There’s mounting dread about wannabe dictator Trump, post-election

It’s rigged!

Tuesday’s election is looking good for Joe Biden while there’s mounting dread about how Wannabe Dictator Trump will behave after a defeat. After all, Trump is a sociopathic narcissist with no emotional control and he lives in mortal terror of being viewed as a loser. He’s already made clear that he will refuse to concede, no matter what, and he’s grasping desperately for any way to get legal ballots thrown out so he can steal the election.

No wonder people are afraid Trump will go completely apeshit if his efforts to steal this fail and he actually loses. Psychologists worry that the narcissistic injury to Trump will result in him lashing out in his vindictive rage to punish an America which he may believe has consigned him to ‘loser’ status.

Some two dozen officials and aides, several of whom are still serving in the Trump administration, are worried that Trump could use the power of the government to lash out at enemies, try to steal the election or otherwise wreak havoc on the nation.

Trump could do real damage to the country, his successor or presidential traditions, there’s reason to wonder if a Trump transition might actually be the start of the wildest chapter of an already controversial presidency. We May Need the Twenty-Fifth Amendment if Trump Loses,” blares a headline at the New Yorker.

Of course, we should be worried that Trump, a vindictive man whose only true pleasures come from sadism, will abuse his power to punish Americans if he loses.

But let’s be honest: He’s also going to do that even if he wins.

Win or lose — Trump is about to unleash hell

Edited from Salon story by Amanda Marcotte

Is the Hague the next stop for Trump, it should be!

Trump and his crime family need to stand trial for these crimes against humanity

Months before the Trump administration rolled out its “zero-tolerance” policy on the U.S.-Mexico border, hundreds of migrant children were already being separated from their families with little fanfare. As those children were shuttled around the country in late 2017, their parents were swiftly detained or deported, with few records taken by the government about where they went or how to contact them.

It was only in 2019, after a federal judge ordered officials to hand their names over to immigration lawyers, that the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups tried in earnest to begin reuniting them.

On Tuesday, those lawyers submitted a court filing with a grim update: They have not yet been able to reach the parents of 545 separated children. About two-thirds of those parents are believed to be somewhere in Central America — without their children.

“Unfortunately, there’s an enormous amount of work yet to be done to find these families — work that will be difficult, but we are committed to doing,” Lee Gelernt, an ACLU attorney, said in an interview with The Washington Post. “Not only are we still looking for hundreds of families, but we would have never even known about these families if the Trump administration had its way.”

Three years after the families were separated, it is perhaps the most tangible legacy of one of Trump’s most widely condemned policies: hundreds of migrant children scattered across the United States, living in foster care or with relatives, during a global pandemic that has all but halted efforts to locate their parents.

Department of Homeland Security officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Post late on Tuesday about the court filing, which was first reported by NBC News.

Under Trump’s official zero-tolerance policy, more than 2,800 families were separated in 2018. When public uproar forced the Trump administration to reverse the policy, many of those families — about 5 in 6 — were still in the United States, including in detention.

A federal judge ordered government officials to hand over records to a group of lawyers and advocates, including Gelernt and his team at the ACLU, who undertook a massive, months-long effort to locate thousands of parents. By now, most have been reunited, either in the United States or their home countries.

But the actual number of separated families was much higher. Lawyers say about 1,500 children had been taken from their parents in 2017, while zero-tolerance was being carried out during a secretive pilot program in El Paso. Many more of those parents were deported, never given the option of reuniting with their children in the United States.

U.S. officials also took down incomplete and often inaccurate data during this “pilot program” of zero tolerance, Gelernt said. When a judge ordered the Trump administration to hand over a new batch of Excel sheets, it became far more difficult to rely solely on these outdated records to locate parents.

The parents of 485 children have been reached so far, lawyers said in the court filing. But some are missing, Gelernt added, while others are in hiding, having fled the threats that once pushed them north.

Of the parents of 545 separated children who have not yet been contacted, lawyers expect 75 will be reachable by phone. Another 187 have been found but not reached successfully, and 283 have not been found entirely.

“At some point, we’re going to hit a group of families that becomes very hard to find,” Gelernt said. “It’s not inconceivable that we’ll still be looking for them a year from now.”

When records prove insufficient, lawyers must instead rely on a network of human rights lawyers and nonprofit staff — led by the New York-based group Justice in Motion — who have tried to physically track families on the ground in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Mexico.

Teo Armus – The Washington Post

Trump continues to be Putin’s stooge

and the media continues to play along…..

As daily new cases of Covid-19 hit staggering new heights in the United States, the Trump White House has made it clear it has no plan to halt the deadly spread.

We’ve never had a political leader of the United States wage war on America during a national crisis, actively working to undermine the country’s health and wellbeing. Today, Trump represents the single largest driver of misinformation around Covid-19 in the world, according to a recent Cornell University study. And the press still doesn’t know how to deal with this post-truth emergency.

The confusion Trump’s generating is on purpose — that’s the strategy. The goal is to create a nonstop loop of puzzlement to the point where it’s not possible to understand what Trump’s policy is for the defining public health crisis of our time.

He is intent on contradicting critical public health messaging and downplaying the threat of the virus. Aggressively overruling government scientists with decades of experience, and doing his best to silence key voices, and turn them into targets. Dr. Anthony Fauci told 60 Minutes he now needs around the clock security because of the threats against his life, as he tries to dispense medical advice to a nation under siege. Trump has deliberately undermined the Federal Drug Administration, Center for Disease Control, Department of Health and Human Services and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

It’s part of his larger plan to eviscerate public trust in government institutions — Trump has specifically said large drug companies are better suited to oversee vaccine testing than is the FDA. That’s what autocrats do. They chip away public faith in institutions, and they work hard to demolish establishments from inside.

For longtime Kremlin watchers, what Trump is doing looks familiar — he’s using the Vladimir Putin playbook and what observers in Moscow have called the “fog of unknowability.” It’s an insidious form of state-backed propaganda that Putin has been practicing years on the Russian press.

“Trump’s team is finding ways to shrewdly approximate Putin’s capacity to shape narratives and create alternative realities,” noted Mike Mariani in Vanity Fair, back in 2017. “Specious narratives, conspiracy theories, and indeed fake news have been part of Russia’s geopolitical playbook for more than half a century.” Added The Guardian’s Luke Harding, a longtime Putin expert, “The goal is to confuse the public and to spread the idea that the truth is unknowable. It’s a form of epistemological warfare.”

In the U.S., the news media keep falling for it. Still using the outdated Beltway media playbook where a White House contradiction immediately qualifies as news, the press has wasted untold hours documenting the administration’s Covid-19 inconsistencies (“sowing confusion,” “conflicting narratives”) without acknowledging that the contradictions are the entire point of the misinformation exercise — without asking why Trump and the Republicans remain committed to misleading the public during a health crisis and creating constant bewilderment when lives are at risk?

The press continues to normalize Trump’s planned uncertainty. From CNN recently [emphasis added]:

“….. Donald Trump has lost patience with the head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Robert Redfield, as well as with the other public health experts on his coronavirus team because their sober messaging on the future of the pandemic clashes with his rosy assessments.”

Trump “has lost patience” with government scientists suggest Trump ever had patience, or that Trump ever intended on listening to solid scientific advice. CNN made it seems as though the CDC did something wrong to trigger Trump’s annoyance. Instead, Trump’s approach, borrowed from Putin, has always been to cover the landscape with misinformation, walk-backs, flip-flops and contradictions.

At National Public Radio, host Pien Huang, normalizing Trump’s erratic tendencies, suggested, “There appears to be a substantive disagreement between (Trump) and his chief public health official on whether or not a vaccine is going to be available soon.” That makes it sound like Trump making up dates for a possible vaccine (this December), means there’s a “substantive disagreement” with scientists. It does not. It means Trump is simply making up dates for a possible vaccine.

For Americans, the government-sponsored confusion surrounding the pandemic has become relentless. The CDC’s Redfield recently walked back strong and unambiguous comments he made about the importance of masks after Trump publicly contradicted him, and then said Redfield had “made a mistake” about the grim fact most Americans won’t have access to a vaccine until next summer. The New York Times reports, “Top White House officials pressured the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this summer to play down the risk of sending children back to school.”

Inside the White House, there’s a ceaseless attempt to sow confusion. Over the weekend Twitter took down a tweet posted by Scott Atlas, a dubious White House coronavirus adviser, when he linked to an article that claimed wearing a mask does not help slow the spread of the virus. (The article also referred to the virus was “some seasonal flu.”)

And from the Washington Post:

Atlas shot down attempts to expand testing. He openly feuded with other doctors on the coronavirus task force and succeeded in largely sidelining them. He advanced fringe theories, such as that social distancing and mask-wearing were meaningless and would not have changed the course of the virus in several hard-hit areas.

This isn’t a distracted White House bumbling its way through a crisis. This is an administration waging war with the truth, just like Putin does. The press needs to stop being amazed that Trump’s creating confusion and contradictions, as the pandemic shows no signs of abetting.

That’s his goal.

edited from Press Run

Robin Arkley’s evil Pac gives $ to senators for Trump’s illegitimate Supreme Court Pick

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is arkley-trump1.jpg

A dark money group is pumping millions of dollars into Republicans’ efforts to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court before November.

In 2016, the Judicial Crisis Network spent a staggering $7 million to oppose President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court — a move that Senate Republicans successfully blocked.

In 2017, after Donald Trump was sworn into office, the Judicial Crisis Network spent another $10 million in the fight to confirm Neil Gorsuch.

In 2018, the group spent $3.9 million on television advertising in support of Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s second Supreme Court nominee.

Now, the dark-money group is bankrolling a $3 million ad blitz in support of Barrett’s confirmation to the country’s highest court.

So, what is the Judicial Crisis Network, and who are its donors?

The group was first founded in 2004 as the Judicial Confirmation Network. Its first project was funding a campaign in support of John Roberts and Samuel Alito, the two conservative judges nominated by President George W. Bush to serve lifetime appointments on the Supreme Court.

At its start, the group was led by Ann and Neil Corkery, two fierce opponents of abortion and marriage equality, and Robin Arkley II, a California real estate mogul with ties to Charles and David Koch, the billionaire conservative brothers.

Because the group was set up as a 501(c)(4) “social welfare” group, it does not have to disclose its donors. But deep-pocketed conservatives — from the Koch brothers, to the Federalist Society’s Leonard Leo, to hedge fund mogul Paul Singer — have all been linked to the group.

Judicial Crisis Network has proved exceptionally deft at securing Supreme Court confirmations — or blocking them, as the case may be. Now the group is at it again, this time in support of Barrett.

The group is run by Carrie Severino, a former clerk to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who was nominated by President George H.W. Bush in 1991. During Thomas’ confirmation hearings, Anita Hill testified that Thomas had sexually harassed her when she was an aide in his office.

After helping to confirm two of Trump’s Supreme Court nominees, the group is finding that its initial investment in blocking Garland’s confirmation is still paying dividends.

Before 2015, the organization had never reported more than $6 million in revenue. Then, at some point in between 2015 and 2016, it reported receiving $17.9 million from a single undisclosed donor, according to tax filings first obtained by MapLight. That single donation accounted for 96.6% of the group’s revenue.

Judicial Crisis Network has also received funds from the Wellspring Committee, another 501(c)(4) dark money group funded largely through a shadowy network of conservative donors.

With a conservative majority secured by Barrett, it’s safe to say the Supreme Court would likely uphold laws that allow dark money organizations such as the Judicial Crisis Network to flourish. If Barrett is confirmed, five Supreme Court justices tasked with ruling on campaign finance — Barrett, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, Alito, and Roberts — will all have directly benefited from the same dark money group.

In addition to supporting the last four conservative justices confirmed to the Supreme Court, the group has also spent heavily to help Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell realize his goal of total conservative control over America’s legal system. Judicial Crisis Network has already donated millions to the Republican Attorney General Association, and has spent heavily to advance Republican judges in both state Supreme Court and circuit court elections.

Should the Senate vote to confirm Barrett to the Supreme Court, the Judicial Crisis Network will have played an integral role in ensuring that unlimited dark money spending will continue to shape the U.S. justice system for decades to come.

From The American Independent

enthusiastic electoral boost: from the Taliban.

In what must certainly be regarded as a pivotal endorsement, the Trump campaign has just received an enthusiastic electoral boost: from the Taliban.

“We hope he will win the election and wind up military presence in Afghanistan” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told CBS News in a phone interview Friday.

It turns out that the nice people at the militant and barbaric Taliban are sweetly compassionate regarding the American president.

“When we heard about Trump being COVID-19 positive, we got worried for his health, but seems he is getting better,” another Taliban senior leader told CBS News.

The Trump campaign did officially try to distance itself from the Taliban support, owing in no small part to the fact that neither Afghanistan nor Pakistan has electoral votes in the U.S. election. But if anyone believes that Trump’s campaign communications director, Tim Murtaugh, was truly speaking for Trump when he said the campaign “rejects” the Taliban’s support, they’re apparently unaware of the presidential Twitter account.

That, of course, is the only place to learn what Trump and/or his mood-altering drugs think on any particular day–albeit subject to 180-degree turns on a dime. Trump hasn’t Tweeted a word about rejecting–or even not loving–the Taliban’s endorsement, and until he does, consider it not rejected.

After all, the Taliban’s good tidings to Trump immediately followed an utterly shocking announcement Thursday by the President’s (or perhaps his steroids) that all U.S. troops would be leaving Afghanistan until the end of the year.

Apparently, no one in the U.S. military or even the top levels of the Trump administration saw this coming, which would constitute a pretty strange news story most days unless, say, it was drowned out by five or six stranger ones.

None other than the Military Times–not your average supermarket tabloid–blared out this headline in response to Trump’s apparently unscripted announcement: “Military officials blindsided by Trump announcement of early US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.”

For those who might care about something as mundane as international relations, here’s how the stunned folks at the Military Times tried to digest it all:

“Trump’s comments laid out in a confusing progression of comments and a tweet, alarmed Pentagon and State officials who fear that putting a definitive date on troop withdrawal could undercut negotiations to finalize a peace deal between the Taliban and the Afghan government,” the Times reported.

“They also fear a hasty withdrawal could force the U.S. to leave behind sensitive military equipment. And they continue to stress that the Taliban has still not met requirements to reduce violence against the Afghans, a key element of the U.S. withdrawal plan.”

OK, so’s there’s that. To be clear, no one’s wild about the U.S. military presence in the Middle East. The Military Times added:
“Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden both say they want to pull U.S. forces out of Iraq and Afghanistan. But their approaches differ, and the outcome of the Nov. 3 election will have long-term consequences not only for U.S. troops, but for the wider region.”

Trump hasn’t addressed these nuanced differences at any campaign rallies or those erudite position papers over which he is known to labor into the wee hours in the Oval Office. And that’s a pretty revealing omission, when one considers that just today, Trump devoted part of his scholarly Tweets to this tidbit of foreign-policy analysis:

“Joe Biden is a PUPPET of CASTRO-CHAVISTAS like Crazy Bernie, AOC and Castro-lover Karen Bass. Biden is supported by socialist Gustavo Petro, a major LOSER and former M-19 guerrilla leader. Biden is weak on socialism and will betray Colombia.”

Now, there’s still time for Trump personally to “reject” the Taliban support like his campaign lackeys claim he is doing. Just like there is time to reject support from the endless litany of white supremacist and militia groups who are supporting him. Trump has most conspicuously never publicly rejected their support, not this year, and not in 2016.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for Trump to criticize American zealots and terrorists. Meanwhile, be on the lookout for Taliban poll-watchers.

Ray Hartmann- Commentary – Raw Story

Trump enabled far-right white extremist thugs and gangs

Boogaloo Bois

We have every reason to believe that far-right white extremists will engage in violence in the weeks ahead if they do not like the way the presidential election is going or the way it turns out.

Here are five extremist terrorist groups or movements that you should be watching in the months to come.

The Boogaloo Bois

According to NBC News, some of the Wolverine Watchmen arrested in connection with the alleged terrorist plot against Michigan Governor Whitmer are also supporters of the Boogaloo movement — which has been calling for a civil war as well as a race war and seeks the violent overthrow of the U.S. government. Boogaloo members also openly advocate killing police officers. In Northern California, Boogaloo supporter Steven Carrillo was arrested in connection with an armed attack on a federal courthouse in Oakland on May 29. That attack left a security officer from the Federal Protective Service dead.

Trump’s claim that Antifa is a terrorist movement is laughable. For all their militant rhetoric, Antifa do not engage in terrorist activities like the alleged plot against Whitmer or the drive-by attack in Oakland. But far-right white nationalist groups do.

QAnon

The QAnon movement has been identified by the FBI as a possible source of domestic terrorism, and its sympathizers are making their way to the U.S. House of Representatives. In Georgia, QAnon supporter Marjorie Taylor Greene won a congressional primary on August 11, and given how deeply Republican her district is, it is entirely possible that she will win the general election in November and be sworn into the U.S. House of Representatives in January 2021 — which is incredibly disturbing when one considers what QAnon believes. According to the QAnon conspiracy theory, the U.S. government has been infiltrated by an international ring of pedophiles and Satanists, and Trump was put in power to combat the ring. According to QAnon, an anonymous figure named Q is giving them updates on Trump’s battle.

As ludicrous as QAnon’s beliefs are, supporters take them quite seriously. And if Trump loses to former Vice President Joe Biden in November and QAnon members feel a sense of desperation, that could make them even more dangerous and unhinged.

The Proud Boys

During Trump’s debate with Biden on September 29, moderator Chris Wallace (one of the more reasonable conservatives at Fox News) gave Trump every chance to condemn white nationalism and white supremacy. Instead, Trump expressed his solidarity with the far-right Proud Boys — a group of self-described “western chauvinists” who openly advocate violence and have been carrying out violent attacks against members of Black Lives Matter at anti-racism demonstrations. After Trump’s endorsement, members of the Proud Boys expressed their feelings of empowerment and declared that they were ready to carry out acts of violence on the president’s behalf.

Proud Boys organizer Joe Biggs, following that debate, posted, “Trump basically said to go fuck them up! This makes me so happy.” By “them,” Biggs was referring to Antifa. And Biggs also posted, “President Trump told the proud boys to stand by because someone needs to deal with ANTIFA…well sir! we’re ready!!”

The Three Percenters movement

The Three Percenters aren’t one specific group, but rather, a movement of far-right militias. Three Percenters are well-armed and engage in military-like training, and they have made it clear that they are fully prepared for armed struggle. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, “Percenterism is one of three core components within the anti-government militia movement, along with the Oath Keepers and traditional militia groups. The reference to ‘3 Percent’ stems from the dubious historical claim that only 3% of American colonists fought against the British during the War of Independence.

The Wolverine Watchmen

The Wolverine Watchmen are among the many militia groups that believe that liberals and progressives and anti-Trump conservatives do not hold power legitimately and that it is their duty to wage armed struggle against their enemies. According to the FBI, the Wolverine Watchmen believed that Whitmer had violated the U.S. Constitution by promoting social distancing restrictions in Michigan in response to the coronavirus pandemic — and after kidnapping her and putting her on “trial” for treason, they would execute her if found guilty. But the group’s activities, the FBI said, went way beyond their alleged plot to kidnap Whitmer: they also hoped to kidnap other officials in Michigan, overthrow the state government and ignite a civil war.

Alternet by way of Raw Story

Normalizing Batshit crazy

Mussolini in full orange make up

With nearly 1,000 Americans continuing to die each day our wanna be Mussolini stood on the balcony last night without a mask gasping for air like a goldfish out of water. Trump is a sick man both mentally and physically we all need to come to terms with that. The media continues to fall into his publicity traps and gives him a bullhorn to yell the opposite of “FIRE” in the theater all the time, causing people to believe him only for them to be incinerated by the fire of Covid-19.

As Eric Boehlert proposes: “Take a step back and try to erase the last four years of Trump mania, and imagine a world leader in October of 2016 who behaved like Trump did — slurred his words while reading a speech off a teleprompter, accused journalists of trying to destroy the economy, suggested giving himself a Medal of Honor, and warned about unfair elections. There’s not a single major news outlet in the U.S. that would shy away from depicting that treacherous leader as unbalanced and unwell. Yet the Beltway press, after four years of watching Trump’s delusional tendencies up-close, still refuses to be honest and blunt about what’s unfolding in America — we have a mad man as president. It’s the biggest political story in half-a-century, but the press is too nervous to dwell on it and deal with the consequences. It’s also likely the press doesn’t want to open Pandora’s box by suggesting the President of the United States is unstable because that would require the media to aggressively cover that story every day for the rest of the Trump’s time in office.”

Billboard face down in the Elk River wetland: Recycle the wood and haul the rest to the landfill

Remove this trash!

From the Sunday Times-Standard

I spent years working for economic development and job creation in Eureka and was a proud member of Keep Eureka Beautiful because we long have known that business and tourism depend on our area’s natural beauty. It does not depend on a billboard.

As you approach Eureka from the south, in the middle of the Elk River Wetland, there was once an ugly billboard that greeted our visitors. Nature removed it, and as a permit for a new billboard would never be approved based on today’s standards, the planning commission wisely denied the permit to rebuild this one.

If this billboard is rebuilt, it will stand, marring our beautiful wetland for decades to come. I urge the Board of Supervisors to affirm the planning commission’s decision and vote to enhance the scenic beauty of our entrance to Eureka.

Christopher L. Kerrigan, former two-term Eureka City councilperson

Pathetic and wimpy Eureka City Council

It seems it takes a voice from the recent past to point out the shameful failure of the current City Council to speak out about what should be a very easy topic to weigh in on.

Let get real, the vast majority of us hate billboards we mean like 9 out ten of us. So why did the so-called progressive city council choke when it came to taking a stand. It seems the current officeholders view the position as being prom queen or having 1000’s of followers on Facebook. They don’t seem to realize it not a status symbol it’s a job. If you do the job right you’re going to piss off someone like “Allpoints sign company” a business whose owner will give money to their opponent’s weather they vote his way or not.

By failing to even send a letter of disapproval this current City Council continues to disappoint with its timidity and lack of direction.

Take Action

Last winter, an old billboard collapsed into the Elk River wetlands just south of Eureka. This sign was built long before current state and local rules governing billboards were adopted – no billboard would ever be allowed in a coastal wetland by today’s standards. On May 7, the County Planning Commission denied the permit, but the sign owner appealed that decision, and on July 28, the Board of Supervisors will decide whether this sign should be allowed to be rebuilt under the guise of grandfathering in mistakes of the past.

While Eureka is spending taxpayer dollars to beautiful the southern “gateway” to Eureka and the South Broadway Corridor, the Board of Supervisors is considering overriding the Planning Commission’s recommendation to DENY the application to rebuild this billboard on coastal wetlands.

One can’t help but wonder why the Board of Supervisors would be more concerned about the special interest of one well-connected business over the greater good of the community?

Do we want visitors to first see the beautiful Elk River and Humboldt Bay or do we want them to see a row of billboards in our wetlands?
Contact your Supervisor directly. Emails and phone numbers listed below:

Board of Supervisors:

Rex Bohn
<rbohn@co.humboldt.ca.us>
476-2391

Estelle Fennell
<efennell@co.humboldt.ca.us>
476-2392

Mike Wilson
mike.wilson@co.humboldt.ca.us
476-2393

Virginia Bass
<vbass@co.humboldt.ca.us>
476-2394

Steve Madrone
<smadrone@co.humboldt.ca.us>
476-2395

 

 

Time for the media to “Pull the plug” on Trump’s dangerous propaganda


An unrelated video but still relevant look the Trump caused disaster

If Trump’s daily pandemic press briefings aren’t newsworthy events, why does the news media continue to shower them with ceaseless attention?

Nobody is under any obligation to carry the briefings live and in their entirety. That’s a choice that television news outlets make voluntarily. And every day they choose to turn on the cameras and allow Trump to ramble, sometimes for two hours as he alternately unravels and misinforms about a public health crisis. Networks are making that choice at the same time more journalists concede the briefings aren’t actually news.

“Over time, the news conferences have become increasingly devoid of actual news,” ABC News recently conceded, in a report specifically about how Trump is using them not to inform the public, but as a way to maintain a high media profile.

During a briefing this week, an on-screen banner for CNN announced the event had become a “propaganda session.” Immediately following, CNN anchor John King admitted, “That was propaganda aired at taxpayer expense in the White House briefing room.”

So why air it?

And the New York Times this week acknowledged, “The daily evening briefing has largely been turned into a lengthy infomercial starring Mr. Trump, who brags about his administration’s efforts, mocks his critics and berates reporters.”

Across the media spectrum there’s a growing admission from reporters — not just opinion writers — that the briefings aren’t news. So now what? Even Thursday’s briefing where Trump was supposed to unveil a grand “re-opening” plan for America post-pandemic was anemically short on details and common sense, as Trump danced around obvious questions posed by reporters.

The criticism over airing the briefings escalated this week when Trump on Monday hosted one of the most unhinged televised performances by a sitting president in the history of the United States. The planned rant, which unfolded for more than an hour, featured a campaign-style commercial that was aired in the briefing room and attacked the media and Trump’s critics who have hammered him over the administration’s botched handling of the pandemic.

“People have died because of some of the things that Trump has said on television about hydroxychloroquine and stuff like that. And I think the cable television industry has a responsibility for those deaths, not just Trump,” stressed former Democratic presidential candidate, and medical physician, Howard Dean this week.

A telltale sign that news executives know they’re making the wrong decision? In four weeks I have yet to see a single high-ranking television news executive be quoted on the record explaining why it’s paramount to break into programming every day to air Trump’s endless whining and lies. This, as a growing chorus of TV news staffers angrily complain about what’s happening with the briefings. (“This is absurd.”)

Recall that television news executives never explained why, on the day Trump was inaugurated, all the cable news channels completely changed their policy on airing daily White House press briefings in order to placate Trump. Prior to his administration, the briefings were rarely carried live, and almost never in their entirety.

Research from Media Matters for America showed that in the final six months of President Barack Obama’s term, his staff’s press briefings were carried just two percent of the time by cable news. During Trump’s first four months in office, the briefings were carried 93 percent of the time.

There were no blockbuster stories or public crises unfolding back in early 2017. It was simply the D.C. press collectively deciding that every Trump utterance and every one of his administration’s briefing had to be carried live as if it were breaking news, which meant hundreds of hours of free airtime.

While some journalists today concede the briefings are mostly empty in terms of content, others remain misguided about their significance. “It’s absolutely useful,” one unnamed reporter told New York. “People need to hear directly from the president during this and we have to hold him accountable for decisions that he has made so far. What’s just as important as hearing from him is [hearing from] Fauci, Birx, Pence, and that kind of access is critical and I commend them for doing this every day.”

That’s simply not happening with the briefings. Instead, Trump often talks over and contradicts what Fauci, Birx, and Pence have to say when he’s not picking petty fights with reporters and advertising his own sprawling insecurities.

None of this falls under the umbrella of news.

Eric Boehlert Press Run https://pressrun.media/subscribe

Stay home. If you can’t or won’t…..cover your nose and mouth with something…anything!

Making life or death decisions in the face of widespread propaganda and misinformation is not the norm for millions of average Americans, who are struggling to understand everything from how long they should wash their hands to how many people are likely to die from the novel coronavirus this year and are subjected to the moron Trump lying and spreading misinformation every day live on national TV

Let us make it simple for you………..WEAR AN F—ING MASK when you’re in public!!!

There have been multiple epidemics in Hong Kong and we’ve seen successive waves of public health campaigns have taught people to wear masks and to improve the way the public uses masks. It works.

Now that Americans are starting to wear masks, it’s vitally important that they are explicitly taught how to use them. We’ve recieved some helpful suggestions for how to make simple, cheap masks at home, which is crucial if we want to avoid encouraging people to snap up N95 masks that health care workers need.

We all need detailed information on how to make and wear masks in a way that maximizes the benefit to them and minimizes the risk. That’s going to require videos, advertisements and an all-out push to teach and change behavior.

But for now, imagine that, every time you use a mask, there’s something really disgusting that’s gotten on it and that it’s plainly visible. Don’t wear it again until you wash it in the hottest water you can with strong detergent……

Ann Lindsay, MD, and former Humboldt County Health Director wrote: “We should all be wearing masks in public if there is any chance of getting within six feet of someone not from your household. The virus can be transmitted if someone with the virus, even if they are asymptomatic, talks, coughs or sneezes within 6 feet of another person. The effect of COVID- 19 appears to be dose-related — the lower the dose of infection, the more time your body has to build an immune response as the virus replicates. While masks offer the wearer some protection, the main benefit is to people around the wearer. My mask protects you; your mask protects me. If everyone wears a mask in public, in addition to handwashing and physical distancing, we can significantly reduce the impact of COVID-19 on our community. Universal mask-wearing in Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, and Mongolia likely contributed to the low death rate in these countries, and their economies are relatively unimpacted by COVID-19.

Now we know masks are easy to make at home. Jeremy Howard of UCSF on https://www.youtube.

com/watch?v=hVEVve-3QeM demonstrates using a T-shirt, scissors, a safety pin and a piece of paper towel; no sewing required. Do-it-yourself mask-making instructions abound on the internet. Make masks for your household members and your friends and neighbors.

Even a scarf over your nose and mouth when you have to go out offers some protection. Let’s do it!

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/apr/06/how-to-make-no-sew-face-mask-coronavirus

How to make a non-medical coronavirus face mask – no sewing required

The CDC now recommends all Americans wear a face mask in public – you can make your own using a T-shirt or handkerchief

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 Don’t wear a face mask more than necessary, just wear it when you’re actually in a public place, like a supermarket, where you might be within 6ft of people. Photograph: Guardian Design

The US Centers for Disease Control now recommends that all Americans wear face masks in public to reduce transmission of Covid-19. Because there are widespread shortages of medical-grade face masks, and leaders and experts agree those should be reserved for healthcare providers, individuals are largely making face masks at home.

Jeremy Howard, a University of San Francisco researcher and the co-founder of Masks 4 All, explains how to create your own, with no sewing required.

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Version one – the T-shirt facemask:

t-shirt
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 Photograph: Masks 4 All
  1. Start with an old T-shirt, preferably 100% cotton – anything will do, as long as it’s not too thin – and outline the pattern of the mask. The bottom line should go just beneath the armpits of the shirt. Make sure the part that goes on your face is large enough to cover your nose and mouth.
  2. Cut along the lines through both sides of the shirt so that your mask has two layers.
  3. Place a safety pin along the bottom and insert a piece of paper towel or coffee filter in between the two layers of the T-shirt. This acts as an additional filter, and rests on top of the safety pin.
  4. Secure the mask around the front of your face, covering your nose and mouth. Tie the top straps under the back of your head and the bottom straps at the top of your head. That will ensure a nice fit underneath your chin. By covering your mouth, you have now protected those around you, and the better the fit, the more you’re going to also protect yourself.

Version two – the handkerchief face mask:

  1. Start with a handkerchief and two hair ties. Rubber bands are okay as well, although they will be less comfortable.
  2. Follow the handkerchief in half, along a horizontal axis, and make a nice crease.
  3. Place piece of paper towel or coffee filter at the center of the handkerchief. Fold the top down and the bottom up, so that the coffee filter or paper towel rests in the fold.
  4. Place your first elastic about one-third of the way in from the edge of the handkerchief. Place the second elastic one-third of the way in from the other side. The two elastics should be about one hand-width apart.
  5. Fold the left side in toward the center and then fold the right side in toward the center, tucking the right side into the left-side flap.

Using and taking care of your mask:

  • Don’t wear it at home, and don’t wear it in the car, unless you’re with people outside your regular family group. Don’t wear it more than necessary – just wear it when you’re in a public place, like a supermarket, where you might be within 6ft of people. It may not be necessary in a park or on a quiet street with few pedestrians, when you’re moving around.
  • Don’t remove the mask until you’re at home or in a place where you can wash your hands and avoid coming within 6ft of other people. When you do remove the mask, avoid touching the front of it in case you breathed in infected droplets that could now be there.
  • Remove and dispose of the paper towel insert. Place the rest of the mask in soapy water, soak it for two minutes, then wash and rinse. Any kind of soap – dish soap, laundry detergent, hand soap – will do. Then wash your hands, and disinfect with bleach or alcohol anything you touched after taking off the mask. Never reuse a mask without washing it first.
  • Next time you wear the mask, remember to replace the paper-towel insert.
  • If you have symptoms – a stuffy nose, a cough, a fever – stay inside.