The United States and the UK were the only two holdouts in the World Health Assembly from the declaration that vaccines and medicines for COVID-19 should be available as public goods , and not under exclusive patent rights. The United States explicitly disassociated itself from the patent pool call, talking instead of "the critical role that intellectual property plays" -- in other words, patents for vaccines and medicines. Having badly botched his COVID-19 response, Trump is trying to redeem his electoral fortunes in the November elections this year by promising an early vaccine. The 2020 version of Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan is shaping up to be, essentially, " vaccines for us" -- but the rest of the world will have to queue up and pay what big pharma asks, as they will hold the patents.

In contrast, all other countries agreed with the Costa Rican proposal in the World Health Assembly that there should be a patent pool for all COVID-19 vaccines and medicines. President Xi said that Chinese vaccines would be available as a public good , a view also shared by European Union leaders . Among the 10 candidate vaccines in Phase 1 and 2 of clinical trials, the Chinese have five, the United States has three, and the UK and Germany have one each.

Trump has given an ultimatum to the World Health Organization (WHO) with a permanent withdrawal of funds if it does not mend its ways in 30 days. In sharp contrast, in the World Health Assembly (the highest decision-making body of the WHO), almost all countries, including close allies of the United States, rallied behind the WHO. The failure of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) against COVID-19, with nearly four times the annual budget of the WHO, is visible to the world. The CDC failed to provide a successful test for SARS-CoV-2 in the critical months of February and March , while ignoring the WHO's successful test kits that were distributed to 120 countries.

Trump has yet to hold his administration and the CDC responsible for this criminal bungling. This, more than any other failure , is the reason that the U.S. numbers for COVID-19 are now more than 1.5 million and about a third of all global infections. Contrast this with China, the first to face an unknown epidemic, stopping it at 82,000 infections, and the amazing results that countries such as Vietnam and South Korea have produced.

One issue is now looming large over the COVID-19 pandemic. If we do not address the intellectual property rights issue in this pandemic, we are likely to see a repeat of the AIDS tragedy . People died for 10 years (1994-2004) as patented AIDS medicine was priced at $10,000 to $15,000 for a year's supply, far beyond their reach. Finally, patent laws in India allowed people to get AIDS medicine at less than a dollar a day , or $350 for a year's supply. Today, 80 percent of the world's AIDS medicine comes from India. For big pharma, profits trumped lives, and they will continue to do so, COVID or no COVID, unless we change the world.

Most countries have compulsory licensing provisions that will allow them to break patents in case of epidemics or health emergencies. Even the WTO, after a bitter fight, accepted in its Doha Declaration (2001) that countries, in a health emergency, have the right to allow any company to manufacture a patented drug without the patent holder's permission, and even import it from other countries.

Why is it, then, that countries are unable to break patents, even if there are provisions in their laws and in the TRIPS Agreement? The answer is their fear of U.S. sanctions against them. Every year, the U.S. Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) issues a Special 301 Report that it has used to threaten trade sanctions against any country that tries to compulsorily license any patented product. India figures prominently in this report year after year, for daring to issue a compulsory license in 2012 to Natco for nexavar, a cancer drug Bayer was selling for more than $65,000 a year . Marijn Dekkers, the CEO of Bayer, was quoted widely that this was "theft," and "We did not develop this medicine for Indians We developed it for Western patients who can afford it."

This leaves unanswered how many people even in the affluent West can afford a $65,000 bill for an illness. But there is no question that a bill of this magnitude is a death sentence for anybody but the super-rich in countries like India. Though a number of other drugs were under also consideration for compulsory licensing at that time, India has not exercised this provision again after receiving U.S. threats.

It is the fear that countries can break patents using their compulsory licensing powers that led to proposals for patent pooling. The argument was that since many of these diseases do not affect rich countries, big pharma should either let go of their patents to such patent pools, or philanthropic capital should fund the development of new drugs for this pool. Facing the pandemic of COVID-19, it is this idea of patent pooling that emerged in the recent World Health Assembly , WHA-73. All countries supported this proposal, barring the United States and its loyal camp follower, the UK . The United States also entered its disagreement on the final WHA resolution, being the lone objector to patent pooling of COVID-19 medicines and vaccines, noting "the critical role that intellectual property plays in incentivizing the development of new and improved health products."

While patent pooling is welcome if no other measure is available, it also makes it appear as if countries have no other recourse apart from the charity of big capital. What this hides, as charity always does, is that people and countries have legitimate rights even under TRIPS to break patents under conditions of an epidemic or a health emergency.

The United States, which screams murder if a compulsory license is issued by any country, has no such compunction when its own interests are threatened. During the anthrax scare in 2001, the U.S. Secretary of Health issued a threat to Bayer under "eminent domain for patents" for licensing the anthrax-treatment drug ciprofloxacin to other manufacturers. Bayer folded, and agreed to supply the quantity at a price that the U.S. government had set. And without a whimper. Yes, this is the same Bayer that considers India as a "thief" for issuing a compulsory license!

The vaccination for COVID-19 might need to be repeated each year, as we still do not know the duration of its protection. It is unlikely that a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 will provide a lifetime immunity like the smallpox vaccine. Unlike AIDS, where the patient numbers were smaller and were unfortunately stigmatized in different ways, COVID-19 is a visible threat for everyone. Any attempt to hold people and governments to ransom on COVID-19 vaccines or medicines could see the collapse of the entire patent edifice of TRIPS that big pharma backed by the United States and major EU countries have built. That is why the more clever in the capitalist world have moved toward a voluntary patent pool for potential COVID-19 medicines and vaccines. A voluntary patent pool means that companies or institutions holding patents on medicines -- such as remdesivir -- or vaccines would voluntarily hand them over to such a pool. The terms and conditions of such a handover, meaning at concessional rates, or for only for certain regions, are still not clear -- leading to criticism that a voluntary patent pool is not a substitute for declaring that all such medicines and vaccines should be declared global public goods during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unlike clever capital, Trump's response to the COVID-19 vaccine is to thuggishly bully his way through. He believes that with the unlimited money that the United States is now willing to put into the vaccine efforts, it will either beat everybody else to the winning post, or buy the company that is successful . If this strategy succeeds, he can then use "his" COVID-19 vaccine as a new instrument of global power. It is the United States that will then decide which countries get the vaccine (and for how much), and which ones don't.

Trump does not believe in a rule-based global order , even if the rules are biased in favor of the rich. He is walking out of various arms control agreements and has crippled the WTO . He believes that the United States, as the biggest economy and the most powerful military power , should have the untrammeled right to dictate to all countries. Threats of bombing and invasions can be combined with illegal unilateral sanctions ; and the latest weapon in his imaginary arsenal is withholding vaccines.

Trump's little problem is that the days of the United States being a sole global hegemon passed decades ago. The United States has shown itself as a fumbling giant and its epidemic response shambolic . It has been unable to provide virus tests to its people in time, and failed to stop the epidemic through containment/mitigation measures, which a number of other countries have done.

China and the EU have already agreed that any vaccine developed by them will be regarded as a public good. Even without that, once a medicine or a vaccine is known to be successful, any country with a reasonable scientific infrastructure can replicate the medicine or the vaccine, and manufacture it locally. India in particular has one of the largest generic drug and vaccine manufacturing capacities in the world. What prevents India, or any country for that matter, from manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines or drugs once they are developed -- only the empty threat of a failed hegemon on breaking patents?


Noel Nospamington , May 28, 2020 at 4:19 am

Clearly the Trump and Johnson administrations are completely wrong in not supporting that all COVID vaccines and medications be declared as public goods. This is an unprecedented global threat requiring unprecedented global response.

But as a Canadian I have to reluctantly admit, there are legimate reasons to oppose the WHO. Trump like a broken clock can be correct twice a day, even if he is wrong the other 1438 times a day.

The worst offence is that the WHO (World Health Organisation) is suppose to represent the world, and yet it deliberately excludes Taiwan, which it a known part of the world with 24 million people.

Taiwan was the first to inform the WHO of human-to-human transmissions in December, but was completely ignored. And Taiwan has best handled its response to the pandemic.

Personally I think that all countries should stop supporting the WHO until it restores Taiwan's observer status it previous had until 2016. The only other reasonable option would be to create an alternative health organisation to the WHO which does not exclude any part of the world.

The WHO also has other failings, including corruption, exorbitant travel expenses, and an unqualified president beholden to the CCP. But these failings pale in comparison to Taiwan's exclusion, and hopefully the other failings can be fixed within the organisation.

Amfortas the hippie , May 28, 2020 at 7:49 am

"Just how evil does this situation become? Is the general leadership of the American political economy trying to be evil just for the fun of it?"

And at what point does the general indifference to this state of affairs that still, incredibly, obtains, turn over into mass outrage and condemnation?
Skrelli, Bayer, and all the rest are frelling evil. Extortion writ large, with easily preventable death and suffering.

it did NOT begin with trump.It's been there for most of my life. What will it take for ordinary people to get mad enough about it all to do something about it?

Even in this article, the unspoken assumption is that our hands are somehow tied that these corps have agency far beyond anyone else's but those corps can be seized, and exist only at the pleasure of governments in the places they pretend to exist in.

They are a human creation an Egregore, set tottering about as if it were willful and alive but even Lefties treat them as untouchable godlike entities "oh, well lets appeal to "Benevolent Capital, instead "

"Behold, I show you the last man. 'What is love? What is creation? What is longing? What is a star?' thus asks the last man, and blinks. The earth has become small, and on it hops the last man, who makes everything small. His race is as ineradicable as the flea; the last man lives longest. 'We have invented happiness,'say the last men, and they blink. They have left the regions where it was hard to live, for one needs warmth. One still loves one's neighbor and rubs against him, for one needs warmth

One still works, for work is a form of entertainment. But one is careful lest the entertainment be too harrowing. One no longer becomes poor or rich: both require too much exertion. Who still wants to rule? Who obey? Both require too much exertion.

No shepherd and one herd! Everybody wants the same, everybody is the same: whoever feels different goes voluntarily into a madhouse. 'Formerly, all the world was mad,' say the most refined, and they blink

One has one's little pleasure for the day and one's little pleasure for the night: but one has a regard for health. 'We have invented happiness,' say the last men, and they blink.""

-Zarathustra

mpalomar , May 28, 2020 at 8:50 am

As you note it's about profits. One of the disturbing condemnations of the now fading American Century, which most USians remain contentedly oblivious to is that during their watch as global hegemon, the US, in what can be seen, in the best light, as bad faith, worked to undermine the democratic functionality of international cooperative organizations like the WHO, the UN, etc.

Thus when emergencies arise such as international diplomatic crisis or pandemics, it is found these organisations have been rendered untrustworthy, corrupted and unreliable; unsuited to purpose. American exceptionalism?

VietnamVet , May 28, 2020 at 5:55 am

It is clear now that the USA will not fund a national public health system to fight the coronavirus epidemic. The only conclusion is the reason is to allow Pharmaceutical Corporations to make huge profits by marketing patented drugs and vaccines to treat the illness; if and when, they become available sometime in the future.

Due to incompetence, lack of money and bad messengering; the economic reopening of the USA could kill close to a million Americans. To Republicans and Libertarians, this is of no concern. Democrats may acknowledge the deaths but say they are unavoidable.

For the Elite keeping their wealth is more important than spending a portion to prevent the huge costs in lives and treasure that will come once the Wuhan Coronavirus is established across North America like the related common cold.

Alternate Delegate , May 28, 2020 at 6:32 am

This is a teachable moment on the immorality of all "intellectual property". I am pleased to see that so many countries – other than the US and the UK – can get together on the common decency of allowing everyone to live, and set that above the "justice" of paying off intellectual property assignees. But these countries still have some ways to go in understanding that this applies to all information. That the creation of information can never be a living – in contrast to a living based on the creation of essential goods and services, about which we are learning so much right now! – and that information can never be owned.

They do not yet fully comprehend that all claims to own and extract rent from information are in fact crimes against humanity.

But they will. A teachable, as I said, moment.

Bugs Bunny , May 28, 2020 at 7:05 am

The intention of granting copyrights and patents was noble, to provide a limited monopoly on an invention or literary work for a limited period. IP has been distorted and twisted, extended to insane time limits to protect works that for any common sense thinkers have already become public domain (see, e.g. the Happy Birthday song, Mickey Mouse or re-formulation of a drug that's gone out of patent). Software should have had its own IP regime but that ship has sailed (thanks Bill G.).

Either a giant reform is due or people will ignore the law and infringe the IP. Chinese companies do it with impunity. Maybe they're right to do so.

John Wright , May 28, 2020 at 9:59 am

It appears that the USA has some real competition in the intellectual property game.

Per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Intellectual_Property_Indicators

Patent applications for the top 20 offices, 2018
Rank Country Patent applications
1 China 1,542,002
2 U.S. 597,141
3 Japan 313,567
4 South Korea 209,992

If one sums up USA patent applications vs Asia (China, Japan, SK), it is USA 597K vs Asia 2066K.

So Asia is putting in patent applications, vs the USA, at a 3.46 multiple vs the USA.

It will be interesting to see if the USA attitude about the sanctity of intellectual property changes when important key patents are held by the rest of the world.

timbers , May 28, 2020 at 8:33 am

Teachable moments. This could get really interesting if China or a non US & associated puppets develops an effect Covid treatment first.

I will dream of something like this: China develops vaccine, offers it free to US on condition it reduce it's Dept of War & Aggression by 80% and honor all existing and recently existing arms control agreement, and withdraws it's Naval forces though out the world and confines them to the North Atlantic and California coast.

ProNewerDeal , May 28, 2020 at 8:55 am

I wonder if a geopolitically powerful nation/bloc of nations such as China/India/etc might announce that they disregard pharma IP, & announce that they will adhere to the economist Dr Dean Baker-type policy of open source pharma R&D/recipe publication, any private manufacturer may manufacture & sell the resultant pharma SKU. I am referring to any type of pharma or medical device (such as ventilators), not just a COVID-19 vaccine. I would guesstimate that the "soft power" & goodwill generated by such a policy would be extremely beneficial to those nation(s). Furthermore, the US if it tried to retaliate via sanctions or other threats would get a corresponding additional decrease in soft power.

Raj , May 28, 2020 at 9:37 am

To be honest, in some instances Indian govt practices on pharma are quite bad. It is extremely hard in some instances to recoup investments at prices they ask for.

[May 24, 2020] Shadow of coronavirus over the US Presedential elections

Did Trump really lost "Over 65" voting block? If so he is cooked.
May 24, 2020 | www.globaltimes.cn

"The American people are miserable amid the epidemic, and their president is an eccentric who does not care about the safety of ordinary people and is good at passing the buck," Li said.

Many analysts have noted the epidemic in the US might not end before the US election , and Trump's repeated emphasis on work resumption would not take off as long as the coronavirus enjoys freedom to spread.

... ... ...

Ni Feng, director of the institute of American studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told the Global Times the death notice of COVID-19 victims on the New York Times' front page could "deal a fatal blow to Trump's re-election" as most of the names on the front page were elderly people, his potential voters.

The elderly are always conservative, and thus most are potentially Trump's voters, Ni opined.

The voter turnout of the elderly is also higher than young people, said Ni, noting Trump's behavior will make the firmest supporters change their mind, "facing the crisis of life."

[May 24, 2020] Did coronavirus cooked Trump, including the erosion of his support by evangelicals?

May 24, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Po litico says that some recent polls showing the president's support among his white Christian base is eroding has prompted Trump to call for churches to re-open. Excerpts:

The anxiety over Trump's standing with the Christian right surfaced after a pair of surveys by reputable outfits earlier this month found waning confidence in the administration's coronavirus response among key religious groups, with a staggering decline in the president's favorability among white evangelicals and white Catholics. Both are crucial constituencies that supported Trump by wide margins in 2016 and could sink his reelection prospects if their turnout shrinks this fall.

The polls paint a bleak picture for Trump, who has counted on broadening his religious support by at least a few percentage points to compensate for weakened appeal with women and suburban populations. One GOP official said the dip in the president's evangelical support also appeared in internal party polling, but disputed the notion that it had caused panic. Another person close to the campaign described an April survey by the Public Religion Research Institute, which showed a double-digit decline in Trump's favorability among white evangelicals (-11), white Catholics (-12) and white mainline protestants (-18) from the previous month, as "pretty concerning."

More:

Following the PRRI survey, which was conducted while Trump was a dominant presence at televised daily briefings by his administration's coronavirus task force, Pew Research Center released new data last week that showed a 7-point increase from April to May in white Catholics who disapprove of Trump's response to the Covid-19 crisis and a 6-point decline among white evangelicals who previously gave him positive marks.

The open-the-churches call from Trump today is just rhetorical. The president doesn't have the power to re-open them; state governments do. The president is trying to send a signal that he is on the side of churchgoers. Not sure that's going to do the trick. From Politico:

It's unlikely that critics of church closings alone are responsible for the decline in Trump's favorability among critical religious demographics. According to the Pew survey, 43 percent of white evangelicals and 52 percent of white Catholics think the current restrictions on public activity in their areas are appropriate versus 42 percent and 31 percent, respectively, who think fewer restrictions would be better. Greater shares of white evangelicals and white Catholics also said they are more afraid about their state governments lifting restrictions on public activity too soon than they are about leaving the restrictions in place for too long.

Read it all.

Maybe the truth is that conservative Christians may prefer Trump to Biden on issues that matter to them, but his handling of the global pandemic overrides everything else this year. No doubt that many Christian voters would vote Trump no matter how he performed on pandemic response. Andrew Sullivan writes today:

A year ago precisely, Trump's approval rating was, in FiveThirtyEight's poll of polls, 53.8 percent disapprove, 41.1 percent approve. This week, the spread was 53.1 percent disapprove and 43 percent approve. Almost identical. None of the events of the last year -- impeachment, plague, economic collapse -- have had anything but a trivial impact on public opinion.

Sullivan unspools a merciless reel of Trump's failures in the crisis -- really crushing stuff. TAC's Bob Merry wrote earlier this week that Trump will probably lose this fall because he has not been a very good president. Excerpt:

It is true also that Trump's knot of popular support–about 43 percent of the electorate, based on approval surveys–is remarkably solid, willing to accept just about anything he does or says so long as he continues to attack those dastardly elites.

But presidential elections also don't turn on any incumbent's base of support. Reelection requires that a president build upon that base and create a governing coalition by bringing in new converts through Oval Office achievement. Richard Nixon, a 43 percent president following the 1968 election, pulled to his party much of the George Wallace constituency, nearly 14 percent of the popular vote in 1968. The result was a reelection landslide. Similarly, following the 1980 election Ronald Reagan pulled to his banner the so-called Reagan Democrats, which contributed to his margin of victory in numerous congressional battles and in his own landslide reelection in 1984.

Or consider the case of Bill Clinton, like Nixon a 43 percent president after his 1992 victory against incumbent George H. W. Bush and upstart candidate Ross Perot, who garnered 19 percent of the popular vote. Clinton had his head handed to him in the 1994 midterm elections following a sub-par performance during his first two years in office. But after that he brilliantly calibrated his leadership to capture a significant portion of the Perot vote. Thus did he build on his base through performance in office and become a two-term president.

Trump has proved himself incapable of this kind of political calibration. He can't even talk to those Americans who might be receptive to his policies but haven't yet joined up. He talks only to his base.

This is true. If Trump gets bad news, he blames the messenger. He attacked Fox News today over a poll showing him behind Biden nationally -- as if reporting what their poll actually found was an act of disloyalty. As Sullivan writes,

Directly challenging him, even when his numbers are wrong, appears to erode Mr. Trump's trust, according to former officials, and ultimately he stops listening. In other words, the officials who tell him things he doesn't want to believe are soon sidelined or fired.

Again, everybody knows that there is a solid rock of immovable Trump voters -- I'm guessing that the 44 percent of Republicans who believe that Bill Gates wants to inject microchips into people with a coronavirus vaccine are part of that crowd -- but they are not enough to win Trump a second term. What about everybody else? Why are those Christian voters who had a favorable opinion of Trump now abandoning him? I'd say a lot of it has to do with exhaustion. The country is facing a crisis like none it has seen in a century. It is crashing the economy. We can re-open, but if people start getting sick again, everybody's going to stay home. These people who are normally inclined to Trump, but now going off of him -- they're going to make the difference between victory and defeat for the president. And they're worn out with all this instability, and the stupid, pointless drama.

I mean, look at this. Whatever you think of Jeff Sessions, he stood by Trump early, when few others in Washington did. But he made the mistake of putting duty to the law above personal loyalty to Trump. This is the kind of thing that once upon a time, conservatives thought worth supporting. Trump has never forgiven him for it. Sessions is running for his old Senate seat back -- and Trump is trying to keep him from getting it. Look:

. @realdonaldtrump Look, I know your anger, but recusal was required by law. I did my duty & you're damn fortunate I did. It protected the rule of law & resulted in your exoneration. Your personal feelings don't dictate who Alabama picks as their senator, the people of Alabama do. https://t.co/QQKHNAgmiE

-- Jeff Sessions (@jeffsessions) May 23, 2020

See what I mean? What is the point of doing this to Jeff Sessions, except spite? I mean, come on, Jeff Sessions? Really? There are a certain number of conservatives who are just fed up with crap like this, and can't stand the thought of four more years of it.

That's my guess -- but then, I'm talking about somebody like myself: never a fan of Trump, and genuinely frightened about what a Democrat in the White House would do, especially if the Dems take the Senate (which they will likely do if Trump loses in a landslide). But nobody knows what the future holds for the country in this pandemic, either in terms of public health or the economy. Can we risk four more years of this chaos and craziness and overall incompetence, especially not knowing what's ahead on the virus and the economy? Is that prospect scarier than a Democratic president and Democratic Senate naming and confirming judges?

Maybe. I did not imagine anything like this in January, but then, I didn't imagine that we would get to Memorial Day weekend with almost 100,000 Americans dead, and 40 million unemployed.

UPDATE: Reader Daniel (Not Larison)'s comment resonates with me:

This Pandemic, and the response to it, and the response of the public to the response, has left me utterly exhausted.

My Facebook feed is getting crammed with my conservative friend's fear-mongering about how (a) the virus is just a "cold", (b) the official death counts are greatly exaggerated (through wide-spread incompetence and fraud), (c) the left is using this crisis to destroy our freedoms, (d) masks are tyranny, (e) Trump's response has been perfect, (f) blue state governors want to gain power and destroy their economies just to make Trump look bad, and (g) the people who died would have died from something else any way. Sprinkled among these responses are things like the Gates microchip thing, 5g causes the virus, it's really Obama's fault, etc.

Sometimes they post some actual true information, like the errors of 4 states in double-counting positive test results or that congressional democrats did try to pack the COVID-19 relief bill with a wishlist of progressive causes. But mostly I see wild assertions and baseless accusations. Anyone who agrees with Trump is smart and can be trusted, anyone who disagrees with him is stupid and/or evil.

It truly is remarkable how even this kind of a crisis has been politicized. There is nearly a perfect correlation between COVID-19 skepticism and Trump support. Tens of thousands of health professionals and medical examiners committing fraud or incompetent by including COVID-19 as a cause of death? Certainly, if it makes Trump look bad. Dozens of other nations adopting similar policies to blue governors? Yeah, they're crashing their economies because they hate Trump, too.

It is utter madness. Rather than respecting genuine differences in opinion, rather than arguing with facts and data, we are responding with hatred, contempt, and raw emotion.

The left certainly is not above this–as we have seen in issues like transgenderism and Project 1619, the left certainly has engaged in this and continues to do so. I've lost count of how many liberal friends I've had to stop following on Facebook because of their utter contempt not just of Trump, but of anyone who would dare express support for him or his policies. And their cursing like sailors they wear like a badge of honor, as of it's a mark of liberation.

Weimar America, truly. We're facing a dual crisis of health and economic collapse that we hadn't seen in a century, and rather than rising to the occasion, many of us are just attacking each other. It reminds me of what Josephus wrote in "The Jewish War" about the Jews, under siege by Roman forces in an incredibly over packed Jerusalem, were busy killing each other rather than facing the enemies outside.

Perhaps I am just a pessimist. Certainly not all Americans are rigidly divided into Team Red and Team Blue–maybe not even the majority. But enough are for me to lose much of my hope for the future of this country.

Yet I know God is in control, and this could very well be a manifestation of his judgment on our wicked, wicked culture. Or even from a secular perspective, our culture has built such a toxic response to crisis that we cannot survive. Either way, without change, I cannot see us surviving as a unified nation and people (if we truly are any more) too far into the future.


William Anderson a day ago

Rod, there is one thing you left out of the article: Democrats have made it absolutely clear that they hate white evangelicals and their campaign rhetoric will be quite incendiary on any issues of Christianity and society. At best, they will tell evangelicals that they should be more like the so-called Religious Left (Sojourners, Natalie Bolz-Weber, etc.) and at worst, they will sound like Beto O'Rourke when he called for taxing churches that did not change their theology to welcome homosexuality and transgenderism.

Biden already has declared that transgender rights are "today's civil rights issue," and I expect him to double down on his commitment there. Furthermore, given his tendency to say outrageous things, you can bet he will be going right up to the line to where he declares the Bible to be hate speech, and he is going to outright threaten evangelicals. He will go radical on abortion rights and let it be known that churches that do not support open-ended abortions to the time of birth (paid for by taxpayers) are going to face the wrath of his administration.

Does anyone believe Biden will be silent on these issues or be anything but in-your-face incendiary? Now, Donald Trump will not respond very well, since Trump doesn't respond very well on anything and he almost surely will say and do things that will partially neutralize this advantage that Biden will drop into his lap. Nonetheless, Joe Biden will be absolutely clear that he hates evangelicals and means to do them harm if he is elected. Given that much of secular America feels the same way, it probably will get him votes on the left.

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Beowulf 21 hours ago
In political years, five months is like a few generations these days. Trump is not anyone's idea of an effective president but I think it is way too early to see how corona affects him. I suspect most of his supporters think this is a hoax anyway and the people really freaked out by corona weren't voting for Trump in the first place.

As to Trump's performance on corona, how is that going to be assessed? I'd assume by lives lost and economic damage. But corona has hit a lot of countries. If Trump's bumblings actually had an effect, how would we know except by comparison? In the good 'ol moneyball stats there is a
metric called "value over replacement player" (VORP) where you compare the performance your player in question to the performance you would get from the average replacement. Just because you are disappointed in the performance of your player doesn't mean you can expect to get much
better from replacing him. It could turn out he's close to the average.

So if we are looking at stats to assess Trump, we are gonna have to moneyball it. Which leader are we going to compare Trump to? Which country "did things right"? What's our baseline? Our average replacement player? I don't think any of us can say right now which countries did things right. It is too early, we don't know enough about corona and we don't know the ways in which the decisions of leaders have affected the outcome or failed to affect it. In terms of deaths per million, U.S. seems pretty average. Plenty of countries in Europe with leaders who "listen to experts" have far higher deaths per million at the moment. Belgium, Sweden, Netherlands, UK, Italy, France, Spain all look worse than us.

None of this is to attribute any real skill to Trump, but in a situation where there is no prospective
criteria by which to identify who has the wisdom to navigate the situation (only retrospective analysis of the data of countries that all tried different things) you might rather be lucky than good.

Heroic Fool 21 hours ago
I'm genuinely puzzled as to where you and Politico are coming to this conclusion based on the evidence presented. Looking at the data used in the article, it appears that Trump's approval rating among certain groups felt a bump around the time when the main COVID panic started, and then, a month later decreased to....where it was at the beginning of the year. His overall approval/disapproval rating is still more or less the same as it had been throughout his presidency, and more interestingly, Trump's approval among his "core base" has increased significantly compared to 2017, not to mention 2015.

The other key fact embedded in the data is that Trump's approval among certain groups was still considerably low during November 2016 , much lower than it is today for example. This speaks to the simple truth that the majority of people who vote for Trump aren't necessarily that fond of the man, but they still pulled the lever for him. Until there is hard evidence that the number of people who absolutely will not vote for Trump increases, we can't make any conclusions as to how more or less likely Trump's chances are in November.

One last item to note is that the worst cases by far occurred in heavily Democratic districts, and, as the reports explained, were the main areas where this loss of support among Christians was reported. On the one hand, it's very likely that these people, to be blunt, wouldn't have had much chance at pushing their districts to the Republican side anyway and thus their support is not nearly as important as those in swing states. On the other hand, to be a bit cheeky, given how poorly Democrat-run areas have fared in this crisis, why on earth would you want another Democrat in the highest executive office?

Megan S 20 hours ago
I thought we'd seen into Trump's soul over the past five years, but the way he's revealing himself now is astounding. The man is just unraveling, all his spitefulness and sociopathies bubbling to the surface. There's nothing left to him now but his impotent rage. Maybe the people who didn't want to see the truth of the man can't help but see now.
Siarlys Jenkins Megan S 3 hours ago
He's a failure, on a world stage, and his self-image is that he's a genius whose wise leadership will bring us all peace, contentment and prosperity. Naturally, he's throwing a temper tantrum and lashing out in all directions.
MacCheerful 20 hours ago
I think you underestimate the power of fear and self-delusion. Nearly all Republicans have been convinced that all Democrats are nearly satanic. For the next week conservative media will dwell relentlessly and obsessively on Biden's recent stupid statement while ignoring whatever additional nonsense comes out of the White House. (Did you know there's a recent study showing that widespread use of hydroxychloroquine (sp?) is probably bad? You wouldn't if you read conservative media) It's strange to live in a country where a substantial number of people can no longer see the good in other citizens, but here we are
Rod Dreher Moderator MacCheerful 6 hours ago
Do you not see that most Democrats regard Republicans in the same way? This has been documented.
MacCheerful Rod Dreher 6 hours ago
Oh absolutely. Speaking for myself only, I regard Republican leadership, people like Mitch McConnell, Pompeo, and of course our president as various mixtures of stupid and evil, and their more devoted followers as pretty close to the same. The people who vote Republican because they always vote Republican and don't pay much attention to politics, like members of my family, I regard simply as incurious, but as family I still love them.

But I still think Democrats are a lot more justified in their disdain, as implied by Kevin Drum in a recent post:

https://www.motherjones.com...

Did you know the candidate for the U.S. Senate in Oregon is a Q follower? And that when the National Review advised Republicans to abandon her the majority of the comments on the page retorted that Democrats are worse and more deluded and more crazy than Q?

Daniel (not Larrison) 15 hours ago
This Pandemic, and the response to it, and the response of the public to the response, has left me utterly exhausted.

My Facebook feed is getting crammed with my conservative friend's fear-mongering about how (a) the virus is just a "cold", (b) the official death counts are greatly exaggerated (through wide-spread incompetence and fraud), (c) the left is using this crisis to destroy our freedoms, (d) masks are tyranny, (e) Trump's response has been perfect, (f) blue state governors want to gain power and destroy their economies just to make Trump look bad, and (g) the people who died would have died from something else any way. Sprinkled among these responses are things like the Gates microchip thing, 5g causes the virus, it's really Obama's fault, etc.

Sometimes they post some actual true information, like the errors of 4 states in double-counting positive test results or that congressional democrats did try to pack the COVID-19 relief bill with a wishlist of progressive causes. But mostly I see wild assertions and baseless accusations. Anyone who agrees with Trump is smart and can be trusted, anyone who disagrees with him is stupid and/or evil.

It truly is remarkable how even this kind of a crisis has been politicized. There is nearly a perfect correlation between COVID-19 skepticism and Trump support. Tens of thousands of health professionals and medical examiners committing fraud or incompetent by including COVID-19 as a cause of death? Certainly, if it makes Trump look bad. Dozens of other nations adopting similar policies to blue governors? Yeah, they're crashing their economies because they hate Trump, too.

It is utter madness. Rather than respecting genuine differences in opinion, rather than arguing with facts and data, we are responding with hatred, contempt, and raw emotion.

The left certainly is not above this--as we have seen in issues like transgenderism and Project 1619, the left certainly has engaged in this and continues to do so. I've lost count of how many liberal friends I've had to stop following on Facebook because of their utter contempt not just of Trump, but of anyone who would dare express support for him or his policies. And their cursing like sailors they wear like a badge of honor, as of it's a mark of liberation.

Weimar America, truly. We're facing a dual crisis of health and economic collapse that we hadn't seen in a century, and rather than rising to the occasion, many of us are just attacking each other. It reminds me of what Josephus wrote in "The Jewish War" about the Jews, under siege by Roman forces in an incredibly over packed Jerusalem, were busy killing each other rather than facing the enemies outside.

Perhaps I am just a pessimist. Certainly not all Americans are rigidly divided into Team Red and Team Blue--maybe not even the majority. But enough are for me to lose much of my hope for the future of this country.

Yet I know God is in control, and this could very well be a manifestation of his judgment on our wicked, wicked culture. Or even from a secular perspective, our culture has built such a toxic response to crisis that we cannot survive. Either way, without change, I cannot see us surviving as a unified nation and people (if we truly are any more) too far into the future.

Kessler 14 hours ago
I think Trump entered oval office as a political tabula rasa. Republicans could have moulded him into anything policy-wise, since he lacked knowledge of washington insider on how to run things. So they did. Republicans turned him into a traditional, respectable republican corporatist stock market whisperer President(tm). I think Republicans deserve to lose because of their terrible policies and incompetence, though I don't see how democrats deserve to win, because of their terrible policies and incompetence. But then again, it's not like policies matter. As Cuomo demonstrates, all you need is good media coverage. It's frustrating, that Trump is likely going to lose, because his PR is worse, not because his policies have been terrible.
5Miriam9 Kessler 4 hours ago
Republicans didn't have to work too hard given how willfully ignorant Trump is. All he's ever been interested in doing is brandishing his brand and lining his pockets. There's nothing there but endless appetite and resentment. He has no policies save for self-aggrandizement.
David Naas 13 hours ago
Even out of office, he has been exposed to the addictive thrill of cheering crowds, and so he will not fade from the scene. Certain Progressivists are salivating at the prospect of hauling him and his associates through the courts, but that will not stop his rallies, and will only keep his name in lights for a long time.

The Democratic Party leadership - - or "Donorship" - - wants to return to their version of normal, getting rich(er) off globalism. The neocons want to get back to endless wars. And Trump's Troopers will be there, carrying their AR-15 clones to protests and occupying national park rest areas. It will be chaotic. One can easily foresee more "Ruby Ridge" scenarios in our collective future.

Shy of a nation-wide revival of religion or of the civil religion, it won't get better for a long time.

Those who liken this time to how WW1 changed the world forever are partly right. But they miss that the world is always changing forever. And yet it is always the same. Face it, the last half of the 20th Century was an unusually easy time for Americans. We are now moving into what the rest of the world, throughout history, considers normal.

[May 22, 2020] Why Trump Will Likely Lose in November

Predictions are difficult, especially about the future. Who wll vote for Creepy Joe? that is the question. But it is true that many people who voted for trump in 2016 hoping for changes will not vote for him. Most will not vote at all. With his foreign policies and smug warmonger Pompeo at the State Department he lost all anti-war independents block. With COVID-19 fiasco he lost a large part of working class -- which was most severely hit by the lockdown as well as small business support.
Notable quotes:
"... Look at how Trump is getting killed among people that don't like either candidate. And how he's losing independents solidly. That's your danger zone, not the left. He won in 2016 in large part because he had those two in the bag. ..."
May 22, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Mitt Romney was treated by the mainstream media with derision and ridicule, portrayed as an out-of-touch plutocrat who babbled about binders full of women. They depicted him as "a wealthy 1950s sitcom dad who liked firing poor people. Trump will attacked in the same way

Donald Trump captured the presidency in 2016 in part because he perceived, alone among presidential contenders that year, that a chasm had opened up between the country's arrogant meritocratic elite and vast numbers of citizens who felt the elites had turned on them and were leading the country astray. But another factor was the perception of many voters that Barack Obama's second term had been a mild failure (following a mild first-term success; hence his 2012 reelection). Incumbent performance in office remains a potent factor in presidential elections.

And that's why Donald Trump likely will lose the presidency come November. His performance, thoroughly at variance from his blustery rhetoric, will have rendered him, in the eyes of a majority of Americans, ineligible for rehire. His is not the kind of record that normally leads to a two-term presidency or to party retention of the White House when the incumbent is not on the ballot. Viewed from this perspective, Trump looks like a goner.

Trump supporters will of course recoil at this prediction. In disbelief, they will point to the intensity of his followers and the fecklessness of his opposition. And it is true that former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic candidate, appears hapless as he hunkers down in his Delaware basement and projects himself with a certain halting awkwardness. But history tells us that voters focus far more on incumbent performance, which can be sharply defined, than on predictions of challenger performance, which are wispy at best.

It is true also that Trump's knot of popular support–about 43 percent of the electorate, based on approval surveys–is remarkably solid, willing to accept just about anything he does or says so long as he continues to attack those dastardly elites.

But presidential elections also don't turn on any incumbent's base of support. Reelection requires that a president build upon that base and create a governing coalition by bringing in new converts through Oval Office achievement.


engineerscotty David Naas 3 days ago

With Trump, I expect a "surprise" (and other various dirty tricks) here on out.

As I've noted before, the Burisma nonsense may end up backfiring. Not only did it get him impeached (even though he wasn't removed from office), but it may innoculate Biden from further such surprises--there will be a presumption, if anything scandalous comes from out of left field, that it might well be another attempt at rat-f***ing.

(And Biden has been equally fortunate in his accusers from the left; as the Tara Reade allegations seem to be falling apart. He's not entirely in the clear--the vagueness of the allegations prevent Biden from mounting an affirmative defense, such as an alibi, but right now he seems to be winning the credibility battle on that front).

Mother124 engineerscotty 2 days ago
The Tara Reade allegations aren't "falling apart." They're being smothered. They're either ignored, or dismissed with a "Biden says it never happened? Oh, OK....never mind" attitude.
Room_237 David Naas 2 days ago
A QAnnon crazy just won the Oregon GOP senate primary. Not only is Trump losing he is taking the entire GOP down with him. Either the GOP clears up the nuts or the nuts take over.
Mother124 PeteZilla 2 days ago
I agree. Trump has taken politics to a new low. When he's not on teleprompter, his "speeches" are more of a stand-up act where he exaggerates his accomplishments ("the best ever"..."record" everything) and lobs personal insults at his perceived enemies "loser,""incompetent," "the worst").

He has NO intention of expanding his base. He's happy to play to their adoration. And his cultists don't want him to "pivot and change." They cheer him on.

That this is what so many people in this country want from a president is appalling.

TISO_AX2 KeepAmericaGreat! 2 days ago
He proved that in '16. Rather, we did. We the people made it happen. DJT just happens to be the means by which we re-made the American political landscape. Leftist Democrats still haven't caught up.

They learned nothing from 2016 and after...nothing. They still cling to Washington establishment politics like a communist to The Party. Power in a handful of politicians is all that matters to them. They'll sooner or later see that the people are the source of our government.

MPC TISO_AX2 a day ago
TISO you seem like a pretty reasonable guy generally.

Look at how Trump is getting killed among people that don't like either candidate. And how he's losing independents solidly. That's your danger zone, not the left. He won in 2016 in large part because he had those two in the bag.

I'm in those groups and voted for him then - I won't repeat this year. He was a good statement to make in 2016 but for me that's now made. Personally he looks like a real idiot handling a crisis but I don't like his personality cult, I don't like his floppiness with the ruling elite, and I especially don't like his turning immigrants into the white male of the right. I hate idpol and he's just refined a right wing version of it.

My two cents. No doubt I'll be back to voting Republicans in 22 or 24.

Robert Bruce MPC 16 hours ago
Nice post!!!!!!! Trump is indeed losing the indie vote as well as a sliver of the true conservative vote. The guy is only a shade or two better than having a president Camacho from Idiocracy. Trump won both the GOP nomination and the general election because he was the only GOP candidate that said what the majority of GOP voters wanted to hear and was the only candidate that didn't come off as an Establishment clone. On top of that, Hilary was not a well liked candidate(either was Trump) as two thirds of GOP and Dem voters didn't like their candidate, but disliked the other just a bit more. It is sad that we are in the same situation in 2020, in which there really isn't a really good candidate to choose from
Robert Bruce TISO_AX2 16 hours ago
Guy was a moron for his famous line to a GOP crowd insinuating that half the people in the country were freeloaders. Not too far fetched of a statement, but absolutely a campaign killer. They indeed did depict him as a rather wealthy 1950's Mr Cleaver type that was a job killer, but that wasn't far off the mark either. The banking cartel had their boy in office already so there was no need for a change, thus the rather stale, boring, and easily targeted Romney was hung out to dry.
EboTebo PeteZilla 2 days ago
He's NOT stupid, but he's dumb, thick and most of all lazy, too lazy to stand up and do the right thing!
The_Anthropologist_Forensic Bryce David Sylvia 2 days ago • edited
He "defeated" the ISIS Caliphate? And here i was under the impression that Iran was a Shia country and Syria was mostly secular, while ISIS was a product of Salafist and Wahabist American allies like the Saudis?

This commenter epitomizes everything wrong with the Fox News cheerleading devotee. So consumed by the cult of Personality that is Trump and "owning the Libs" that they can't see they have gotten nothing from Trump. No immigration reform, no wall, no end to Middle East adventurism..... Just "tough tweets"

LETS LOOK AT THE FEW THINGS HE HAS DONE...He along with Kim Kardashian put forth the "First Step Act" freeing tens of thousands of mostly inner city felons; the situation in the Middle East exponentially worse "thanks" to his rhetoric, loose usage of missiles on countries WE ARE NOT at war with along with ASSASSINATING NATIONAL HEROES/MILITARY COMMANDERS of other sovereign nations we are not at war with; he passed a corporate tax cut, Trump has focussed on spreading LGBT values to Africa and abroad, and after attacking NAFTA for two decades passed "NAFTA 2.0", and has consistently made this country look even worse than it normally has over the past 40 years.

If Israel isn't your priority in regards to the embassy moves or if your not a corporate head benefiting from Trumps "we need more immigration than ever before" glut of cheap third world labor, then you should see him as an unmitigated disaster. Look beyond the Grifters like Charlie Kirk and Sean Hannity.

FND The_Anthropologist_Forensic 2 days ago
The ISIS caliphate was defeated. ISIS still exists. One cannot destroy an ideology on the battlefield. The caliphate was their "country" that they carved out of Syria. Virtually ALL of the rebels in Syria, even the non-ISIS ones are Sunni, not Shia. The Shia are on the side of the Syrian government. That includes Iran.
JonF311 FND 2 days ago
To be clear, the US did not defeat the "caliphate". That honor goes to Syria and its patron Russia. America was just the cheering section.
Blood Alcohol JonF311 2 days ago • edited
Iran was not mentioned for some reason!
Iranians were the first to recognize ISIL was an arm of Israel/UAE/US axis to destabilize not only Syria but any country that stood up to the axis. Then the Russian read the message on the wall and got involved.
Robert Bruce DukeofAnarchy . 16 hours ago
Of course they did. Any decent economic/business magazine/ web site/blog was saying as far back as last September that the FED was running out of "ammo" to forestall a collapse that was going to happen late this summer or early fall, then the virus hits to take the blame for the poor economy instead of where it belongs and that is with the Federal Reserve and co. Now we are hearing we are going to get QE to infinity and beyond, which basically means the globalists are tanking the dollar for probably a global digital currency sometime in the not too distant future.

[May 22, 2020] Grandma Killer Cuomo Sent 4,300 Patients Back To Nursing Homes Despite Positive COVID-19 Tests

May 22, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

"Grandma Killer" Cuomo Sent 4,300 Patients Back To Nursing Homes Despite Positive COVID-19 Tests by Tyler Durden Fri, 05/22/2020 - 17:25 Earlier this month, a reporter at one of NY Gov Andrew Cuomo's daily press briefings asked the governor about reports that the state issued guidance calling for hospitals to return thousands of patients who had tested positive for COVID-19 to nursing homes or long-term care facilities where they lived.

Somehow, despite the horrifying notion that Cuomo deliberately sent patients back to nursing homes where they unleashed some of the deadliest outbreaks in the country, the governor readily owned up to the decision, and insisted public health officials believed this to be the best option to prevent the patients from just hanging around the hospital.

With the benefit of hindsight, we now see that the hospital bed shortages that the US had prepared for never came to pass. So, not only did this decision lead to thousands of deaths, it was also totally unnecessary.

Because as the Associated Press reported Friday morning, an investigation discovered that more than 4,000 nursing home patients who had tested positive for COVID-19 were returned to their care facilities due to this state order.

More than 4,300 recovering coronavirus patients were sent to New York's already vulnerable nursing homes under a controversial state directive that was ultimately scrapped amid criticisms it was accelerating the nation's deadliest outbreaks, according to a count by The Associated Press.

AP compiled its own tally to find out how many COVID-19 patients were discharged from hospitals to nursing homes under the March 25 directive after New York's Health Department declined to release its internal survey conducted two weeks ago. It says it is still verifying data that was incomplete.

The issue has become a huge problem for Cuomo, who has been labeled "the grandma killer" by critics. When confronted with the data by the AP, the state health department declined to comment. One individual quoted by the AP called it "the single dumbest decision" made during the response to the pandemic.

And guess what - this decision had nothing to do with President Trump. While Cuomo of course tried to deflected criticism to the Trump administration by claiming that the decision stemmed from federal guidance, the AP pointed out that "few states went as far as New York and neighboring New Jersey, which has the second-most care home deaths, in discharging hospitalized coronavirus patients to nursing homes. California followed suit but loosened its requirement following intense criticism."

Whatever the full number, nursing home administrators, residents' advocates and relatives say i t has added up to a big and indefensible problem for facilities that even Gov. Andrew Cuomo -- the main proponent of the policy -- called "the optimum feeding ground for this virus."

"It was the single dumbest decision anyone could make if they wanted to kill people," Daniel Arbeeny said of the directive, which prompted him to pull his 88-year-old father out of a Brooklyn nursing home where more than 50 people have died. His father later died of COVID-19 at home.

"This isn't rocket science," Arbeeny said. "We knew the most vulnerable - the elderly and compromised - are in nursing homes and rehab centers."

Told of the AP's tally, the Health Department said late Thursday it "can't comment on data we haven't had a chance to review, particularly while we're still validating our own comprehensive survey of nursing homes admission and re-admission data in the middle of responding to this global pandemic."

Cuomo didn't reverse the order until May 10. According to the directive, nursing homes could "refuse" to take in the patients if they weren't "equipped" to handle them. But unsurprisingly, no nursing homes did so - since this would be tantamount to admitting that the facilities weren't safe .

Cuomo, a Democrat, on May 10 reversed the directive, which had been intended to help free up hospital beds for the sickest patients as cases surged. But he continued to defend it this week , saying he didn't believe it contributed to the more than 5,800 nursing and adult care facility deaths in New York -- more than in any other state -- and that homes should have spoken up if it was a problem.

"Any nursing home could just say, 'I can't handle a COVID person in my facility,'" he said, although the March 25 order didn't specify how homes could refuse, saying that "no resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the (nursing home) solely based" on confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

Over a month later, on April 29, the Health Department clarified that homes should not take any new residents if they were unable to meet their needs, including a checklist of standards for coronavirus care and prevention.

And according to the AP, even the most well-equipped nursing homes in the state saw the trickle of COVID patients turn into a flood that quickly overwhelmed their ability to cope. Across the country, thousands of nursing home residents and staff have succumbed to the illness.

Gurwin Jewish, a 460-bed home on Long Island, seemed well-prepared for the coronavirus in early March, with movable walls to seal off hallways for the infected. But after the state order, a trickle of recovering COVID-19 patients from local hospitals turned into a flood of 58 people.

More walls were put up, but other residents nonetheless began falling sick and dying. In the end, 47 Gurwin residents died of confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

The state order "put staff and residents at great risk," CEO Stuart Almer said. "We can't draw a straight line from bringing in someone positive to someone catching the disease, but we're talking about elderly, fragile and vulnerable residents."

Nationally, over 35,500 people have died from coronavirus outbreaks at nursing homes and long-term care facilities, about a third of the overall death toll, according to the AP's running tally.

Bottom line: Irony of ironies, the most sanctimonious blue-state governors, who used every conceivable pretext to bash President Trump, also allowed the largest numbers of vulnerable patients to die because of what amounts to sheer bureaucratic idiocy.

The scandal has earned Cuomo a new nickname that has been heavily suppressed by the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter: The "Grandma Killer".

[May 22, 2020] Cuomo Order That Sent Estimated 4,300 Covid-19 Patients to Nursing Homes Denounced as 'Single Dumbest Decision Anyone Could Make'

May 22, 2020 | www.commondreams.org

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is facing new criticism after the Associated Press reported Friday that a state directive led to over 4,300 still recovering coronavirus patients being sent to New York's "already vulnerable nursing homes."

"It was a death sentence," tweeted Daniel Choi, a doctor at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. He called the directive a "horrendous idea" and "definitely not something any doctor taking care of nursing home patients would have signed off on."

The state health department directive (pdf), issued March 25, barred nursing homes from requiring patients deemed "medically stable" from being tested for Covid-19 prior to admission. Cuomo, a Democrat, rescinded the order May 10, but not before thousands of infected patients likely entered nursing homes and contributed to the coronavirus's spread.

The estimated number tallied by the AP amounts to what would have been a "big and indefensible problem for facilities," the outlet reported.

From the AP :

"It was the single dumbest decision anyone could make if they wanted to kill people," Daniel Arbeeny said of the directive, which prompted him to pull his 88-year-old father out of a Brooklyn nursing home where more than 50 people have died. His father later died of Covid-19 at home.

"This isn't rocket science," Arbeeny said. "We knew the most vulnerable -- the elderly and compromised -- are in nursing homes and rehab centers."

CBS New York reported Friday that the conoravirus has taken the lives of almost 5% of nursing home residents in the state, and this week the Cuomo tried to deflect blame for the directive.

"Why did the state do that with Covid patients in nursing homes?" asked Cuomo. "It's because the state followed President Trump's CDC guidelines. So they should ask President Trump."

In an op-ed at the Guardian on Wednesday questioning the recent accolades heaped on the New York governor -- including suggestions that Cuomo run for president -- journalists Lyta Gold and Nathan Robinson of Current Affairs magazine write that "Cuomo should be one of the most loathed officials in America right now. "

Gold and Robinson argue that blame for New York's high death toll from the virus should sit largely with Cuomo.

"Federal failures played a role, of course, but this tragedy was absolutely due, in part, to decisions by the governor," they wrote, citing as examples his failure to take swift action, delays in imposing social distancing measures, Medicaid cuts both before and after the start of the pandemic, and his partnership with Silicon Valley billionaires to "reimagine education."

"This is the problem: for too long, Democrats have measured their politicians by 'whether they are better than Republicans,' wrote Gold and Robinson. "This sets the bar very low indeed, and means that Democrats end up settling for incompetent and amoral leaders who betray progressive values again and again."

[May 22, 2020] Andrew Cuomo is no hero. He's to blame for New York's coronavirus catastrophe

May 22, 2020 | www.theguardian.com

Andrew Cuomo may be the most popular politician in the country. ... All of which is bizarre, because Cuomo should be one of the most loathed officials in America right now. ProPublica recently released a report outlining catastrophic missteps by Cuomo and the New York City mayor, Bill de Blasio, which probably resulted in many thousands of needless coronavirus cases. ProPublica offers some appalling numbers contrasting what happened in New York with the outbreak in California. By mid-May, New York City alone had almost 20,000 deaths, while in San Francisco there had been only 35, and New York state as a whole suffered 10 times as many deaths as California.

Federal failures played a role, of course, but this tragedy was absolutely due, in part, to decisions by the governor. Cuomo initially "reacted to De Blasio's idea for closing down New York City with derision", saying it "was dangerous" and "served only to scare people". He said the "seasonal flu was a graver worry". A spokesperson for Cuomo "refused to say if the governor had ever read the state's pandemic plan". Later, Cuomo would blame the press, including the New York Times for failing to say "Be careful, there's a virus in China that may be in the United States?" even though the Times wrote nearly 500 stories on the virus before the state acted. Experts told ProPublica that "had New York imposed its extreme social distancing measures a week or two earlier, the death toll might have been cut by half or more".

But delay was not the only screw-up. Elderly prisoners have died of coronavirus because New York has failed to act on their medical parole requests. As Business Insider documented:

"Testing was slow . Nonprofit social-service agencies that serve the most vulnerable couldn't get answers either . And medical experts like the former CDC director Tom Frieden said 'so many deaths could have been prevented' had New York issued its stay-at-home order just 'days earlier' than it did. On March 19, when New York's schools had already been closed, Cuomo said 'in many ways, the fear is more dangerous than the virus.'"

The governor has failed to take responsibility for the obvious failures, consistently blaming others and at one point even saying " governors don't do pandemics ". (Actually, some governors just don't read their state's pandemic plans.) But much of the press has ignored this, focusing instead on Cuomo's aesthetic presentation: his poise during press conferences, his dramatic statements about "taking responsibility" (even when he obviously hasn't), and his invisible good looks. ...

There's something disturbing about Cuomo being hailed as the hero of the pandemic when he should rightly be one of the villains. As Business Insider notes, he is now only able to attain praise for his actions because his earlier failures made those actions necessary. He's lauded for addressing a problem that he himself partly caused. Of course, part of this is because Donald Trump has bungled the coronavirus response even more badly , so that Cuomo – by not being a complete buffoon – looks like a capable statesman by contrast. But this is the problem: for too long, Democrats have measured their politicians by "whether they are better than Republicans". This sets the bar very low indeed, and means that Democrats end up settling for incompetent and amoral leaders who betray progressive values again and again.

[May 19, 2020] America: "We demand an coronavirus origin investigation, but the investigators must agree on the outcome that we specify before they begin investigating!"

Highly recommended!
May 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

William Gruff , May 18 2020 15:40 utc | 13

America: "We demand an investigation, but the investigators must agree on the outcome that we specify before they begin investigating!"

Why not? It works for gas attacks, chemical weapons poisoning, and airliner shoot downs, so why not biological weapons attacks too?

[May 16, 2020] The obvious shortcomings of the USA government reaction: no distributions of free masks, no temperature checks, no oxymeter checks, no retrofitted busses and other transportation to have individual air supplies, no retrofitting air conditioners

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... > How about we follow WHO's rule zero: test, test and test? ..."
"... Why the USA did not implemented entry/exist temperature checks (even at airports) I do not understand. The richest nation in the world has the government which is probably the most inept and disfunctional ..."
"... It looks like this is mainly the disease of megacities and industries with closely packed people (ships, meatpacking plants, Amazon warepuses) . And a large part of large cities infrastructure such as subways and air-conditioned building, hotels and shops are ideal environment for spreading of the virus. ..."
"... Another interesting feature of this virus is that it simply revealed how unhealthy the USA population generally is. For example, the epidemic of obesity now is tightly intermixed with the epidemic of COVID-19. Within the limits of the neoliberal social system very little can be done about it: for profit medicine makes is more fragile and create multiple avenue of abusing people. ..."
May 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

likbez , May 16, 2020 at 19:42

@vk | May 16 2020 15:52 utc | 108

> How about we follow WHO's rule zero: test, test and test?

Do you understand the cost of each test? Some data suggest that it is between $50 and $100. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-15/coronavirus-tests-from-labcorp-quest-will-cost-50-to-100

Do you understand that the current polymerase tests have 20-30% of false positives?

So if everybody in the USA is tested around 60-80 million people in the USA would be deemed infected. I suspect that a very large percentage of "asymptomatics" are in reality false positives.

We need to distinguish between the necessary measures and fearmongering. I suspect that in the case of polymerase test the mantra "test, test, test" is close to the latter. This is s rather expensive test and money probably can be better spend distributing masks to the population. That would instantly give a larger effect. The simple measure that in the USA was not done. Just for that Fauci should be fired and probably tried, IMHO.

The same is probably true with the distribution of oxymeters too: people with lows reading need oxygen. As simple as that. That probably will cut hospitalizations in half.

My impression is that temperature and oxymeter testing might be a proxy for polymerase testing and much cheaper: if oxygen saturation is less then 90% the person need to be isolated/treated with oxygen

Why the USA did not implemented entry/exist temperature checks (even at airports) I do not understand. The richest nation in the world has the government which is probably the most inept and disfunctional

It looks like this is mainly the disease of megacities and industries with closely packed people (ships, meatpacking plants, Amazon warepuses) . And a large part of large cities infrastructure such as subways and air-conditioned building, hotels and shops are ideal environment for spreading of the virus.

Even reasonable prophylactic measures do not work that well in large cities. Slums and homeless are and will be hotspots.

Even at work enforcing prophylactic measures is non trivial. You need to change mask each 2 hours when you are working inside. How many people will do that ?

I think there is not way out other then clench your teeth and go forward adapting the behavior as new information about the virus emerge.

For example individual supply of air in planes, trains and buses (which existed in old planes and some buses ) might be an important psychological (and with better filters medical) measure required.

Also Cruise ships "experiments" suggest that only around 20% of population is susceptible to the virus. Even among Wuhan medics who started working with coronavirus patients without wearing protective equipment only around half got the disease. The simplistic assumption that 100% of people is susceptible is just a myth propagated by fearmongers for fun and profit.

Another interesting feature of this virus is that it simply revealed how unhealthy the USA population generally is. For example, the epidemic of obesity now is tightly intermixed with the epidemic of COVID-19. Within the limits of the neoliberal social system very little can be done about it: for profit medicine makes is more fragile and create multiple avenue of abusing people.

[May 16, 2020] TSA Better late then never: To Check Passengers' Temperature At Airports

There are four month late...
May 16, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will be checking passengers' temperatures at select airports next week.

People familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal that additional details would be unveiled in the near term. The program is expected to roll out at 12 airports next week and will cost $20 million to implement. Thermal check fees will be waived for travelers and likely expensed to the federal government.

[May 13, 2020] A Pandemic of Know-Nothings

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The coronavirus reminds us that the gap between what we think we know and what we actually do know is enormous. ..."
"... American Journal of Public Health ..."
May 13, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The coronavirus reminds us that the gap between what we think we know and what we actually do know is enormous.

Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, shows off charts with members of the coronavirus task force during a briefing in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

May 13, 2020

|

12:01 am

Matt Purple St. Louis Federal Reserve watchers, rejoice! And yes, I'm talking to both of you. The St. Louis Fed is freshly relevant this week thanks to a paper it published back in 2007 that examined the economic effects of the 1918 Spanish flu. Drawing on old newspaper articles, local surveys, and other studies -- national data back then was scarce -- the report found that the damage done to businesses by the outbreak was both severe and short-lived. The impact on the next generation, however, was longer-lasting. Those in utero during the pandemic went on to attain less education and lower incomes than had previous generations.

What we wouldn't give for that kind of glimpse from the future today. The coronavirus has killed hundreds of thousands while sledgehammering the economy, leaving close to a quarter of working-age Americans either unemployed or underemployed. And we still have no idea how it will end. It may be that this recession is similar to the one in 1918, cutting deeply but easing rapidly. Or it may be that we're in for another lost decade of stubborn unemployment and stagnant growth. It may be that the virus is seen off this summer, remembered as a frightening but ultimately brief ordeal. Or it may be that it lurks into the autumn, whereupon it comes roaring back.

We don't know, and we hate that we don't know. Consequently a cottage industry has sprung up around our uncertainty, hawking models, projections, expert opinions. These things have valid scientific purposes, of course, but thrown down the rabbit hole of our popular discourse, they've taken on a kind of hysterical clairvoyance, supposedly able to tell us what's coming and how we should respond. With climate change, we grew accustomed to the idea that scientists could see into the future. Now we're demanding they do the same with the coronavirus. That's despite the fact that so far, none of these projections have demonstrated any greater predictive ability than your average call to Miss Cleo.

Take the government's official death toll projections. Back in January, the White House was largely complacent over the coronavirus, with President Trump comparing it to the seasonal flu and his health secretary saying that Americans need "not worry for their own safety." Then in late March, the pendulum swung towards apocalypse. Actually, the White House said, 200,000 Americans could die. Two weeks later, the death toll projection fell to a far rosier 60,000 , and the country breathed a sigh of relief ahead of Easter weekend. Then the projections ticked upwards yet again. Today, IHME, the White House's principal modeler, predicts that 147,000 Americans will be killed by August 4.

Some of the issue here may be the choice of models. IHME has been criticized by epidemiologists , as have the Imperial College modelers in Britain (who have lately been distracted by, er, more extracurricular activities ). But the bigger problem is best summed up in a quote to Politico by the head of IHME, explaining why his organization's projections were so wrong. "We had presumed, perhaps naively," he said, "that given the magnitude of the epidemic, most states would stick to their social distancing until the end of May." In other words, the models are premised on assumptions that can be scrambled by real-world events, whether political decisions or acts of God or the caprices of the virus itself. They aren't showing us the future so much as extrapolating off of a snapshot, one that can easily change. Yet we treat them as practically mystic. "200,000 could die!!" scream the headlines, with "could" ever the weasel word.

We don't just do this with the death toll. On the economy, too, we seem hopelessly confused. Here's a smattering of headlines from the past two months: "Unemployment rate could exceed 20% by June, top White House adviser says." "Economists see uneven jobs recovery, high U.S. unemployment through 2021." "Top JPMorgan investment advisor: It will take '10 to 12 years' for U.S. employment levels to return." "The coronavirus recession will be deeper and faster than the financial crisis." "Economists say quick rebound from recession is unlikely." "Trump's baseless claim that a recession would be deadlier than the coronavirus." "U.N. warns economic downturn could kill hundreds of thousands of children in 2020."

Stare into this blurry puddle long enough and you might conclude that no one has any idea what the hell they're talking about. Or you might fall back on your own biases, choosing to believe stories that buttress your political beliefs and speak to your own personal circumstances. Either way, this kind of confusion can have long-reaching effects. Consider, for example, a new study that was released last week, which found that there could be 75,000 so-called deaths of despair -- meaning suicides and drug and alcohol overdoses -- as a result of the coronavirus recession. It called to mind another social science finding , one of the most consequential of the last decade: that life expectancy among less educated, middle-aged, white Americans was declining, driven primarily by those deaths of despair.

That claim, courtesy of researchers Anne Case and Angus Deaton , made its way around the internet. It fed into the narrative of the populist right and Donald Trump. It provided an empirical grounding for "American carnage." But wait: a less noticed study a year later, which took Case's and Deaton's data and adjusted for age, found a more mixed picture. According to research from Columbia University , while middle-aged white women had indeed seen increased mortality rates, middle-aged white men had reversed this trend back in 2005. And then came another study, in the American Journal of Public Health , that challenged the very concept of "deaths of despair," warning that "the gap between deaths of despair as a claim and deaths of despair as a rigorously tested scientific concept is wide."

There is a Grand Canyon-sized gap between what we think we know and what we actually know. How to navigate this chasm? Two maxims can help.

The first comes from Friedrich Hayek: "The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design." Hayek was concerned with what he called the "fatal conceit," which he defined as the belief "that man is able to shape the world around him according to his wishes." We might add a corollary: that man is able to anticipate the world around him according to his wishes. Because knowledge is complex and dispersed, Hayek argued, no one can ever marshal enough of it to centrally plan an economy. Likewise even a sophisticated model can't have enough data to foresee how a pandemic will play out. There are simply too many variables, drawing on too many areas of life.

The second maxim comes from a very different source: John Dickinson, perhaps our most conservative founding father. "Experience must be our only guide," Dickinson said. "Reason may mislead us." Of course, by reason, he didn't mean vast computer algorithms struggling to track contagion across seven continents; he was thinking of 18th-century rationalism, which he contrasted with the more reliable yardstick of historical experience. While what seemed philosophically sound in the abstract could be tainted by personal bias or disconnected from real life, precedent was far more settled. How something had worked in the past was a good indication of how it would work in the future.

Unfortunately we have very little precedent when it comes to the coronavirus, though the Spanish flu can perhaps offer some clues. The 1918 influenza, like the current pandemic, began in the spring, only to enter a second wave in the fall that killed more people than the first. A third wave then began that winter and stretched into the summer of 1919. That's chilling, yet there's good news too: the recession that followed was short and quickly blossomed into the 1920s, one of the most dizzying economic expansions in our history.

So top hats and flapper dresses all around? Who knows? It's called the novel coronavirus for a reason. The awful truth is that we have very little idea how long this will go on and how it will ultimately turn out. And the reason for that is that we know so very much less than we think we do.

[May 12, 2020] We need a radically different model to tackle the COVID-19 crisis By James K. Galbraith Defend Democracy Press

May 12, 2020 | www.defenddemocracy.press

We need a radically different model to tackle the COVID-19 crisis | By James K. Galbraith 12/05/2020

The Current Situation in the United States: May 2020
James K. Galbraith

Two weeks ago week the US death toll from Covid-19 exceeded that of US soldiers in Vietnam, 1955-1974. On May 1 the one-day toll reached a new high, greater than that in New York City on September 11, 2001. Meanwhile economic output has collapsed and over thirty million Americans had filed unemployment claims as of April 30, 2020. On the public health front, testing remains inadequate, contact tracing non-existent, treatment options appear stalled and millions remain uninsured. The federal bailouts have worked well in one way only: to spur a modest revival of stocks and to forestall massive defaults on bonds.

The failures of the public health system border on sabotage. Test kits were available from the WHO in January; the US elected not to use them. The first production of tests from the CDC was botched. Testing was deliberately limited as community transmission grew, so that the virus escaped from early containment that might have been possible. Lockdowns and quarantines came late, were poorly organized and weakly enforced. Supplies of PPE were not allocated to hospitals and health care providers according to need; the Defense Production Act was not deployed in timely and effective manner to ramp up home production; no effective federal system to manage international medical supply chains exists to this day. While some firms have no doubt done their best, reports of profiteering and scams are rampant.

The push to reopen the economy is a further mark of failure. As food supply workers were not properly protected, unacceptable levels of sickness and workplace contamination have occurred, notably in meat. Food banks are in crisis, while milk, eggs and other perishables are wasted. State governments facing fiscal catastrophe press businesses to reopen on terms that cannot be profitable, because capacity is constrained for health reasons. The openings are calculated to force workers off of unemployment insurance, which can be revoked if they decline to return to risky jobs. Many smaller businesses are deciding not to reopen; they will face bankruptcy instead and disappear. Although evictions and foreclosures are technically deferred, many landlords have ignored this and in any event rent, mortgages, utility bills and other debts continue to accrue.

Models of the pandemic now openly predict infections rising further as lockdowns are relaxed, to the point of testing the capacity of health care systems even in parts of the country not yet severely affected. Whether this will happen or not is not yet clear; the public may continue, as a general rule, to practice safe contact behavior, and if the transmission rates hold below 1, as they presently are estimated to be in almost all of the American states , the pandemic may continue to decline. But if the models are borne out, death rates will rise by many multiples of their current values. These events are projected to lead to further lock-downs on a rolling basis, until such time as a vaccine or therapy is available. There is no guarantee of either.

Read also: Brazil's Haddad Extends Support to 23% of Voter Intent

Even if the pandemic is now contained the economy will not revert to "normal." The United States is a premier producer of energy, aerospace, advanced information technologies and financial services. It assembles many million automobiles, appliances and other consumer durable goods every year. The oil sector has suffered a price collapse and borders now on mass bankruptcy; when fracking wells are capped they will sand up and become very costly to reopen, so the US energy-based economic expansion is over. Airplanes are lined up in parking spaces; no new civilian passenger airliners will be needed indefinitely. Households who are either unemployed or working from home (and therefore not commuting) or that face deferred rent and mortgages will not soon be in the market for new cars; in any event the old ones will last longer as they are being driven much less. As office buildings remain empty, new ones will not be built. Similarly for retail stores, already driven to the wall by on-line ordering and deliveries. The banking sector is on the hook for energy loans gone bad, and for household debts, and for corporate loans that will be at risk once the bailout money runs low. The debts built up during the pandemic will be defaulted in many cases, ruining credit for the households affected. All of which foretells a long depression even under the best foreseeable public health conditions. A cycle of infections and lock-downs will make all of this that much worse.

There is an illusion about, that the recent prosperity can be revived by "reopening." But many industries – aircraft, airlines, hotels, automobiles, appliances, commercial construction, energy – will definitely shrink, whatever happens now and no matter how much money they receive. The bailouts were a measure predicated on the idea that these industries were facing just a temporary interruption. But it is difficult to see how bankruptcies and liquidations can be avoided if there is no revival in the demand for product. And large-scale production relies on interlinked supply-chains, so that if a single major producer (for example one of the majors in the automotive sector) fails, there is a risk of cascading liquidations (for example in auto parts), making operations difficult – perhaps impossible – for the survivors. In these industries the supply chains and subcontractors are much larger in the aggregate than the assembly operations of the final production firm.

Higher education, a large sector in America, faces a crisis of high costs, collapsing enrollments and the actual alternative of cheap on-line instruction in many fields. This was already in the works for demographic reasons, and is now being accelerated by the loss of household wealth. Health care, ten times larger, also faces financial difficulties as millions are losing their insurance and – for the moment anyway – as accidents, other infectious diseases and such are down, depriving doctors and hospitals of reimbursements. Service industries from restaurants to retailers cannot function profitably at one-quarter of capacity; bars, nightclubs, and most sporting venues cannot reopen at all.

Read also: America's Painful Self-delusion

Federal decision-making has failed at every level. In the executive branch, it has been at best a complex of incompetence, denial, and political motivation. At worst, decisions were taken and are still being taken in full knowledge of the projected death rates and potential for private profiteering, both in the medical sector and in the larger financial economy. It is known that some private speculators made over three hundred billion dollars shorting the stock market before the February collapse, and that some Members of Congress sold their holdings based on information provided in intelligence briefings. Congressional action has been slow, marred by politics, lobbies, regional rivalries, poor judgment and a misdiagnosis of the economic issues, as Congress reached for legislative models used in past business downturns, especially the crisis of 2007-2009, which had no quarantine or other public health component.

The specific policies implemented were plagued by problems. To calculate payments under the first CARES Act, the IRS had to use filings from tax year 2018, and also ran into printing bottlenecks for paper checks that had to be mailed to those without direct deposit. Unemployment insurance benefits were made relatively generous, and the state unemployment insurance web-sites could not handle the crush, so they crashed, leaving many without the ability to access the program. Instead of simple wage replacement (which would have protected health insurance and union membership) the Small Business Administration issued rules that appeared unusable for many firms, banks gave preference to favored clients, and in the first round also the money soon ran out. In short, the effort to save the economy by pouring money into it through conventional channels was inadequate, ill-considered, inefficient, and in some respects corrupt. The best that may be said is that it was much better than doing nothing at all.

As events progress, the usual pattern of property sales and purchases cannot proceed. So property values will collapse, leaving millions of homeowners without equity; as this happens, mass foreclosures and property seizures are inevitable under the present legal rules. Predatory private investors will buy distressed assets at firesale prices and the American population will revert, largely to renter status. For those with means, private tutors and doctors will remain available; the others will manage as they can. Needless to say, depression, despair, drug abuse and suicide will prevail.

Or maybe they won't . In the wake of the Great Financial Crisis, it was possible – barely possible, but possible – to shift the blame from the bankers to the victims, from those who built a massively fraudulent financial system to those who took out the loans that they could not repay. But there was no viral element, no public health trigger, to that crisis. This one is different. Every development described above is a consequence, direct or indirect, of the coronavirus. Those who were laid off, and who went home, and who broke the transmission of the disease, did their part, just as health-care professionals and grocery clerks did theirs. Their legal case for relief remains weak. But the moral case is strong and the economic case is beyond dispute. Even the incumbent Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, a foreclosure-predator of the first water after 2008, has stated that the economic crisis "is no fault of American business, it is no fault of American workers, it is the fault of a virus." This is true but it does not mean that things will return to the past if the virus can be made to go away.

Read also: IMF issues warning over growing Chinese debt problems

To move forward, first of all, debts incurred before and during the pandemic will have to be written down. The energy sector and transport sectors will have to be rebuilt, based far more on renewables and sources other than oil. A large share of basic industries – especially in the health sector – will have to be repatriated so that basic sufficiency exists in this country. Millions of people will be needed to monitor and support public health; jobs for them must be organized and funded by the government. State and local governments will have to be federally-funded, in substantial part, to provide basic public services. New and sustainable housing must be built, in new community structures. High speed broadband must be provided to all. A new financing model – cooperative, with public support – will be required to re-establish small businesses. Local, decentralized cultural and sporting venues will have to replace mass-based experiences; these too will require cooperative structures and public support. In short, the only way out, remotely acceptable to the population at large, will require a comprehensive restructuring of the economy on a cooperative foundation, with the government stepping up to guaranteed funding, employment, and public investments.

Disaster capitalism is being tried, and the worst case is now the likely case. But there is a scale beyond which disaster capitalism cannot go. At a certain point, the carnage becomes too great to neglect, impossible to avoid and lethal to overlook. At a certain point, ordinary people will stand up and refuse to be bullied any more. That point has not quite arrived; we are still in the mind-set of "getting back to normal," even as the pandemic continues. The contradiction between normality and public health is on people's minds; the impossibility of returning to the previous abnormal-normal has not yet settled in. It will, in due course. At that point, the question of alternatives will have to be faced.

[May 11, 2020] Trump and the culture of ling in his administration

May 11, 2020 | www.unz.com

As noted above, the Establishment view on foreign and national security policy was based on the principle that there must always be a united front when dealing with situations that are being closely watched by foreigners. If a cabinet secretary or the president says something relating to foreign or military affairs it should be the unified view of both the administration and the loyal opposition. Unfortunately, with President Donald Trump that unanimity has broken down, largely because the chief executive either refuses to or is incapable of staying on script. The most recent false step involved the origin of the corona virus, with the intelligence community stating that there was no evidence that the virus was "man made or genetically modified" in a lab followed by the president several hours later contradicting that view asserting that he had a "high degree of confidence" that the coronavirus originated in a laboratory in Wuhan, China based on secret information that he could not reveal .

There has also been reports that the Trump White House has in fact been pushing the intelligence community (IC) to "hunt for evidence" linking the virus to the Wuhan laboratory, suggesting that the entire China gambit is mostly political, to have a scapegoat available in case the troubled handling of the virus in the United States becomes a fiasco and therefore a political liability. This pressure apparently prompted an additional statement from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence saying: "The IC will continue to rigorously examine emerging information and intelligence to determine whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan."

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has claimed without providing any details that there is "overwhelming evidence" that coronavirus came out of the Wuhan laboratory, is reportedly leading the push to demonize China. He and other administration officials have expressed their frustration over the C.I.A.'s apparent inability to come up with a definitive explanation for the outbreak's origin. C.I.A. analysts have reportedly responded that there is no evidence to support any one theory with "high confidence" and they are afraid that any equivocating response will immediately be politicized. Some analysts noted that their close monitoring of communications regarding the Wuhan lab suggest that the Chinese government itself does not regard the lab as a source of the contagion.

To be sure, any intelligence community document directly blaming the Chinese government for the outbreak would have a devastating impact on bilateral relations for years to come, a consequence that Donald Trump apparently does not appreciate. And previous interactions initiated by Trump administration officials suggest that Washington might use its preferred weapon sanctions in an attempt to pressure other nations to also hold China accountable, which would multiply the damage.

Given what is at stake in light of the White House pressure to prove what might very well be unprovable, many in the intelligence community who actually value what they do and how they do it are noticeably annoyed and some have even looked for allies in Congress, where they have found support from the Pentagon over Administration decision making that is both Quixotic and heavily politicized.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith of Washington has responded to the concerns expressed to him by both the military and intelligence communities, admitting that he is " worried about a culture developing" where many senior officials are now making decision not on the merits of the case but rather out of fear that they will upset the president if they do not choose correctly.

While the intelligence agencies are concerned over the fabrication of a false consensus over the coronavirus, similar to what occurred regarding Iraq's alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction in 2002-3, the Defense Department is more concerned that fundamental mechanisms that have been in place since the Second World War are now under attack, including how the military maintains discipline and punishes officers and enlisted men who have deviated from established policies.

[May 07, 2020] US Epidemiologist Slams Trump Admin's COVID-19 Response as Possible War Crime

May 07, 2020 | sputniknews.com

A Yale University epidemiologist is calling into question the legality of US President Donald Trump and his administration's response to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, appearing to suggest that federal government officials could be tried under international law. Hours before Trump took to Twitter to announce the Coronavirus Task Force would "continue on indefinitely," Gregg Gonsalves , an assistant professor of epidemiology of microbial diseases at the Yale School of Public Health, posed a series of questions to fellow netizens on the social media site regarding Washington's handling of COVID-19.

How many people will die this summer, before Election Day? What proportion of the deaths will be among African-Americans, Latinos, other people of color? This is getting awfully close to genocide by default. What else do you call mass death by public policy? #COVID19 #coronavirus

-- Gregg Gonsalves (@gregggonsalves) May 6, 2020

As of this article's publication, the US has tested over 7.5 million individuals for the novel coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University . Data provided by the university details that the country has confirmed 1.2 million cases of the novel coronavirus and suffered over 71,400 associated deaths. At least 189,791 recoveries from COVID-19 have been observed in the US.

Gonsalves' emphasis on the COVID-19 deaths of Black Americans, Latinos and other people of color in the US stems from the fact that there has been a disproportionate amount of novel coronavirus deaths in the Black community.

"Social conditions, structural racism, and other factors elevate risk for COVID-19 diagnoses and deaths in black communities," wrote a team of epidemiologists and clinicians in a new study analyzing novel coronavirus cases and death on a county level, as reported by CNN. The scientists found that counties where Black residents made up more than 13% of the population - about the percentage of the total US population that is Black - suffered 52% of COVID-19 diagnoses and 58% of associated deaths in the country.

"Structural factors including health care access, density of households, unemployment, pervasive discrimination and others drive these disparities, not intrinsic characteristics of black communities or individual-level factors," noted the researchers.

It's worth noting that the findings are preliminary, as the study still needs to go through the peer review process.

"So, what does it mean to let thousands die by negligence, omission, failure to act, in a legal sense under international law?" asked Gonsalves in another tweet Wednesday morning .

The conduct of Trump and his administration has been called into question over the past several weeks after reports revealed that the president and federal officials were briefed on the novel coronavirus, and its potential threat to the US, several weeks prior to the declaration of a national emergency on March 13.

Recently, Dr. Rick Bright, the former director of the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, said that he alerted Department of Health and Human Services officials in January about the US' unpreparedness for a possible COVID-19 outbreak. Bright said that he was met with "indifference which then developed into hostility" from the administration and, in his opinion, was the reason for his demotion within the agency.

While Trump is pushing for more Americans to return to their workplaces and restart the US economy - which some believe could lead to a second wave of infections - Gonsalves wondered if there could be some kind of intervention or charges brought against the federal government on an international level.

"And I am being serious here: what is happening in the US is purposeful, considered negligence, omission, failure to act by our leaders. Can they be held responsible under international law?" he asked .

[May 05, 2020] Could there be a more obvious demonstration that the man is FULL OF SHIT??

Notable quotes:
"... The bungling, toxic incompetence of this administration is quite something to behold. Wow... ..."
May 05, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

farm ecologist , May 4 2020 18:53 utc | 4

RADDATZ: Do you believe it was manmade or genetically modified?

POMPEO: Look, the best experts so far seem to think it was manmade. I have no reason to disbelieve that at this point.

RADDATZ: Your -- your Office of the DNI says the consensus, the scientific consensus was not manmade or genetically modified.

POMPEO: That's right. I -- I -- I agree with that. Yes. I've -- I've seen their analysis. I've seen the summary that you saw that was released publicly. I have no reason to doubt that that is accurate at this point.

To summarize: Pompeo does not doubt that the virus has been genetically modified, but he also does not doubt that is has not been genetically modified.

Could there be a more obvious demonstration that the man is FULL OF SHIT??


Jpc , May 4 2020 19:13 utc | 8

To Farm ecologist.

You are totally on the money. How or why is he in this job?
It's demented!

Sol Invictus , May 4 2020 19:16 utc | 12
Those incompetent neo-confederates leading america into oblivion will jumble strategic defeats with winning. So much for accountability, hard work and personal responsability... Seems they can't compete fairly without superior military variable of adjustment and threat of violence against adversaries. Orange springs eternal and their great white hope has now adopted a paralizing rhetoric of victimization - republican lawmakers follow suit and are going so far as invoking a western bid for monetary reparations from Chinese depredations. # the art of winnig for maggots, derp.
Daniel , May 4 2020 20:56 utc | 34
The bungling, toxic incompetence of this administration is quite something to behold. Wow...

[May 05, 2020] I can do a lot Trump blames China for Covid-19 seeking to undermine his re-election -- RT USA News

Notable quotes:
"... The president has ramped up attacks on China in recent weeks, insisting it concealed information about the coronavirus in the early stages of the outbreak and has all but blamed the country for the health crisis. Asked whether he would use tariffs or debt write-offs to penalize Beijing, Trump refused to offer much detail, saying only that "we're looking for what happened" and how to respond to the alleged "cover-up." ..."
"... There are many things I can do. ..."
Apr 30, 2020 | www.rt.com
US President Donald Trump believes China "will do anything they can" to make him lose his re-election bid, pointing to Beijing's handling of the coronavirus outbreak that has killed over 60,000 Americans already. Taking aim at Beijing, Trump told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday that the country would prefer to see his Democratic rival Joe Biden take the Oval Office in November, stating it would pull out all the stops to see him win – though the former VP would first need to secure his party's nomination.

China will do anything they can to have me lose this race.

Exclusive: Trump says China 'will do anything they can' to make him lose the re-election race in 2020 https://t.co/WB0zbWYZEkhttps://t.co/WB0zbWYZEk

-- Reuters (@Reuters) April 30, 2020

The president has ramped up attacks on China in recent weeks, insisting it concealed information about the coronavirus in the early stages of the outbreak and has all but blamed the country for the health crisis. Asked whether he would use tariffs or debt write-offs to penalize Beijing, Trump refused to offer much detail, saying only that "we're looking for what happened" and how to respond to the alleged "cover-up."

There are many things I can do.

Beijing has maintained that it tackled the pandemic appropriately and that it shared information about the virus with the international community as soon as it was available. Chinese officials have also hit back at the US accusations, suggesting Washington's handling of Covid-19 has been slow and ineffective, while warning against politicizing the global crisis.

Also on rt.com Hello 'Chinagate': Why blaming Beijing is all the rage this US election cycle

[May 05, 2020] I hope Trump gets everything he deserves.

May 05, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Walter , May 5 2020 13:48 utc | 158

Circe , May 5 2020 14:09 utc | 159

...There's no New York Times before Covid and after Covid and intelligence was crooked before it was straight on no WMDs in Iraq before Zionists gave Bush the fake intelligence he wanted. Intelligence will be crooked and sometimes right depending, but more often it's a trained pitbull. None of that matters.

I have long disliked the New York Times as a perfect example of Neo-liberal trash propaganda, and I really disagreed with b's whitewash of Trump until recently when his interpretation of Trump has become less clouded by his protect Russia bias and more cognizant of the avalanche of proof that Trump is a Zionist fascist in service of 1% power and specifically chosen for his unflinching loyalty to the peak of the corruption pyramid.

Now, what I mean by this is that when your loyalty is to the unbiased truth, you don't and shouldn't care from whence it emerges cause the truth can emerge from a sewer dripping in filth as easily as it can fall out of the sky pure like driven snow. The vehicle means one iota to me; I only care about the truth, unlike some of you here who want to shoot the messenger cause right now the messenger can't help giving you the facts for whatever reason, and you can't handle the truth.

Wise up! And learn to recognize the truth when you see it even if it's covered in what you consider shet.

Now on the j'accuse Chine , Trump strategy. Very little of the virus travelled from China to the U.S. and what did land in the U.S. from China was mostly contained. The worst spread of infection came from Europe, but Trump being the asshole that he is got caught in his xenophobic trap, immediately shutting down flights from China but allowing hundreds of thousands of carriers from Europe to disembark for weeks. So now to cover that huge blunder that emanated from his racist skewed judgment, he's spewing fake intelligence and hate propaganda against China to cover his butt and salvage his poll numbers.

The truth is that small and medium-sized farms are failing under the weight of his tariff blowback and now under Covid. He's starting to bleed support in rural areas so he needs to play the racist blame card to inflame patriotic loyalty to rally around him.

I hope he also gets everything he deserves. A spectacular downfall might suffice.

[May 03, 2020] Western countries simply did not have an appetite to do any qurantine measures until the pain was high enough

May 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Clueless Joe , May 1 2020 18:36 utc | 66

That WHO basically fucked up because of Western pressure more than because of China is obvious. Just look at the most recent idiocy they promoted: masks are useless. China would never claim that - both because they rely massively on them and because they produce and sell a lot of them. On the other hand, Western governments who were asleep at the wheel and never bothered to store or produce facemasks were desperately trying to convince their sheep flock, I mean, people, that they were all good, managed the crisis as best as anyone could, and that there wasn't any shortage of masks because these weren't useful to begin with.
Case closed.
And for the eternal record of universal history: China's dictatorship obviously cared more about its people than self-claimed democratic governments. Let that sink in for a minute.

CharkVaror , May 1 2020 18:44 utc | 67

This whole coronabs is the biggest psyops in the history of mankind, 11/9 looks like a joke compared to it.
hopehely , May 1 2020 18:57 utc | 68
Posted by: Clueless Joe | May 1 2020 18:36 utc | 66
That WHO basically fucked up because of Western pressure more than because of China is obvious.

I don't think WHO fucked up. Western countries simply did not have an appetite to do any measures until the pain was high enough.

[May 03, 2020] WHO as a corrupt bereaucracy

May 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Allen , May 3 2020 2:09 utc | 70

There's a lot of trash science out there re:Covid- it was founded on trash science.

Maybe next post you could go into the trash science of the fraudulent tests themselves.

In the mean time this is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand what is going on- one of the most concise pieces on the subject to date:

The WHO makes gratuitous use of appellations such as "world" and "health" but is actually a semi-private entity lavishly financed by Bill Gates and Big Pharma, which is owned by a handful of highly inbred oligarchic entities that include Vanguard, BlackRock, Capital Group, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Northern Trust and State Street, which in turn own each other in various convoluted ways.

WHO's main function is to scare people into getting vaccinated and accepting expensive drug regimens (barely half of which do any good at all), thus funneling resources toward Big Pharma.

The World Health Organization establishes thresholds to determine whether to declare an influenza epidemic that range between 2.5% and 5%. The novel coronavirus misses the mark by a thousand-fold, yet the WHO has declared it to be the cause of a global pandemic.

If this seems like an extreme overreaction, that is because this is an extreme overreaction.

Some conspiratorially-minded people may surmise that this is a conspiracy, but it isn't. It is yet another blatant attempt to confiscate a chunk of the world's wealth by requiring it to buy something worthless, just like this same set of medical/financial interests did with the relatively worthless Tamiflu antiviral medication during the H1N1 swine flu pandemic of 2009-10 which caused a mere 18,036 deaths worldwide. This is a specific group pursuing its own group interests.

......

https://thewallwillfall.org/2020/05/02/gaslighting-the-coronavirus-dimitry-orlov/

[May 03, 2020] Cuomo incompetence: Last month, the state paid Yaron Oren-Pines $47,656 per ventilator for 1,450 ventilators, three times the normal asking price

May 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , May 2 2020 22:28 utc | 43

Thanks b for that polite and quiet reference to:
Last month, the state paid Yaron Oren-Pines $47,656 per ventilator for 1,450 ventilators, three times the normal asking price,.....

...Oren-Pines has no known capability or expertise in making ventilators. According to BuzzFeed, his social media shows expressions of support for Trump since at least 2015.

He has not provided the ventilators, and New York state is attempting to recover the money, BuzzFeed reported. Oren-Pines would not comment to the online news site.

An unnamed official for the New York state government said the recommendation to deal with Oren-Pines came directly from the White House coronavirus task force. A spokeswoman for Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the task force, denied any involvement in making the recommendation.

The carpetbaggers are always in the lead if not the instigators. Perhaps he was on the last flight home.

[May 03, 2020] Shadow of the USSR over the USA: sclerotic incompetent leadership is a sad reality

May 03, 2020 | econintersect.com

"Sclerotic America" [John Furlan, Econintersect ].

"The U.S. has had sclerotic political leadership during this crisis. The U.S. is being offered the "choice" between Trump, 73, and Biden, 77. Its other major political players are Pelosi, 80, and McConnell, 78 .

Trump of course bears most of the blame for the Covid-19 Crisis.

But the Dems and liberal media also share a lot. Trump dithered for many crucial weeks after China's CCP very belatedly shut down Wuhan on January 23, many weeks after the virus emerged What were the Dems and liberal media doing during those crucial weeks? From December 18 to February 5 they culminated three years of wasting the nation's time trying to impeach Trump for Russia- and Ukraine-gate, as the virus picked up steam.

The Dems and liberal media held "debates" and primaries through March 17 in which Covid-19 was barely mentioned except in the context of Sanders' Medicare for All, focusing instead on such issues as Bloomberg's NDA's (Biden's opponents are now using a similar #MeToo attack)." • "The duty of an opposition party is to oppose."

[May 02, 2020] Many field hospitals went largely unused, will be shut down

Apr 29, 2020 | www.militarytimes.com

Gleaming new tent hospitals sit empty on two suburban New York college campuses, never having treated a single coronavirus patient. Convention centers that were turned into temporary hospitals in other cities went mostly unused. And a Navy hospital ship that offered help in Manhattan is soon to depart. When virus infections slowed down or fell short of worst-case predictions, the globe was left dotted with dozens of barely used or unused field hospitals. [ Too bad Cuomo didn't send COVID-19 patients from the nursing homes to these ships for treatment... ]

[May 02, 2020] For brevity, I always post that our IC (Intelligence Community) is masterful in shaping U.S. public opinion and causing problems for targeted countries but terrible in collecting and analyzing Intel that would benefit the U.S. The truth of course, is more complicated.

Notable quotes:
"... The person trying to tell the truth is forced to defend, 'Communist China' (Tom Cotton thinks that is one word), Russia, or Iran and to the U.S. public this is toxic. ..."
"... Someday it just won't matter anymore. We will have deceived ourselves for so long that we have squandered so much of our power that no one will pay attention to us. ..."
"... Intelligence is a rare commodity in American politics and diplomacy even more elusive so the consequences of malicious rumours are never weighed nor assessed ..."
"... Intelligence is a rare commodity in American politics and diplomacy even more elusive so the consequences of malicious rumours are never weighed nor assessed ..."
May 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Christian J Chuba , May 1 2020 13:17 utc | 9

Spy vs Spy

For brevity, I always post that our IC (Intelligence Community) is masterful in shaping U.S. public opinion and causing problems for targeted countries but terrible in collecting and analyzing Intel that would benefit the U.S. The truth of course, is more complicated.

There is a remnant that is doing their jobs properly but is shut out from higher level offices. But I cannot give long disclaimers at the start of my posts, (I'm not talking about the men and women ...) where 50 words later I finally start to make my point. It's boring, sounds insincere, and defensive.

This is yet another effective defense mechanism that protects the troublemakers in our IC bureaucracy.
1. The person trying to tell the truth is forced to defend, 'Communist China' (Tom Cotton thinks that is one word), Russia, or Iran and to the U.S. public this is toxic.

2. These rogues get to use the remaining good people as human shields.

3. They know their customers, it gives the politicians a way to turn themselves into wartime leaders rather than having to answer for their shortcomings.

Someday it just won't matter anymore. We will have deceived ourselves for so long that we have squandered so much of our power that no one will pay attention to us.


/div> Intelligence is a rare commodity in American politics and diplomacy even more elusive so the consequences of malicious rumours are never weighed nor assessed . The American public are easily enough fooled being constantly fed a racist diet, especially Sinophobia, Russophopia and Iranophobia and the drumbeats for war, financial or military, are easily banged to raise the public's blood pressure....but what about the consequences? America can win neither, even with he assistance of a few vassal states. What happens if, and when, normal service is resumed? If they managed to succeed with any of their hair-brained ideas, what are the consequences for American companies in China, rare earth minerals, the IT industries etc etc. Guard your words wisely for they can never be retracted.

Posted by: Séamus Ó Néill , May 1 2020 13:46 utc | 13

Intelligence is a rare commodity in American politics and diplomacy even more elusive so the consequences of malicious rumours are never weighed nor assessed . The American public are easily enough fooled being constantly fed a racist diet, especially Sinophobia, Russophopia and Iranophobia and the drumbeats for war, financial or military, are easily banged to raise the public's blood pressure....but what about the consequences? America can win neither, even with he assistance of a few vassal states. What happens if, and when, normal service is resumed? If they managed to succeed with any of their hair-brained ideas, what are the consequences for American companies in China, rare earth minerals, the IT industries etc etc. Guard your words wisely for they can never be retracted.

Posted by: Séamus Ó Néill | May 1 2020 13:46 utc | 13

dan of steele , May 1 2020 14:32 utc | 23
GeorgeV

I think there is very good intelligence in the US. so much data is collected and there are many analysts to go over the data and present their forecasts. The World Factbook is an example of collected intelligence made available to the unwashed masses.

what you are thinking is that this information should be used to your benefit. that is where it goes wrong. the big players are able to access and exploit that mass of data and use it to their benefit.

Billmon used to say that this is a feature, not a bug.

Piero Colombo , May 1 2020 15:08 utc | 28
s @19

"Not precluded" are also a Fort Detrick origin and contagion taken to Wuhan by the US military, staying at a hotel where most of the first cluster of patients was identified. So why wouldn't you always mention both in the same breath?

concerned , May 1 2020 15:27 utc | 31
First hollywood movie I am aware of that deals with pandemics and has Fort Detrick front and center was "Outbreak" 1995. In this film, the "Expert" played by D. Huffman uncovers a plot by a rogue 2 star general sitting on the serum from another outbreak years ago, and how he witheld this information and the serum to "protect their bioweapon". There is also a very overt background sub-plot about Dod and CDC being at odds.

DoD is not listed in the credits for Outbreak. Many of the scenes are supposed to take place in CDC and Fort Detrick.

--

Last hollywood movie was "Contagion" 2011. In this film, which pretty much anticipates Covid-19 madness but with an actually scary virus, the "Expert" in charge tells the DHS man that "Nature has already weaponized them!".

So this lie about the little bitty part "function gain" man-made mutations being the critical bit for "weaponizing" viruses is turned on its head. It was "Nature" after all. A wet market, you know.

Contagion does list DoD in its credits. Vincent C. Oglivie as US DoD Liason and Project Officer.

Just some 'fun' trivia for us to while away our lives. Remember that consipirational thought is abberational thought. Have a shot of Victory Gin and relex!

md , May 1 2020 15:34 utc | 32
Ten questions the US needs to answer
https://www.facebook.com/PeoplesDaily/posts/3243339602384501

[May 01, 2020] Antiwar and anto0interialsim voters who voted for Trump in 2016 are up to a cold shower: it is Trump driving US hostility and escalation in the world, and not only those around him. He is the biggest US imperialist for the last 30 years.

May 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Passer by , May 1 2020 15:58 utc | 37

Just as i said many times, it is Trump driving US hostility and escalation in the world, and not only those around him. He is the biggest US imperialist for the last 30 years.

A racist white man goes crazy the moment he understands he does not have the "biggest dick" anymore, and is humiliated due to that, since this wasn't supposed to happen to the people who ruled the world for 500 years.

What will happen is that american white male right wingers will start going crazy. Lashing out in hatred against the world, after understanding they are no longer "number 1", and that their fate will not be pretty.

You should expect US right wingers to go crazy as the US further declines. These people thought they would rule the world. Instead they started to decline. This wasn't supposed to happen to such superior people.

US elite will simply go crazy as the "best country in the world" loses its power.

Expect anglo craziness, outbursts of hate and hysteria. The US elite will become a mental institution. If not for nukes, they would have started a world war already.

[May 01, 2020] Trump is a salesman first and foremost. As a former pharmaceutical rep I am well aware that most salesmen are suckers for most sales pitches as an intrinsic part of their personalities.

The absence of sufficient state controls in a democracy enables the wealthy class to manipulate the economy, the press and elected representatives for its own gain. A widening gulf between poverty and affluence develops, gradually dragging the working class to ruin
Notable quotes:
"... Our economy is based on the wet dream of sycophants like Mnuchin who barely escaped prison for his games in the wake of devastation of the subprime loan disaster on 2008, and neoliberals who are much better at playing him then the opposite. So he's a puppet for Wall Street AND a closet neocon. Would the demonstrably senile Biden be any better? Not a chance, so once again the majority of Americans are left with a sham election whereby two flavors of the same shit are what's being fed to us. ..."
May 01, 2020 | www.unz.com

Gyre07 , says: Show Comment April 30, 2020 at 3:45 pm GMT

@Priss Factor Assuming he's even motivated by a desire to make America a better Constitutional Republic, Trump is a salesman first and foremost. As a former pharmaceutical rep I am well aware that most salesmen are suckers for most sales pitches as an intrinsic part of their personalities.

So as I watch Trump being manipulated continuously by a variety of slick and confident grifters inhabiting the world stage with their multitude of transparent agendas I can only go, "that figures". I mean, he's basically just a more alpha version of GW Bush, so the fact that we haven't gone full gonzo yet on another nation is something of a miracle. Instead he's waging war by collapsing economies he views as competitors OR those of countries he wants to invade to steal natural resources from. As for the health of America, we're fucked.

Our economy is based on the wet dream of sycophants like Mnuchin who barely escaped prison for his games in the wake of devastation of the subprime loan disaster on 2008, and neoliberals who are much better at playing him then the opposite. So he's a puppet for Wall Street AND a closet neocon. Would the demonstrably senile Biden be any better? Not a chance, so once again the majority of Americans are left with a sham election whereby two flavors of the same shit are what's being fed to us.

Digital Samizdat , says: Show Comment April 30, 2020 at 4:49 pm GMT
@anon

Government and big money seem to have formed a nexus, dominated by a very small number of people, who seem to be at war with us.

I seem to agree.

Emily , says: Show Comment April 30, 2020 at 9:34 pm GMT
Until the American people demand electoral reform – you ain't going nowhere.
You need another party and you need to vote for it.
Stuff the neo lib or neo lib or neo lib – of the existing choice.
You have a two headed hydra – in reality a one party state.
Financed and controlled by puppet masters.
The democracy in the US is a total sham
A fraud and farce.
And you need fair voting.
Used by most democracies – PR – Proportional Representation.
Where votes mean seats.
A Ron Paul party would be a dream.
But until America gets off its fat bots and seriously acts to become a democratic state – you are getting what you continue to vote for.
Greed, corruption and elite rule – bought and paid for in the House and Senate down.
Nothing but a puppet, pawn and tax collector for another foreign power.
And you dare to mass murder and bomb in the name of 'regime change' and democracy to create your vile rule of law across the planet
Gross, an abomination – a facist state.

[May 01, 2020] Evil intent and premeditation are perfectly compatible with bad planning and gross incompetence.

May 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Russ , Apr 29 2020 20:55 utc | 49

Evil intent and premeditation are perfectly compatible with bad planning and gross incompetence.

Look at every US war of aggression: It fails utterly at every affirmative goal, but so far always accomplishes the purely negative goals of mass murder, gross physical destruction and generating failed states. Same for disaster responses like with Katrina: They couldn't save any lives or help poor people rebuild, but they could complete the destruction of social infrastructure which the hurricane hadn't finished off.

That's the US, domestically and around the world. And people really think any kind of intensive response to an epidemic would have any other kind of outcome?

Jackrabbit , Apr 29 2020 21:32 utc | 53

NoOneYouKnow Apr29 20:41
... it wouldn't surprise me if they deployed this virus in China without assuming, or caring about, blowback in the US.

karlof1 has speculated along the same lines weeks ago.

My understanding of karlof1's argument is as follows: China turned the "weapon" (assuming it was a deliberate attack) back on USA by revealing the virus instead of keeping the outbreak quiet. The result has been the destabilizing of US society because USA leadership had never planned to respond to the virus in any way that is appropriate to a new virus.

!!

[May 01, 2020] Bright transfer was in response to his insistence that the government invest into safe and scientifically vetted solutions for fighting COVID-19, and not in drugs, vaccines and other technologies that lack scientific merit

May 01, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

The people need science. The teaching is a legacy of pathologist Rudolph Virchow who was at the barricades in Berlin in 1848. A journal entry in that year of revolutions reads, " Medicine is a social science , and politics nothing but medicine on a grand scale." The pioneering Virchow first pronounced upon the biological importance of cells in health and disease. He was the " chief founder of modern scientific medicine." (William H. Welch, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine 1902),

Virchow inspires today's imperative that the entitled classes not abandon science in the face of danger nor twist science to fit proprietary uses. This is the Virchow whose study of a typhus outbreak in Upper Silesia convinced him that class-based oppression – poverty and lack of education – was responsible for the epidemic, the Virchow who helped form the German Radical Party in 1884 and served in the Prussian and German parliaments.

Ask immunologist and virologist Rick Bright about science serving the people. That expert in preventing viral disease, particularly influenza, on April 21 was removed from his position in the Department of Health and Human Services. Bright was in charge of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and of efforts to develop an anti-COVID 19 vaccine. He had 63 scientific articles to his credit.

Bright told the press that, "I believe this transfer was in response to my insistence that the government invest the billions of dollars allocated by Congress to address the COVID-19 pandemic into safe and scientifically vetted solutions, and not in drugs, vaccines and other technologies that lack scientific merit. I am speaking out because to combat this deadly virus, science -- not politics or cronyism -- has to lead the way."

He added that, "contrary to misguided directives, I limited the broad use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, promoted by the Administration as a panacea, but which clearly lack scientific merit."

Science has been a bit player in the U.S. government's confrontation with the pandemic. President Trump's anti-science attitudes are far from the whole story, although his cut-off of U.S. funding for the World Health Organization was as dangerous as it was symbolic.

That government failed to take steps that would have allowed scientific inquiry during the early stages of the pandemic Early case-finding and tracking of contacts did not take place. Investigators lacked the raw material that might have allowed them to define the contours of an evolving epidemic, its special characteristics.

The fact of delay was clear on April 21 when a California medical examiner announced that COVID 19 had accounted for one death on February 6 and another on February 17. Neither victim had traveled outside the United States. The onset of their infections was presumably in mid-January. All along, authorities had regarded a Washington-state patient who tested positive on February 26 as the first U.S. victim of community-acquired infection. Yet CDC director Robert Redfield, testifying before a congressional committee on March 11, revealed that some patients assumed to have died from influenza did die from COVID 19 infection.

Also, the administration's China-bashing and even conspiracy theories about the origins of the pandemic testify to its dismissal of useful scientist research, particularly the findings of scientists throughout the world who know about the beginnings of the pandemic, in China.

British and German scientists " reconstructed the early 'evolutionary paths' of COVID-19 in humans." A Cambridge University team "mapped some of the original spread of the new coronavirus through its mutations, which creates different viral lineages." Virus genomes were studied " from across the world between 24 December 2019 and 4 March 2020."

The researchers categorized three types of COVID 19. The original Wuhan virus was type A; its mutated versions showed up in the United States and Australia. Type B, predominating in Wuhan, stayed put in East Asia. Type C appeared only in Europe, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea. The researchers "traced established infection routes: the mutations and viral lineages joined the dots between known cases." Such information about the virus's biologic behavior might have enabled public health officials to identify at-risk populations within the United States and abroad.

Lead author Peter Forster suggested to a reporter that in Wuhan "the first infection and spread among humans of COVID-19 occurred between mid-September and early December." His disclosure has implications for U.S. military athletes participating in the "World Military Games" in Wuhan in late October. They were among 9308 military athletes on hand from 100 countries. The athletes might have carried the virus with them on their return to the various nations.

Zoologist Peter Daszak, president of the New York – based EcoHealth Alliance, does research in China on inter-species sharing of viruses. He pointed out in 2013 that, "Coronaviruses evolve very rapidly [and] are exquisitely evolved to jump from one species to another." At the time, he was reflecting on the SARS coronavirus epidemic of 10 years earlier.

He offered a suggestion that, if acted upon, might have prevented the COVID 19 pandemic. The cost, Daszak estimated, would have been "about $1.5bn to discover all the viruses in mammals. I think that would be a great investment because once you have done it, you can develop vaccines and get ready with test kits to find the first stage of emergence and stop it."

This story of the U.S. government's abuse of science ends with lessons learned. They are: (1) science must exist for the benefit of all people and not be left to the mercies of the rich and powerful, (2) a government restricting and disrespecting scientists, like Dr. Bright, is dangerous to the people, and (3) a capability to plan is of the essence to a state that would assure the safety and flourishing of all its people. These basic standards, it seems here, will be identifying features for those societies that do emerge relatively intact from the pandemic. The odds favor the socialist ones.

[May 01, 2020] It Took COVID To Expose the Fraud of 'American Exceptionalism' by Daniel Larison

Notable quotes:
"... The New York Times ..."
Apr 30, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
|

12:01 am

Our leaders were so preoccupied with remaking the world they failed to see that our country was falling apart around them. Has the time come to bury the conceit of American exceptionalism? In an article for the American edition of The Spectator , Quincy Institute President Andrew Bacevich concludes just that:

The coronavirus pandemic is a curse. It should also serve as an opportunity, Americans at long last realizing that they are not God's agents. Out of suffering and loss, humility and self-awareness might emerge. We can only hope.

The heart of the American exceptionalism in question is American hubris. It is based on the assumption that we are better than the rest of the world, and that this superiority both entitles and obligates us to take on an outsized role in the world.

In our current foreign policy debates, the phrase "American exceptionalism" has served as a shorthand for justifying and celebrating U.S. dominance, and when necessary it has served as a blanket excuse for U.S. wrongdoing. Seongjong Song defined it in an 2015 article for The Korean Journal of International Studies this way: "American exceptionalism is the belief that the US is "qualitatively different" from all other nations." In practice, that has meant that the U.S. does not consider itself to be bound by the same rules that apply to other states, and it reserves the right to interfere whenever and wherever it wishes.

American exceptionalism has been used in our political debates as an ideological purity test to determine whether certain political leaders are sufficiently supportive of an activist and interventionist foreign policy. The main purpose of invoking American exceptionalism in foreign policy debate has been to denigrate less hawkish policy views as unpatriotic and beyond the pale. The phrase was often used as a partisan cudgel in the previous decade as the Obama administration's critics tried to cast doubt on the former president's acceptance of this idea, but in the years since then it has become a rallying point for devotees of U.S. primacy regardless of party. There was an explosion in the use of the phrase in just the first few years of the 2010s compared with the previous decades. Song cited a study that showed this massive increase:

Exceptionalist discourse is on the rise in American politics. Terrence McCoy (2012) found that the term "American exceptionalism" appeared in US publications 457 times between 1980 and 2000, climbing to 2,558 times in the 2000s and 4,172 times in 2010-12.

The more that U.S. policies have proved "American exceptionalism" to be a pernicious myth at odds with reality, the more we have heard the phrase used to defend those policies. Republican hawks began the decade by accusing Obama of not believing in this "exceptionalism," and some Democratic hawks closed it out by "reclaiming" the idea on behalf of their own discredited foreign policy vision. There may be differences in emphasis between the two camps, but there is a consensus that the U.S. has special rights and privileges that other nations cannot have. That has translated into waging unnecessary wars, assuming excessive overseas burdens, and trampling on the rights of other states, and all the while congratulating ourselves on how virtuous we are for doing all of it.

The contemporary version of American exceptionalism is tied up inextricably with the belief that the U.S. is the "indispensable nation." According to this view, without U.S. "leadership" other countries will be unable or unwilling to respond to major international problems and threats. We have seen just how divorced from reality that belief is in just the last few months. There has been no meaningful U.S. leadership in response to the pandemic, but for the most part our allies have managed on their own fairly well. In the absence of U.S. "leadership," many other countries have demonstrated that they haven't really needed the U.S. Our "indispensability" is a story that we like to tell ourselves, but it isn't true. Not only are we no longer indispensable, but as Micah Zenko pointed out many years ago, we never were.

It was 22 years ago when then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright publicly declared the United States to be the "indispensable nation": "If we have to use force, it is because we are America; we are the indispensable nation. We stand tall and we see further than other countries into the future, and we see the danger here to all of us."

In a recent interview with The New York T imes, Albright sounded much less sure of her old position: "There's nothing in the definition of indispensable that says "alone." It means that the United States needs to be engaged with its partners. And people's backgrounds make a difference." Albright's original statement was an aggressive assertion that America was both extraordinarily powerful and unusually farsighted, and that legitimized the frequent U.S. recourse to using force.

After two decades of calamitous failures that have highlighted our weaknesses and foolishness, even she can't muster up the old enthusiasm that she once had. No one could look back at the last 20 years of U.S. foreign policy and still honestly say that "we see further" into the future than others. Not only are we no better than other countries at anticipating and preparing for future dangers, but judging from the country's lack of preparedness for a pandemic we are actually far behind many of the countries that we have presumed to "lead." It is impossible to square our official self-congratulatory rhetoric with the reality of a government that is incapable of protecting its citizens from disaster.

The poor U.S. response to the pandemic has not only exposed many of the country's serious faults, but it has also caused a crisis of faith in the prevailing mythology that American political leaders and pundits have been promoting for decades. This found expression most recently in a rather odd article in The New York Times last week. The framing of the story makes it into a lament for a collapsing ideology:

The pandemic sweeping the globe has done more than take lives and livelihoods from New Delhi to New York. It is shaking fundamental assumptions about American exceptionalism -- the special role the United States played for decades after World War II as the reach of its values and power made it a global leader and example to the world.

The curious thing about this description is that it takes for granted that "fundamental assumptions about American exceptionalism" haven't been thoroughly shaken long before now. The "special role" mentioned here was never going to last forever, and in some respects it was more imaginary than real. It was a period in our history that we should seek to understand and learn from, but we also need to recognize that it was transitory and already ended some time ago.

If American exceptionalism is now "on trial," as another recent article put it , it is because it offered up a pleasing but false picture of how we relate to the rest of the world. Over the last two decades, we have seen that picture diverge more and more from real life. The false picture gives political leaders an excuse to take reckless and disastrous actions as long as they can spin them as being expressions of "who we are" as a country. At the same time, they remain blind to the country's real vulnerabilities. It is a measure of how powerful the illusion of American exceptionalism is that it still has such a hold on so many people's minds even now, but it has not been a harmless illusion.

While our leaders have been patting themselves on the back for the enlightened "leadership" that they imagine they are providing to the world, they have neglected the country's urgent needs and allowed many parts of our system to fall into disrepair and ruin. They have also visited enormous destruction on many other countries in the name of "helping" them. The same hubris that has warped foreign policy decisions over the decades has encouraged a dangerous complacency about the problems in our own country. We can't let that continue. Our leaders were so preoccupied with trying to remake other parts of the world that they failed to see that our country was falling apart all around them.

American exceptionalism has been the story that our leaders told us to excuse their neglect of America. It is a flattering story, but ultimately it is a vain one that distracts us from protecting our own country and people. We would do well if we put away this boastful fantasy and learned how to live like a normal nation.

[May 01, 2020] Deep State as Deep Corruption.

May 01, 2020 | www.unz.com

Priss Factor , says: Website Show Comment April 29, 2020 at 5:22 pm GMT

Here's something to be disillusioned about. Deep State as Deep Corruption.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/0tO11hclNv8?feature=oembed

But what happened to the Trump who was going to drain the swamp? He filled it with more sewage.
He murdered Soleimani and interferes in Venezuelan politics in ways that Russia has been accused(falsely) of interfering in US politics.

AaronInMVD , says: Website Show Comment April 29, 2020 at 9:45 pm GMT
@Priss Factor I suspect the true backbreaker when it comes to disillusioning for me was seeing how thoroughly Trump was disconnected from the levers of power except for those few cases when he'd been surrounded by war lobby shills.

Whatever welcome change Trump could have brought has been completely negated by the fact everyone he hired or could have hired is too stuck in the status quo to welcome change. Even the people he though could have been the "rebels" on his side lead him down that path of seeing Iranian ballistic missiles hitting US troop positions in Iraq.

The only thing that might have worked would have been firing everyone he could during the first 7 days and filling as many posts as he could with clean cut (as opposed to neck bearded) alt-right 20-somethings.

I voted for Trump, but Trump still wasn't enough to keep me in the US.

[Apr 30, 2020] I do think it has been a mistake not to quarantine nursing homes, ltc facilities, hospitals, etc.. Including the docs, nurses, workers. Those are the vectors 50% of covid deaths could have been prevented, esp in NY, like that.

Apr 30, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

BDrizz , Apr 30 2020 2:09 utc | 92

These lockdowns have ended life as we know it, no matter which position you take. I do think it has been a mistake not to quarantine nursing homes, ltc facilities, hospitals, etc.. Including the docs, nurses, workers. Those are the vectors & 50% of covid deaths could have been prevented, esp in NY, like that. At year-end, we can look at all-cause mortalities trends, see how this year stacks up. I hope these measures make sense given the extreme poverty, violence, death they will cause. There will be no permanent vaccine, they've been trying w/Coronav's for a long time. This thing is a fact of life going forward. It will mutate like any other cold or flu. Are we going to shut down & go Orwell every time it pops up? We're f'ed.

[Apr 30, 2020] Ferguson's alamist narrative about two million dead int he USA alone has triumphed, helped by our incontinent and irresponsible media. ...

Apr 30, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

fairleft , Apr 30 2020 0:43 utc | 80

Neil Ferguson hasn't been part of b's coronavirus narrative, but his bad statistics (he has a history) are key to the whole story. Great opinion piece by R.R. Reno :

"On March 16, Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London predicted a coronavirus death toll of more than two million in the United States alone. He arrived at this number by assuming that infection would be nearly universal and the fatality rate would be high -- a terrifying prospect. The next day, Stanford epidemiologist John Ioannidis sifted through the data and predicted less widespread infection and a fatality rate of between 0.05 and 1.0 percent -- not that different from the common flu. The coronavirus is not the common flu. It has different characteristics, afflicting the old more than the young, men more than women. Nevertheless, all data trends since mid-March show that Ferguson was fantastically wrong and Ioannidis was largely right about its mortal threat. [fairleft: Reno goes too far here: data indicates Covid-19 is worse than the flu for the vulnerable, possibly much worse depending on age and the severity of their vulnerability.]

"But Ferguson's narrative has triumphed, helped by our incontinent and irresponsible media. ...

"Our entire ruling class, which united behind catastrophism and the untested methods of mass shutdown, is implicated in the unfolding fiasco.

"Journalists continue to sustain the pandemic narrative. Ioannidis is still ignored, though the evidence I outlined above has been building for weeks. ..."

[[U of Oxford prediction: "Taking account of historical experience, trends in the data, increased number of infections in the population at largest, and potential impact of misclassification of deaths gives a presumed estimate for the COVID-19 IFR somewhere between 0.1% and 0.36%." All studies so far are flawed and not all are within that range, but here are basically ALL of them, which generally point to the Oxford prediction being about right:

NYC shopping center: 0.6%
Santa Clara County: 0.1 - 0.2%
LA County: 0.1 - 0.3%
Oise, France high school: 0.0%
Gangelt, Germany: 0.37%
Bergamo, Italy: 0.57%
Lombardio, Italy: 0.87%
Iceland: 0.05%
UK: 0.9%
China: 0.66%
Boston homeless shelter: 0.0%
US Navy ship: 0.07% ]]

R.R. Reno concludes:

"We've been stampeded into a regime of social control that is unprecedented in our history. Our economy has been shattered.... As unemployment numbers skyrocket and Congress spends trillions, the political stakes rise.

"The experts, professionals, bureaucrats, and public officials who did this to us have tremendous incentives to close ranks and say, 'It is not wise to tell people that the danger was never grave and now has passed.' Sustaining the coronavirus narrative will require many lies. It will be up to us to insist on the truth."

[Apr 24, 2020] Ted Arison, the Israeli-American founder of Carnival [Covid] Cruise Line is among those appointed to advise president Trump on how to open up the US economy.

Apr 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Paul , Apr 23 2020 20:14 utc | 53

Ted Arison, the Israeli-American founder of Carnival [Covid] Cruise Line is among those appointed to advise president Trump on how to open up the US economy. Perhaps, as music to the ears of a seasoned New York real estate shark, he will advise Trump to blame China and then default on the China debt mountain. Litigation pays as Arison is about to find out.

https://www.afr.com/companies/tourism/carnival-knew-it-had-a-problem-but-it-kept-the-party-going-20200420-p54lbb

[Apr 21, 2020] A Government Against the People by Philip Giraldi

Notable quotes:
"... To be sure, Trump has good reason to hate the intelligence and national security community, which utterly rejected his candidacy and plotted to destroy both his campaign and, even after he was elected, his presidency ..."
"... While it is not unusual for presidents to surround themselves with devoted yes-men, as Trump does with his spectacularly unqualified son-in-law Jared Kushner, his administration is nevertheless unusual in its tendency to apply an absolute loyalty litmus test to nearly everyone surrounding the president ..."
"... Most damaging to consumer interests, the rot has also affected the so-called regulatory agencies that are supposed to monitor the potentially illegal activities of corporations and industries to protect the public. As University of Chicago economist George Stigler several times predicted, under both Obama and Trump advocates of ostensibly "regulated" corporations have taken over every U.S. federal regulatory agency . The captured U.S. government regulators now represent the interests of the corporations, not the public. This is more like government by a criminal oligarchy rather than of, by and for The People. ..."
Apr 21, 2020 | www.unz.com

The 24/7 intensified media coverage of the coronavirus story has meant that other news has either been ignored or relegated to the back pages, never to be seen again. The Middle East has been on a boil but coverage of the Trump administration's latest moves against Iran has been so insignificant as to be invisible. Meanwhile closer to home, the declaration by the ubiquitous Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that current president of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro is a drug trafficker did generate somewhat of a ripple, as did dispatch of warships to the Caribbean to intercept the alleged drugs, but that story also died.

Of more interest perhaps is the tale of the continued purge of government officials, referred to as "draining the swamp," by President Donald Trump as it could conceivably have long-term impact on how policy is shaped in Washington. Prior to the virus partial lockdown, some of the impending shakeup within the intelligence community (IC) and Pentagon were commented on in the media, but developments since that time have been less reported, even when several inspectors-general were removed.

To be sure, Trump has good reason to hate the intelligence and national security community, which utterly rejected his candidacy and plotted to destroy both his campaign and, even after he was elected, his presidency. Whether one argues that what took place was due to a "Deep state" or Establishment conspiracy or rather just based on personal ambition by key players, the reality was that a number of top officials seem to have forgotten the oaths they swore to the constitution when it came to Donald Trump.

Be that as it may, beyond the musical chairs that have characterized the senior level appointments in the first three years of the Trump administration, there has been a concerted effort to remove "disloyal" members of the intelligence community, with disloyal generally being the label applied to holdovers from the Bush and Obama administrations. The February appointment of U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard "Ric" Grenell as interim Director of National Intelligence (DNI), a position that he will hold simultaneously with his ambassadorship, has been criticized from all sides due to his inexperience, history of bad judgement and partisanship. The White House is now claiming that he will be replaced by Texas Congressman John Ratcliffe after the interim appointment is completed.

Criticism of Grenell for his clearly evident deficiencies misses the point, however, as he is not in place to do anything constructive. He has already initiated a purge of federal employees in the White House and national security apparatus considered to be insufficiently loyal, an effort which has been supported by National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Many career officers have been sent back to their home agencies while the new appointees are being drawn from the pool of neoconservatives that proliferated in the George W. Bush administration. Admittedly some prominent neocons like Bill Kristol have disqualified themselves for service with the new regime due to their vitriolic criticism of Trump the candidate, but many others have managed to remain politically viable by keeping their mouths shut during the 2016 campaign. To no one's surprise, many of the new employees being brought in are being carefully vetted to make sure that they are passionate supporters of Israel.

While it is not unusual for presidents to surround themselves with devoted yes-men, as Trump does with his spectacularly unqualified son-in-law Jared Kushner, his administration is nevertheless unusual in its tendency to apply an absolute loyalty litmus test to nearly everyone surrounding the president, even several layers down into the administration where employees are frequently apolitical. As the Trump White House has not been renowned for its adroit policies and forward thinking, the loss of expertise will be hardly noticeable, but there will certainly be a reduction in challenges to group think while replacing officials in the law enforcement and inspector general communities will mean that there will be no one in a high enough position to impede or check presidential misbehavior. Instead, high officials will be principally tasked with coming up with rationalizations to excuse what the White House does.

... ... ...

Subsequent to the defenestration of Atkinson, Trump went after another inspector general Glenn Fine, who was principal deputy IG at the Pentagon and had been charged with heading the panel of inspectors that would have oversight responsibility to certify the proper implementation of the $2.2 trillion dollar coronavirus relief package. As has been noted in the media, there was particular concern regarding the lack of transparency regarding the $500 billion Exchange Stabilizing Fund (ESF) that had been set aside to make loans to corporations and other large companies while the really urgently needed Small Business Loan allocation has been failing to work at all except for Israeli companies that have lined up for the loans. The risk that the ESF would become a slush fund for companies favored by the White House was real, and several investigative reports observed that Trump business interests might also directly benefit from the way it was drafted.

Four days after the firing of Atkinson, Fine also was let go to be replaced by the EPA inspector general Sean O'Donnell, who is considered a Trump loyalist. On the previous day the tweeter-in-chief came down on yet another IG, the woman responsible for Health and Human Services Christi Grimm, who had issued a report stating that the her department had found "severe" shortages of virus testing material at hospitals and "widespread" shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers. Trump quipped to reporters "Where did he come from, the inspector general. What's his name?"

On the following day, Trump unleashed the tweet machine, asking "Why didn't the I.G., who spent 8 years with the Obama Administration (Did she Report on the failed H1N1 Swine Flu debacle where 17,000 people died?), want to talk to the Admirals, Generals, V.P. & others in charge, before doing her report. Another Fake Dossier!"

A comment about foxes taking over the hen house would not be amiss and one might also note that the swamp is far from drained. A concerted effort is clearly underway to purge anyone from the upper echelons of the U.S. government who in any way contradicts what is coming out of the White House. Inspectors general who are tasked with looking into malfeasance are receiving the message that if they want to stay employed, they have to toe the presidential line, even as it seemingly whimsically changes day by day. And then there is the irony of the heads at major agencies like Environmental Protection now being committed to not enforcing existing environmental regulations at all.

Most damaging to consumer interests, the rot has also affected the so-called regulatory agencies that are supposed to monitor the potentially illegal activities of corporations and industries to protect the public. As University of Chicago economist George Stigler several times predicted, under both Obama and Trump advocates of ostensibly "regulated" corporations have taken over every U.S. federal regulatory agency . The captured U.S. government regulators now represent the interests of the corporations, not the public. This is more like government by a criminal oligarchy rather than of, by and for The People.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org .


Exile , says: Show Comment April 21, 2020 at 2:28 am GMT

I yield to no one in my contempt for the fraud-failure of God Emperor Bush III but the author has to be aware that talk of "impeachable" offenses is meaningless in American politics.

There has never been and never will be an impeachment effort that's not primarily political rather than process-motivated. It's an up-or-down vote based on a partisan head-counting and opportunism and public dissatisfaction. All the Article-this-and-that is Magic Paper Talmudry.

Trump is a somewhat rogueish, somewhat rival Don and faction-head in the same criminal (((Commission))) that's been running America for well over a century. He's Jon Gotti to their Carlo Gambino, and his gauche nouveaux-elite style offends the sensibilities of the more snobbish Davoise, but he's just angling for a seat at the table and a cut of the spoils, not a return of power to the people.

Impeachment would serve no purpose but what we've seen so far with Russiagate, etc.. – a sideshow distraction from the real backroom, long-knife action going down, ala the "settling scores" montage in Godfather III.

Getaclue , says: Show Comment April 21, 2020 at 5:48 am GMT
"To be sure, Trump has good reason to hate the intelligence and national security community, which utterly rejected his candidacy and plotted to destroy both his campaign and, even after he was elected, his presidency." -- Yes to this. This is OBVIOUS to all but the dullest rubes or those who are in on it and trying to escape what they tried to do in attempting to over throw the US Government. The rest?

Once you have this stated– that an actual Coup which was certainly plotted/sprung by the last occupant of the Presidency along with Clinton, Brennan, Comey, and many other NWO Globalists throughout the Government (FBI, CIA, DOJ ) and outside of it (the Globalist NWO MEDIA) the rest is drivel -- they tried to take him out–JFK they used a bullet, here not yet– so to say he shouldn't put in people he absolutely trusts at this time into any position he can? Are you kidding or what? You can't be serious– I've actually had someone try and kill me they were quite serious about it– my reaction after was not anything like what I see you suggesting or mirrored in your "analysis". This is how the CIA "counsels" in response to a murderous Coup -- an attempt to overthrow the duly elected Government?

How do you overreact to a group of the most powerful people in the World getting together to try to murder you? That's your argument basically– he's over reacting to that? He shouldn't have "Loyalists". He needs to work with these other people -- the ones who want to murder him -- keep some of those "non-Loyalists" on board who time after time have plotted against him in every way possible during the last nearly 4 years?

You seem to be one strange dude from my life's vantage point any way, what a perspective .Maybe you would actually deal with people of this magnitude trying to destroy you in the way you state but no sane/fairly intelligent person would -- I can't get past you have that sentence in there and then follow it with all the rest -- you seem to live in some alternate reality where when someone tries to murder you the right reaction is to blow it off and work with them– give them another few shots at you– say what? You learned this from your years at the CIA– this is how they train/advise things like this should be dealt with up at Langley? Or is it just wishful thinking on your part that they get another shot at him?

mark green , says: Show Comment April 21, 2020 at 6:33 am GMT

While it is not unusual for presidents to surround themselves with devoted yes-men, as Trump does with his spectacularly unqualified son-in-law Jared Kushner, his administration is nevertheless unusual in its tendency to apply an absolute loyalty litmus test to nearly everyone surrounding the president

True enough. Trump has also injected into Washington his own nest of swamp creatures and Wall St. bigwigs. However it is also true that Trump has been under unrelenting attack since the day he announced his candidacy. This is not fair. With the possible exception of Nixon, I've never seen a more ruthless campaign by political insiders to demean a public figure.

But to whom must Trump show ceaseless and attentive loyalty to?–no matter what?

https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-days-remembrance-victims-holocaust-2020/

chris , says: Show Comment April 21, 2020 at 6:51 am GMT
@onebornfree Absolutely!

I can't get too worked up about the firing of the prison guards; I rather enjoy the charade.

The real problem is that: 'It's the system, stupid!' and no amount of tinkering or puting the 'right' people in these positions will ever do anything more than just changing the illusion that something is being done.

It reminds me a little of that late Soviet Union film "Burned by the Sun" about Stalin's purges of the criminals that had ridden his coat tails to power. Try as the movie makers did, I could not and would not feel an ounce of sorrow for those (these) scumbags who had wielded immoral, arbitrary, and disproportionate power over their subjects.

gotmituns , says: Show Comment April 21, 2020 at 10:17 am GMT
The government has been against the people for my entire lifetime (I'm an old man now). One of the only glimmers of light in that time, JFK was snuffed out. After all, who did he think he was, trying to stop the elites from having their war in Vietnam?
Z-man , says: Show Comment April 21, 2020 at 10:24 am GMT
He (Trump) should have purged all of the Obama appointees on day one.
The Vindman twins are a perfect example of the Deep State.
While I can understand your loathing of Trump's middle East policies, I do also, what he has blatantley done vis a vis the Zionist Entity is very little different than what slick Obama did under the table, outside of the Iran deal.
And to tell you the truth, as much as I loathe Israel the Iran deal was definitely flawed and should have been more advantageous to America and the West. Iran should have seen the advantages of totally relinquishing nuclear weapons even with mad Zionists in their neighborhood. They could have still kept their ballistic missiles, sans nuclear tips.
Realist , says: Show Comment April 21, 2020 at 11:31 am GMT
@Getaclue The idea that Trump is fighting the Deep State is ludacris this is a charade if the Deep State didn't want Trump to be President he wouldn't be. Trump is a Deep State minion. No matter the existential threat to the US the 1% get richer and the 99% get poorer.
Realist , says: Show Comment April 21, 2020 at 11:40 am GMT
@Z-man

He (Trump) should have purged all of the Obama appointees on day one.

That supposes that Trump is not a Deep Stater as was Obama this is a poor supposition.

Iran should have seen the advantages of totally relinquishing nuclear weapons even with mad Zionists in their neighborhood. They could have still kept their ballistic missiles, sans nuclear tips.

Ballistic missiles, sans nuclear tips are useless. Did anybody care when North Korea had ballistic missiles before they had something worthwhile to put on the tip? Hell no.

fatmanscoop , says: Show Comment April 21, 2020 at 12:29 pm GMT
Trump has had two open coup attempts in three years, and a constant barrage of leaks etc. His purges are clearly at least three years too late.

Also, to an outsider, it's strange how some right-wing American journalists write in a way which indicates that they have faith in the due process, checks-and-balances etc afforded by the American system. I don't understand how any American right-winger could maintain their faith in the U.S. political system, it seems corrupt approaching the point that it is beyond-repair.

A123 , says: Show Comment April 21, 2020 at 12:51 pm GMT
Barack Hussein was Against The People

Trump's MAGA For The People efforts, must take steps to undo the damage done by the prior criminal admistration.

Here is an detailed explanation of how Barack Hussein intentionally undermined the rule of law:(1)

Aside from the date the important part of the first page is the motive for sending it. The DOJ is telling the court in July 2018: based on what they know the FISA application still contains "sufficient predication for the Court to have found probable cause" to approve the application. The DOJ is defending the Carter Page FISA application as still valid.

However, it is within the justification of the application that alarm bells are found. On page six the letter identifies the primary participants behind the FISA redactions:

DOJ needed to protect evidence Mueller had already extracted from the fraudulent FISA authority. That's the motive.

In July 2018 if the DOJ-NSD had admitted the FISA application and all renewals were fatally flawed Robert Mueller would have needed to withdraw any evidence gathered as a result of its exploitation. The DOJ in 2018 was protecting Mueller's poisoned fruit.

If the DOJ had been honest with the court, there's a strong possibility some, perhaps much, of Mueller evidence gathering would have been invalidated and cases were pending. The solution: mislead the court and claim the predication was still valid.

I am not sure why Giraldi is defending Barack Hussein and Hillary Clinton's behaviour & staff choices. All rational human beings see the damage that Hillary created at the State Department.

PEACE
_______

(1) https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2020/04/17/declassified-doj-letter-to-fisa-court-highlights-severe-institutional-corruption-doj-blames-fbi-for-spygate/

[Apr 20, 2020] NYC vs Singapore: Discipline, competence and sound management do matter

Apr 20, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

hopehely , Apr 19 2020 18:19 utc | 54

Posted by: vk | Apr 19 2020 17:49 utc | 53
NY has 8.4 million inhabitants - in an 302.6 square miles area.

Singapore has 5.6 million inhabitants in 280.2 square miles area.
Discipline, competence and sound management do matter.

[Apr 20, 2020] Trump's cuts to the WHO are self-serving, but he also has a point WHO has become a bloated bureaucracy riddled with politickin

Apr 20, 2020 | www.rt.com

The US is the biggest funder of the World Health Organization and his announcement drew widespread criticism. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, whose foundation was the second-biggest funder of the WHO in 2018-19, called the decision " as dangerous as it sounds ."

Halting funding for the World Health Organization during a world health crisis is as dangerous as it sounds. Their work is slowing the spread of COVID-19 and if that work is stopped no other organization can replace them. The world needs @WHO now more than ever.

-- Bill Gates (@BillGates) April 15, 2020

Trump also faces a battle with Congress, which is actually responsible for allocating funding. I'm not a fan of Trump, but to some extent he has a point.

There have been plenty of critics of the WHO's handling of the outbreak. The organization's initial response is now seen as far too accepting of the official Chinese government line in the first few weeks. In particular, a single social media message has come back to haunt it. On January 14, the organization said on Twitter: " Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China. "

Defenders of the WHO point to guidance sent to governments on January 10 and 11, outlining the way the virus spreads and asking health officials to be alert to any 'evidence of amplified or sustained human-to-human transmission.' Those WHO supporters also note that Trump himself had tweeted support for Beijing's handling of the situation in the early days of the outbreak. For many observers, Trump's attacks on the WHO are self-serving, designed to deflect criticism away from his initially slow and skeptical response to what he calls the "Chinese virus."

While the WHO was perhaps too slow on the uptake, we should be wary of critics' implication that it should be given the job of policing national governments. For now, the WHO is in an awkward position of having to deal with the politics of different member countries while responding to health emergencies. Moreover, the WHO 'cried wolf' over the 2009 swine flu pandemic. The WHO's director general at the time, Margaret Chan, famously said " All of humanity is under threat " from the outbreak, but it proved to be far less deadly than feared. A bit more caution over the new coronavirus was probably sensible.

[Apr 19, 2020] Bickering between two major parties: Trump slams 'rude nasty' Dems admitting Covid-19 cooperation bad between parties

Don't shoot the piano player...
Notable quotes:
"... "No matter what you do for the Do Nothing Democrats, no matter how GREAT a job you are doing, they will only respond to their Fake partners in the Lamestream Media in the negative, even in a time of crisis," ..."
"... "rude and nasty" ..."
"... "He gave them everything that they would have wanted to hear in terms of gaining ground on the CoronaVirus, but nothing that anyone could have said, including 'it's over,' could have made them happy," ..."
"... "They were RUDE and NASTY. This is their political playbook, and they will use it right up to the election on November 3rd," ..."
"... "America will not be fooled!!!" ..."
"... "never been so mad about a phone call" ..."
"... "the administration still doesn't have a plan to track daily testing capacity in every lab in the country, publicly release that data, and put forward a plan and timeline for identifying gaps." ..."
Apr 19, 2020 | www.rt.com

Donald Trump slammed Democrats for a "rude and nasty" phone call with the vice president over the Covid-19 pandemic, and theorized nothing will satisfy them as they try to "fool" America in November's election.

"No matter what you do for the Do Nothing Democrats, no matter how GREAT a job you are doing, they will only respond to their Fake partners in the Lamestream Media in the negative, even in a time of crisis," Trump tweeted on Saturday.

He added that his working relationship with Democrats during the Covid-19 pandemic has been "even worse" than before and revealed senators held a "rude and nasty" conference call with Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the White House Coronavirus Task Force, on Friday where little progress was made.

"He gave them everything that they would have wanted to hear in terms of gaining ground on the CoronaVirus, but nothing that anyone could have said, including 'it's over,' could have made them happy," the president vented.

"They were RUDE and NASTY. This is their political playbook, and they will use it right up to the election on November 3rd," he continued, adding that "America will not be fooled!!!"

No matter what you do for the Do Nothing Democrats, no matter how GREAT a job you are doing, they will only respond to their Fake partners in the Lamestream Media in the negative, even in a time of crisis. I thought it would be different, but it's not. In fact, it's even worse...

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 18, 2020

....them happy, or even a little bit satisfied. They were RUDE and NASTY. This is their political playbook, and they will use it right up to the election on November 3rd. They will not change because they feel that this is the only way they can win. America will not be fooled!!!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 18, 2020

Some lawmakers have expressed just as much animosity over the talk as the president. Maine Sen. Angus King (I) said he has "never been so mad about a phone call" in his life.

A point of contention appears to be Trump's desire to begin rolling back stay-at-home orders and reopening the US economy next month, while many Democrats insist more Covid-19 testing must be done first.

Also on rt.com 'We're being held hostage!' Minnesota governor eases coronavirus lockdown after angry outcry from #ReopenMN protesters

Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-New Hampshire) tweeted after the call that she is concerned "the administration still doesn't have a plan to track daily testing capacity in every lab in the country, publicly release that data, and put forward a plan and timeline for identifying gaps."

Various governors, such as New York's Andrew Cuomo, continue to insist more thorough testing and tracing of the virus is needed before they consider reopening their states and easing back lockdown orders, while places like Texas, Minnesota, and Florida have already begun dropping restrictions as more and more citizens take to demonstrating and protesting against the measures.

Also on rt.com 'Fire Fauci, let us work': No social distancing as Alex Jones joins hundreds in rally against Covid-19 lockdown measures in Texas

[Apr 19, 2020] The coronavirus crisis has exposed the relative merits of nations, so the entire world can see, for example, how broken and corrupt the US is, with no leadership to speak of

Level of mismanaging of epidemic in Trump administration is staggering. Initially they ignored it, but then switch to full panic mode facilitated by such questionable experts as Fauci. Panic reaction with "one size fits all" quarantine measures created record unemployment.
BTW NIH fiscal year 2020 budget totals $41.6 billion.
The fact that Fauci did nothing to protect NY metropolitan areas means that he is incompetent to hold this position.
Apr 19, 2020 | www.washingtonpost.com

More than a dozen U.S. researchers, physicians and public health experts, many of them from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, were working full time at the Geneva headquarters of the World Health Organization as the novel coronavirus emerged late last year and transmitted real-time information about its discovery and spread in China to the Trump administration, according to U.S. and international officials.

A number of CDC staffers are regularly detailed to work at WHO in Geneva as part of a rotation that has operated for years. Senior Trump-appointed health officials also consulted regularly at the highest levels with the WHO as the crisis unfolded, the officials said.

The presence of so many U.S. officials undercuts President Trump's charge that the WHO's failure to communicate the extent of the threat, born of a desire to protect China, is largely responsible for the rapid spread of the virus in the United States.

Saggy April 19, 2020 at 1:54 pm GMT

What a great paragaph – summary ..

There is hope. The coronavirus crisis has exposed the relative merits of nations, so the entire world can see, for example, how broken and corrupt the US is, with no leadership to speak of. Dawdling, it failed to prevent needless deaths, then shut down much of the country, bankrupting thousands of businesses and throwing millions out of work. As a fix, it throws mere crumbs at desperate citizens, while bailing out the big banks, again.

[Apr 19, 2020] His first and most precious redeeming feature is his crude, brazenly outspoken directness, which aggravates and strains psychopathic relations with close mafia colleagues (i.e. "allies"), opens the eyes of potential doubters, and stirs to a fever the passions of the US's many opponents and victims

Apr 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

BM , Apr 18 2020 6:13 utc | 174

A rant it certainly is.

Whilst most of the text is basically true, it never at any point rises above the level of a rant. And whilst I agree that Trump is a malicious and incompetent psychopath and pathological liar, I disagree that he has no redeeming features.

His first and most precious redeeming feature is his crude, brazenly outspoken directness, which aggravates and strains psychopathic relations with close mafia colleagues (i.e. "allies"), opens the eyes of potential doubters, and stirs to a fever the passions of the US's many opponents and victims.

His second most important redeeming feature is his incompetence and his proclivity to surround himself by retarded idiots blinded by their hippocracy, bigotry and hubris.

Together, these two valuable redeeming features serve to accelerate the high speed train leading to the inevitably and amply deserved collapse of Empire.

In his maliciousness, his incompetence, his psychopathic behaviour, his pathological lying, his brutal scheming, his avidly undertaken crimes against humanity, and his gross inhumanity he differs not one single iota from all other US presidents in living memory if not beyond. All that differentiates him from those other presidents are his redeeming features. We would do well to bear that in mind when judging him. That is in sharp contrast to the slimy suave lies and crafty covering up of Obomber, from whom he differs in no other respect.

It is very unfortunate about the Covid-19 outbreak, but that too may have a potential redeeming feature - maybe, just maybe, we will be able to see the collapse of Empire without war. Or even if there is a war initiated by these crazed psychopaths, in their drunken Covid-19 laden stupors, maybe the US military will simply fizzle out like a damp firework under their weight of gross incompetence, ineptitude and Covid-19 enstranglement.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you a toast: to the collapse of Empire, may it be speedy and thorough, like a high speed train crashing headling into a cliff, and may it be without war!


There, a rant in reply to a rant! Alas, MoA is not at its finest hour.

[Apr 17, 2020] Ranting In A Time Of Plague by Michael Brenner

Notable quotes:
"... FEMA and Homeland Security are but the most glaring example of departments stocked with hacks capable only of crippling the organizations that they are supposed to direct. They even corrupted the Center for Disease Control. ..."
"... The readiness of executives to do anything necessary to protect against exposure of their own failures or illicit actions has become commonplace within our institutions. ..."
"... As to the Crozier scandal, let's be clear: it is not a matter of ethics alone, but also of ability to meet critical obligations. ..."
"... Naval Secretary Thomas Motly – who missed his calling as a political commissar in the old Red Army, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Miley and Chief of Naval Operations Mike Gilday who both are testament to the Peter Principle that determines promotion in today's military. ..."
"... An [neoliberal] "oligarchy" has no interest in the long-term prosperity and strength of the nation - or perhaps, they simply have no faith in it. They are motivated to strip-mine the nation of all wealth while it lasts, because if they don't someone else will. They can live in walled compounds and go to private doctors, and if it all falls apart they can just gather up their loot and sail away on their yachts. ..."
"... After all the agony and hysteria surrounding the election of Trump for 3 years, they will nominate an elderly warmonger with obvious signs of dementia, who can't seem to keep his hands off women in a creepy fashion - as the alternative. It's as if there was a contest on how extreme a "lesser of two evils" can get. Tack on Covid and financial ruin. It's astounding. ..."
"... Come this epidemic and what do we see? What we see is that at least the UK government, the US government and the Canadian government were lying. It is quite clear that they were NOT expecting to be attacked. How do I know they were not expecting to be attacked? They had NO stores of hand sanitizer, NO stores of masks, NO goggles, NO stores of PPE, No factories for making any of them. NO troops of Bio/Chem warfare soldiers ready to spring into action and NO PLANS, as far as I can see. Are we to assume that if they were attacked by, say, the Russians, they were going to rely on the Chinese to supply them? (Sarcasm!) ..."
"... Lol. Trump has under 4 years working for the federal gov. It isn't his system. It is the typical repugs and dingbats system. He is an idiot for leaving his cushy life to join these idiots. It certainly doesn't speak well of his judgement. The people who work there and the people he has hired... Pompeo, Bolton, Esper, etc have worked there for decades. Bolton is an especially rotten character that seems to just keep popping up. ..."
"... i would like to emphasize a key point you make - accountability, and how there is none.. that to me is the number uno issue in the world today and it is very stark with regard to the usa - accountability... of course obama kicked that concept down the road too... no accountability.. it sucks big time.. we need it desperately... ..."
"... Okay... he's not a psychoapath, Don. I'll settle malignant sociopathic narcissist, which means by definition and demonstration that he would not know empathy were it to leap up and smack him in the face. Liar? We can soften that too. He is a serial fantasists living in the worlds he creates and like a spoiled child demands, raging when his wishes are not instantly gratified. ..."
"... When I was young I was always looking up for US, don't know why, maybe I have been fascinated by a culture, lifestyle, innovations.. when I got older and started to read about what actually happens in the world, I realized that US is not what it seemed to be anymore and I think its just getting worse.. ..."
"... Basically, no matter if is there Trump, Obama, Bush, Biden, Hillary or Easter Bunny.. your government to its core is really sick.. ..."
"... Everytime i read about decision US made, how is profit driven at expense of regular people, its a disgrace.. and more and more people in the world can see it.. just Trump himself exposed more the whole thing, chaotic, selfish, rude and arrogant government, not ashamed of anything. ..."
Apr 17, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?

Collective tragedy is always a learning experience. So it has been for great wars, natural disasters, economic collapses, political revolutions. The COVID-19 pandemic is such a tragedy. Although the number of casualties may pale compared to the carnage of war, there are ancillary effects that leave us shocked and sobered. Most obviously, there is sudden onset of a severe economic depression with attendant social distress whose toll we will be registering for years to come. Then, there is the exposure of how incompetent our public institutions have become – the callous inhumanity of those who rule in Washington matched only by their clownish ineptitude. It is in the realm of these latter intangibles that we should look first for morals and lessons.

Overriding all else is the spectacle of a President, duly elected by the American people, who is a malicious psychopath with not a single redeeming trait. A physical, intellectual and emotional spectre who would defy our imaginative powers were he not on display before our eyes. He has gathered around him a witch's coven of scoundrels, crooks and crackpots as bereft of mind and ethics as he is. They also are inveterate liars; Trump himself is a congenital liar since clinical narcissism is inborn. Yet, we refer to this motley assemblage as an 'administration' – in our impulse to 'normalize' the abominable. No dry bill of particulars is necessary, nor could it do justice, to the squalid theater we see played out before us on a daily basis. This man, at this moment, is viewed favorably by 46% of the public. That reality eclipses everything else.

There is no organized opposition worthy of the name. This is the second great failure of our democracy. The Democratic Party creaks under the weight of geriatric nominal leaders – plodding along without conviction, without will, without the integrity to free itself from the monied interests and the self-serving careerists who have dragged it into the mire. Yes, they may succeed, come November, in sparing the Republic the coup de grace of four more Trumpian years. This despite their suicidal instinct in choosing Joe Biden to bear the standard – a man barely robust enough to keep the banner from dragging in the dust on his slog along the campaign trail. This bunch can't even get themselves to a microphone for a news clip at a time of historic crisis aggravated by the atrocious sins of the existing government. Surely, a first. Worried about Covid-19 contagion? Order a box of alcohol wipes from China. Instead, Biden makes a call to Trump for what both agree was a 'nice conversation.' What does that get him?

Cuomo has to placate Trump with soothing words – even at the expense of lying about how much aid New York actually received from Washington – since the lives of his people are at stake. For Biden, the opposite is true; avoiding soothing words is crucial since the November election is dependent on undercutting Trump and discrediting him.

Three, the United States is a poorly governed country. Manifest ineptitude in performing collective functions is by no means limited to Washington under Trump. It has become a feature of the institutional landscape. True, the Trumpites have launched a dedicated campaign to realize the anti-government fanatics' wet dream of disabling all public agencies. FEMA and Homeland Security are but the most glaring example of departments stocked with hacks capable only of crippling the organizations that they are supposed to direct. They even corrupted the Center for Disease Control. Its leaders, evidently eager to curry favor with the madman in the Oval Office, gave its stamp of approval to the unproven – and dangerous drug HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE that Trump's been promoting as the Silver Bullet to cure Covid-19. (April 4-6) Luckily, saner heads prevailed, or a conscience was pricked, and these panting spaniels withdrew the recommendation from their website.

... ... ...

At local levels, just look at the condition of infrastructure, of pension funds – of public health. The extremity – and, frankly, the absurdity - of what's happening in the health sector is highlighted by what we see elsewhere in the world. Face masks, including ones that actually provide protection, are readily available throughout East Asia – and elsewhere. A personal anecdote: relatives in Tunisia are mailing me N95 masks which they purchased in their neighborhood pharmacies. Indeed, as of April 8, Tunisia had produced by their own resources, and distributed 30 million masks to a population of 11 million. The equivalent here would be 1 billion masks! (Minus the 1 million sent express to Israel by the Pentagon as a ritual gift of fealty.) In America, we are offered instructions on how to sew a (probably useless) mask out of discarded T-shirts. MAGA!! Hospital directors fire nurses who buy their own equipment out of concern that they will be upstaged and exposed as the callous, profit obsessed bozos they are. Yet, we blind ourselves to the realities of other nations – because to do so is embarrassing, because our so-called leaders are protecting their behinds, and because we compulsively retain our dogmatic faith in American superiority.*

The readiness of executives to do anything necessary to protect against exposure of their own failures or illicit actions has become commonplace within our institutions. The current Corona crisis puts that reality into the headlines – as with the despicable act of the Pentagon in dismissing summarily Captain Brett Crozier whose petition made known that his superiors were prepared to sacrifice his crew's lives to the imperative of hiding their own errors. Is this notion that 'anything goes except accountability' any different from Harvard's studied silence about its embrace of Jeffrey Epstein or its abrupt sacking of a professor who dared reveal that the President was sweeping under the academic rug rampant sexual abuses? We all have personal experience of similar stories.

As to the Crozier scandal, let's be clear: it is not a matter of ethics alone, but also of ability to meet critical obligations. In the event that the country found itself at war against a serious enemy, it is a dangerous liability to have in positions of command people like Secretary of Defense Mark Esper (hack lobbyist for Raytheon and the Aerospace Industries Association ), Naval Secretary Thomas Motly – who missed his calling as a political commissar in the old Red Army, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Miley and Chief of Naval Operations Mike Gilday who both are testament to the Peter Principle that determines promotion in today's military. They would either be washed out in the wake of gross failures, or continue to be albatrosses dragging out pointless missions like the 17 bemedaled but clueless U.S. generals who have proven so useless in Afghanistan. As it is, they seem unable to keep their warships from slamming into inanimate objects in placid waters.

Here are Motly's last remarks before riding off to join corporate boards: "The men and women of the Department of the Navy deserve a continuity of civilian leadership befitting our great Republic, and the decisive naval force that secures our way of life he acknowledged that he "lost situational awareness" during his address to the Roosevelt's crew." "There is no excuse, but perhaps a glimpse of understanding, and hopefully empathy. I am deeply sorry for some of the words and for how they spread across the media landscape like a wildfire." (The New York Times – ever twisting its hat with eyes averted in the presence of intimidating Presidential authority – features a long letter from Motly justifying his actions, 4/7. Only 3, 1 Republican, 2 Democrats, protested Crozier's mistreatment. Among the silent chorus were the 22/23 aspirants to the Democratic nomination who bored us stiff for fifteen months with their unceasing calls for "LEADERSHIP!" 'Profiles In Courage' is not a best-seller at the Capitol. Even Dr. Fauce doesn't have a copy.

Absence of accountability is incompatible with good governance. That is especially true in democracies where accountability is ultimately downwards. In a country like China, where accountability is primarily upward, the circle can be squared by the occasional resort to putting some miscreant up against the wall. We don't have that luxury. Here, it is only the weak, the indigent and the naïve who need fear punishment – of any kind. The powerful and well-connected worry less about a last cigarette than about their first.

In compiling a list of factors that have contributed to the drastic decline in the performance of American institutions, this parochialism figures prominently among them. We put up with levels of dereliction matched in the developed world only by Britain. Think of the debate over Medicare-for-All and like proposals. As alluded to in an earlier commentary, the best national medical insurance systems (as confirmed by the WHO and other independent bodies) are in Western Europe, Canada and Japan – France topping the list. Yet, their expenditure on those systems is only 2/3 of what we pay for our own ramshackle non-system. That fact is ignored. Instead, the political class agonizes over the specious issue of whether we can afford it. Joe Biden has pledged to veto any such plan on grounds that it would cost $35 trillion – or whatever number has floated into his fog-bound mind. This lethal combination of ignorance, dogmatism and fidelity to special interests has come to be a hallmark of how we approach government and the meeting of collective needs.

A full treatment of the several intertwined, mutually reinforcing elements that have led us along the path of decline is well beyond the limits of a brief commentary. A few, though, do deserve to be mentioned for what – one hopes – might be future reference. One is the 'privatization ' craze. It has become the preferred method for transferring public assets to private profiteers. The effects are degraded services, the loss of expertise in public bodies, the exploitation of workers and the abandonment of intelligent planning (ventilators anyone?). With the COVID-19 affair, we've reached the ultimate privatization: the Federal Reserve has hired BlackRock to conduct its operations on the bond market as the central component of its $4 trillion Quantitative Easing strategy (BlackRock itself being the dominant player on that market). The same effects have been produced by the swarm of hedge funds and private equity who are parasites feeding on the prostrate host that is the real economy and its dependents. American society celebrates, and empowers, these critters. Then there are the ' consultants ' – the locust hordes which our culture designates as vital contributors to the good works of government, of business, of universities, of charities, of sports teams, of hospitals, of failing marriages, of the US Army that puts guns in their hands. They, too, add to the toll on public competence and collective services.

Another anecdote: the city of Austin, Texas has hired a consulting firm to advise them on designs for a reconfiguration of the street that runs in front of the University of Texas. Should the sidewalks be 8' wide or 10' wide? Curbed or uncurbed? With bicycle racks or without? These matters evidently are beyond the competence of the city government, and of the University's 3,000 strong expert faculty.

'My Kingdom for a tape measure!' How about a 69-cent face mask?

*Consider this. During WW II, the Kaiser shipyard in Richmond, CA – along with its 17 counterparts - were able to construct 2,710 Liberty ships between 1941 and 1945 (an average of three ships every two days), In other words, it took each yard just twelve days to put a ship in the water. That was the work of Rosie the Riveter and her colleagues. Today, we struggle to produce a few thousand $1 face masks - much less reliable COVID-19 test kits. Of course, back then the country was led by responsible adults – not the bunch of clods and delinquents we're stuck with nowadays.

Posted by b on April 17, 2020 at 14:00 UTC | Permalink


Walter , Apr 17 2020 14:27 utc | 3
Well and artfully crafted rant. I wish all rants were are cogent!

The picture sketched? It seems to be a detailed description of.."collapse".

Wally thinks of the coyote and roadrunner...coyote runs off cliff, but falls only when he realizes that the ground has collapsed under himself.

For the moment...people, like 'b', are looking down...

What's next? QED

"film at 11" they used to say...

Jose Garcia , Apr 17 2020 14:29 utc | 5
If this virus is not a nasty flu, then what is it? A plague? Similar in effect as the Black Death? Had 2 members of my family and a dear friend catch this thing. 2 of them suffered just 3 days of a fluctuating fever and cold symptoms. After that it disappeared. Only one, my aunt, in her early seventies, had to be put on a respirator. But is recovering well. Is it worth it to bring our economy to absolute devastation, where good people lose everything, end up destitute, having to live in the streets, with no where to go? \

And rely on bureaucrats, our government, whether state or federal, Democrat or Republican or Socialist, for their daily bread? What about people with severe mental health, who need to be away from home, need a job to maintain their stability, now with no work or money, will fall off the deep end, even commit suicide because they have no where to turn? Is it worth it ? Everything we've been doing? Why in other periods in history, with similar diseases, nothing was shut down as profoundly as being done these days, and life went on? People did die, not to mock their passing. But it brings me back. If not a nasty flu, is it worth it?

Seward , Apr 17 2020 14:30 utc | 6
Agree with #1. Our leader, as imperfect as he is, as we all are, is the only leader we have. If he fails to lead us through this crisis, we all fail. IMHO aside from occasional politic-ing, answering charges of one kind or another against him, often the opposite from day to day (e.g. one day he's trying to control everything, now he's abandoned control to the overwhelmed governors), is doing an acceptable job, considering the problems he;'s facing.
M , Apr 17 2020 14:33 utc | 7
Hello,

Couldn't agree more with Don in comment 1, the newfound lust for censorship and evangelism for official right think found here is disappointing, this seems no longer to be a place to ask questions and seek truth sincerely.

Thank you and good bye,

M

Trisha , Apr 17 2020 14:40 utc | 8
What is now obvious has for a long time been concealed: the U.S. is not a democracy, there is no such thing as a "free market", capitalism has proved incapable of meeting the most basic needs during a crisis, there are no leaders accountable to anyone other than our ruling oligarchs, the U.S. is anything but a "bastion of freedom", and most other nations have plenty of justifiable reasons to hate the U.S.

The only question remaining is how long will folks in the U.S. hide from these truths and do nothing about them?

gm , Apr 17 2020 14:43 utc | 9
@ Don Wills | Apr 17 2020 14:14 utc | 1

I agree this is ridiculous. Trump may be a lot of things, but the last thing he would EVER want to do/happen in this election year where was cruising along home-free, is to have this horrible pandemic blow up in front of him.

Also, he would NEVER have taken along and risked his entire family on a useless state visit to India where all they did was attend meaningless photo-op events and watch Indian kids dance the Hindi cha-cha.

Not even his chief of staff Mike Mulvaney went alond (unheard-of for CoS to not accompany a potus on official state visits).

This tells me Trump was (kept?) in the dark about true depth of pandemic risk brewing.

TG , Apr 17 2020 14:44 utc | 10
A fine rant. Well said.

An honest economist (back in the day when there actually were still a few) once said that the key to a nation is whether it ruled by an establishment, or an oligarchy.

An "establishment" is old-money connected etc., but has some sense of ownership and duty. An establishment is willing to forgo short-term profits in favor of long-term strength, because they expect that they or their heirs will be around to have a piece of it. "Establishment" leaders would be FDR, Eisenhower, DeGaulle, Bismarck, Lee Kuan Yew...

An [neoliberal] "oligarchy" has no interest in the long-term prosperity and strength of the nation - or perhaps, they simply have no faith in it. They are motivated to strip-mine the nation of all wealth while it lasts, because if they don't someone else will. They can live in walled compounds and go to private doctors, and if it all falls apart they can just gather up their loot and sail away on their yachts.

bevin , Apr 17 2020 14:45 utc | 11
Very good. I particularly liked:" ..We put up with levels of dereliction matched in the developed world only by Britain..."

See below link for example https://www.rt.com/op-ed/486065-uk-care-homes-disregard/

As to Jose Garcia@5 any decent community would do all that it could to save the lives of its members.

krypton , Apr 17 2020 14:48 utc | 12

For Trump, Brenner can thank the silver-tongued Obama and his murderous secretary of state, both of whom are worst kind of liars - the kind that tell people what they want to hear while doing the opposite.
Eighthman , Apr 17 2020 14:59 utc | 14
Thank you for posting this. The US seems to be like coming to your home and finding Bigfoot seated in a living room chair - with no one expressing any surprise or even interest in his presence.

After all the agony and hysteria surrounding the election of Trump for 3 years, they will nominate an elderly warmonger with obvious signs of dementia, who can't seem to keep his hands off women in a creepy fashion - as the alternative. It's as if there was a contest on how extreme a "lesser of two evils" can get. Tack on Covid and financial ruin. It's astounding.

The only positives I can find are evidence that the elite aren't totally in control ( or there would be no Biden or Trump running) AND that the US is too big and dominant to collapse anytime soon - a sort of geo-political inertia. Same goes for the dollar, even if they turn it into high grade toilet paper.

Susan , Apr 17 2020 15:00 utc | 15
This is the first time I have commented on your site but read daily. This is one of the best reads I have seen. It defines the failure of the country so clearly, to bad Don was unable to hear the criticism of his fearless leader and move beyond it. This failure has long roots and the writer nails it. I remember a few years back sitting down with our commissioner and having her explain to us why they were getting nothing done. city and state moneys were lower and the federal government that had always provided grants no longer did. This was under Obummer.

The long strip mining of the US and the rest of the world by the elite should have made itself completely obvious under trump but I am beginning to think that we humans are no more than a plague upon the earth. We seem to be so intent on sticking to our team the Rs or Ds we are no different then sports fans, who's obsessed behavior and willingness to spend thousands to watch sports is mind boggling, when often the same people bitch about teachers pay.

Or during the healthcare debates I went to hear the town hall that my congressmen had. 2000 people showed up most screaming about Obama and free hand outs. The 2000 people where mostly over 65, and in this case military so all these people had theirs but didn't think their own kids or grandkids should have medical care.. what the hell! The Republican Party built the montra of evil government well and the Democratic Party used it the build up the pentagon to the point it takes over 70% of the discretionary budget, to slaughter people in 3rd world countries so we can strip mine them or threaten Russia and China . The virus shows one thing the elites have lots of money to build military stuff that they fleece , so what we have is crap. What the poor soldiers in this country are is fodder for the wealthy.

oglalla , Apr 17 2020 15:06 utc | 17
lol. - Some partisans mount a partisan defense of Trump. I didn't know such incredibly partisan dummies read MoA. You guys are more than welcome to leave.
foolisholdman , Apr 17 2020 15:11 utc | 18
Something occurred to me this afternoon.

Thinking about the Covid-19, it occurred to me that the governments of the UK, the USA, of Canada and probably many other countries that have had biological warfare labs have all said to their people "We have to do this research because the USSR, the Russians The Chinese, The North Koreans or thr Terrorists may use biological/chemical weapons against us and WE MUST BE PREPARED!!. If they were telling the truth they should have been well prepared as they have spent billions on this research. So, now we can see they were lying because, THERE WAS NO PREPARATION WHEN IT WAS NEEDED? Precisely NONE!

Come this epidemic and what do we see? What we see is that at least the UK government, the US government and the Canadian government were lying. It is quite clear that they were NOT expecting to be attacked. How do I know they were not expecting to be attacked? They had NO stores of hand sanitizer, NO stores of masks, NO goggles, NO stores of PPE, No factories for making any of them. NO troops of Bio/Chem warfare soldiers ready to spring into action and NO PLANS, as far as I can see. Are we to assume that if they were attacked by, say, the Russians, they were going to rely on the Chinese to supply them? (Sarcasm!)

The Chinese government which may or may not be developing biological weapons, (I have no way of knowing) obviously, was relatively well prepared. This is hardly surprising; as they think they have been under biological attack, on and off since the Korean war when they were so attacked. They had factories making the kit they needed and it took only days to ramp up production and get other factories to join in. They had medical troops who were trained and ready to take an important part in controlling the outbreak. They had plans that enabled them to build hospitals for mass intensive care in a matter of days and (I would imagine) plans to turn other structures into holding areas for less serious cases. It also looks as though they had either very versatile organizers or well laid plans for feeding and monitoring people under lock down.

Et Tu , Apr 17 2020 15:15 utc | 19
@ Don Wills,

You may understandably reject criticism to Your chosen party of faith, but i believe the essence of his message was not about partisanship, rather an honest appraisal of the current sad state of affairs, which, if you had bothered reading further, was just as scathing about Obama et al. as it was about your beloved Stable Genius.

I'm afraid your choice to not read further was a far stronger statement of partisanship than anything the author laid out. Your loss, and ours too.

Jackrabbit , Apr 17 2020 15:17 utc | 20
TPTB channel all dissatisfaction in USA into partisan politics where it can be managed, and ultimately dismissed or diffused.

This rant plays into that game. Only a genuine Movement for democracy (like Yellow Vests in France) will change anything.

!!

Bemildred , Apr 17 2020 15:22 utc | 21
Posted by: foolisholdman | Apr 17 2020 15:11 utc | 19

Yep, exactly. What they have is the CCP, an army that can be called on command, which thinks it's job is to govern, not just get paid extra. And legitimacy, the Chinese people accept their governing, mostly, because they try to do a good job. It's like all this unity bullshit they feed us here (see above), but it's real.

Goldhoarder , Apr 17 2020 15:24 utc | 22
Lol. Trump has under 4 years working for the federal gov. It isn't his system. It is the typical repugs and dingbats system. He is an idiot for leaving his cushy life to join these idiots. It certainly doesn't speak well of his judgement. The people who work there and the people he has hired... Pompeo, Bolton, Esper, etc have worked there for decades. Bolton is an especially rotten character that seems to just keep popping up.

If Trump did win another term I wouldnt be surprised to see him back. Remember when that nutjob from Israel that delights in murdering defenseless people came over and gave a speech to Congress? He received an enthusiastic standing ovation. What more needs to be investigated or discussed? It needs to fail and the people will have to suffer in order for more responsible leadership to emerge. The US has waged war on the people of Iraq for 30 fucking years.

Everytime the system is about to collapse from its own corruption they just create more money and threaten other countries with destruction if they attempt to divorce themselves from the IMF "global" economy. The idea that the empire exists to help the average citizen is insane and rather childish thinking. The empire exists to maintain power, control, and a dominant position. By the way... during all this crazyness has anybody bothered to follow what is going on with US/China trade? There was a much publicized 1st stage agreement over the easy issues but CNN warned it might collapse putting the global economy at severe risk. Has the US lost billions of dollars worth of economic inputs the last couple months? What is the USA going to look like if that continues? Without China propping up the US economy the US will have to rely on its own resources. As you mention the US cant produce N95 masks let alone coronavirus test kits. Testing might allow the powers that be to not feel frightened about coming into contact with the drooling masses. They might let us out of our cages so we can start foraging for food.

bevin , Apr 17 2020 15:31 utc | 24
Entirely predictable, (knee jerk motion, robotic) Jackrabbit@22.

Your real objection to this, extremely reasonable, statement:

" ...They even corrupted the Center for Disease Control. Its leaders, evidently eager to curry favor with the madman in the Oval Office, gave its stamp of approval to the unproven – and dangerous drug HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE that Trump's been promoting as the Silver Bullet to cure Covid-19. (April 4-6) Luckily, saner heads prevailed, or a conscience was pricked, and these panting spaniels withdrew the recommendation from their website..."

It is an indication of your general irresponsibility, also exemplified in your casual use of the internet to give, potentially dangerous, medical advice, that you pretend to be dissenting from Brenner because he critiques government. You imply that by doing so he is urging people to support one or other political party. In fact his is a comprehensive critique of the entire political system, whose purpose, for 230+ years has been to prevent the people from governing themselves.

It is a pity to see those tireless and sincere campaigners the Yellow Vests of France drafted into an argument for apathy and defeatism.

james , Apr 17 2020 15:39 utc | 26
thanks michael... i can apply some of these ideas directly to other countries.. i don't care for the usa centric world point view, but i am sure many readers will get into it.. i would like to emphasize a key point you make - accountability, and how there is none.. that to me is the number uno issue in the world today and it is very stark with regard to the usa - accountability... of course obama kicked that concept down the road too... no accountability.. it sucks big time.. we need it desperately...
John , Apr 17 2020 15:42 utc | 27
Okay... he's not a psychoapath, Don. I'll settle malignant sociopathic narcissist, which means by definition and demonstration that he would not know empathy were it to leap up and smack him in the face. Liar? We can soften that too. He is a serial fantasists living in the worlds he creates and like a spoiled child demands, raging when his wishes are not instantly gratified.

His dictatorial moments would be familiar to anyone who ever worked at his jumped up mom 'n pop real estate shop. His blustering, bullying, blaming, bragging, bloviating, and berating are on display each day now at the late afternoon campaign commercial live-from-the-White-House. He's all yours Don.

Martin , Apr 17 2020 15:54 utc | 30
Hey everyone.. not sure how to start

When I was young I was always looking up for US, don't know why, maybe I have been fascinated by a culture, lifestyle, innovations.. when I got older and started to read about what actually happens in the world, I realized that US is not what it seemed to be anymore and I think its just getting worse..

Im not speaking about regular people, of course not, they have worries, goes thru hardships in life, same as me here in Europe.. Basically, no matter if is there Trump, Obama, Bush, Biden, Hillary or Easter Bunny.. your government to its core is really sick..

Everytime i read about decision US made, how is profit driven at expense of regular people, its a disgrace.. and more and more people in the world can see it.. just Trump himself exposed more the whole thing, chaotic, selfish, rude and arrogant government, not ashamed of anything.

I wish you all.. you good and smart people of the US, to win this struggle, get back on track and have a better future, god bless you in your fight.

[Apr 17, 2020] The WHO provided validated working test kits on 16th of January. The USA botched the delopyment due to CDC incompetence and NIH syndrom

Highly recommended!
The USA government was paralyzed by Ukrainegate and impeachment in January.
Notable quotes:
"... Another factor was that any real measures against the virus were a huge blow to the neoliberal globalization and the USA as the central force that pushed neoliberal globalization was vary to implement them. ..."
"... Pentagon treatment of the USS Theodor Roosevelt epidemic was worse than incompetent because clearly, this was just the tip of the iceberg. Instead of looking into the core problem, they decided to find a scapegoat. Why they did not react as soon as problems on Diamond Princess surfaced are unclear to me. They failed even to provide masks. That's simply incredible. I think a bunch of perfumed princes of Pentagon needs to be fired. I wonder what is the situation on submarines. ..."
Apr 17, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Ulenspiegel | 17 April 2020 at 07:18 AM
The WHO provided validated working test kits on 16th of January.

Even if I am not happy with the Chinese policy overall, the main problem in most advanced western countries was and still is that the response of the governments are often poor:

  1. Not implementing a coherent communication strategy. It does not make sense when one minister tells that the virus situation is an real issue and another minister tell you at the same time that everything is not so bad.
  2. Downplaying the infection numbers for domestical political reasons. Complete lack of understanding of an exponential function or more precise the combination of an virus operating on an exponential function, while the own resources are more or less a constant.
  3. Too late start of testing, be it a result of faulty administrative structures, rooky mistakes during test kit development or combination of both.

Fighting a virus is like warfare on the operational level, you start with incomplete information, but have to make important decisions, time is a very important resource, lost time is almost impossible to regain.

likbez , 17 April 2020 at 12:22 PM

@Ulenspiegel | 17 April 2020 at 07:18 AM

Fighting a virus is like warfare on the operational level, you start with incomplete information, but have to make important decisions, time is a very important resource, lost time is almost impossible to regain.
Very true. But we should not forget the role of Pelosi in this mess: Trump administration was partially paralyzed in January by impeachment proceedings. She acted like the fifth column in this respect.

Another factor was that any real measures against the virus were a huge blow to the neoliberal globalization and the USA as the central force that pushed neoliberal globalization was vary to implement them.

IMHO, Trump demonstrated some level of courage by closing flights from China on Jan 31. I guess pressure to postpone this measure further was tremendous. But they missed the time, and it was too late.

3) Too late start of testing, be it a result of faulty administrative structures, rooky mistakes during test kit development, or a combination of both.
That's true, and the CDC needs to be investigated for this blunder. But also implementing social distancing measures and the obligatory wearing of masks in large cities was completely botched.

Retired persons can be quarantined without a major blow to the economy. And that should have been done first. The nursing homes are starkly vulnerable to the coronavirus. It was clear from the beginning. That means that the medical personnel in them need to be provided with full protection gear and isolated with patients. That was not done. On the contrary, they became hotspots that spread the disease.

Treatment of medical personnel, who along with patients in nursing homes are the most vulnerable category, was abysmal. No free hotel stay (for those without children), no special transportation and free meals were provided for them. Even basic protection equipment was absent in home hospitals until late March.

The USA did not have strategic storage of masks and, which is more important, equipment to make them and materials from which they are made. That was a big blunder for which previous administrations also share responsibility.

Pentagon treatment of the USS Theodor Roosevelt epidemic was worse than incompetent because clearly, this was just the tip of the iceberg. Instead of looking into the core problem, they decided to find a scapegoat. Why they did not react as soon as problems on Diamond Princess surfaced are unclear to me. They failed even to provide masks. That's simply incredible. I think a bunch of perfumed princes of Pentagon needs to be fired. I wonder what is the situation on submarines.

[Apr 13, 2020] Eisenhower: we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite

Apr 13, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Pft , Apr 13 2020 2:42 utc | 103

A few Easter musings.

No church on Easter for the faithful. The illuminati must feel like they are in heaven. Their goal of achieving a godless society is in reach. Well, not exactly godless since they think the elites among them have a mission to become like God, as man was made in Gods image for the purpose of knowing himself through man. We shall all worship God, which are our elites, and the priests of this Man-God religion are technocratic scientists. Some call it scientism or gnosticism or transhumanism

The idea is to transhumanistly "upgrade" humanity, create an Internet of Us, and to geocybernically control the processes of the earth system (this is known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution 4IR)

Capitalism. How strange so many here recognize the evils of Bad capitalism, more properly defined as Monopoly Capitalism, or Neoliberalism to distinguish it from good Capitalism -which is competitive capitalism well regulated in the interests of society as a whole, with a dash of socialism and monopoly (state or private) capitalism in certain industries as needed.

When we talk of Bad Capitalism of the sort Marx no doubt had in mind, we must look back and recall something Marx never envisioned, perhaps because it was a reaction to the globalist socialist theories he espoused. That was Mussolini's and then later Hitlers National Socialism, or economic Fascism. This was more accurately defined as a public private partnership (P3) that is so often referred to by the Gates funded WOrld Economic Forum and those talking about UN Sustainable Development Projects, and has become a religion of sorts in the West and also in China (more about that in a separate comment when I have time) and is really the essence of todays neoliberalism (not the propaganda you read about neoliberalism from its supporters)

Back in the 30's Mussolini's economic fascism was greatly admired by the Capitalists of that day, even FDR who has been mislabelled as socialist and anti-capitalist despite coming from the financial elite (much like Trump who is mislabelled as nationalist snd antiestablishment despite being a globalist and financial elite in private life).

Indeed just before and after Hitler took over in Germany with his partnership with German companies - the Capitalists in the US and UK/France rushed in via cartel agreements with German companies to invest and transfer technology. FDR did little to stop this.

FDR if we recall was the father of NRA which was his first priority after confiscating the peoples gold and devaluing the dollar. Fortunately his fascist NRA economy was struck down by the Supreme Court only to later reemerge during WWII. This is when P3 really crystallized in the US although it would take decades to morph into todays beast, and required another Pearl Harbor to gain acceptance for the purpose of keeping us safe from Islamic Terrorism and now the virus terrorists

One might argue that the difference between Mussolini's and Hitlers P3 and today is the government was the dominant power then, and today its at best an equal partner or more likely dominated by the corporate side (in China the private ownership is largely in the hands of the party elite as individuals and not the state which serves to subsidize their enterprises while socializing losses and privatizing profits-like the West) . Those in government, after public retirement go on to lucrative employment on the private side as their reward. Regulatory agencies are all captured by the private side of this public private partnership

This is apparent in many industries. Many of you see it with Military, intelligence and homeland security, Big Tech/Data, finance, insurance and real estate (FIRE), etc.

However, when it comes to Medical -Pharma Industry and other "science" based industries like the Climate Industry you are blinded by scientism promoted by the MSM spinmeisters supporting the Green-Virus Globalist Agenda. Yet both of these industries are driven by Public Private Partnerships to achieve Global Capitalist and Global Government Control objectives.

As Eisenhower said in his 1961 exit speech where he warned of the dangers of the MIC he also said "we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite."

So looking specifically at the actors involved in the latest Pandemic, and one sees many of them are the same players behind the Climate Terror Industry, one sees a tremendous amount of collaboration between Big Pharma, UN agencies, national health agencies, military, academia and tax free philanthropic foundations (Gates, Rockefeller, etc).

Government funds basic science via military and health/science agencies to search for new viruses or enhancing known viruses with gain of function research, that Big Pharma then exploits to develop vaccines with government and philanthropic funds in the event such viruses are released. All kinds of money gets spent in preparing for a pandemic, stockpiling supplies , medicines, vaccines in advance of a pandemic, studying ways to control people once a pandemic arrives, and studying more ways to control people to prevent another pandemic (digital id, health certificates, mandatory vaccines) . When a pandemic does arrive, all those exercises and simulations (Crimson Orange, Event 201, Dark Winter, etc) pay off, trillions of dollars are unleashed out of thin air thanks to the Fed Reserve and handed out to the private partners.

Disaster Capitalism at its finest, public private partnership working toward total control of people and earning plenty of money while doing so. Companies having nothing to do with the Pandemic but affected (Airlines, hotels) , some of which are already in trouble (Boeing) are bailed out. Small business owners get crushed.


[Apr 13, 2020] Yes Trump truly fumbled the ball on the response but he isn't the only one solely responsible for how many people have gotten sick and have died.

Apr 13, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

Trump failed to respond. But in January and February, it was clear coronavirus would hit NY. Cuomo and de Blasio could have instituted full lockdowns by early March when first cases appeared. Meanwhile, Washington State and California moved more quickly and saved many lives.

-- Ross Barkan (@RossBarkan) April 11, 2020

pic.twitter.com/X7pVPmrBTL

-- ragonepr (@ragonepr) April 11, 2020

Countless other state governors didn't close things down as quickly as Newsom in California and other governors. Florida let spring break go one and once finished no state put kids in quarantine. The blame for this response falls on many shoulders. And the lack of response is hiding the biggest transfer of wealth in history. Not here of course. As usual the blue blog has been on top of most issues and way ahead of others.

I'm very concerned about how this country will look once it's open again. I think it's going to be unrecognizable because of how many businesses will have permanently closed down and how many people will stay unemployed. Lots of businesses are going to be bought out at Fire sale prices by those who got all the money. Like usual. Workers desperate for a job might have to take less than minimum wage cuz of the demand for jobs. But whoboy congress better be thinking about that or they will be in for a big surprise. OWS will look like just a warmup for what might be coming.

Hospitals have been closed down for decades or been asset stripped after they were bought out by hedge funds. Obama and Biden didn't replenish the supplies for epidemics after they dealt with the H1N1 flu. Blame goes to both parties and especially their embrace of neoliberalism.

He's thinking of reopening the country. Hardily and bigly.

"I don't know that I've had a bigger decision. But I'm going to surround myself with the greatest minds. Not only the greatest minds, but the greatest minds in numerous different businesses, including the business of politics and reason," Trump told reporters.

Trump's labor leader doesn't want people to get used to being on government assistance and is trying to restrict who can get unemployment benefits and for how long. Now it takes brass balls for little Anthony Scalia to say that to desperate people after the corrupt and especially the banks have gotten trillions! This guy should be embarrassed to show his face in public ever again. But he isn't.

up 25 users have voted. --

"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!"

- Joe Biden

Roy Blakeley on Sat, 04/11/2020 - 10:57pm

The CDC blew the test kits as well

@snoopydawg They decided to go with their own unnecessarily complex kit instead of going with the Qiagen kit or some variant (RT-PCR is a pretty routine procedure in labs). They initially stuck with the influenza model of having the samples sent to Atlanta for analysis. This is fine if you are just monitoring the flu, but useless for trying to stop a pandemic. Tens of thousands of people in the US have died and will die unnecessarily.

but he isn't the only one solely responsible for how many people have gotten sick and have died.

Trump failed to respond. But in January and February, it was clear coronavirus would hit NY. Cuomo and de Blasio could have instituted full lockdowns by early March when first cases appeared. Meanwhile, Washington State and California moved more quickly and saved many lives.

-- Ross Barkan (@RossBarkan) April 11, 2020

pic.twitter.com/X7pVPmrBTL

-- ragonepr (@ragonepr) April 11, 2020

Countless other state governors didn't close things down as quickly as Newsom in California and other governors. Florida let spring break go one and once finished no state put kids in quarantine. The blame for this response falls on many shoulders. And the lack of response is hiding the biggest transfer of wealth in history. Not here of course. As usual the blue blog has been on top of most issues and way ahead of others.

I'm very concerned about how this country will look once it's open again. I think it's going to be unrecognizable because of how many businesses will have permanently closed down and how many people will stay unemployed. Lots of businesses are going to be bought out at Fire sale prices by those who got all the money. Like usual. Workers desperate for a job might have to take less than minimum wage cuz of the demand for jobs. But whoboy congress better be thinking about that or they will be in for a big surprise. OWS will look like just a warmup for what might be coming.

Hospitals have been closed down for decades or been asset stripped after they were bought out by hedge funds. Obama and Biden didn't replenish the supplies for epidemics after they dealt with the H1N1 flu. Blame goes to both parties and especially their embrace of neoliberalism.

He's thinking of reopening the country. Hardily and bigly.

"I don't know that I've had a bigger decision. But I'm going to surround myself with the greatest minds. Not only the greatest minds, but the greatest minds in numerous different businesses, including the business of politics and reason," Trump told reporters.

Trump's labor leader doesn't want people to get used to being on government assistance and is trying to restrict who can get unemployment benefits and for how long. Now it takes brass balls for little Anthony Scalia to say that to desperate people after the corrupt and especially the banks have gotten trillions! This guy should be embarrassed to show his face in public ever again. But he isn't.

[Apr 13, 2020] He Could Have Seen What Was Coming Behind Trump's Failure on the Virus by Eric Lipton , David E. Sanger at all

This is a case study of bureaucratic incompetence, when conflicting institutions and agenda paralyze any efforts. Trump incompetence is only the tip of the iceberg. the whole Deep State proved to be too rigid to properly react to the epidemic, because each measure looked too drastic until it was late to implement it. and then it was implemented anyway. One effect of any large bureaucracy is that rare oasises of reliable and timely information that exist are to be suppressed. and this is not Trump fault. This is iron logic of any large bureaucracy.
What is interesting is that the epidemic is localized in few hot spots with the largest being New York metropolitan areas. So governments could took measures immediately even without federal government prompting them. And that would be much better that nationwide shutdown. And FBI and CIA have the local governments in pocket anyway (this is a national security state, not something else after all). So where was the CIA boss when we needed her ? Or she is just capable of running Russiagate gaslighting operation type of operations? CIA honchos used to have audacity to launch the efforts to depose Trump. Can we believe that they can't bypass Trump when they need to?
Notable quotes:
"... The National Security Council office responsible for tracking pandemics received intelligence reports in early January predicting the spread of the virus to the United States, and within weeks was raising options like keeping Americans home from work and shutting down cities the size of Chicago. Mr. Trump would avoid such steps until March. ..."
"... Despite Mr. Trump's denial weeks later, he was told at the time about a Jan. 29 memo produced by his trade adviser, Peter Navarro, laying out in striking detail the potential risks of a coronavirus pandemic: as many as half a million deaths and trillions of dollars in economic losses. ..."
"... By the last week of February, it was clear to the administration's public health team that schools and businesses in hot spots would have to close. But in the turbulence of the Trump White House, it took three more weeks to persuade the president that failure to act quickly to control the spread of the virus would have dire consequences. ..."
"... It was becoming apparent that the administration had botched the rollout of testing to track the virus at home, and a smaller-scale surveillance program intended to piggyback on a federal flu tracking system had also been stillborn. ..."
"... A 20-year-old Chinese woman had infected five relatives with the virus even though she never displayed any symptoms herself. The implication was grave -- apparently healthy people could be unknowingly spreading the virus -- and supported the need to move quickly to mitigation. ..."
"... These final days of February, perhaps more than any other moment during his tenure in the White House, illustrated Mr. Trump's inability or unwillingness to absorb warnings coming at him. He instead reverted to his traditional political playbook in the midst of a public health calamity, squandering vital time as the coronavirus spread silently across the country. ..."
"... Over nearly three weeks from Feb. 26 to March 16, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States grew from 15 to 4,226. ..."
"... The earliest warnings about coronavirus got caught in the crosscurrents of the administration's internal disputes over China. It was the China hawks who pushed earliest for a travel ban. But their animosity toward China also undercut hopes for a more cooperative approach by the world's two leading powers to a global crisis. ..."
Apr 11, 2020 | www.nytimes.com

By Eric Lipton , David E. Sanger , Maggie Haberman , Michael D. Shear , Mark Mazzetti and Julian E. Barnes

An examination reveals the president was warned about the potential for a pandemic but that internal divisions, lack of planning and his faith in his own instincts led to a halting response.

"Nobody knew there would be a pandemic or epidemic of this proportion," President Trump said last month. He has repeatedly said that no one could have seen the effects of the coronavirus coming. Credit... Erin Schaff/The

WASHINGTON -- "Any way you cut it, this is going to be bad," a senior medical adviser at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Carter Mecher, wrote on the night of Jan. 28, in an email to a group of public health experts scattered around the government and universities. "The projected size of the outbreak already seems hard to believe."

A week after the first coronavirus case had been identified in the United States, and six long weeks before President Trump finally took aggressive action to confront the danger the nation was facing -- a pandemic that is now forecast to take tens of thousands of American lives -- Dr. Mecher was urging the upper ranks of the nation's public health bureaucracy to wake up and prepare for the possibility of far more drastic action.

"You guys made fun of me screaming to close the schools," he wrote to the group, which called itself "Red Dawn," an inside joke based on the 1984 movie about a band of Americans trying to save the country after a foreign invasion. "Now I'm screaming, close the colleges and universities."

His was hardly a lone voice. Throughout January, as Mr. Trump repeatedly played down the seriousness of the virus and focused on other issues, an array of figures inside his government -- from top White House advisers to experts deep in the cabinet departments and intelligence agencies -- identified the threat, sounded alarms and made clear the need for aggressive action.

The president, though, was slow to absorb the scale of the risk and to act accordingly, focusing instead on controlling the message, protecting gains in the economy and batting away warnings from senior officials. It was a problem, he said, that had come out of nowhere and could not have been foreseen.

Even after Mr. Trump took his first concrete action at the end of January -- limiting travel from China -- public health often had to compete with economic and political considerations in internal debates, slowing the path toward belated decisions to seek more money from Congress, obtain necessary supplies, address shortfalls in testing and ultimately move to keep much of the nation at home.

Unfolding as it did in the wake of his impeachment by the House and in the midst of his Senate trial, Mr. Trump's response was colored by his suspicion of and disdain for what he viewed as the "Deep State" -- the very people in his government whose expertise and long experience might have guided him more quickly toward steps that would slow the virus, and likely save lives.

Decision-making was also complicated by a long-running dispute inside the administration over how to deal with China. The virus at first took a back seat to a desire not to upset Beijing during trade talks, but later the impulse to score points against Beijing left the world's two leading powers further divided as they confronted one of the first truly global threats of the 21st century.

The shortcomings of Mr. Trump's performance have played out with remarkable transparency as part of his daily effort to dominate television screens and the national conversation.

But dozens of interviews with current and former officials and a review of emails and other records revealed many previously unreported details and a fuller picture of the roots and extent of his halting response as the deadly virus spread:

When Mr. Trump finally agreed in mid-March to recommend social distancing across the country, effectively bringing much of the economy to a halt, he seemed shellshocked and deflated to some of his closest associates. One described him as "subdued" and "baffled" by how the crisis had played out. An economy that he had wagered his re-election on was suddenly in shambles.

He only regained his swagger, the associate said, from conducting his daily White House briefings, at which he often seeks to rewrite the history of the past several months. He declared at one point that he "felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic," and insisted at another that he had to be a "cheerleader for the country," as if that explained why he failed to prepare the public for what was coming.

Mr. Trump's allies and some administration officials say the criticism has been unfair. The Chinese government misled other governments, they say. And they insist that the president was either not getting proper information, or the people around him weren't conveying the urgency of the threat. In some cases, they argue, the specific officials he was hearing from had been discredited in his eyes, but once the right information got to him through other channels, he made the right calls.

"While the media and Democrats refused to seriously acknowledge this virus in January and February, President Trump took bold action to protect Americans and unleash the full power of the federal government to curb the spread of the virus, expand testing capacities and expedite vaccine development even when we had no true idea the level of transmission or asymptomatic spread," said Judd Deere, a White House spokesman.

There were key turning points along the way, opportunities for Mr. Trump to get ahead of the virus rather than just chase it. There were internal debates that presented him with stark choices, and moments when he could have chosen to ask deeper questions and learn more. How he handled them may shape his re-election campaign. They will certainly shape his legacy.

The Containment Illusion

By the last week of February, it was clear to the administration's public health team that schools and businesses in hot spots would have to close. But in the turbulence of the Trump White House, it took three more weeks to persuade the president that failure to act quickly to control the spread of the virus would have dire consequences.

When Dr. Robert Kadlec, the top disaster response official at the Health and Human Services Department, convened the White House coronavirus task force on Feb. 21, his agenda was urgent. There were deep cracks in the administration's strategy for keeping the virus out of the United States. They were going to have to lock down the country to prevent it from spreading. The question was: When?

There had already been an alarming spike in new cases around the world and the virus was spreading across the Middle East. It was becoming apparent that the administration had botched the rollout of testing to track the virus at home, and a smaller-scale surveillance program intended to piggyback on a federal flu tracking system had also been stillborn.

In Washington, the president was not worried, predicting that by April, "when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away." His White House had yet to ask Congress for additional funding to prepare for the potential cost of wide-scale infection across the country, and health care providers were growing increasingly nervous about the availability of masks, ventilators and other equipment.

What Mr. Trump decided to do next could dramatically shape the course of the pandemic -- and how many people would get sick and die.

With that in mind, the task force had gathered for a tabletop exercise -- a real-time version of a full-scale war gaming of a flu pandemic the administration had run the previous year. That earlier exercise , also conducted by Mr. Kadlec and called "Crimson Contagion," predicted 110 million infections , 7.7 million hospitalizations and 586,000 deaths following a hypothetical outbreak that started in China.

Facing the likelihood of a real pandemic, the group needed to decide when to abandon "containment" -- the effort to keep the virus outside the U.S. and to isolate anyone who gets infected -- and embrace "mitigation" to thwart the spread of the virus inside the country until a vaccine becomes available.

Among the questions on the agenda, which was reviewed by The New York Times, was when the department's secretary, Mr. Azar, should recommend that Mr. Trump take textbook mitigation measures "such as school dismissals and cancellations of mass gatherings," which had been identified as the next appropriate step in a Bush-era pandemic plan .

The exercise was sobering. The group -- including Dr. Anthony S. Fauci of the National Institutes of Health; Dr. Robert R. Redfield of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Mr. Azar, who at that stage was leading the White House Task Force -- concluded they would soon need to move toward aggressive social distancing, even at the risk of severe disruption to the nation's economy and the daily lives of millions of Americans.

If Dr. Kadlec had any doubts, they were erased two days later, when he stumbled upon an email from a researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology, who was among the group of academics, government physicians and infectious diseases doctors who had spent weeks tracking the outbreak in the Red Dawn email chain.

A 20-year-old Chinese woman had infected five relatives with the virus even though she never displayed any symptoms herself. The implication was grave -- apparently healthy people could be unknowingly spreading the virus -- and supported the need to move quickly to mitigation.

"Is this true?!" Dr. Kadlec wrote back to the researcher. "If so we have a huge whole on our screening and quarantine effort," including a typo where he meant hole. Her response was blunt: "People are carrying the virus everywhere."

The following day, Dr. Kadlec and the others decided to present Mr. Trump with a plan titled "Four Steps to Mitigation," telling the president that they needed to begin preparing Americans for a step rarely taken in United States history.

But over the next several days, a presidential blowup and internal turf fights would sidetrack such a move. The focus would shift to messaging and confident predictions of success rather than publicly calling for a shift to mitigation.

These final days of February, perhaps more than any other moment during his tenure in the White House, illustrated Mr. Trump's inability or unwillingness to absorb warnings coming at him. He instead reverted to his traditional political playbook in the midst of a public health calamity, squandering vital time as the coronavirus spread silently across the country.

Dr. Kadlec's group wanted to meet with the president right away, but Mr. Trump was on a trip to India, so they agreed to make the case to him in person as soon as he returned two days later. If they could convince him of the need to shift strategy, they could immediately begin a national education campaign aimed at preparing the public for the new reality.

A memo dated Feb. 14, prepared in coordination with the National Security Council and titled "U.S. Government Response to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus," documented what more drastic measures would look like, including: "significantly limiting public gatherings and cancellation of almost all sporting events, performances, and public and private meetings that cannot be convened by phone. Consider school closures. Widespread 'stay at home' directives from public and private organizations with nearly 100% telework for some."

The memo did not advocate an immediate national shutdown, but said the targeted use of "quarantine and isolation measures" could be used to slow the spread in places where "sustained human-to-human transmission" is evident.

Within 24 hours, before they got a chance to make their presentation to the president, the plan went awry.

Mr. Trump was walking up the steps of Air Force One to head home from India on Feb. 25 when Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, publicly issued the blunt warning they had all agreed was necessary. But Dr. Messonnier had jumped the gun. They had not told the president yet, much less gotten his consent.

On the 18-hour plane ride home, Mr. Trump fumed as he watched the stock market crash after Dr. Messonnier's comments. Furious, he called Mr. Azar when he landed at around 6 a.m. on Feb. 26, raging that Dr. Messonnier had scared people unnecessarily. Already on thin ice with the president over a variety of issues and having overseen the failure to quickly produce an effective and widely available test, Mr. Azar would soon find his authority reduced.

The meeting that evening with Mr. Trump to advocate social distancing was canceled, replaced by a news conference in which the president announced that the White House response would be put under the command of Vice President Mike Pence.

The push to convince Mr. Trump of the need for more assertive action stalled. With Mr. Pence and his staff in charge, the focus was clear: no more alarmist messages. Statements and media appearances by health officials like Dr. Fauci and Dr. Redfield would be coordinated through Mr. Pence's office. It would be more than three weeks before Mr. Trump would announce serious social distancing efforts, a lost period during which the spread of the virus accelerated rapidly.

Over nearly three weeks from Feb. 26 to March 16, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States grew from 15 to 4,226. Since then, nearly half a million Americans have tested positive for the virus and authorities say hundreds of thousands more are likely infected. The China Factor

The earliest warnings about coronavirus got caught in the crosscurrents of the administration's internal disputes over China. It was the China hawks who pushed earliest for a travel ban. But their animosity toward China also undercut hopes for a more cooperative approach by the world's two leading powers to a global crisis.

It was early January, and the call with a Hong Kong epidemiologist left Matthew Pottinger rattled.

Mr. Pottinger, the deputy national security adviser and a hawk on China, took a blunt warning away from the call with the doctor, a longtime friend: A ferocious, new outbreak that on the surface appeared similar to the SARS epidemic of 2003 had emerged in China. It had spread far more quickly than the government was admitting to, and it wouldn't be long before it reached other parts of the world.

Mr. Pottinger had worked as a Wall Street Journal correspondent in Hong Kong during the SARS epidemic, and was still scarred by his experience documenting the death spread by that highly contagious virus.

Now, seventeen years later, his friend had a blunt message: You need to be ready. The virus, he warned, which originated in the city of Wuhan, was being transmitted by people who were showing no symptoms -- an insight that American health officials had not yet accepted. Mr. Pottinger declined through a spokesman to comment.

It was one of the earliest warnings to the White House, and it echoed the intelligence reports making their way to the National Security Council. While most of the early assessments from the C.I.A. had little more information than was available publicly, some of the more specialized corners of the intelligence world were producing sophisticated and chilling warnings.

In a report to the director of national intelligence, the State Department's epidemiologist wrote in early January that the virus was likely to spread across the globe, and warned that the coronavirus could develop into a pandemic. Working independently, a small outpost of the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Center for Medical Intelligence, came to the same conclusion. Within weeks after getting initial information about the virus early in the year, biodefense experts inside the National Security Council, looking at what was happening in Wuhan, started urging officials to think about what would be needed to quarantine a city the size of Chicago.

By mid-January there was growing evidence of the virus spreading outside China. Mr. Pottinger began convening daily meetings about the coronavirus. He alerted his boss, Robert C. O'Brien, the national security adviser.

The early alarms sounded by Mr. Pottinger and other China hawks were freighted with ideology -- including a push to publicly blame China that critics in the administration say was a distraction as the coronavirus spread to Western Europe and eventually the United States.

And they ran into opposition from Mr. Trump's economic advisers, who worried a tough approach toward China could scuttle a trade deal that was a pillar of Mr. Trump's re-election campaign.

With his skeptical -- some might even say conspiratorial -- view of China's ruling Communist Party, Mr. Pottinger initially suspected that President Xi Jinping's government was keeping a dark secret: that the virus may have originated in one of the laboratories in Wuhan studying deadly pathogens. In his view, it might have even been a deadly accident unleashed on an unsuspecting Chinese population.

During meetings and telephone calls, Mr. Pottinger asked intelligence agencies -- including officers at the C.I.A. working on Asia and on weapons of mass destruction -- to search for evidence that might bolster his theory.

They didn't have any evidence. Intelligence agencies did not detect any alarm inside the Chinese government that analysts presumed would accompany the accidental leak of a deadly virus from a government laboratory. But Mr. Pottinger continued to believe the coronavirus problem was far worse than the Chinese were acknowledging. Inside the West Wing, the director of the Domestic Policy Council, Joe Grogan, also tried to sound alarms that the threat from China was growing.

Mr. Pottinger, backed by Mr. O'Brien, became one of the driving forces of a campaign in the final weeks of January to convince Mr. Trump to impose limits on travel from China -- the first substantive step taken to impede the spread of the virus and one that the president has repeatedly cited as evidence that he was on top of the problem.

In addition to the opposition from the economic team, Mr. Pottinger and his allies among the China hawks had to overcome initial skepticism from the administration's public health experts.

Travel restrictions were usually counterproductive to managing biological outbreaks because they prevented doctors and other much-needed medical help from easily getting to the affected areas, the health officials said. And such bans often cause infected people to flee, spreading the disease further.

But on the morning of Jan. 30, Mr. Azar got a call from Dr. Fauci, Dr. Redfield and others saying they had changed their minds. The World Health Organization had declared a global public health emergency and American officials had discovered the first confirmed case of person-to-person transmission inside the United States.

The economic team, led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, continued to argue that there were big risks in taking a provocative step toward China and moving to curb global travel. After a debate, Mr. Trump came down on the side of the hawks and the public health team. The limits on travel from China were publicly announced on Jan. 31 .

Still, Mr. Trump and other senior officials were wary of further upsetting Beijing. Besides the concerns about the impact on the trade deal, they knew that an escalating confrontation was risky because the United States relies heavily on China for pharmaceuticals and the kinds of protective equipment most needed to combat the coronavirus.

But the hawks kept pushing in February to take a critical stance toward China amid the growing crisis. Mr. Pottinger and others -- including aides to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo -- pressed for government statements to use the term "Wuhan Virus."

Mr. Pompeo tried to hammer the anti-China message at every turn, eventually even urging leaders of the Group of 7 industrialized countries to use "Wuhan virus" in a joint statement.

Others, including aides to Mr. Pence, resisted taking a hard public line, believing that angering Beijing might lead the Chinese government to withhold medical supplies, pharmaceuticals and any scientific research that might ultimately lead to a vaccine.

Mr. Trump took a conciliatory approach through the middle of March, praising the job Mr. Xi was doing.

That changed abruptly, when aides informed Mr. Trump that a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman had publicly spun a new conspiracy about the origins of Covid-19: that it was brought to China by U.S. Army personnel who visited the country last October.

Mr. Trump was furious, and he took to his favorite platform to broadcast a new message. On March 16, he wrote on Twitter that "the United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus."

Mr. Trump's decision to escalate the war of words undercut any remaining possibility of broad cooperation between the governments to address a global threat. It remains to be seen whether that mutual suspicion will spill over into efforts to develop treatments or vaccines, both areas where the two nations are now competing.

One immediate result was a free-for-all across the United States, with state and local governments and hospitals bidding on the open market for scarce but essential Chinese-made products. When the state of Massachusetts managed to procure 1.2 million masks, it fell to the owner of the New England Patriots, Robert K. Kraft, a Trump ally, to cut through extensive red tape on both sides of the Pacific to send his own plane to pick them up.

The Consequences of Chaos

The chaotic culture of the Trump White House contributed to the crisis. A lack of planning and a failure to execute, combined with the president's focus on the news cycle and his preference for following his gut rather than the data cost time, and perhaps lives.

Inside the West Wing, Mr. Navarro, Mr. Trump's trade adviser, was widely seen as quick-tempered, self-important and prone to butting in. He is among the most outspoken of China hawks and in late January was clashing with the administration's health experts over limiting travel from China.

So it elicited eye rolls when, after initially being prevented from joining the coronavirus task force, he circulated a memo on Jan. 29 urging Mr. Trump to impose the travel limits, arguing that failing to confront the outbreak aggressively could be catastrophic, leading to hundreds of thousands of deaths and trillions of dollars in economic losses.

The uninvited message could not have conflicted more with the president's approach at the time of playing down the severity of the threat. And when aides raised it with Mr. Trump, he responded that he was unhappy that Mr. Navarro had put his warning in writing.

From the time the virus was first identified as a concern, the administration's response was plagued by the rivalries and factionalism that routinely swirl around Mr. Trump and, along with the president's impulsiveness, undercut decision making and policy development.

Faced with the relentless march of a deadly pathogen, the disagreements and a lack of long-term planning had significant consequences. They slowed the president's response and resulted in problems with execution and planning, including delays in seeking money from Capitol Hill and a failure to begin broad surveillance testing.

The efforts to shape Mr. Trump's view of the virus began early in January, when his focus was elsewhere: the fallout from his decision to kill Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani , Iran's security mastermind; his push for an initial trade deal with China ; and his Senate impeachment trial, which was about to begin .

Even after Mr. Azar first briefed him about the potential seriousness of the virus during a phone call on Jan. 18 while the president was at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Mr. Trump projected confidence that it would be a passing problem.

"We have it totally under control," he told an interviewer a few days later while attending the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. "It's going to be just fine."

Back in Washington, voices outside of the White House peppered Mr. Trump with competing assessments about what he should do and how quickly he should act.

The efforts to sort out policy behind closed doors were contentious and sometimes only loosely organized.

That was the case when the National Security Council convened a meeting on short notice on the afternoon of Jan. 27. The Situation Room was standing room only, packed with top White House advisers, low-level staffers, Mr. Trump's social media guru, and several cabinet secretaries. There was no checklist about the preparations for a possible pandemic, which would require intensive testing, rapid acquisition of protective gear, and perhaps serious limitations on Americans' movements.

Instead, after a 20-minute description by Mr. Azar of his department's capabilities, the meeting was jolted when Stephen E. Biegun, the newly installed deputy secretary of state, announced plans to issue a " level four " travel warning, strongly discouraging Americans from traveling to China. The room erupted into bickering.

A few days later, on the evening of Jan. 30, Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff at the time, and Mr. Azar called Air Force One as the president was making the final decision to go ahead with the restrictions on China travel. Mr. Azar was blunt, warning that the virus could develop into a pandemic and arguing that China should be criticized for failing to be transparent.

Mr. Trump rejected the idea of criticizing China, saying the country had enough to deal with. And if the president's decision on the travel restrictions suggested that he fully grasped the seriousness of the situation, his response to Mr. Azar indicated otherwise.

Stop panicking, Mr. Trump told him.

That sentiment was present throughout February, as the president's top aides reached for a consistent message but took few concrete steps to prepare for the possibility of a major public health crisis.

During a briefing on Capitol Hill on Feb. 5, senators urged administration officials to take the threat more seriously. Several asked if the administration needed additional money to help local and state health departments prepare.

Derek Kan, a senior official from the Office of Management and Budget, replied that the administration had all the money it needed, at least at that point, to stop the virus, two senators who attended the briefing said.

"Just left the Administration briefing on Coronavirus," Senator Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, wrote in a tweet shortly after. "Bottom line: they aren't taking this seriously enough."

The administration also struggled to carry out plans it did agree on. In mid-February, with the effort to roll out widespread testing stalled, Mr. Azar announced a plan to repurpose a flu-surveillance system in five major cities to help track the virus among the general population. The effort all but collapsed even before it got started as Mr. Azar struggled to win approval for $100 million in funding and the C.D.C. failed to make reliable tests available .

The number of infections in the United States started to surge through February and early March, but the Trump administration did not move to place large-scale orders for masks and other protective equipment, or critical hospital equipment, such as ventilators. The Pentagon sat on standby , awaiting any orders to help provide temporary hospitals or other assistance.

As February gave way to March, the president continued to be surrounded by divided factions even as it became clearer that avoiding more aggressive steps was not tenable.

Mr. Trump had agreed to give an Oval Office address on the evening of March 11 announcing restrictions on travel from Europe, where the virus was ravaging Italy. But responding to the views of his business friends and others, he continued to resist calls for social distancing, school closures and other steps that would imperil the economy.

But the virus was already multiplying across the country -- and hospitals were at risk of buckling under the looming wave of severely ill people, lacking masks and other protective equipment, ventilators and sufficient intensive care beds. The question loomed over the president and his aides after weeks of stalling and inaction: What were they going to do?

The approach that Mr. Azar and others had planned to bring to him weeks earlier moved to the top of the agenda. Even then, and even by Trump White House standards, the debate over whether to shut down much of the country to slow the spread was especially fierce.

Always attuned to anything that could trigger a stock market decline or an economic slowdown that could hamper his re-election effort, Mr. Trump also reached out to prominent investors like Stephen A. Schwarzman, the chief executive of Blackstone Group, a private equity firm.

"Everybody questioned it for a while, not everybody, but a good portion questioned it," Mr. Trump said earlier this month . "They said, let's keep it open. Let's ride it."

In a tense Oval Office meeting, when Mr. Mnuchin again stressed that the economy would be ravaged, Mr. O'Brien, the national security adviser, who had been worried about the virus for weeks, sounded exasperated as he told Mr. Mnuchin that the economy would be destroyed regardless if officials did nothing.

Soon after the Oval Office address, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration and a trusted sounding board inside the White House, visited Mr. Trump, partly at the urging of Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law. Dr. Gottlieb's role was to impress upon the president how serious the crisis could become. Mr. Pence, by then in charge of the task force, also played a key role at that point in getting through to the president about the seriousness of the moment in a way that Mr. Azar had not.

But in the end, aides said, it was Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the veteran AIDS researcher who had joined the task force, who helped to persuade Mr. Trump. Soft-spoken and fond of the kind of charts and graphs Mr. Trump prefers, Dr. Birx did not have the rough edges that could irritate the president. He often told people he thought she was elegant.

On Monday, March 16, Mr. Trump announced new social distancing guidelines , saying they would be in place for two weeks. The subsequent economic disruptions were so severe that the president repeatedly suggested that he wanted to lift even those temporary restrictions. He frequently asked aides why his administration was still being blamed in news coverage for the widespread failures involving testing, insisting the responsibility had shifted to the states.

During the last week in March, Kellyanne Conway, a senior White House adviser involved in task force meetings, gave voice to concerns other aides had. She warned Mr. Trump that his wished-for date of Easter to reopen the country likely couldn't be accomplished. Among other things, she told him, he would end up being blamed by critics for every subsequent death caused by the virus.

Within days, he watched images on television of a calamitous situation at Elmhurst Hospital Center, miles from his childhood home in Queens, N.Y., where 13 people had died from the coronavirus in 24 hours.

He left the restrictions in place.

[Apr 13, 2020] "Nobody knew there would be a pandemic or epidemic of this proportion,"

Apr 13, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

CB on Sat, 04/11/2020 - 4:46pm Timeline on how Donald Trump completely failed America.

This expose by the New York Times is the best reporting I have seen on Trump's complete inability and subsequent failure to lead during this time of acute crisis.

He Could Have Seen What Was Coming: Behind Trump's Failure on the Virus

An examination reveals the president was warned about the potential for a pandemic but that internal divisions, lack of planning and his faith in his own instincts led to a halting response.

April 11, 2020
Updated 4:33 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON -- "Any way you cut it, this is going to be bad," a senior medical adviser at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Carter Mecher, wrote on the night of Jan. 28, in an email to a group of public health experts scattered around the government and universities. "The projected size of the outbreak already seems hard to believe."

A week after the first coronavirus case had been identified in the United States, and six long weeks before President Trump finally took aggressive action to confront the danger the nation was facing -- a pandemic that is now forecast to take tens of thousands of American lives -- Dr. Mecher was urging the upper ranks of the nation's public health bureaucracy to wake up and prepare for the possibility of far more drastic action.
...
The Containment Illusion

By the last week of February, it was clear to the administration's public health team that schools and businesses in hot spots would have to close. But in the turbulence of the Trump White House, it took three more weeks to persuade the president that failure to act quickly to control the spread of the virus would have dire consequences.
...
The China Factor

The earliest warnings about coronavirus got caught in the crosscurrents of the administration's internal disputes over China. It was the China hawks who pushed earliest for a travel ban. But their animosity toward China also undercut hopes for a more cooperative approach by the world's two leading powers to a global crisis.
...
The Consequences of Chaos

The chaotic culture of the Trump White House contributed to the crisis. A lack of planning and a failure to execute, combined with the president's focus on the news cycle and his preference for following his gut rather than the data cost time, and perhaps lives.

[Apr 11, 2020] Coronavirus spread in UK is a 'crime' as NHS had 4 years to prepare for pandemic – John Pilger

Apr 11, 2020 | www.rt.com

Award-winning journalist John Pilger has revealed that the NHS staged an exercise in London in 2016 which proved it was unable to cope with a pandemic like Covid-19, but its findings were suppressed. Speaking to RT's Going Underground , Pilger said that back in 2016, the UK government ran a drill in London that showed the health service was incapable of dealing with an outbreak.

He described the failure as a "crime" and told host Afshin Rattansi that the findings from the exercise, titled Cygnus, had been concealed by the government.

"The result of the drill was that the health service was overwhelmed, there weren't enough beds, there weren't enough ventilators, there weren't enough clinicians in the right places. The whole system, which had been battered by cuts and privatization for years, failed," he said.

The journalist explained that the NHS had been "devastated" by the Tory-led government's decision to bring in the Health and Social Care Act in 2012.

Pilger's scathing comments come a day after the UK recorded its most deaths in a single day since the crisis began. The 854 fatalities took the total to 6,159.

Projections by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle, US, warned that the UK could become the European country worst-hit by Covid-19, possibly accounting for 40 percent of the continent's deaths.

The documentary film maker, whose most recent works include 'The Dirty War on the NHS,' also blasted successive British governments since the 1980s for slashing NHS funding and pursuing a policy of privatization by "stealth."

[Apr 10, 2020] We are awash in examples of U.S. government incompetence - look up incompetence on Wikipedia has Pompous' photo (OK but it should).

Apr 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

jared , Apr 8 2020 16:58 utc | 52

@45 Posted by: JohninMK | Apr 8 2020 16:05 utc | 45

If I comprehend, the issue was that they knew there was a problem in November rather than December.
Not sure the point really, we are awash in examples of U.S. government incompetence - look up incompetence on Wikipedia has Pompous' photo (OK but it should).

Realistically:
- the government is slow to respond
- the government is bad at planning
- the government is around 1 million people all pulling in different directions
- it is only when problem is obvious and damaging that the government gets somewhat focused
- the virus is invisible
- the extent of damage was uncertain

I think at this point it has their attention.

[Apr 08, 2020] WHO can we trust Just when coronavirus gave the World Health Organization its moment to shine, it bottled it -- RT Op-ed

Apr 08, 2020 | www.rt.com

The WHO had been made aware of Covid-19 by December last year. In January, it posted a tweet saying: "Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in Wuhan, China."

Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan , #China 🇨🇳. pic.twitter.com/Fnl5P877VG

-- World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) January 14, 2020

Then in February, Ghebreyesus declared that there was no need for travel bans, saying the spread of the virus outside China was "minimal and slow." Fast forward to March 11, and Dr Tedros was telling the world that coronavirus was officially a pandemic and that he was "deeply concerned by alarming levels of inaction" as it spread. Days later, he tweeted that the "pandemic is accelerating."

Then, at a press conference, he said that "all countries should be able to test all suspected cases" because "they cannot fight this pandemic blindfolded." Perhaps if countries had been warned about the need for widespread testing sooner; they would have been better placed to implement such measures?

The #COVID19 pandemic is accelerating. It took 67 days from the 1st reported case to reach the first 100K cases, 11 days for the second 100K cases & just 4 days for the third 100K cases.These numbers matter, these are people, whose lives & families have been turned upside down. https://t.co/VydhLBNq36

-- Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) March 23, 2020

Obviously, hindsight is 20/20 and it is very easy to criticize a person or an organization for not predicting something after it has happened. But the WHO should have been better prepared for this, not least because it already had experience of the spread of SARS, MERS, H5N1 and swine flu in recent years to draw on. Admittedly, none spread as virulently as Covid-19, but it was obvious from those outbreaks that measures such as testing and restricting travel would help slow the spread.

Perhaps it was concerned about again being accused of overreacting, as it had been by some in response to the 2009 swine flu outbreak. Possibly, it too readily believed the low figures being reported by China during the early part of this year. Maybe it assumed countries were more prepared to deal with pandemics than they turned out to be. Whatever the reasons may or may not be, the fact remains that when the world turned to the WHO, it failed. No amount of publicity stunts, like today's appearance by Lady Gaga, will change that.

WHO will have a special guest at today's #COVID19 press conference: @ladygaga will be joining us to announce the One World: #TogetherAtHome virtual global special on 18 April 2020. 📺 at 15.30 GMT

-- World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) April 6, 2020

Exactly where in the organization's structure the blame lies is impossible for an outsider to say, but surely the buck must stop eventually with Dr Tedros. His messaging early on in this crisis hugely downplayed the risks and has without question led to a situation that at least had a chance of being avoided. When the dust has settled, and the virus is finally brought under control, a serious question will have to be asked: who can trust the WHO?

[Apr 06, 2020] Coronavirus A Theory of Incompetence

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The US for decades has as a matter of policy tried to reduce the number of hospital beds, which among other things has led to the shuttering of hospitals, particularly in rural areas. Hero of the day, New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo pursued this agenda with vigor, as did his predecessor George Pataki. ..."
"... In a functional system, much of the preparation and messaging would have been undertaken by the CDC. In this case, it chose not to simply adopt the World Health Organization's COVID-19 test kits -- stockpiling them in the millions in the months we had between the first arrival of the coronavirus in China and its widespread appearance here -- but to try to develop its own test. Why? It isn't clear. But they bungled that project, too, failing to produce a reliable test and delaying the start of any comprehensive testing program by a few critical weeks. ..."
"... Thomas Hobbes argued that life apart from society would be "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short." Outside poor countries and communities, advances in science and industrialization have largely proven him right. ..."
"... Come quietly to The Gap ..."
"... "notions about parenting changed very drastically in the 80's" ..."
"... "the too-common belief that it is possible to run an operation, any operation, by numbers, appears to be a root cause." ..."
"... A sound banker, alas! is not one who foresees danger and avoids it, but one who, when he is ruined, is ruined in a conventional and orthodox way along with his fellows, so that no one can really blame him. ..."
"... it didn't matter ..."
"... our identities as academics are unavoidably embedded in a form of neoliberal hyperglobalisation. We rely on unrestricted flows of (wealthy) bodies across borders. ..."
"... Variable coronavirus outcomes by nation could suggest a combination of elite incompetence, poor individual judgment, a lack of appreciation of risk in all its Rumsfeldian forms, corruption, a desire by oligarchs for autocratic control and being insulated and divorced from actual operations; or underlying cultural and economic factors. ..."
"... My own view is that we can trace the root cause of policy failure back to the dominant values of leadership and the values of the society/culture which spawned them regarding the relative importance of money in determining policy choices regarding public health and safety. ..."
Apr 06, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Leaders in the public and private sector in advanced economies, typically highly credentialed, have with very few exceptions shown abject incompetence in dealing with coronavirus as a pathogen and as a wrecker of economies. The US and UK have made particularly sorry showings, but they are not alone.

It's become fashionable to blame the failure to have enough medical stockpiles and hospital beds and engage in aggressive enough testing and containment measures on capitalism. But as I will describe shortly, even though I am no fan of Anglosphere capitalism, I believe this focus misses the deeper roots of these failures.

After all the country lauded for its response, South Korea, is capitalist. Similarly, reader vlade points out that the Czech Republic has had only 2 coronavirus deaths per million versus 263 for Italy . Among other things, the Czech Republic closed its borders in mid-March and made masks mandatory . Newscasters and public officials wear them to underscore that no one is exempt.

Even though there are plenty of examples of capitalism gone toxic, such as hospitals and Big Pharma sticking doggedly to their price gouging ways or rampant production disruptions due to overly tightly-tuned supply chains, that isn't an adequate explanation. Government dereliction of duty also abound. In 2006, California's Governor Arnold Schwarznegger reacted to the avian flu by creating MASH on steroids. From the LA Times :

They were ready to roll whenever disaster struck California: three 200-bed mobile hospitals that could be deployed to the scene of a crisis on flatbed trucks and provide advanced medical care to the injured and sick within 72 hours.

Each hospital would be the size of a football field, with a surgery ward, intensive care unit and X-ray equipment. Medical response teams would also have access to a massive stockpile of emergency supplies: 50 million N95 respirators, 2,400 portable ventilators and kits to set up 21,000 additional patient beds wherever they were needed

"In light of the pandemic flu risk, it is absolutely a critical investment," he [Governor Schwarznegger] told a news conference. "I'm not willing to gamble with the people's safety."

They were dismantled in 2011 by Governor Jerry Brown as part of post-crisis belt tightening.

The US for decades has as a matter of policy tried to reduce the number of hospital beds, which among other things has led to the shuttering of hospitals, particularly in rural areas. Hero of the day, New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo pursued this agenda with vigor, as did his predecessor George Pataki.

And even though Trump has made bad decision after bad decision, from eliminating the CDC's pandemic unit to denying the severity of the crisis and refusing to use government powers to turbo-charge state and local medical responses, people better qualified than he is have also performed disastrously. America's failure to test early and enough can be laid squarely at the feet of the CDC. As New York Magazine pointed out on March 12:

In a functional system, much of the preparation and messaging would have been undertaken by the CDC. In this case, it chose not to simply adopt the World Health Organization's COVID-19 test kits -- stockpiling them in the millions in the months we had between the first arrival of the coronavirus in China and its widespread appearance here -- but to try to develop its own test. Why? It isn't clear. But they bungled that project, too, failing to produce a reliable test and delaying the start of any comprehensive testing program by a few critical weeks.

The testing shortage is catastrophic: It means that no one knows how bad the outbreak already is, and that we couldn't take effectively aggressive measures even we wanted to. There are so few tests available, or so little capacity to run them, that they are being rationed for only the most obvious candidates, which practically defeats the purpose. It is not those who are very sick or who have traveled to existing hot spots abroad who are most critical to identify, but those less obvious, gray-area cases -- people who may be carrying the disease around without much reason to expect they're infecting others Even those who are getting tested have to wait at least several days for results; in Senegal, where the per capita income is less than $3,000, they are getting results in four hours. Yesterday, apparently, the CDC conducted zero tests

[O]ur distressingly inept response, kept bringing to mind an essay by Umair Haque, first published in 2018 and prompted primarily by the opioid crisis, about the U.S. as the world's first rich failed state

And the Trump Administration has such difficulty shooting straight that it can't even manage its priority of preserving the balance sheets of the well off. Its small business bailouts, which are as much about saving those enterprises as preserving their employment, are off to a shaky start . How many small and medium sized ventures can and will maintain payrolls out of available cash when they aren't sure when and if Federal rescue money will hit their bank accounts?

How did the US, and quite a few other advanced economies, get into such a sorry state that we are lack the operational capacity to engage in effective emergency responses? Look at what the US was able to do in the stone ages of the Great Depression. As Marshall Auerback wrote of the New Deal programs :

The government hired about 60 per cent of the unemployed in public works and conservation projects that planted a billion trees, saved the whooping crane, modernized rural America, and built such diverse projects as the Cathedral of Learning in Pittsburgh, the Montana state capitol, much of the Chicago lakefront, New York's Lincoln Tunnel and Triborough Bridge complex, the Tennessee Valley Authority and the aircraft carriers Enterprise and Yorktown. It also built or renovated 2,500 hospitals, 45,000 schools, 13,000 parks and playgrounds, 7,800 bridges, 700,000 miles of roads, and a thousand airfields. And it employed 50,000 teachers, rebuilt the country's entire rural school system, and hired 3,000 writers, musicians, sculptors and painters, including Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock.

What are the deeper causes of our contemporary generalized inability to respond to large-scale threats? My top picks are a lack of respect for risk and the rise of symbol manipulation as the dominant means of managing in the private sector and government.

Risk? What Risk?

Thomas Hobbes argued that life apart from society would be "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short." Outside poor countries and communities, advances in science and industrialization have largely proven him right.

It was not long ago, in historical terms, that even aristocrats would lose children to accidents and disease. Only four of Winston Churchill's six offspring lived to be adults. Comparatively few women now die in childbirth.

But it isn't just that better hygiene, antibiotics, and vaccines have helped reduce the scourges of youth. They have also reduced the consequences of bad fortune. Fewer soldiers are killed in wars. More are patched up, so fewer come back in coffins and more with prosthetics or PTSD. And those prosthetics, which enable the injured to regain some of their former function, also perversely shield ordinary citizens from the spectacle of lost limbs. 1

Similarly, when someone is hit by a car or has a heart attack, as traumatic as the spectacle might be to onlookers, typically an ambulance arrives quickly and the victim is whisked away. Onlookers can tell themselves he's in good hands and hope for the best.

With the decline in manufacturing, fewer people see or hear of industrial accidents, like the time a salesman in a paper mill in which my father worked stuck his hand in a digester and had his arm ripped off. And many of the victims of hazardous work environments suffer from ongoing exposures, such as to toxic chemicals or repetitive stress injuries, so the danger isn't evident until it is too late.

Most also are oddly disconnected from the risks they routinely take, like riding in a car (I for one am pretty tense and vigilant when I drive on freeways, despite like to speed as much as most Americans). Perhaps it is due in part to the illusion of being in control while driving.

Similarly, until the coronavirus crisis, even with America's frayed social safety nets, most people, particularly the comfortably middle class and affluent, took comfort in appearances of normalcy and abundance. Stores are stocked with food. Unlike the oil crisis of the 1970, there's no worry about getting petrol at the pump. Malls may be emptying out and urban retail vacancies might be increasing, but that's supposedly due to the march of Amazon, and not anything amiss with the economy. After all, unemployment is at record lows, right?

Those who do go to college in America get a plush experience. No thin mattresses or only adequately kept-up dorms, as in my day. The notion that kids, even of a certain class, have to rough it a bit, earn their way up and become established in their careers and financially, seems to have eroded. Quite a few go from pampered internships to fast-track jobs. In the remote era of my youth, even in the prestigious firms, new hires were subjected to at least a couple of years of grunt work.

So the class of people with steady jobs (which these days are well-placed members of the professional managerial class, certain trades and those who chose low-risk employment with strong civil service protections) have also become somewhat to very removed from the risks endured when most people were subsistence farmers or small town merchants who served them.

Consider this disconnect, based on an Axios-Ipsos survey :

The coronavirus is spreading a dangerous strain of inequality. Better-off Americans are still getting paid and are free to work from home, while the poor are either forced to risk going out to work or lose their jobs.

Generally speaking, the people who are positioned to be least affected by coronavirus are the most rattled. That is due to the gap between expectations and the new reality. Poor people have Bad Shit Happen on a regular basis. Wealthy people expect to be able to insulate themselves from most of it and then have it appear in predictable forms, like cheating spouses and costly divorces, bad investments (still supposedly manageable if you are diversified!), renegade children, and common ailments, like heart attacks and cancer, where the rich better the odds by advantaged access to care.

The super rich are now bunkered, belatedly realizing they can't set up ICUs at home, and hiring guards to protect themselves from marauding hordes, yet uncertain that their mercenaries won't turn on them.

The bigger point is that we've had a Minksy-like process operating on a society-wide basis: as daily risks have declined, most people have blinded themselves to what risk amounts to and where it might surface in particularly nasty forms. And the more affluent and educated classes, who disproportionately constitute our decision-makers, have generally been the most removed.

The proximity to risk goes a long way to explaining who has responded better. As many have pointed out, the countries that had meaningful experience with SARS 2 had a much better idea of what they were up against with the coronavirus and took aggressive measures faster.

But how do you explain South Korea, which had only three cases of SARS and no deaths? It doesn't appear to have had enough experience with SARS to have learned from it.

A related factor may be that developing economies have fresh memories of what life was like before they became affluent. I can't speak for South Korea, but when I worked with the Japanese, people still remembered the "starving times" right after World War II. Japan was still a poor country in the 1960s. 3 South Korea rose as an economic power after Japan. The Asian Tigers were also knocked back on their heels with the 1997 emerging markets crisis. And of course Seoul is in easy nuke range of North Korea. It's the only country I ever visited, including Israel, where I went through a metal detector to enter and saw lots of soldiers carrying machine guns in the airport. So they likely have a keen appreciation of how bad bad can be.

The Rise and Rise of the Symbol Economy

Let me start with an observation by Peter Drucker that I read back in the 1980s, but will then redefine his take on "symbol economy," because I believe the phenomenon has become much more pervasive than he envisioned.

A good recap comes in Fragile Finance: Debt, Speculation and Crisis in the Age of Global Credit by A. Nesvetailova:

The most significant transformation for Drucker was the changed relationship between the symbolic economy of capital movements, exchange rates, and credit flows, and the real economy of the flow of goods and services:

in the world economy of today, the 'real economy' of goods and services and the 'symbol economy' of money, credit, and capital are no longer bound tightly to each other; they are indeed, moving further and further apart (1986: 783)

The rise of the financial sphere as the flywheel of the world economy, Drucker noted, is both the most visible and the least understood change of modern capitalism.

What Drucker may not have sufficiently appreciated was money and capital flows are speculative and became more so over time. In their study of 800 years of financial crises, Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff found that high levels of international capital flows were strongly correlated with more frequent and more severe financial crises. Claudio Borio and Petit Disyatat of the Banks of International Settlements found that on the eve of the 2008 crisis, international capital flows were 61 times as large as trade flows, meaning they were only trivially settling real economy transactions.

Now those factoids alone may seem to offer significant support to Drucker's thesis. But I believe he conceived of it too narrowly. I believe that modeling techniques, above all, spreadsheet-based models, have removed decision-makers from the reality of their decisions. If they can make it work on paper, they believe it will work that way.

When I went to business school and started on Wall Street, financiers and business analysts did their analysis by hand, copying information from documents and performing computations with calculators. It was painful to generate financial forecasts, since one error meant that everything to the right was incorrect and had to be redone.

The effect was that when managers investigated major capital investments and acquisitions, they thought hard about the scenarios they wanted to consider since they could look at only a few. And if a model turned out an unfavorable-looking result, that would be hard to rationalize away, since a lot of energy had been devoted to setting it up.

By contrast, when PCs and Visicalc hit the scene, it suddenly became easy to run lots of forecasts. No one had any big investment in any outcome. And spending so much time playing with financial models would lead most participants to a decision to see the model as real, when it was a menu, not a meal.

When reader speak with well-deserved contempt of MBA managers, the too-common belief that it is possible to run an operation, any operation, by numbers, appears to be a root cause. For over five years, we've been running articles from the Health Renewal Blog decrying the rise of "generic managers" in hospital systems (who are typically also spectacularly overpaid) who proceed to grossly mismanage their operations yet still rake in the big bucks.

The UK version of this pathology is more extreme, because it marries managerial overconfidence with a predisposition among British elites to look at people who work hard as "must not be sharp." But the broad outlines apply here. From Clive, on a Brexit post, when Brexit was the poster child of UK elite incompetence :

What's struck me most about the UK government's approach to the practical day-to-day aspects of Brexit is that it is exemplifying a typically British form of managerialism which bedevilles both public sector and private sector organisations. It manifests itself in all manner of guises but the main characteristic is that some "leader" issues impractical, unworkable, unachievable or contradictory instructions (or a "strategy") to the lower ranks. These lower ranks have been encouraged to adopt the demeanour of yes-men (or yes-women). So you're not allowed to question the merits of the ask. Everyone keeps quiet and takes the paycheck while waiting for the roof to fall in on them. It's not like you're on the breadline, so getting another year or so in isn't a bad survival attitude. If you make a fuss now, you'll likely be replaced by someone who, in the leadership's eyes is a lot more can-do (but is in fact just either more naive or a better huckster).

Best illustrated perhaps by an example -- I was asked a day or two ago to resolve an issue I'd reported using "imaginative" solutions. Now, I've got a a vivid imagination, but even that would not be able to comply with two mutually contradictory aims at the same time ("don't incur any costs for doing some work" and "do the work" -- where because we've outsourced the supply of the services in question, we now get real, unhideable invoices which must be paid).

To the big cheeses, the problem is with the underlings not being sufficiently clever or inventive. The real problem is the dynamic they've created and their inability to perceive the changes (in the same way as swinging a wrecking ball is a "change") they've wrought on an organisation.

May, Davies, Fox, the whole lousy lot of 'em are like the pilot in the Airplane movie -- they're pulling on the levers of power only to find they're not actually connected to anything. Wait until they pull a little harder and the whole bloody thing comes off in their hands.

Americans typically do this sort of thing with a better look: the expectations are usually less obviously implausible, particularly if they might be presented to the wider world. One of the cancers of our society is the belief that any problem can be solved with better PR, another manifestation of symbol economy thinking.

I could elaborate further on how these attitudes have become common, such as the ability of companies to hide bad operating results and them come clean every so often as if it were an extraordinary event, short job tenures promoting "IBG/YBG" opportunism, and the use of lawyers as liability shields (for the execs, not the company, natch).

But it's not hard to see how it was easy to rationalize away the risks of decisions like globalization. Why say no to what amounted to a transfer from direct factory labor to managers and execs? Offshoring and outsourcing were was sophisticated companies did. Wall Street liked them. Them gave senior employees an excuse to fly abroad on the company dime. So what if the economic case was marginal? So what if the downside could be really bad? What Keynes said about banker herd mentality applies:

A sound banker, alas! is not one who foresees danger and avoids it, but one who, when he is ruined, is ruined in a conventional and orthodox way along with his fellows, so that no one can really blame him.

It's not hard to see how a widespread societal disconnect of decision-makers from risk, particularly health-related risks, compounded with management by numbers as opposed to kicking the tires, would combine to produce lax attitude toward operations in general.

I believe a third likely factor is poor governance practices, and those have gotten generally worse as organizations have grown in scale and scope. But there is more country-specific nuance here, and I can discuss only a few well, so adding this to my theory will have to hold for another day. But it isn't hard to think of some in America. For instance, 40 years ago, there were more midsized companies, with headquarters in secondary cities like Dayton, Ohio. Executives living in and caring about their reputation in their communities served as a check on behavior.

Before you depict me as exaggerating about the change in posture toward risks, I recall reading policy articles in the 1960s where officials wrung their hands about US dependence on strategic materials found only in unstable parts of Africa. That US would never have had China make its soldiers' uniforms, boots, and serve as the source for 80+ of the active ingredients in its drugs. And America was most decidedly capitalist in the 1960s. So we need to look at how things have changed to explain changes in postures towards risk and notions of what competence amounts to.

_____
1 One of my early memories was seeing a one-legged man using a crutch, with the trouser of his missing leg pinned up. I pointed to him and said something to my parents and was firmly told never to do anything like that again.

2 The US did not learn much from its 33 cases . But the lack of fatalities may have contributed.

3 Japan has had a pretty lame coronavirus response, but that is the result of Japan's strong and idiosyncratic culture. While Japanese are capable of taking action individually when they are isolated, in group settings, no one wants to act or even worse take responsibility unless their is an accepted or established protocol.


PlutoniumKun , April 6, 2020 at 7:15 am

Ian Walsh has a good take on it – he ascribes it to a new aristocracy, which has all the vices of the old aristocracy.

Let's chalk this up to aristocratic elites. Aristocrats, unlike nobles, are decadent, but don't stop with that word; understand what it means.

Elites who are not aligned with the actual productive activities of society and are engaged primarily in activities which are contrary to production, are decadent. This was true in Ancien Regime France (and deliberately fostered by Louis XIV as a way of emasculating the nobility). It is true today of most Western elites; they concentrate on financial numbers, and not on actual production. Even those who are somewhat competent tend not to be truly productive: see the Waltons, who made their money as distributers–merchants.

The techies have mostly outsourced production; they don't make things, they design them. That didn't work out for England in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and it hasn't worked well for the US, though thanks to Covid-19 and US fears surrounding China, the US may re-shore their production capacity before it is too late.

I think there is also a lot to be said for historical (and current) memories of crisis. Both South Korea and Taiwan are countries on a near permanent war footage – both have genuine reasons to fear an external attack (this is particularly visible in South Korea – bomb shelters and warnings everywhere). They are simply at a higher level of alert than most countries and take civil defence very seriously. Much the same applies to Vietnam.

I've noticed here that so far as I can see, the response in Ireland has been significantly better than the UK, despite the NHS being a far better system than the rickety, unequal, and notoriously bureaucratic Irish system. I've noticed that a lot of the official response has revived old protocols for TB and Polio – both diseases that ravaged Ireland into living memory – most old doctors of my acquaintance here will tell you horror stories and I grew up knowing people crippled from polio. While in the UK its fair to say I think that such horrors have slipped out of bureaucratic memory. People talk about the War, but in reality they have no real memory of the horrors of seeing neighbours die. So I think there is a lot to be said for simple institutional memory and practice allowing some countries to respond that big quicker. And with this virus even just 2-3 weeks extra preparation could have made all the difference to a country or region.

NotTimothyGeithner , April 6, 2020 at 9:58 am

And they don't have to live where they are from anymore. When Tony Blair wants positive attention, he jets off to the US or Israel. Claire McCaskill lost a statewide race when the same electorate passed a minimum wage increase and legalized at least medical Marijuana. She now opines on Comcast PR about elections.

PlutoniumKun , April 6, 2020 at 10:26 am

That does make a difference. After the Celtic Tiger crash in Ireland, the PM (Bertie Ahern) who was largely responsible ended up banned from his regular pub where he was well known to have a pint every evening after his day job. The owner explained that if he didn't bar him, he'd lose the rest of his customers.

Mind you, like all the others he still makes a living on the public speaking circuit and his chiklit writer daughter got a mysteriously large book deal from a Murdoch owned publisher..

Cat Burglar , April 6, 2020 at 11:10 am

The Irish case is interesting, because the performance of the state in recent times has been anything but competent. The bank bailout and the cervical cancer cases allowed by the botched testing program are examples. I remember a Morgan Kelly lecture where he said, "We don't do competence in Ireland. You start holding people responsible and you might get some of the 'wrong' people."

The Irish leadership stratum so far looks as if it has done a better job than even the US. Your point about the living memory TB and Polio -- in the 50s, my aunt and uncle, visiting from the US, were advised by the priest not to go to mass because of the danger of picking up TB -- rings true. I wonder if the recent fails by the state, that seem to have left the public abidingly angry (the bailout) and aghast (authorities letting women die of cervical cancer ) have shown elites that they have no political room to fail this time, and that they must show tangible success.

DJG , April 6, 2020 at 11:20 am

Plutonium Kun: Thanks for re-posting the Ian Welsh essay, which was posted at Naked Capitalism a couple days ago–and which has been on my mind since I read it then. I recall that when I was living on the North Shore, the belt of rich suburbs north of Chicago, on a whimsy for a few years, the prevailing stance in dealing with others was a kind of genial incompetence. Shortly after, I returned to Chicago for some grit and consequences.

I woke up this morning thinking of this example of the decadence (a term Welsh describes): The serious person Hillary Clinton opining on something or other. Where is serious person, and vision of competence, Hillary Clinton these days? Why isn't she advocating for the little people? Or at least for her slobbering fan club? Or hoping for another soft-ball interview that doesn't ask what it was like to be Bill's bag-man all those years as they raked in the moolah?

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/hillary-clinton-single-payer-health-care-will-never-ever-happen/

Unfortunately, in Italy, the Hillary Clinton of Italian politics, Matteo Renzi, hasn't taken heavy hints to go away.

Synoia , April 6, 2020 at 12:43 pm

It is hard to distinguish between incompetence and fraud.

I personally believe much that looks incompetent conceals fraud.

HotFlash , April 6, 2020 at 2:09 pm

It's not that hard. Follow the money.

divadab , April 6, 2020 at 7:18 am

The incompetence is a symptom of a morally-degenerate managerial class Infected with bad ideas and having no sense of responsibility to anyone other than themselves. They plan out quarter by quarter, loot their companies instead of investing in them, and lie habitually. This is CORRUPTION. Consider that the ex-CEO of GE, with all his hundreds of millions garnered by cheating GE employees and offshoring their jobs, looting company funds to enrich himself and his co-conspirators, was also a tax cheat, buying art for his NY city palace but claiming it was for his abode in NH and evading NY sales tax. Committing fraud to evade his fair share. A better model for what ails US America cannot be found than this scum.

And note that Boeing moved its headquarters to Chicago "to be more like GE". Well they've destroyed the company to be more like the looters and liars and cheats. Nice work if you can get it.

Yves Smith Post author , April 6, 2020 at 7:40 am

This post is not just about the private sector. State and local governments are primarily responsible for public health.

Your theory does not explain Jerry Brown killing the Schwarznegger emergency response apparatus.

Nor is it adequate to respond to the general idea that "never attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence". Even though it is obvious that America has a lot of corruption, you omit the notion that a lot of stupid will also explain much of what we are seeing now.

eyebear , April 6, 2020 at 8:09 am

Thank for your article – due to that we humans tend to compare us to each other, we are prone to error. Why shouldn't we do, what the others do?
And that's were the incompetence gets it's grip on. Here in Germany we just avoided the closure of smaller hospitals, because they are not efficient enough – now we are the lucky ones with the higher number of beds and ICU's and ecma and so on.

That's not only luck, but the preachers of the neoliberal agenda have a hardship nowadays – and 'we, the people' have a minimum of two years to redesign our societies.

c_heale , April 6, 2020 at 8:23 am

Maybe the Dead Kennedys had it right about Jerry Brown in California Über Alles

Cat Burglar , April 6, 2020 at 10:22 am

They did have it right!

But remember, too, that Brown showed in his first term, in the 70s, that he was a textbook case of being one of Stoller's progressive post-Watergate Democrats that set aside New Deal programs and regulation. I remember his deregulation of intrastate trucking from that time, which the highly unionized truckers opposed. Come quietly to The Gap

rd , April 6, 2020 at 8:54 am

I think one of the problems is that financialization and securitization of everything has effectively separated the managerial class in both private and public sector from knowledge and experience of actual logistics and execution.Transferring securities with the push of a button is not the same as getting an industrial plant or phone center built, trained, and running efficiently. Companies and organizations with a history of doing this well can completely undo that capability in only a couple of years (e.g. CDC, FEMA, numerous companies taken over by PE). While my examples below are US-based, I think a lot of the same thought processes have been going on in much of the OECD (e.g. Brexit debacle).

Once everything is measured in dollars with a maximum of a 1 to 5 years window, then it becomes really easy to just focus on the little ball needed to become really "efficient" without thinking about the bigger societal picture. I think the generations that grew up in WW I, 19189-19 Flu, Prohibition, Great Depression, WW II had a much bigger picture of life and society. In some respects, things like Vietnam, were an over-reaction (like immune system going haywire) but on the whole, there was a big focus for 50 years on the potential for really big, bad things to happen. Once the Berlin Wall fell, much of that dissipated and so the shocks that come are generally responded to with a combination of bewilderment, lack of general interest unless it personally impacts you, or the immune system going wild (Iraq invasion, torture).

As a result, you get bulls*#t like this from people like Fed Governor Bullard: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/feds-bullard-says-there-is-good-news-for-those-worried-about-the-economys-future-that-universal-covid-19-testing-will-help-restore-economic-health-2020-04-05?mod=home-page

He wants universal daily testing of all Americans to prove daily they can be out and about. This is in a country that can't figure out how to have half the country vote without standing in lines for hours or hasn't been able to figure out how to even get sick people tested and waiting a week or more more for the test results to come back. Granted, the 15 minute tests mean that it might be possible to set up a lemonade stand at the entrance to every subdivision or subway station for people to get their daily test. The logistical undertaking to do this would be mammoth, although there are at least lots of unemployed people who could get several months of training to learn how to do such a test.

Once everything is measured in dollars with a maximum of a 1 to 5 years window, then it becomes really easy to just focus on the little ball needed to become really "efficient" without thinking about the bigger societal picture. I think the generations that grew up in WW I, 19189-19 Flu, Prohibition, Great Depression, WW II had a much bigger picture of life and society. In some respects, things like Vietnam, were an over-reaction (like immune system going haywire) but on the whole, there was a big focus for 50 years on the potential for really big, bad things to happen. Once the Berlin Wall fell, much of that dissipated and so the shocks that come are generally responded to with a combination of bewilderment, lack of general interest unless it personally impacts you, or the immune system going wild (Iraq invasion, torture).

I am a design engineer and I have found it is really difficult to get people to engage in real discussions of potential risks and solutions. Generally the only thing that anybody wants to know is "What will it cost to be prepared?" Almost nobody wants to talk about low probability, high impact events because that generally would not show up in the 1-5 years time limit people care about.

Susan the other , April 6, 2020 at 11:43 am

low probability – high impact events and human nature. We just went thru a surprising 5.6 earthquake – I'm pretty sure we were ground zero because it not only shook the house like a hurricane for 4 seconds, there was also the sound of a very loud explosion. Sometimes earthquakes make booms like that. If it had lasted another 2 or 3 seconds the roof would have come down; the gas lines would have pulled apart; the plumbing would have been disabled and etc. But we just went, Well that was interesting. Lucky there was no damage. Probably not worth taking out earthquake insurance – it's so expensive.

Anon , April 6, 2020 at 1:27 pm

State and local government ARE responsible for public health. The local people running those agencies do not control their budgets. With insufficient funds their experience and qualifications are wasted by scrambling for stop-gap methods. The political leaders (Governors, mostly.) are most to blame. So the next time folks are choosing at the ballot box remember that public health needs vigoroous funding.

As for the incompetence of "managers" and the credentialed, it occurs everywhere in organizations in America, and beyond. A paycheck is essential while "speaking up" is dangerous. See: Captain Crozier. Most folks are neither secure enough financially or academically to voice a contrasting observation.

Yves, this was an excellent post. Decidedly pointed. There are few who dare to take this challenge. That is why NC is so important. Stay safe!

Felix_47 , April 6, 2020 at 11:00 am

Are you sure you don't mean Dennis Koslowsky (spelled something like that) who was a CPA from New Jersey and ran Tyco? At least he did some jail time. The smart ones figure out how to cheat legally by hiring the well connected white shoe Ivy League lawyers. That is not to say that GE was not mismanaged but it really was done in by the finance crisis because Jack Welch bet the company on it which worked really well for a long time until it did not which covered up the fact that manufacturing in the US is essentially impossible secondary to the legal system and the health care system, or lack thereof.

Clive , April 6, 2020 at 11:02 am

If only it was as simple as saying that services operated by the state were fine, it's private capital where the problem lies.

It's not. This is a societal and cultural problem.

There are employer "pushes" towards the deskilling and degrading of levels of operational competence. One is employers ( both public sector and private sector) do not want to pay for training and to retain a body of experienced employees because both of these cost money up-front with a payoff (in the form of competent, knowledgeable staff) that comes only slowly, later. And a churn of staff is seen as the sign, wrongly, but this is what the MBAs sell as snake oil, of a dynamic, healthy organisation which is bringing in (through a process which never seems to be adequately explained) new talent. Plus, of course, most obviously, younger and newer employees are cheaper so your average headcount cost is lower which is usually a management metric -- often one which is incentive-ised through reward.

There are also employee "pulls" -- and again, these are not just observed in the private sector. You see them in medicine, academia and even, most bizarrely, the arts. An example of these employee-instigated causes of a reduction in capability is that it becomes in-cultural-ated that if you spend too long in the same place, you're only doing so out of necessity because you're so useless, no-one else will employ you. So even if don't really want to move onto a different organisation or a different field of work outside your skillset, you feel you have to, in order to avoid looking "stale", "resistant to change", "stuck in your comfort zone" or any other of the myriad of thought-crimes which you don't want, in today's job market, to be seen to having evidence of committing. And also, as collective union bargaining has gone the way of the dinosaur, more often than not, if you want a raise you have to threaten to quit to get one. But again, more often than not, your current employer will call your bluff and let you leave. So you have to have another job lined up to to go to, if you're not to fall into a trap of flouncing off in a huff but having no other work to walk straight into. While your current employer might not, if they were honest, want to lose you, the dynamics of the workplace being what they are, neither side can then climb down from the ultimatums they've just served.

Yes, there are some notable poster-children of how private enterprise has committed suicide through the wanton bloodletting of its skilled employees (Boeing being a recent case-in-point). But even if you cast your gaze in the direction of public employers, this same phenomena can be found in universities, colleges and K-12 schools (where faculties are no longer bolstered by a strong bench of tenured staff, contract and non-tenured hire-and-fire disposable staff are now the norm, I won't even go there on the effect of charter schools) healthcare (even in the UK's entirely public sector NHS, there is huge reliance on contract and agency staff which the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted and the government is trying, belatedly and without any clear indication it can do so in the short term to redress this and avoid being price-gouged). Or federal and state regulators which now simply do not understand the businesses they are supposed to be regulating and have to buy-in external "expertise" (and merely exacerbate the revolving door problem).

In summary, I wish it were so simple to merely say "private sector bad, government good". But the rot has set in from top to bottom across all aspects of how we manage our shared organisational maturity (or, should I say, now, fix our shared organisational immaturity) and whether or not it started in the private sector, it has well and truly spread to infect the public sector, too. This was the unmistakable point of the post, so it bears re-reading it again with a particular emphasis on understanding why this is the case.

Susan the other , April 6, 2020 at 12:00 pm

devolution by automation. the dystopia we didn't see coming. can't help believing that automation itself – even though it has often been, or seemed to be, beneficial – hasn't undermined and/or destroyed what should be a collective human intelligence and contagious creativity that is the real thing that makes us thrive. But it takes a long steady progression and we're all too impatient.

David in Santa Cruz , April 6, 2020 at 12:35 pm

Terrific comment, Clive.

In my experience working as a lawyer in government service for 34 years, I saw this obsession with "new blood" and "innovation" flooding the system with lawyers -- and judges -- who were breezily ignorant of the law, yet supremely confident in their own cleverness.

University faculties dominated by TA's and adjuncts; charter schools taught by 6-week-wonder TFA's; warships piloted by teenagers; Presidents with no experience in government The list goes on and on.

I blame the instant and consequence-free ego gratification of television-watching for this phenomenon.

Laura in SoCal , April 6, 2020 at 1:20 pm

100% on the employer pushes. I've seen this plenty in my 25 years of working in engineering and manufacturing businesses. And no matter how many "systems" and "quality functions" they put in place, experience matters. In has happened several times that even with great and detailed documentation, when a particular machinist retires, a product line starts having quality issues. Several times we've had layoffs for some reason or another and they have to bring particular individuals back because there was some function they did that no one else is qualified or able to do. Also, because we run lean, cross training is difficult no one has the extra time.

Rob Urie , April 6, 2020 at 7:38 am

Prior to the advent of neoliberalism and through it child mortality rates have been much higher in the U.S. than other OECD countries.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/01/08/health/child-mortality-rates-by-country-study-intl/index.html

It is very heavily concentrated among the poor.

The refusal to provide public goods is capitalist class relations 101.

Yves Smith Post author , April 6, 2020 at 7:48 am

It is disappointing to see these early comments ignore the framing of the post and go for simplistic takes.

I said at the top that this post was about advanced economies that had poor coronavirus responses, not just the US. That includes Belgium, France, and the Netherlands, all of which have much higher fatalities per capita than the US. None of those countries have high rates of infant mortality.

Try again.

False Solace , April 6, 2020 at 1:49 pm

That's a bit optimistic.You could argue Belgium and the Netherlands have already plateaued in terms of new cases and deaths. For France the numbers are not as clear thanks to a one-day spike in reported nursing home cases. But the US has shown clear exponential growth in both new cases and deaths thru today. I don't think the data is in.

For the last week the US has reported 20-30k new cases a day which means the deaths won't hit for another 1-2 weeks. The number of tests is comparable to the other countries you listed, so it isn't a matter of overdiagnosis. The East Coast is the only region in the US doing meaningful testing.

It's not farfetched to think the US will experience a uniquely bad result in terms of health care and economic outcomes because of its uniquely bad health care system and elite indifference. Never attribute to malice or indifference that which can be adequately explained by indifference. Malice is too difficult to prove, and when it comes to enriching themselves, elites are demonstrably competent. What they are, is indifferent. They simply don't care about long term outcomes or their population. For them, everything is consequence free. Coronavirus is just another example in the litany.

bmeisen , April 6, 2020 at 11:36 am

2 models dominate the informed universal health care coverage debate: 1) a purely public (state) model, as in the UK and Italy, in which financing for health care costs is located in the federal budget where it is allocated from a stream of tax revenues and financing sources; and 2) a highly regulated non-profit (non-state) model, as in most of Scandinavia and central Europe, in which financing is located in a pool of premiums and when needed, e.g. for the very young, poor, elderly who cannot afford to pay premiums, state subsidies.

A variation on 2) is a hybrid of non-profits and private, profit-oriented insurers, as in Germany and the Netherlands, in which the mix is critical and is subject to regulation. Something like 90% non-profit, 10% private is IMHO OK though in Germany it might be more like 70/30.

The EU has been blamed for the devastation caused by Covid-19 in Italy. The argument goes something like, the austerity imposed by the Germans forced Italy to reduce health care capacities. The Frankfurter Allgemeine argues today that ECB imposed austerity is not to blame. Rather the purely state model of financing for health care coverage is at fault. The fact is that in the Italian model many stakeholders want a share of the stream of tax revenues and financing sources from which funds for the provision of health care are also drawn. The FAZ notes that Italian state retirement benefits have risen substantially in recent years while funding for health care has been level.

Christopher Herbert , April 6, 2020 at 7:48 am

The rise of the FIRE sectors as a percentage of GDP has been obvious. We are over-financialized. All this has done is over lay a very expensive layer of debt and interest payments on the real economy. This is the bubble the pandemic pricked.

Yves Smith Post author , April 6, 2020 at 7:59 am

Again, this post is not about the US. It is about trying to develop theories as to why some countries responded reasonably well to the coronavirus crisis and others not.

Italy's banking sector, even with its dud loans not written down, is 1.5 trillion euros v. a GDP of about 1.9 trillion euros, or 79% of GDP. Unlike the US, Italy does not have a ginormous securities market nor a big asset management business, so its banking industry is pretty much the only game in town except for government bond issuance. By contrast, in the US, banks are a way smaller proportion of financial activity (they represent <15% of non-farm private loans) but even banking assets alone are a higher % of GDP, 94%.

Your explanation does not fit key facts. Italy, one of the very worst hit countries, is not heavily financialized. It is also dominated by medium and small businesses

NotTimothyGeithner , April 6, 2020 at 9:45 am

Besides the new aristocracy aspects and a general lack of accountability, I do wonder about rates of foreign elites being "educated" in the US. When my parents go to Boston, all they do is complain about how nice it is, but they remember when the nice areas were where regular people lived. Like US tourists think all Europeans take high speed trains to work, how much of Euro attitudes by seeing the rise of enclaves in the US?

I'll use UVA and Charlottesville Virginia, but if you never go beyond Preston Ave (gentrification may have shifted it) away from Grounds, why would a student see poor people or any lower class employees beyond UVA employees who aren't making a living wage? Charlottesville has the highest rate of wealth inequality in the state.

John , April 6, 2020 at 7:51 am

Thank you. You analyze it. For years I have called it "playing video games". Years ago I knew a guy who said it did not matter of what but he had to be a manager.It was some sort of prestige thing for him. Took him out of the common herd in his way of looking at things.
Yesterday, I read Paul Johnson's short biography of Winston Churchill. Churchill did not like desk work according to Johnson and every new task he undertook, he went out and learned the ins and outs of it. He was a relentless inspector and questioner. He taught himself how to lay bricks. He learned by doing and led from knowledge. He made mistakes. He took responsibility. Certainly he was not a typical person, but neither did he sit in an office assuming he knew it all because the model said he did.

vlade , April 6, 2020 at 7:58