Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

The Lingering Shame of Sharpiegate

June 17, 2020

The Lingering Shame of Sharpiegate

Remember last year’s Sharpiegate? President Trump doctored an NWS weather map to back up his false assertion that Hurricane Dorian would hit Alabama, was corrected by Birmingham’s Weather Service office, and then a NOAA press release claimed the president was right. There’s something new:

“Top officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration violated the agency’s scientific integrity rules when they debased themselves to back up Donald Trump’s incorrect assertion that Hurricane Dorian could strike Alabama last year, an internal investigation has shown. Regardless, everyone involved appears to be bound to get off scot-free.”

— “Report: NOAA Officials Behind #Sharpiegate Violated Integrity Policies, Won’t Face Consequences Though,” Tom McKay, Gizmodo

Those lying NOAA officials are Acting Administrator Neil Jacobs (formerly of Panasonic) and Communications Director Julie Kay Roberts, who worked on Trump’s Inaugural Committee. They still hold those NOAA jobs, and the 2020 hurricane season has begun.

More:

“NOAA leaders violated agency’s scientific integrity policy, Hurricane Dorian ‘Sharpiegate’ investigation finds,” Andrew Freedman and Jason Samenow, Washington Post

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Trump’s Photo-Op of Faith

June 2, 2020

Trump's Photo-Op of Faith

On Monday, federal police forces used tear gas and rubber bullets to remove peaceful protesters from Washington’s Lafayette Square, across the street from the White House. What was the protest about? Police brutality.

The police, from a variety of federal agencies, used force and munitions against a nonviolent 1st Amendent protest so that President Donald Trump could pose for photographs in front of historic St. John’s Episcopal Church, holding a Bible.

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100,000 Americans Die; Trump Plays Golf

May 26, 2020

On Memorial Day weekend, as the number of Americans dead from COVID-19 approached 100,000, President Donald Trump played golf on one of his private courses. Trump National Golf Club is in Sterling, Virginia, only 30 minutes from Arlington National Cemetery, so it might have been the president’s way of observing the solemn holiday.

More:

“Trump tees up controversy as he plays golf in a pandemic,” Martin Pengelly, The Guardian

“Trump Plays Golf at His Virginia Club as U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll Nears 100,000,” Daniel Politi, Slate

“US nears 100,000 pandemic deaths: Does Trump feel your pain?” Calvin Woodward, Associated Press

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Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Trump Will End Coronavirus Crisis with Tax Cuts for the Rich

May 8, 2020

Trump Will End Coronavirus Crisis with Tax Cuts for the Rich

“We’ve all hoped and prayed for something to save us from this pandemic. Will it be a vaccine? A therapeutic drug? Large-scale testing and tracing? An antibodies-rich llama or pack of virus-sniffing dogs?

Nope. According to the White House, the real coronavirus cure is even more magical: tax cuts.”

— The White House’s coronavirus cure is even more magical than we could have imagined,” Catherine Rampell, Washington Post
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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

John Oliver to Jared Kushner: ‘It’s a success story for the coronavirus’

May 5, 2020

Last week  Trump son-in-law and Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner called the Trump Administration’s coronavirus response “a great success story.” John Oliver disagrees.

More:

“Jared Kushner: Trump Coronavirus Policy a ‘Great Success,’” NotionsCapital

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Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Jared Kushner: Trump Coronavirus Policy a ‘Great Success’

April 30, 2020

Jared Kushner: Trump Coronavirus Policy a 'Great Success'

Secretary of Slim Suits, Trump son-in-law, and Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner, fresh from bringing peace to the Middle East, is now running a shadow task force on COVID-19. Yesterday, the day when U.S. coronavirus deaths exceeded the number of Americans killed during the entire Vietnam Conflict, he called the Trump Administration’s coronavirus response “a great success story” on MAGA-friendly Fox & Friends.

“I think that we’ve achieved all the different milestones that are needed. So the government, federal government, rose to the challenge and this is a great success story. I think that’s really what needs to be told.”

Mr. Kushner, whose shadow task force is composed of fellow coronavirus profiteers, was the genius who told President Trump that COVID-19 was nothing to worry about, resulting in federal government inaction during January and February, when intervention would have saved thousands of lives.

More:

“Kushner calls the coronavirus response in US ‘a great success story,'” Savannah Behrmann, USA Today

“Trump and Kushner Engage in Revisionist History in Boasting of Success Over Virus,” Peter Baker, New York Times

“Insiders describe Kushner as ‘de facto president’ who played key role in delaying coronavirus closures: report,” Morgan Gstalter, The Hill

Related:

“White House Shop Sells the Gift No One Asked for: $100 COVID-19 Commemorative Coins,” Rachel Olding, Daily Beast

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Trump Pandemic Plan: Order Steak

April 29, 2020

Trump Pandemic Plan: Order Steak

President and former steak peddler Donald Trump has invoked the Defense Production Act, previously used to save American lives in wartime and disasters, ordering low-wage employees to work in coronavirus-ridden meat packing plants during a pandemic. Meat workers are stationed shoulder-to-shoulder on fast-moving production lines, performing dangerous jobs. There is no evidence that meat plants have been retooled to allow social distancing between workers. At least 5000 workers have been exposed to the virus, 17 are known to have died, and at least 20 huge packing plants have shut down due to coronavirus outbreaks.

Yesterday, at the time of the president’s order, more Americans had died during the COVID-19 pandemic than in the entire Vietnam conflict.

More:

“Trump orders meat plants to stay open in pandemic,” Taylor Telford, Kimberly Kindy, and Jacob Bogage, Washington Post

“Trump Orders Meat Plants to Stay Open in Move Slammed by Union,” Jennifer Jacobs and Lydia Mulvany, Bloomberg News

“Trump Signs Order To Beef Up Meat Production After Coronavirus Hits Plants,” Franco Ordoñez, NPR News

Updates:

“Trump is marching meatpacking workers off to their deaths,” Steven Greenhouse, The Guardian

“Workers Scared As Trump Orders Meat Plants To Open During Coronavirus Crisis,” Luke Runyon and Eric Whitney, NPR News

“‘We’re modern slaves’: How meat plant workers became the new frontline in Covid-19 war,” Oliver Laughland and Amanda Holpuch, The Guardian

“Republicans literally want to work Americans to death,” Jeff Spross, The Week

“Coronavirus cuts ‘deep scars’ through meatpacking cities,” Ryan J. Foley, Associated Press

“Meatpacking Crisis Shows Limits of Human Sacrifice As Recovery Plan,” Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

“The moral cost of America’s meat-supply obsession,” Sigal Samuel, Vox

Union response:

“Trump Order to Keep Meatpacking Plants Open Must Include Immediate Action to Strengthen Coronavirus Testing and Safety Measures,” UFCW

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

$18 Billion Border Wall Breeched by $90 Saws.

April 23, 2020

$18 Billion Border Wall Breeched by $90 Saws.

Smugglers sawed into new sections of President Trump’s $18 billion border wall 18 times in the San Diego area during a single month last year, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection records FOIA’ed by the Washington Post. Evidence suggests the smugglers used inexpensive battery-powered reciprocating saws, which you can buy at Home Depot for about $90, to saw through the new compsite steel bollard walls.

Even if workmen stop sawing though the wall, Mother Nature might knock it over during the desert monsoon season if storm gates aren’t installed and left open, which would defeat the whole absurd, costly premise of the thing.

More:

“Smugglers sawed into Trump’s border wall 18 times in one month in San Diego area, records show,” Nick Miroff, Washington Post

Related:

“Long-term maintenance for Trump’s border wall could cost billions, but government isn’t saying, Nick Miroff, Washington Post

“Trump administration awards $569M border wall contract despite calls to spend more on the coronavirus fight,” Kim Slowey, Construction Dive

Update:

“Trump order to paint border wall black could drive up cost $500 million or more,” Nick Miroff and Josh Dawsey, Washington Post

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

COVID-19: President Trump Urges Insurrection

April 20, 2020

COVID-19: President Trump Urges Insurrection
Last week President Trump told governors to “call the shots” on reopening their states’ economies, then called on mobs of his followers to “liberate” states with Democratic governors, specifically the battleground states of Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia. His rabid supporters turned out at state capitals, and some of them were armed.

A photo of the Ohio protesters banging on the statehouse windows looked familiar:

“One wears a Guy Fawkes mask. Two men wear Trump-branded baseball caps. Two women, the closest to the windows, shape their mouths into the same elongated howl as Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream.’ American flags obscure some of the protesters in the back.”

“It looked awfully familiar to Michael Satrazemis, the director of photography for ‘The Walking Dead’ and director of ‘Fear the Walking Dead,’ two shows that seem a little scarier these days, since they’re about a zombie apocalypse that begins with an uncontrollable pathogen.

The visual trope is ‘classic horror,’ says Satrazemis. It plays on the common fear of claustrophobia, making the audience “\’feel the walls are closing in and the world is shrinking around you. And there’s no way out.’”

— “That Ohio protest photo looked like a zombie movie. Zombie movie directors think so, too.”Maura Judkis, Washington Post

Mr. Trump must be nostalgic for his MAGA zombie rallies, and uneasy about the likelihood that he won’t be having any rallies before November’s election.

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Trump Economic Recovery Panel: Libertarian Clown Posse

April 15, 2020

Trump Economic Recovery Panel: Libertarian Clown Posse

President Trump announced the members of his Coronavirus economic recovery panel yesterday. He calls it the Great American Economic Revival and, true to its name, it’s got an amen corner of true believers. Unfortunately for a panel on government economic interventions, they’re fundamentalist Libertarians, believers in a savage free market “red in tooth and claw,” and opposed to any government intervention in American life. The market Malthusian “though leaders” on this committee are from the Cato Institute, Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, and Conservative Partnership Institute. Even the name “Great American Economic Revival” was provided by a Right-Wing media group.

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