Monday, October 26, 2020

Last Call For Orange Meltdown, Con't

The Trump regime is throwing as much poop at the walls as it can crap out, and none of it is sticking to Joe Biden or the Democrats as even Rupert Murdoch's boys are bailing on the Tangerine Trashmaster.

By early October, even people inside the White House believed President Trump’s re-election campaign needed a desperate rescue mission. So three men allied with the president gathered at a house in McLean, Va., to launch one.

The host was Arthur Schwartz, a New York public relations man close to President Trump’s eldest son, Donald Jr. The guests were a White House lawyer, Eric Herschmann, and a former deputy White House counsel, Stefan Passantino, according to two people familiar with the meeting.

Mr. Herschmann knew the subject matter they were there to discuss. He had represented Mr. Trump during the impeachment trial early this year, and he tried to deflect allegations against the president in part by pointing to Hunter Biden’s work in Ukraine. More recently, he has been working on the White House payroll with a hazy portfolio, listed as “a senior adviser to the president,” and remains close to Jared Kushner.

The three had pinned their hopes for re-electing the president on a fourth guest, a straight-shooting Wall Street Journal White House reporter named Michael Bender. They delivered the goods to him there: a cache of emails detailing Hunter Biden’s business activities, and, on speaker phone, a former business partner of Hunter Biden’s named Tony Bobulinski. Mr. Bobulinski was willing to go on the record in The Journal with an explosive claim: that Joe Biden, the former vice president, had been aware of, and profited from, his son’s activities. The Trump team left believing that The Journal would blow the thing open and their excitement was conveyed to the president.

The Journal had seemed to be the perfect outlet for a story the Trump advisers believed could sink Mr. Biden’s candidacy. Its small-c conservatism in reporting means the work of its news pages carries credibility across the industry. And its readership leans further right than other big news outlets. Its Washington bureau chief, Paul Beckett, recently remarked at a virtual gathering of Journal reporters and editors that while he knows that the paper often delivers unwelcome news to the many Trump supporters who read it, The Journal should protect its unique position of being trusted across the political spectrum, two people familiar with the remarks said.

As the Trump team waited with excited anticipation for a Journal exposé, the newspaper did its due diligence: Mr. Bender and Mr. Beckett handed the story off to a well-regarded China correspondent, James Areddy, and a Capitol Hill reporter who had followed the Hunter Biden story, Andrew Duehren. Mr. Areddy interviewed Mr. Bobulinski. They began drafting an article.

Then things got messy. Without warning his notional allies, Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor and now a lawyer for President Trump, burst onto the scene with the tabloid version of the McLean crew’s carefully laid plot. Mr. Giuliani delivered a cache of documents of questionable provenance — but containing some of the same emails — to The New York Post, a sister publication to The Journal in Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. Mr. Giuliani had been working with the former Trump aide Steve Bannon, who also began leaking some of the emails to favored right-wing outlets. Mr. Giuliani’s complicated claim that the emails came from a laptop Hunter Biden had abandoned, and his refusal to let some reporters examine the laptop, cast a pall over the story — as did The Post’s reporting, which alleged but could not prove that Joe Biden had been involved in his son’s activities.
Hanlon's Razor -- "Never attribute to malice that which can adequately explained by stupidity" -- in the era of Trump requires Zandar's Addendum: "Sometimes it's both." The Trump White House had an orderly plan to sell the Hunter Biden garbage dump to the Wall Street Journal, and then Rudy Giuliani got wind of it and crashed through the wall like the Kool-Aid Man.

Needless to say, the story fell apart over the weekend, with the NY Times delivering the final blow on Sunday night.

There is no evidence in the records that Mr. Biden was involved in or profited from the joint venture.

Encrypted messages, emails and other documents examined by The New York Times do not show Hunter Biden or James Biden discussing any role for the former vice president in the project.

Mr. Biden’s tax returns, which he has released, show no income from any such venture. There is nothing illegal about doing business in China or with Chinese partners; Mr. Trump long pursued deals in China, had a partnership with a government-controlled enterprise and maintained a corporate bank account there.

The Biden campaign has rejected all assertions that the former vice president had any role in the negotiations over the deal or any stake in it.

Andrew Bates, a Biden campaign spokesman, said the former vice president never had any stake in the project. “Joe Biden has never even considered being involved in business with his family, nor in any overseas business whatsoever,” he said.

At the second presidential debate on Thursday, Mr. Biden said, “I have not taken a penny from any foreign source ever in my life.”

The messages produced by Mr. Bobulinski appear to reflect a meeting between him, the former vice president and James Biden in May 2017 in Beverly Hills, Calif. The messages do not make clear what was discussed.

Mr. Bates did not answer questions about Mr. Bobulinski’s claim that he met with the former vice president. But Mr. Bates said the Chinese deal never was discussed by Mr. Biden with members of his family. “He never had any conversations about these issues at all,” Mr. Bates said.

One email sent on May 13, 2017, by another member of the venture discusses how the various partners in the deal could theoretically split up the equity and makes reference to whether “the big guy” might get 10 percent. The document does not specify who this person is, saying only “10 held by H for the big guy ?”

Mr. Bobulinski has said the reference was clearly to the former vice president.

Mr. Bates said Mr. Biden “has never held stock in any such business arrangements nor has any family member or any other person ever held stock for him.”
And what makes this easy to confirm is that Joe Biden has openly released his tax returns for decades. The evidence is clear that there's nothing there, and this story is just as bogus as it was ten months ago when the Trump regime tried to cover up their Ukraine quid pro quo by screaming HUNTER BIDEN and taking a huge dump on the carpet.

It didn't work then. It's not working now.

That's the biggest difference from 2016.

Retribution Execution, Con't

A Trump second term means the replacement of much of his cabinet with yes men who will aid the republic's transition to a fascist autocratic police state, starting with law enforcement, intelligence services, and the military.

If President Trump wins re-election, he'll move to immediately fire FBI Director Christopher Wray and also expects to replace CIA Director Gina Haspel and Defense Secretary Mark Esper, two people who've discussed these officials' fates with the president tell Axios.

The big picture: The list of planned replacements is much longer, but these are Trump's priorities, starting with Wray. Wray and Haspel are despised and distrusted almost universally in Trump's inner circle. He would have fired both already, one official said, if not for the political headaches of acting before Nov. 3.

Why it matters: A win, no matter the margin, will embolden Trump to ax anyone he sees as constraining him from enacting desired policies or going after perceived enemies. Trump last week signed an executive order that set off alarm bells as a means to politicize the civil service. An administration official said the order "is a really big deal" that would make it easier for presidents to get rid of career government officials
There could be shake-ups across other departments. The president has never been impressed with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, for example. But that doesn't carry the urgency of replacing Wray or Haspel. The nature of top intelligence and law enforcement posts has traditionally carried an expectation for a higher degree of independence and separation from politics.

Be smart: While Trump has also privately vented about Attorney General Bill Barr, he hasn't made any formal plans to replace him, an official said. Trump is furious that Barr isn't releasing before the election what Trump hoped would be a bombshell report by U.S. Attorney John Durham on the Obama administration's handling of the Trump-Russia investigation. 
Durham's investigation has yet to produce any high-profile indictments of Obama-era officials as Trump had hoped. "The attorney general wants to finish the work that he's been involved in since day one," a senior administration official told Axios.

Behind the scenes: "The view of Haspel in the West Wing is that she still sees her job as manipulating people and outcomes, the way she must have when she was working assets in the field," one source with direct knowledge of the internal conversations told Axios. "It's bred a lot of suspicion of her motives." 
Trump is also increasingly frustrated with Haspel for opposing the declassification of documents that would help the Justice Department's Durham report. A source familiar with conversations at the CIA says, "Since the beginning of DNI's push to declassify documents, and how strongly she feels about protecting sources connected to those materials, there have been rumblings around the agency that the director plans to depart the CIA regardless of who wins the election.”

As for Wray, whose expected firing was first reported by The Daily Beast, Trump is angry his second FBI chief didn't launch a formal investigation into Hunter Biden's foreign business connections — and didn't purge more officials Trump believes abused power to investigate his 2016 campaign's ties to Russia. 
Trump also grew incensed when Wray testified in September that the FBI has not seen widespread election fraud, including with mail-in ballots. A senior FBI official tells Axios: "Major law enforcement associations representing current and former FBI agents as well as police and sheriff's departments across the country have consistently expressed their full support of Director Wray's leadership of the Bureau."

Trump soured on Esper over the summer when the Defense secretary rebuffed the idea of sending active-duty military into the streets to deal with racial justice protests and distanced himself from the clearing of Lafayette Square for a photo op at St. John's church. 
Trump indicated to Axios then that he "really wasn't focused on" firing Esper. One senior official cautioned that others who want the Pentagon job could be driving speculation to undercut Esper. But one source, who discussed options with Trump, told Axios he urged the president to wait until post-election to replace him. Chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement that Esper "has always been and remains committed to doing what is best for the military and the Nation.”
Both Trump and Bill Barr will have free reign to start arresting Democrats in a second term, especially if Mitch McConnell keeps control of the Senate.  The decent to fascism will come quickly should Trump prevail in the election.

For the first time, I think Biden will win, he's held on to a big lead for long enough and there's just too many battleground states for Trump to play defense in right now for him to win them all like he did in 2016, when he was on offense, and Biden's leads in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania continue to be statistically significant, and Biden is above 50% in all three states.  That's all he needs to pick up from 2016 in order to top 270 electoral votes, and the odds are he'll win at least one or two of the other six battleground states (GA, TX, OH, NC, AZ, and FL) on top of those three.

Trump is running out of time to win this, but if he does, America is absolutely out of time.

We're done as a free nation if Trump wins.

I implore you to vote if you haven't already.

Trump Goes Viral, Con't

Even Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal can no longer hide the multiple abject failures of the Trump regime on COVID-19, as the atrocities are documented. Remember the $250 million CDC advertising plan to "instill hope in America" on the virus, which was widely panned as a quarter-billion dollar slush fund for the government to campaign for Trump? It failed even worse that we could have imagined, turns out...
A federal health agency halted a public-service coronavirus advertising campaign funded by $250 million in taxpayer money after it offered a special vaccine deal to an unusual set of essential workers: Santa Claus performers.

As part of the plan, a top Trump administration official wanted the Santa performers to promote the benefits of a Covid-19 vaccination and, in exchange, offered them early vaccine access ahead of the general public, according to audio recordings. Those who perform as Mrs. Claus and elves also would have been included.

The Department of Health and Human Services said Friday the Santa plan would be scrapped. The deal was the brainchild of the official, Michael Caputo, an HHS assistant secretary, who took a 60-day medical leave last month. The rest of the campaign now is under an HHS review.

The Santa “collaboration will not be happening,” and HHS Secretary Alex Azar had no knowledge of Mr. Caputo’s outreach discussions, an HHS spokesman said. Mr. Caputo didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Ric Erwin, chairman of the Fraternal Order of Real Bearded Santas, called the news “extremely disappointing,” adding: “This was our greatest hope for Christmas 2020, and now it looks like it won’t happen.”


In fact, the White House has now completely given up on containing the pandemic, and wants all of America to know that you're all on your own, and whatever happens, it's not Donald Trump's fault, so deal with it.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows conceded that the Trump administration had given up in containing the coronavirus crisis that has killed over 225,000 Americans, admitting on Sunday morning that the White House is “not going to control the pandemic” and instead going to just hold out hope for a vaccine. 
Amid another COVID-19 outbreak at the White House, this time in Vice President Mike Pence’s office, Meadows appeared on CNN’s State of the Union, and anchor Jape Tapper immediately pressed the chief of staff on reports that he tried to keep news of the positive coronavirus tests from going public.

“Why would you do that? Is it because it’s another sign the way the White House has failed to contain the virus?” Tapper wondered aloud, prompting Meadows to falsely claim that wasn’t reported.

“That was in the New York Times story,” Tapper shot back.

Meadows, meanwhile, justified the attempt to keep the outbreak under wraps by saying that “sharing personal information is something we should do” before claiming that the White House also has an “obligation to let people know to contact trace” when there is a positive case.

Tapper reminded the chief of staff that the administration didn’t do that during the previous outbreak that resulted in President Donald Trump’s hospitalization, noting that Chris Christie said he was never contacted despite his own battle with the virus.

The CNN anchor went on to press Meadows on Vice President Chief of Staff Marc Short’s diagnosis, asking why Pence isn’t quarantining and out on the campaign trail considering his close contact with Short in recent days. Meadows dismissed the need for Pence to follow CDC guidelines, saying Pence is an essential worker and “he’s not just campaigning, he’s working.”

After asserting that Pence is wearing masks in public and socially distancing when possible, Meadows then expressed doubt that large gatherings cause the spread of the virus, citing recent reports that small groups and family events are leading to an increase in infections. Tapper pointed out that the virus is coming from many different places because the pandemic is out of control.

“Here is what we have to do,” Meadows declared. “We are not going to control the pandemic. We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics, and other mitigation areas.”

Tapper, for his part, pressed Meadows on why we couldn’t get control of the pandemic, prompting the chief of staff to respond that it was due to it being a “contagious virus just like the flu.”

“Why not make efforts to contain it?” Tapper retorted.

“Well, we are making efforts to contain it,” Meadows insisted.

“By running all over the country and not wearing a mask? That’s what the vice president is doing,” the CNN anchor shot back.
Got that? Containment and mitigation are no longer options. Millions, perhaps tens of millions will get sick and hundreds of thousands will die, but as soon as the Trump regime gets that vaccine, everything will be fine.

Also, the Trump regime has no real vaccine plan either. They were going to use mall Santas to demonstrate the vaccine if they had it in time, which of course was never going to happen.

Most likely it will be another six months before a viable, effective vaccine is ready, and thanks to the Trump regime, half of America will refuse to take it anyway and scream about MAH FREEDUMBS.

The larger, more immediate problem is the White House Chief of Staff just went on live TV a week before Election Day and admitted there's no regime plan to contain a pandemic that has already sickened millions and has killed 230,000 Americans, and that they just do not care.
They never cared about America, they never cared about you or your family, they never cared about anyone or anything except grifting as much money from the gig as they could and helping the rest of the GOP burn down the country. 

With new coronavirus cases shattering records on a daily basis, Utah’s hospitals are expected to begin rationing care in a week or two.

That’s the prediction of Greg Bell, president of the Utah Hospital Association, who said administrators of the state’s hospitals confronted Gov. Gary Herbert on Thursday with a grim list: Criteria they propose doctors should use if they are forced to decide which patients can stay in overcrowded intensive care units.

Under the criteria, which would require Herbert’s approval, patients who are getting worse despite receiving intensive care would be moved out first. In the event that two patients' conditions are equal, the young get priority over the old, since older patients are more likely to die.

‘We told him, ‘It looks like we’re going to have to request those be activated if this trend continues,’" Bell recounted, “'and we see no reason why it won’t.'"

Hospitalizations normally rise after the number of new cases increases, and Utah repeatedly set new records for daily case totals last week. At least two Utah hospitals have opened overflow ICUs this month.

The state’s hospitals can shift patients around to free up bed space, Bell said, and the state has long planned to open a field hospital at the Mountain America Expo Center in Sandy if necessary.

But one of the defining features of intensive care is access to doctors and nurses with specialty training — and opening new beds does not mean those health care workers can staff them.

Bell said it’s now all but inevitable that hospitals will need to enact their triage protocols, known as “crisis standards of care.”

“I haven’t said, ‘It’s gonna happen’ — until [Thursday] night,” Bell said. “I told the governor, ‘It’s gonna happen. We’re going to be back here asking for crisis standards.’ ”
Expect more cities to go into lockdown and more states to follow hospital crisis triage protocols in November after the election.

If Donald Trump wins, we will have COVID-19 with us for every day of his second term.

And millions of us, maybe tens of millions, won't make it through to the end.


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