Trump just wants to sing coronavirus backup and take all the credit.
Donald Trump claimed Thursday that he had a “terrific" meeting with the governors whose states he's failing to help combat the coronavirus outbreak. This wasn't true. During his conference call with about a dozen governors, he lavished unearned praise on himself. He said the federal government's response to the pandemic was at a level "that people find pretty impressive." Whoever told the president this is either dumb or just trying to flatter him enough so he'll do something, anything to keep people from dying.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said, correctly, that states are “desperate for supplies." He begged Trump yet again to use his presidential powers to mandate the production of medical supplies, which he can do under the Defense Production Act. Trump personally thinks this goes too far, even though he's literally ordered NFL players to stand for the National Anthem. Maybe it's just no fun for Trump to use his presidential powers unless he's abusing them.
Yep, time for us to yell at the Times again.
Texas Lt. Gov Dan Patrick told Tucker Carlson Monday that senior citizens such as himself would cheerfully die so that America's economy can tap dance on their graves. An elected official suggesting that we move toward a Logan's Run society is a big deal, and the New York Times originally made that clear in its headline before backpedaling like a common New York Times. The Twitter account "Editing TheGrayLady" highlighted the change.
The original headline, in gray and pink, is chillingly accurate, but its replacement, in green, is bland and unoffensive, which often feels like the New York Times's journalistic credo. Texas isn't struggling between federalism and nationalism. It's not like whatever passes for our national government these days has ordered state governments to act. Donald Trump wants to throw a coronavirus party on Easter Sunday. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott isn't “balancing" local control with the coronavirus crisis. He's not doing anything. He's leaving the critical decisions to the local authorities in 254 counties. Time is of the essence when it comes to flattening the curve, and Abbott is leading by confusovision.
It's your Sunday show rundown.
[…] You did the hardest part. You took the jump, you didn't know where you were gonna come down. And that's it. That's those little baby steps you gotta take.To try to become whole again. To try to find purpose. I went in the ice in '45 right after I met the love of my life. Woke up 70 years later. You got to move on. Got to move on. The World is in our hands. It's left to us guys, and we have to do something with it.
— Steve Rogers/Captain America, "Avengers: Endgame"
It's been a very rough few weeks. With a global pandemic caused by the spreading of COVID-19, the United States has slowed down to a crawl. Major and hard hit states like New York, California, and Washington have gone into "shelter in place" or quarantine to try to flatten the curve. This has affected all sectors of human life to include the Sunday political shows, as politics and petty squabbling on them have slowed to report on the emergency we are living in.
On ABC's "This Week," Martha Raddatz asked Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Peter Gaynor about desperate and angry state leaders pleading for medical supplies. Gaynor tried to paint an optimistic picture:
It's your Sunday show rundown!!
If you had 'pandemic' in your Trump-assisted apocalypse pool: Congratulations! For the rest of us, It's been a tough week as we've had the ever growing realization that the least qualified person is in charge at what could be the national health's most critical point. From Trump's failed initial response, contradicting experts, and ignoring the statistics on sick/dead to putting unqualified morons in charge ... this humble Puerto Rican writer couldn't help getting some deja vu. Matters didn't get better on the Sunday shows.
On CNN's "State Of The Union," US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams at first tried to be the reassuring and calm voice of reason:
ADAMS: The health and safety of the American people is of our utmost importance, our number one priority.
But as with ALL Trump appointees (even the not so obvious heat-seeking ass missiles), those brief moments of competence don't last. Jake Tapper followed up by pointing out that in the previous 48 hours more than a dozen states and Washington DC reported their first cases of coronavirus. Dr. Adams conceded that the coronavirus was spreading while chucking up Trump officials like Larry Kudlow and Kellyanne Conway saying the virus was "contained" as just what happens with "novel virus. It's a new situation. And the messaging, quite frankly, is hard."
Tapper then asked about the growing concern from the CDC of the impacts of the coronavirus on the elderly and sick, while also pointing out Trump, Biden, and Bernie are all the age that would be at risk from traveling and interacting with large crowds. It was at this moment that Dr. Adams decided to tarnish any goodwill or trust he could have had:
ADAMS: If people are going to go out there, we want them to be extra cautious. We want them to wash their hands frequently. And I was with the president on Friday. And I just said: "Sir, when's the last time you have washed your hands?" And he said: "I washed my hands just a few minutes ago." We want to make sure, if folks are out there who are at risk, they're taking extra precautions. But speaking of being at risk, the president, he sleeps less than I do, and he's healthier than what I am.
Trump's Blackwater Buddy Erik Prince Recruiting Only The Fanciest Ex-Spies To Narc On Liberal Groups
If only Nixon was so lucky!
Just a few years back, it seemed that things like COINTELPRO and "Nixon's habit of spying on left-leaning groups and people" were things everyone collectively agreed were wrong and bad. One of those old timey things that was supposed to be an embarrassing blight on our history. But hey! I also thought that about anti-immigrant fervor, freaking out about "the reds," and scientific racism were not ever really going to be things again, so we all have our biases. In Nixon's day, he at least had the sense not to blare his plans from the rooftops, but as evil as he was, he was still smarter than Donald Trump.
Today, The New York Times is reporting that Erik Prince, of Blackwater and also of being Betsy DeVos's brother has been working in conjunction with James O'Keefe's Project Veritas to recruit ex- CIA and M16 spies to infiltrate liberal groups for the purpose of discrediting them. Not just "antifa" affinity groups, but Democratic congressional campaigns, unions and other groups on Trump's enemies list.
What the fuck did we just read?
Have you read the latest Devin Nunes defamation suit filed, as always, by his stupendous libelslander lawyer Steven Biss? It's like a bowl of peyote mixed with sweet lead paint chips. Delicious! It starts out accusing Jeff Bezos of buying the Washington Post in an attempt to influence elections.
Billionaire, Jeff Bezos ("Bezos"), purchased WaPo in 2013 for the purpose of using WaPo's mighty pen to influence Federal elections. Bezos failed to defeat the GOP in 2016, in spite of WaPo's notoriously libelous reporting. Bezos' WaPo heavily promoted the Russian "collusion" hoax between 2017 and 2019, in spite of the fact that there was no evidence that any member of the Trump campaign colluded with any "Russian" to influence the 2016 Presidential Election. This is 2020. As this case illustrates, Bezos and his printing press remain desperate to defame the President of the United States and his allies in Congress. This defamation must end.
And then never mentions him again! Because this is a screed against one man alone, the dastardly intelligence and national security reporter Shane Harris of the Washington Post, who conspired with evil Adam Schiff to destroy poor Devin's sterling reputation.
Harris is well-known as a puppet of the FBI and CIA, employed to selectively leak talking points and classified information and to smear targets. Harris is the "national security" reporter who infamously and falsely declared that the "[Steele] dossier was not used as the basis for a FISA warrant on Carter Page". Harris has a reputation in the community in which he works for being very untruthful.
You are probably wondering if Shane Harris can sue Steven Biss for defamation now, but sadly, no! Allegations made in lawsuits are covered under "litigation privilege." Anyway, Devin is GRRRRR SO MAD about a story from February 21, 2020, titled "Senior intelligence official told lawmakers that Russia wants to see Trump reelected," by Ellen Nakashima, Shane Harris, Josh Dawsey, and Ann Gearan. Remember when Trump fired (acting) Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire and refused to nominate him permanently after finding out that senior US intelligence official Shelby Pierson had told the House Intel Committee that Russia was interfering again to get Trump re-elected? The Post broke the story, although Harris isn't even the first named reporter on the piece, and none of his co-authors are named defendants. But this is a Steven Biss joint, so just take another hit and don't think too hard, okay?
The WaPo Hit Piece imputes to Plaintiff criminal conduct in violation of Title 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a), dishonesty, deceit, sharp and unethical practices, and independently actionable tortious acts, all of which severely impugns Plaintiff's integrity and prejudices him in the performance of his duties as a United States Congressman.
For context, Roger Stone was just convicted under 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a) for his false statements to Congress. Exactly what "criminal conduct" does Nunes stand accused of? Well, here's the particular passage of "Harris's" story that seems to have chapped Devin's udders.
Trump learned about Pierson's remarks from Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.), the committee's ranking Republican and a staunch Trump ally, said one person familiar with the matter. Trump's suspicions of the intelligence community have often been fueled by Nunes, who was with the president in California on Wednesday when he announced on Twitter that Grenell would become the acting director, officials said.
A spokesman for Nunes did not respond to requests for comment.
"Members on both sides participated, including ranking member Nunes, and heard the exact same briefing from experts across the intelligence community," a committee official said. "No special or separate briefing was provided to one side or to any single member, including the chairman."
None of which appears to be criminal in the least. Nor does it suggest that Nunes was the source of Trump's erroneous belief that Pierson gave Democrats a separate briefing. Nonetheless Nunes rebuts this non-assertion by insisting that he could not possibly have told Trump about the Pierson briefing because he was in Oklahoma at the time. Here, see for yourself this INCONTROVERTIBLE PROOF to which Biss linked in his lawsuit!
And perhaps in a world without cellphones or air travel, Nunes's presence at a breakfast meeting in Tulsa on Friday the 14th would mean he couldn't possibly have been Trump's source for internal HPSCI info. But as it happens, the article says Nunes was with Trump in California on Wednesday the 19th when he tweeted out the Grenell announcement.
And so was Nunes, who told Sean Hannity that he planned to discuss FISA reform with the president during their meeting.
But why would Harris (and Nakashima, and Dawsey, and Gearan) concoct such a story?
Beginning on or before February 13, 2020, WaPo and its agents (including Harris), combined, associated, agreed or acted in concert with House Democrats (including members of their staff or agents acting within the scope of their authority and at their direction) for the express purpose of defaming and injuring Plaintiff. House Democrats manufactured a statement – that Shelby Pierson had given an "exclusive" briefing to Schiff. They then falsely attributed that statement to Plaintiff, and claimed that Plaintiff had told the President that Pierson had given an "exclusive" briefing to Schiff. House Democrats then gave WaPo and Harris quotes that supposedly proved that Plaintiff's putative statement to the President was false. WaPo and Harris agreed to publish the House Democrats' false statements as part of the joint scheme to defame Plaintiff. WaPo and Harris communicated with House Democrats and their staff members and agents, and carried out the conspiracy via email, text messages or telephone between February 13, 2020 and February 21, 2020. WaPo, Harris and House Democrats (whose identities are as yet unknown) pursued a common scheme, which was to injure Plaintiff's reputation.
That just makes too much sense! The Post and Adam Schiff were cahootsing to destroy Nunes and Trump, so they fabricated a story about Trump being a fucking moron who always loses the plot, blamed Nunes for it (no, they didn't!), and then ... PROFIT!!!!
WaPo and Harris betrayed the truth for the sake of their institutional bias against Plaintiff and President Trump. The WaPo Hit Piece is another example of opposition research published by WaPo and Harris acting as alter egos for others, including Schiff. Rather than minimize harm, WaPo and Harris set out to inflict maximum pain and suffering on Plaintiff in order to harm Plaintiff's reputation and undermine the President. WaPo never once considered the long-term implications of the extended reach and permanence of its various publications. WaPo and Harris refuse to be accountable; refuse to acknowledge their mistakes; refuse to retract; refuse to correct; and, of course, refuse to apologize.
So Harris and the Post simultaneously worked to "inflict maximum pain" while "never once" stopping to consider the "extended reach and permanence" of their articles? Yeah, that tracks.
Got proof of that?
WaPo and Harris harbor an institutional hostility, hatred, extreme bias, spite and ill-will towards Plaintiff, the GOP and President Trump, going back many years. WaPo and Harris' enmity towards Plaintiff is evidenced, inter alia, by the many leaks of information by Harris to undermine Plaintiff in his role as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
Shane Harris, a reporter at the Washington Post, leaked information about Devin Nunes? Ummm ... NEVER MIND. Okay, enough foreplay. Let's cut to the chase here. How much money do these clowns want?
As a direct result of WaPo and Harris' defamation, Plaintiff suffered presumed damages and actual damages, including, but not limited to, insult, pain, embarrassment, humiliation, mental suffering, injury to his reputation, special damages, costs, and other out-of-pocket expenses, in the sum of $250,000,000 or such greater amount as is determined by the Jury.
Neat-o! Hey, didn't a judge in the very same federal courthouse warn Biss last week that he was going to get sanctioned if he kept coming back and filing frivolous motions? LOL, good luck buddy!
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Chris Matthews announced his retirement last night. It was abrupt!
Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC's "Hardball" and perennial thorn-in-the-side of actual liberals and anyone who does not hate women, announced last night that he will finally be retiring. Phil Donahue could not be reached for comment, on account of the fact that I have no way of contacting Phil Donahue. Which is unfortunate, because Marlo Thomas is super cool.
Matthews's announcement was abrupt and and occurred in the middle of the show's very first segment, leaving MSNBC with a random hour of airtime to fill.
Matthews explained that although he really loves his job and is excited to get up and do it every morning, and loves his producers, after a talk with the bigwigs at MSNBC, he has realized it's time for him to step aside for someone more hip and with it.
Brief interview with a hideous man.
CBS's once hard-hitting news magazine show "60 Minutes" did an astonishingly bad piece yesterday on Eddie Gallagher, the former Navy SEAL who is much beloved of Donald Trump. It's a hell of a puff piece on a convicted (BUT PARDONED!!) (BUT ALSO NOT EXONERATED!!!) war criminal, as interviewer David Martin presents Gallagher much as he wants to be seen: the victim of a massive conspiracy to ruin the good name of a great warrior. Lt. William Calley could only have dreamed of such a sympathetic portrayal.
Let's just say that the citizens of Twitter were not fans: Look at the ratio of comments to "likes" on this promotional tweet:
There's covering both sides, and then there's journalistic malpractice; the 60 Minutes Gallagher piece almost looks like something that could run on Fox News, but for a few moments when Martin at least gestures to the barbarity of what Gallager was accused of.
Guess conservatives will finally stop accusing "60 Minutes" of having a liberal bias now, huh?
Apologies for all of this Chris Matthews content...
Why is Chris Matthews?
This is the question many of us, one would hope, are asking ourselves this week. At least I am. The man has been spiraling. He's been comparing Bernie Sanders to Hitler invading France and claiming that Sanders would have cheered to see him, Chris Matthews, beheaded in Central Park. This week, he had the gall to interrogate Elizabeth Warren about why on earth she would believe a woman (and several other people!) who said Michael Bloomberg told her to "kill it" when she was pregnant, instead of believing Michael Bloomberg. He was very, very upset about this. Couldn't believe it! Why on earth, after all, would a man lie about sexually harassing his employees? It just doesn't make sense!
FLAMES ON THE SIDE OF MY FACE DOT GIF.
This is just a very good lawsuit.
On Wednesday, the Trump 2020 campaign filed a libel lawsuit against the New York Times, whining that an opinion piece about Russia and Donald Trump being BFFs wasn't very nice to the Trump campaign.
And yes, it's just as dumb as it sounds.
Donald Trump and his buddy, lawyer Charles Harder, are big fans of using bullshit lawsuits like this to intimidate journalists and use as press releases. They believe they are entitled to abuse the legal system by suing over news they don't like and using their money to silence people who disagree with them. Lawsuits like this one, styled Donald Trump for President v. New York Times, are no more than attempts to use American courts to frighten dissenters into silence.
The op-ed in question, titled "The Real Trump-Russia Quid Pro Quo," was written by Max Frankel, former Times executive editor, in March of last year. The first paragraph of the piece sets the tone:
Collusion — or a lack of it — turns out to have been the rhetorical trap that ensnared President Trump's pursuers. There was no need for detailed electoral collusion between the Trump campaign and Vladimir Putin's oligarchy because they had an overarching deal: the quid of help in the campaign against Hillary Clinton for the quo of a new pro-Russian foreign policy, starting with relief from the Obama administration's burdensome economic sanctions. The Trumpites knew about the quid and held out the prospect of the quo.
I mean ... seems pretty accurate thus far.
You probably don't get it, it's a very subtle joke.
As the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak continues to spread around the world, public health experts are doing all they can to research and track the disease, inform people what they can do to reduce their risk of exposure, and to keep people from unduly panicking. But undue panic is also a very profitable business model, so yeah, we're getting a great big honkin' dose of that, too! Fortunately, panic never causes people to do stupid things, as we know from all the times no one has ever shot a family member they thought was a burglar.
It's the Sunday Shows Rundown!
A few days ago, it was reported that it seems the Russians are meddling in the 2020 elections, like they did in 2016, favoring Donald Trump. This (of course) pissed off our Authoritarian-In-Chief and he fired acting (aren't they all) Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire and replaced him with an idiot loyalist, Ambassador to Germany Ric Grenell. Trump also did one of his White House lawn presser shout interviews denying the intelligence while blaming Democrats like House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who rightfully criticized him. So this week on the Sunday shows, we got multiple appearances from Trump officials Robert O'Brien and Marc Short, telling America what they really want us to hear about that so-called intelligence.
He even wrote a bad poem so you'll understand the subtle point he's making here.
Perennial Wonkette star Jon McNaughton, the great Utah-based arteest whose work combines the technical brilliance of the late Thomas Kinkade with the sly political wit of cartoonist Ben Garrison, proudly announced a brand-new work of Fine Art today. And unlike some of his recent lazy efforts, this one's a throwback to his early masterpieces, which were crowded with all sorts of symbolism.
We'll confess that art can be open to interpretation, which is what makes it art, but we're fairly sure we see what The Master is getting at here. It might best be summarized as, Looks like those clowns in the media did it again! What a bunch of clowns!
We just want to know one thing: How does he keep up with the news like that?
It's about ethics in framing journalism.
HOORAY! HOORAY! The Hill's review of its disgraced hack "opinion columnist" John Solomon is here! Hooray! After three months of soul-searching about Solomon's fruitful collaboration into investigating the Bidens with Rudy Giuliani, Devin Nunes's guy, the chucklefucks, and the firm of Hairball and Hairball, Esquires to the Stars and Also John Solomon; and into how much Solomon lied about working with Giuliani; and into how much Solomon didn't disclose citing his own attorneys and misdirected his editors on who exactly Lev Parnas was; and into his "smear campaign" of Marie Yovanovitch on Rudy Giuliani's, the chucklefucks', the hairballs', the corrupt prosecutors', and Ukrainian billionaire Dmytro Firtash's behalf, the Hill has a very solemn promise to make.
It will try really hard in future not to blur the line between "news" and "opinion," which was obviously their only problem.
So, we good?
It's your Sunday show rundown!
It's been a while but this Sunday saw the return of counselor to the President and what would happen if Tomi Lahren drank from the wrong Grail, Kellyanne Conway.
Appearing on "Fox News Sunday," Conway was determined to make up for time lost away from the Sunday shows, filibustering Chris Wallace for all 12 minutes and 47 seconds of her time.
Wallace began by asking what Trump thinks of the Justice Department's decision to drop the investigation into former FBI official Andrew McCabe, and Conway sped through the bullshit like an eager stallion at the Kentucky Derby (Bowling Green Massacre, Never Forget):
We're going to need a Truth Commission when this is all over.
In an attempt to prevent immigrant kids from getting asylum, the government is going through notes taken in counseling sessions and picking out items that can be used against the kids, even though the counselors assured the kids the sessions would be confidential. What's worse, the practice may be technically legal, although obviously it's unethical as fuck. The government insists it's absolutely necessary to protect America, because when some kids discuss the traumas that led them to seek asylum in the US, they also say things that can be used to suggest they're dangerous thugs who might kill us all.
In the Washington Post, Hannah Dreier focuses on the ordeal of one young Honduran asylum-seeker, Kevin Euceda, who lived through hell and escaped an MS-13 group that wanted him to kill someone to prove his loyalty to the gang. In 2017, he crossed the Rio Grande with his older sister; she was 18, so was quickly deported. But Kevin, then 17, was placed in a youth shelter that contracted with the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is responsible for housing minor immigrants until they're placed with sponsors (or, increasingly, until they're old enough to deport). By law, all detained kids are required to see a counselor within 72 hours of coming into the ORR system, under the 1997 settlement meant to protect detained kids. Haha, joke's on you, Kevin: Under Trump, those sessions were no longer confidential, although the counselor — a recent graduate doing work toward her professional license — didn't know her notes would be turned over to ICE, either.
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