The daily chronicle of Trump Dumb Assery with Economic ruin and deadly effects


Remember the warning “Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US was the title of the President’s Daily Brief prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and given to U.S. President George W. Bush on Monday, August 6, 2001.  Bush did nothing. Here we are again:

New details about the “ominous” warnings about COVID-19 coronavirus were reported by The Washington Post

“U.S. intelligence agencies were issuing ominous, classified warnings in January and February about the global danger posed by the coronavirus while Trump and lawmakers played down the threat and failed to take action that might have slowed the spread of the pathogen,” the newspaper reported, citing “U.S. officials familiar with spy agency reporting.”

“The intelligence reports didn’t predict when the virus might land on U.S. shores or recommend particular steps that public health officials should take, issues outside the purview of the intelligence agencies. But they did track the spread of the virus in China, and later in other countries, and warned that Chinese officials appeared to be minimizing the severity of the outbreak,” The Post reported.

“Taken together, the reports and warnings painted an early picture of a virus that showed the characteristics of a globe-encircling pandemic that could require governments to take swift actions to contain it. But despite that constant flow of reporting, Trump continued publicly and privately to play down the threat the virus posed to Americans,” the newspaper reported.

A new timeline on the warnings is coming into focus.

“Intelligence agencies ‘have been warning on this since January,’ said a U.S. official who had access to intelligence reporting that was disseminated to members of Congress and their staffs as well as to officials in the Trump administration, and who, along with others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe sensitive information,” the newspaper explained.

“Donald Trump may not have been expecting this, but a lot of other people in the government were — they just couldn’t get him to do anything about it,” the official said. “The system was blinking red.”

 

A round-up of Trump’s most recent lies and failings:

Medical expert Dr. Joseph Fair suggested that irresponsible Trump’s press events themselves are putting America at risk — because he is misinforming the public and a number of his supporters will believe every word of his speeches.

“We get conflicting messages between what’s happening on the ground versus what you see in a White House briefing,” said Fair, speaking with MSNBC host Ali Velshi. “And that leads to, you know, half of the people not taking this seriously because, you know, there are cult-like followers of every White House briefing, they take every word of that for truth.”

“All you have to do is walk into a hospital to see that that is not the reality on the ground, and so you listen to your troops on the ground if you’re in a war, and we’re in a wartime situation with this disease,” added Fair.

In a brutally blunt piece for the New York Times, columnist Jennifer Senior went scorched earth on Donald Trump for his lie-filled performances in the now daily press briefings on the coronavirus pandemic — suggesting the media call them what they are: Presidential “propaganda.”

Following a day when the combative belligerent Trump attacked NBC reporter Peter Alexander for merely asking what he could say to the public that is living in fear of the pandemic, Senior said enough is enough.

“In a time of global emergency, we need calm, directness and, above all, hard facts. Only the opposite is on offer from the Trump White House. It is, therefore, time to call the Trump news conferences for what they are: propaganda,” she wrote. “We may as well be watching newsreels approved by the Soviet Politburo. We’re witnessing the falsification of history in real-time. When Donald Trump, under the guise of social distancing, told the White House press corps on Thursday that he ought to get rid of 75 to 80 percent of them — reserving the privilege only for those he liked — it may have been chilling, but it wasn’t surprising. He wants to thin out their ranks until there’s only Pravda in the room.”According to the columnist, are Trump’s press conferences full of bluster and lies………..

Friday’s contentious press conference should be the tipping point journalists and most citizens that look to their leader for the truth.

“At his Thursday news conference, a discussion of chloroquine and other experimental therapies formed the core of his remarks, when those drugs and therapies are untested and unproven and, in some cases, won’t be ready for several months, as NBC’s Peter Alexander pointed out the following day,” she recalled. “‘What do you say to Americans who are scared?’ Alexander pressed. ‘I say that you’re a terrible reporter,’ Trump answered. Only a liar — and a weak man with delusions of competence — would be so unnerved by the facts.”

“Most dangerous of all is Trump’s insistence that things are fine, or will be shortly, that they’ll be stronger and better and greater than ever. We don’t have any evidence that this is true, and Trump finds any suggestion to the contrary quite rude. When a journalist pointed out to him on Thursday that the economy had all but ground to halt, Trump cut him off,” she explained. “Here’s the truth: Things might be hard — unfathomably hard — for months, perhaps even north of a year. Anyone who’s reading or listening to other sources of news besides Trump knows that. It takes sensitivity and strength and intelligence to speak truthfully to the public about imminent hardship, the prospect of enduring pain.”

According to Politico, some members of the Trump administration are angry that there is no coordinated policy to protect government workers during a time of crisis — with some agencies responding quickly to cases in their workforces, and others withholding the information.

“The federal agency that serves as an international multimedia broadcaster for the U.S. informed all employees of its first known coronavirus case about an hour after it knew,” wrote Nolan McCaskill. “But the agency responsible for regulating civil aviation in the U.S. didn’t immediately tell technical operations employees about a positive test result at a Las Vegas airport, allowing them to continue working in a potentially infected area. Those employees, including technicians who had just completed their shifts, found out after a tower was evacuated.”

“If the Trump administration has a unified policy on how it is handling the grim march of the virus within its own ranks, it isn’t sharing it,” continued the report. “Just as cities and states across the country have developed their own responses to the outbreak — from closing schools, bars, restaurants, movie theaters and a mix of other venues to encouraging curfews and issuing shelter-in-place orders — agencies across the federal government are crafting their own policies on how to disclose cases of coronavirus. The result is a confusing jumble of messages that has angered federal workers and those who represent them.”

The problem, noted McCaskill, is compounded by the unique exposure of workers in certain agencies. “State has more than 75,000 employees, with more than 9,000 Foreign Service and Civil Service officers scattered overseas. DHS employs more than 240,000 workers, many of whom interact with people daily for work, such as employees with Customs and Border Protection and the Transportation Security Administration. And the Department of Defense has roughly 26,000 employees inside its Pentagon headquarters in Virginia, but employs nearly 3 million service members and civilians worldwide, with a presence in more than 160 countries and nearly 5,000 defense sites.”

Workers are outraged about this inability to coordinate, and fear it will make everything worse.

“We’ve been getting a lot of mixed information,” said Mike Perrone, the president of the aviation workers’ union whose workers were put in danger by the Las Vegas incident. “Trump has put out different information, then OMB puts out guidance, and then the DOT secretary puts out guidance and then the FAA administrator puts out guidance.”

“Nobody said nothing for how many hours? And they knew about it?” he continued. “I’m frustrated — very frustrated — because literally people are going to get sick and people could potentially die or spread it to their families.”

The coronavirus crisis calls for a real leader — and it’s time for Trump to step aside: columnist

Washington Post, columnist Colbert King said it is time for Donald Trump to exit the spotlight as the country deals with coronavirus pandemic that is killing Americans due to his delays and poor management of the government during the health crisis.

Following yet another coronavirus task force press conference on Friday where Trump took over and made it all about himself, King said it is time for Trump to — at least — retreat to shadows and let the professionals do their jobs without interference.

Noting that Trump has tried to soft-sell the dangers the pandemic still might unleash by saying, “We will just get through it,” the columnist said Trump still doesn’t get it despite the rocketing infection rates.

“At issue is not whether we will ‘get through’ the novel coronavirus, which causes the respiratory disease officially dubbed covid-19. Pandemics eventually play out. Though this dangerous virus is spiraling out of control today — infecting more than 250,000 people and killing more than 11,000 since December — it will not be here forever,” he wrote before adding, “What matters most at this moment is how the onslaught is being handled. Is it being addressed head-on as a global pandemic that, above all else, must be combated? Or is the outbreak being treated as an unexpected threat to Trump’s personal political fortunes?

Sadly, with all the country now has on its hands, Trump has politicized and personalized the problem.”

According to the columnist, Trump has continually played down the coronavirus threat long before it was designated a pandemic — and he no longer has any credibility when he tries to reassure the public.

“Besides spouting untruths and wild exaggerations, Trump deflects challenges to his stewardship by shifting blame — to former President Barack Obama and past administrations, to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats on the Hill, to the Federal Reserve, and to the media, which, he whines, only give him bad press,” he wrote. “Now, confronted with hard truths about the disease, his administration’s muddled response, and the country’s economic collapse, Trump is trying to switch hats from belittler in chief to wartime commander. But our great war presidents had great wartime generals: Harry Truman had Dwight D. Eisenhower; Abraham Lincoln had Ulysses S. Grant. Vice President Pence, who is heading up Trump’s coronavirus task force, is no Eisenhower or Grant.”

“And Trump sure as hell is no Truman or Lincoln,” he dryly concluded.

 

from Raw Story, Salon, Washington Post, and MSNBC

Ten years after: grim and getting worse

Ten years ago, in January 2010, the Supreme Court released its disastrous Citizens United decision. The court, either through remarkable naivety or sheer malevolence, essentially married the terrible idea that “money is speech” to the terrible idea that “corporations are people.”

The ruling put a for sale sign on our democracy, opening up a flood of corporate, special interest, and even foreign money into our politics.

Through Citizens United and related decisions, the Court made a bad situation worse. We saw the proliferation of super PACs, which can accept and spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections, and the rise of dark money, which is undisclosed political spending that can come from any special interest, including foreign countries.

In the 10 years since the decision, there’s been $4.5 billion in political spending by outside interest groups, compared to $750 million spent in the 20 years prior to the case.

From 2000-2008, there were only 15 federal races where outside spending exceeded candidate spending. In the same amount of time following Citizens United, this occurred in 126 races. Now, almost half of all outside spending is dark money that has no or limited disclosure of its donors.

That money isn’t coming from the farmers suffering through Donald Trump’s trade war or the fast-food workers fighting for a living wage. It’s coming from the wealthiest donors, people often with very different priorities than the majority of Americans. In fact, a full one-fifth of all super PAC donations in the past 10 years have come from just 11 people.

This has led to an unresponsive and dysfunctional government. With so many politicians in the pockets of their big donors, it’s been even harder to make progress on issues like gun safety, health care costs, or climate change.

Not to mention, we’re left with the most corrupt president in American history, who’s embroiled in a series of scandals that threaten our prosperity, safety, and security.

To name just a few of these scandals: Trump urged a foreign country to investigate his political opponents. His lawyer’s “associates” funneled money into Trump’s super PAC through a sham corporation. The National Rifle Association spent tens of millions of dollars in unreported “dark” money to elect him while allegedly serving as a Russian asset.

Trump and his accomplices should be held accountable, through congressional impeachment, the judicial process, or both. But we also need meaningful anti-corruption reforms.

Thanks to a class of reformers elected in 2018, we’ve already begun that process. Last year, the House of Representatives passed the For the People Act (H.R. 1).

H.R. 1 would strengthen ethics rules and enforcement; reduce the influence of big money while empowering individual, small-dollar donors; and, along with a bill to restore the Voting Rights Act, protect every American’s right to vote. It also calls for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.

Sadly, this bill is being blocked by Mitch McConnell in the Senate.

These reforms are all popular with the American people. We can unrig the system and restore that faith by fighting for these priorities, and by pressuring elected officials to act. Join groups like End Citizens United or Let America Vote to push back against our rigged system and put people ahead of corporate special interests.

Together, we can restore trust in government, prevent corruption, strengthen our national security, and ensure Washington truly works for the people.

 

 

from Times-Standard by Tiffany Muller
Tiffany Muller is the president of End Citizens United. Follow her at @Tiffany_Muller. 

 

PG&E has no credibility

PG&E photo

The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) (The CAISO runs the grid in California).  issued a Transmission Emergency notice for Northern California a PG&E spokesperson said. “This is the lowest emergency level,” “It is declared for any event threatening or limiting transmission grid capability, including line or transformer overloads or loss. Yet the power was shut off for most of Humboldt County for over six hours or more.

PG&E blames weather for the widespread outage. Except the storm with high winds past before midnight the heavy snow and rain had eased off hours before the 5:30 am countywide sudden outage.

Large swaths of Humboldt County lost power for an extended period of time on Friday in an outage event that the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. attributed to storm conditions and snowfall. PG&E claimed The Humboldt area has experienced severe weather conditions this week, including heavy snowfall. Snow is 6- to 7-feet deep in some locations, plus there is fog this morning. The local National Weather Service office politely called BS calling such an estimate excessive. Meteorologist Alex Dodd said Friday the highest levels of snowfall were closer to three feet, and those at very high elevations,….

It’s true that meteorologists had clocked strong wind speeds, estimating 30-to-40 mile-per-hour gusts in certain areas with a peak gust of 60 miles-per-hour in strength. But that was Thursday afternoon and evening the power was shut down at 5:30 am.

It’s hard to believe anything PG&E says.

Matthew Owen’s Terra Gen BS

Matthew in the Middle diatribe –(with our comments)
Humboldt County’s closed for business (Corporate exploitation)

When Rex Bohn was first running for County Supervisor in 2012 he had a great tagline, “I wanna make Humboldt County open for business.” (usually resource extraction) Sadly, that ended this past Tuesday when the Terra-Gen Humboldt Wind Energy Project was voted down 3-2 by the Board of Supervisors and with it, the chance of any major businesses with jobs (15 permanent jobs filled from out of the area) and tax revenues coming to Humboldt County. Said Supervisor Bohn, “If this project gets voted down, we won’t see any similar proposition come along for quite a while because of fear of the unknown.” (there is always another corporate profiteer waiting to exploit us)

Thank you to the two county supervisors along with the city of Eureka (the city supported early without knowing any specifics about this boondoggle), who sent a letter of support for standing up for progress. (business as usual) However, elections have consequences and when you elect an environmentalist and a Regressive,(takes one to know one) how did you think they were gonna vote? Unfortunately, Supervisor Sungnome (Steve) Madrone had his marching orders and made up his mind before the meeting even started. I’m curious if he drove a fossil-fueled car to these meetings and if he has solar panels on his home? (more classic “whataboutism” from the real regressive, Matthew) You’re either part of the solution or you’re part of the problem.

Right now, I’ll bet the Norwegian fish farm and any other projects looking at Humboldt County are sweating. (as they should be)  If you were a rapidly growing business, would you want to expand to Humboldt County? Nevada, Texas and numerous other states open their arms wide to attract new businesses that bring jobs and much needed tax revenues. (great comparison Nevada and Texas, no thanks) Not Humboldt County. Back in the early 2000s, former Eureka City Councilmember Chris Kerrigan fought the Starbucks drive-through because “it wasn’t appropriate for our community.” (it still isn’t) When does this madness stop? (it obviously hasn’t, with the construction of the new burger mall on broadway)

Unfortunately, this was Saul Alinsky 101 “mob rules” tactics. (another tired neocon trope)

Those who show at public meetings up with the most bodies and yell and scream the loudest win. Sad. I’ve heard that county staff that was followed out to the parking lot by angry protesters with signs who threatened them. (classic fox news, “some people say”) Borderline criminal and uncalled for. I know they’re gonna say, “We won, so the ends justify the means.” Really? (nobody on the left ever gets threaten or jailed right Matthew?)

I felt sorry for the blue-collar union representatives that were booed and hissed at for supporting this project. (they had been 150% against it until they switch sides and sold out) Terra-Gen would have created over (temporary) 300 local union jobs and also (maybe) facilitated restarting an apprenticeship program. It would have been huge for our local unions. (maybe for the two unions that broke ranks and soldout)

I’m waiting to see how these so-called Democrat (we non-republicans call it the Democratic party) electeds tell our unions why they voted against the working man and woman. We just lost out on over $1.5 million annually in additional property taxes for the next 30 years. Can you think of any needs for that money in Humboldt County?

Our Founding Fathers made land rights one of the principal themes in the Constitution. (that was property rights which included people dipshit)

The Russ Family has owned this land for generations (over 100 years). (hey Matthew, refresh our memory, how did they get that land?)  The average person I talked to said, “Let me get his straight. This is a clean, green, energy project. It’s on private property. Financed with private funds. Using local union labor.

Who could possibly be against this project?” Also many people said to me, “I got a job. I gotta work 8-5. I can’t take eight hours off to stand in line for four hours to speak for two minutes at some public meeting.” (a chronic problem for all of us)

Curiously, how many of those speakers had jobs and weren’t retirees, students or tribal members?

Ever wonder how Donald Trump won the presidency? (it was in fact with white racist and Russian help, idiot)

Look no further than our local Regressives. (that’s you, Matthew) Fox News could have filled a week of coverage on the loony radicals in NoCal.

“Corporate colonialism”— what does that even mean? (see Matthew, that’s your fundamental problem you’re uneducated) From Supervisor Sungnome Madrone, “Who doesn’t know that these high ridges are important to our Native American community?”

As of a few days ago, 99% of the (white republicans) people didn’t know this. Ever been to the Bay Area or L.A.?

Guess what they put on high ridges? Communications towers, equipment, antennas, etc.

Supervisor Madrone is going to have to tell the Bay Area and L.A. to remove these unsightly monstrosities from these ridges.

Oh, and sorry that you’ll have no cell or phone service, no cable or TV and no Internet.

I’m sad that we’ve just lost the next generation or two of our children thanks to this vote. They’ll graduate high school and head off to either the military, college or go elsewhere to earn a living because minimum wage with no benefits ain’t gonna cut it to raise a family. Sorry, you’re gonna have to travel to visit your grandkids in the future and you can thank three county supervisors.

 

 

To set the record straight:
Steve Madrone was skeptical of this project from the very beginning. He was the only one to ask staff meaningful questions during the hearing.
Mike Wilson really, really wanted this project but saw betraying his friends the Wiyot Tribe was not going to play well.
Estelle Fennel really wants to be reelected and seems to have had a sincere change of heart.

The social media rumor mill is out of control, time to check it before it wrecks us

 

Suicide? Hmmm….How convenient, or deadmen tell no tales

The new Barr-Epstein virus, it’s deadly

According to a report from Reuters, prison guards overseeing convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein in his cell in the Special Housing Unit of the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) failed to do mandatory check-ins before his suicide.

Epstein, who had previously been on suicide watch, was found unresponsive in his cell early Saturday morning and was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

According to the updated report, “At the MCC, two jail guards are required to make separate checks on all prisoners every 30 minutes, but that procedure was not followed overnight, according to the source. In addition, every 15 minutes guards are required to make another check on prisoners who are on suicide watch.”

The report that Epstein was skipped is likely to fuel even more conspiracy rumors about the death of a man who reportedly supplied underage females to his wealthy and powerful friends.

Epstein’s death is currently being investigated by the Justice Department which oversees the MCC, with Attorney General Bill Barr calling the prisoner’s apparent ease with which he killed himself “appalling.”

That not the only thing that’s appalling, having Bill Barr connected to this at all is appalling. Barr’s father hired Epstein to teach at the Dalton School, a private co-educational school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, in the early 1970s.

Donald Barr, Dalton’s headmaster and father of Attorney General Bill Barr, hired Epstein to teach math and science.

“What we’ve all been wondering,” one of Epstein’s former students said, “is how did this guy get his job in the first place, without a degree.”

Epstein was without a college degree when he was hired, but Barr, thought of as “no-nonsense,” saw promise in the young man who was in his early 20s at the time. Surprisingly Epstein was able to jump from teaching the children of Wall Streeters to become a Wall Streeter himself. He left Dalton after two years, accepting a job at Bear Stearns as an assistant to a floor trader.

The Dalton School’s Headmaster Donald Barr hired Jeffrey Epstein to teach at the school without a college degree and is current U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr’s father. Shockingly Bill Barr has decided not to recuse himself from Epstein’s case.

More than 30 years later, after Epstein’s resignation at Bear He and his money managing remain shrouded in secrecy, just like Trump’s magical financial fiefdom.

OMG! Hell has indeed frozen over; Matthew Owen makes a valid point

Urban Dictionary: grow dozer A big, lifted, dirty truck. Usually, a diesel and is used by a marijuana grower as a tow vehicle for big utility trailers to transport supplies and soils to the grow site. Grow Dozers gained notoriety in Humboldt County. 

 

This past week Humboldt County Sheriff Billy Honsal Jr. announced that the California National Guard will be assisting the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office in serving search warrants at suspected illicit marijuana grow sites across the county.

Said Honsal, “We are working together to try and bring the illicit cannabis industry into compliance with the state law.”

It’s about damn time!

I love it that California Gov. Gavin Newsom has stated one of his goals was to get the illegal cannabis industry into state compliance and offered the National Guard to assist local law enforcement with this task.

You can choose to be a cannabis cultivator or a drug dealer. A cannabis cultivator is a legal farmer who went through the process, got the appropriate permits and pays taxes. The drug dealer grades their land without permits, dropping slit into our rivers and streams. They use pesticides and then claim they are “organic.” They use guns and threaten violence to get their way. They sell their products out of state for cash (interstate transportation of narcotics) and pay zero taxes.

It’s tragic that over 90% of our Humboldt growers are still illegal drug dealers and refuse to comply with the law.

You give people a choice: You can have the carrot or you can have the stick. When the majority of the cannabis community refuses the carrot, then hit them with the stick. Hard! Between the county using real-time satellite imaging and sending out notifications that “it appears you have an unpermitted cannabis grow on your property” with threats of $10,000 per days fines and now having helicopters flying over properties to identify illegal cannabis grows, hopefully we can start to eliminate 1020 of the “bad players” every day from Humboldt County, seven days a week, 52 weeks per year. That will make a dent clearing out the drug dealers.

If it were me, I’d use drones (more cost effective than helicopters) to identify illegal grows off 101 in SoHum and off Highways 36 and 299. No permits on file?

Then roll up with the wood chipper. Confiscate any cash lying around and use the asset forfeiture to hire additional compliance officers.

Now remind them we’ll be back in 60 days to re-inspect your property again for noncompliance and every 60 days thereafter.

I’m getting tired of hearing, “We can’t afford permits.” Pretend you want to open up any other legitimate business in the city or county. Any idea how many different governmental agencies will be inspecting your business before issuing a permit? No permit, no business.

That’s how the real world works. Besides, you’ve been making cash tax-free for how many years now? It’s not my fault you didn’t save any money the past 20 years. You didn’t have to spend three to six months in Costa Rica or Mexico blowing your profits and then buying a new growdozer ($75,000 tricked-out pick-up truck) every year. Try running a real business. Deal with Human Resource issues. Payroll taxes. Workers comp disability claims. Health insurance for your employees.

Not getting much sympathy from me or 99% of the taxpaying citizens out there.

To make matters worse, some growers have been complaining to major media outlets (New Yorker Magazine, Politico) of how tough the new regulations are. Yet when I reach out to them to sit and meet with them and ask additional questions, they lose my number quick. I ain’t no East Coast writer who has zero idea of the cannabis world and takes their word for everything.

I would ask follow-up questions. If you’re part of the 1,000-pound club (major cannabis grower) don’t go crying that you can’t make any money with today’s regulatory environment.

The majority of the cannabis community has been stalling for years to avoid dealing with rules, regulations and taxes. It’s time for them to either come into compliance or go back to where ever they came from.

From an editorial in the Times-Standard