Friday, April 3, 2020

Last Call For Red Dead Eruption

We have a new winner in the "Worst Governor Who Will Kill Their Constituents" now that Florida's Ron DeSantis has finally issued a stay-at-home order: Iowa Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds is now the planet's leading pandemic authority, apparently.

While numerous governors have enacted stay-at-home orders shutting down nonessential businesses and ordering residents to shelter in their homes for all but necessary outings, one holdout is Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-IA). 
On Friday, Reynolds complained that the whole issue has become “divisive” — and lashed out at Dr. Anthony Fauci, the infectious disease expert on President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force, for saying that all states need such an order.

“I would say that maybe he doesn’t have all the information,” said Reynolds, according to the Associated Press’ Ryan Foley. 
Fauci has been a critical public voice for information amid the coronavirus pandemic, giving important advice for containing the infection and sometimes appearing at odds with the president.

Dr. Fauci was dropped from today's Trump Virus Funtime Hour at the last minute, mainly because he went on FOX this morning to dump cold water on using anti-malaria drugs for COVID-19.

Top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci left the hosts of Fox & Friends disappointed and frustrated Friday when he threw cold water on their insistence that the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine is a game-changing cure for the coronavirus. 
Citing a recent poll showing that 37 percent of doctors around the world feel the drug is currently the most effective treatment of COVID-19, co-host Steve Doocy added that frequent Fox News guest Dr. Mehmet Oz recently touted a small Chinese study that found the drug had some efficacy in treating the virus.

Doocy went on to play a clip of Dr. Oz wondering whether Fauci was impressed with the results of that study. The Fox host asked the top physician to respond to the TV doctor.
“That was not a very robust study,” replied Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force. He also pointed out that while there’s still a possibility of a “beneficial effect,” the scale and strength of the evidence is not “overwhelmingly strong.” 
“But getting back to what you said just a moment ago that ‘X percent’—I think you said 37 percent—of doctors feel that it’s beneficial. We don’t operate on how you feel. We operate on what evidence is, and data is,” he continued. “So although there is some suggestion with the study that was just mentioned by Dr. Oz—granted that there is a suggestion that there is a benefit there—I think we’ve got to be careful that we don’t make that majestic leap to assume that this is a knockout drug.”

We won't be seeing Dr. Fauci anytime soon, would be my guess.

I Want My Trump State TV, Con't

FOX News is lawyering up big time over possible lawsuits resulting from their COVID-19 "coverage".

Amid the mushrooming coronavirus crisis, Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch are girding for a pandemic of public-interest lawsuits over misinformation and conspiracy theories dispensed by certain Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network personalities such as Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Trish Regan
According to a top Murdoch executive, the father-and-son media moguls are ready to go to war with potential plaintiffs such as the Washington League for Increased Transparency and Ethics—aka WASHLITE—an activist non-profit that filed suit on Thursday against Rupert Murdoch, Fox News and other defendants. 
The 10-page complaint, first reported by The Times of San Diego and filed in the superior court of Washington state’s King County, seeks a judgment that the Murdoch-controlled outlets violated the state’s consumer protection laws by “falsely and deceptively disseminating ‘News’ via cable news contracts that the novel Coronavirus, COVID-19 was a ‘Hoax,’ and that the virus was otherwise not a danger to public health and safety.” 
The lawsuit, which seeks “nominal damages” and “reasonable attorneys’ fees,” demands an injunction to prevent Fox outlets from “otherwise interfering with or undermining the legitimate control measures imposed within the State of Washington for the limited time period under which the pandemic is brought under control and until the pandemic is brought under control.” 
The lawsuit doesn’t list specific examples of the alleged “campaign of deception spread by the Defendants”—who also include the AT&T and Comcast cable services—but WASHLITE plans to do so in a future court filing. 
The conservative outlet fired back—in a statement provided to The Daily Beast, and attributed to Lily Fu Claffee, Fox News Media’s general counsel—that WASHLITE’s lawsuit is “Wrong on the facts, frivolous on the law.” 
Claffee added: “We will defend vigorously and seek sanctions as appropriate.” 
WASHLITE board member Arthur West, a non-lawyer and former automobile mechanic who earns what he describes as a handsome living as a professional public-interest plaintiff, told The Daily Beast that he’s not impressed by Claffee’s vow to seek retribution: “We are not afraid of the big bad Fox.”

This will be nothing more than a nuisance for FOX News, but if they aren't careful, this is going to snowball into an avalanche of bad press.  I would expect Trump to have Bill Barr step in if things get too hairy for FOX, but we'll see.  Trump needs FOX as much as FOX needs Trump.

Kushner Goes Viral

The President's useless son-in-law Jared Kushner is now in charge of the federal government's "response" to COVID-19. I wish I was joking, that this was Saturday Night Live or an episode of Arrested Development, but sadly, this is our reality in 2020. Michelle Goldberg at the NY Times:

Even now, it’s hard to believe that someone with as little expertise as Kushner could be so arrogant, but he said something similar on Thursday, when he made his debut at the White House’s daily coronavirus briefing: “People who have requests for different products and supplies, a lot of them are doing it based on projections which are not the realistic projections.”

Kushner has succeeded at exactly three things in his life. He was born to the right parents, married well and learned how to influence his father-in-law. Most of his other endeavors — his biggest real estate deal, his foray into newspaper ownership, his attempt to broker a peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians — have been failures.

Undeterred, he has now arrogated to himself a major role in fighting the epochal health crisis that’s brought America to its knees. “Behind the scenes, Kushner takes charge of coronavirus response,” said a Politico headline on Wednesday. This is dilettantism raised to the level of sociopathy.

The journalist Andrea Bernstein looked closely at Kushner’s business record for her recent book “American Oligarchs: The Kushners, the Trumps, and the Marriage of Money and Power,” speaking to people on all sides of his real estate deals as well as those who worked with him at The New York Observer, the weekly newspaper he bought in 2006.

Kushner, Bernstein told me, “really sees himself as a disrupter.” Again and again, she said, people who’d dealt with Kushner told her that whatever he did, he “believed he could do it better than anybody else, and he had supreme confidence in his own abilities and his own judgment even when he didn’t know what he was talking about.”

It’s hard to overstate the extent to which this confidence is unearned. Kushner was a reportedly mediocre student whose billionaire father appears to have bought him a place at Harvard. Taking over the family real estate company after his father was sent to prison, Kushner paid $1.8 billion — a record, at the time — for a Manhattan skyscraper at the very top of the real estate market in 2007. The debt from that project became a crushing burden for the family business. (Kushner was able to restructure the debt in 2011, and in 2018 the project was bailed out by a Canadian asset management company with links to the government of Qatar.) He gutted the once-great New York Observer, then made a failed attempt to create a national network of local politics websites.

His forays into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — for which he boasted of reading a whole 25 books — have left the dream of a two-state solution on life support. Michael Koplow of the centrist Israel Policy Forum described Kushner’s plan for the Palestinian economy as “the Monty Python version of Israeli-Palestinian peace.”

Now, in our hour of existential horror, Kushner is making life-or-death decisions for all Americans, showing all the wisdom we’ve come to expect from him.

Jared Kushner is the obsequious little troll that gets in-between the boss and the guys in the trenches, demanding that the little people give him "better metrics" before any additional help is coming.  He is cutting the public health experts out of the equation fully, and his "cost benefit analysis" means millions will be slaughtered in a corporate genocide the likes of which demands this man sitting in chains on national television, facing a furious nation.

The experts are gone.  Fauci, Brix, they are now the sideshow.  Failson-in-law Number One is runing the show.  He'll find efficiencies.  Efficiencies like "It's not supposed to be the states' stockpiles that they then use."

You people are costing us more than it's worth to keep you alive.

Therefore we have to let a certain percentage of you go.  Good luck in your future endeavors.

Nuremberg trials are too good for these jackals.


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