Pompeo’s Latest Attempts To Propel Propaganda On Lab Escape Of SARS CoV-2 Suffer Two Epic Swat-Downs

Recall that back on April 30, I wrote about how the Trump Administration had been orchestrating a propaganda push to claim that SARS CoV-2 was accidentally released from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Of special importance is that the New York Times article I cited on the topic specifically mentioned Mike Pompeo as one of the primary forces behind pushing the story. Recall also that a part of this propaganda effort came from “leaked” State Department cables.

Apparently, getting called out by the New York Times was not enough to deter Pompeo from this effort. He returned to the airwaves on May 3, telling ABC that there is “enormous evidence” that the virus came from the lab. And then “magically”, but in reality following the aluminum tubes playbook straight out of Cheney’s Iraq WMD playbook, a “report” came into the hands of NBC, who published it May 8. The report purportedly relied on “open source” data to make the case that some sort of accident occurred at the lab in late October, prompting officials to shut down the lab and block roads surrounding it. NBC debunked one aspect of the report in their story, noting that a conference at the lab that the report claims was cancelled in this timeframe actually took place as planned.

Yesterday, Erin Banco and colleagues at Daily Beast published what can only be described as one of the most epic slap-downs of fake intelligence I’ve ever seen. Please go read the piece in full, because summarizing cannot properly capture its full glory.

The dissection of the false intelligence in the report begins with work done by Jeffrey Lewis (one of the best follows on Twitter at @ArmsControlWonk), who utterly destroyed the report’s claims regarding satellite data:

What’s more, imagery collected by DigitalGlobe’s Maxar Technologies satellites and provided to The Daily Beast reveals a simpler, less exotic reason for why analysts believed “roadblocks” went into place around the lab after the supposed accident: road construction. The Maxar images also show typical workdays, with normal traffic patterns around the lab, after the supposedly cataclysmic event.

“This is an illustrated guide on how not to do open source analysis,” said Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies, who analyzed the MACE report for The Daily Beast. “It is filled with apples-to-oranges comparisons, motivated reasoning, and a complete refusal to consider mundane explanations or place the data in any sort of context.”

That’s right. The report took images showing roads blocked for ordinary road construction and claimed they showed that a catastrophic accident in the lab meant that traffic had to be kept away to prevent exposure to the leaked virus.

But the fun doesn’t stop there. I’ll get to who MACE, who prepared the report, is a bit later. The story continues:

MACE’s analysts tried to establish a “pattern of life” at the Wuhan lab in order to reveal what they claim is an anomaly, one purportedly caused by a leak. The MACE document charts the movement of apparent Wuhan lab personnel into and out of the facility leading up to October, when the alleged leak took place. In one slide, analysts wrote that there is an “18 day gap” in which “there were no observable events” from devices at the lab between Oct. 6 and 24, supposedly suggesting an accidental leak.

In doing so, they appear to have been unaware of a key cultural factor complicating the normal course of events: a holiday. “The first week of October is a golden week in China, which is going to disrupt that pattern,” Lewis said.

Yep. The “anomaly” MACE ascribes to leak was in fact an ordinary holiday when activity would be diminished around the lab for a perfectly ordinary reason.

And the Daily Beast investigators spread the fun around, getting the folks at Bellingcat involved in investigating the claims made in the report:

The Daily Beast asked analysts at the award-winning open source investigative news outlet Bellingcat to review the MACE dossier and evaluate the quality of its conclusions. Within minutes of receiving the dossier, Bellingcat senior investigator Nick Waters disproved one of the MACE document’s claims: that a conference on biosafety lab management at the Wuhan lab scheduled for the first week of November was canceled.

But the conference did take place, as NBC first reported. Waters found a Facebook post from a Pakistani scientist who had attended the event and taken selfies there, including at the BSL-3 laboratory.

Wow. And Waters doesn’t stop there:

He also took a dig at one of the many amateurish elements in the MACE presentation. “Perhaps the authors should have spent more time testing their analysis rather than working out how to crop the eye of Sauron into a logo copy-pasted from the internet,” Waters said.

Okay, I got a huge laugh at the eye of Sauron bit. That’s because I’ve run into the folks behind MACE before. As Daily Beast points out, MACE stands for Multi Agency Collaboration Environment. And according to this link they provide, MACE is hosted at a company in Las Vegas by the name of Sierra Nevada Corporation. Way back in 2011, I wrote about a technology called Gorgon Stare, developed by Sierra Nevada Corporation, that claimed to enable real time remote viewing analysis of entire villages in Iraq or Afghanistan from imaging equipment carried by high-flying drones. Of course, this technology turned out to be a very expensive boondoggle that did nothing to help intelligence-gathering. I can’t help wondering if the eye of Sauron bit was an insider joke at Sierra Nevada that Waters understood and shot right back at them to ridicule this report and the old Gorgon Stare technology.

So, while the MACE report clearly originated in the US, what I haven’t seen yet is a clear indication of just when it surfaced, especially when it surfaced for senior Trump Administration officials and the intelligence community. It would not surprise me if it goes all the way back to the propaganda campaign in mid-April I described in my previous post. The version of the report that NBC published has the last several pages redacted with the description that this was done to protect names from being disclosed. That really makes me wonder if the specific question from John Roberts of Fox News to Trump on April 14 about an intern at the lab being infected and then spreading it to her boyfriend and the wet market was based on the redacted portion of the MACE report. All we know about timing is that the report had made its way to Congressional committees by May 8 when NBC published it.

There is another weak intelligence document, though, that this time is traced directly to the State Department. On May 7, the Sydney Morning Herald debunked a “dossier” that had been leaked from the US embassy in Canberra that the Daily Telegraph (a Rupert Murdoch paper in Australia) wrote about on May 2. The Herald says this about Australian officials  looking for the basis of the dossier:

Senior members of the Morrison government and Australian intelligence agencies at first had trouble finding the document. Eventually they found a research report, based on publicly available information including news reports, which appeared to fit the description. The research paper contained no information that was generated from intelligence gathering, according to people who have read it.

Labor MP Anthony Byrne, the deputy chair of the influential intelligence and security committee, was “incensed” by the report of the dossier. Mr Byrne, one of Parliament’s biggest supporters of the US alliance, directly raised his concerns with senior members of the Morrison government and intelligence agencies, saying Australia shouldn’t accept intelligence that doesn’t exist and fall for a “tricked-up document”.

There are now widespread suspicions within senior ranks of the Australian government and the intelligence community that the document was leaked to The Daily Telegraph by a staff member in the US embassy in Canberra. This suspicion, whether true or not, underlines how the positions between sections of Canberra and Washington national security circles have diverged over the claim. Some senior officials clearly believe the US embassy is pushing a narrative in the Australian media that could be counter to the beliefs and interests of its hosts.

The story continues:

The episode highlights the danger of mischaracterising the work of intelligence agencies. Some of the footnotes in the document contained references to US media reports that were based on unsubstantiated assertions from the US government – the same kind of circular intelligence which resulted in the “children overboard” affair in 2001.

Wow. The Herald also goes there, comparing this propaganda ploy to an Australian false information scandal of similar magnitude to the Iraq WMD operation in the US.

But again, Pompeo and those under him seem to be central to this whole operation. The Daily Telegraph story appeared just a day before Pompeo claimed “huge evidence” and likely was based on a document leaked by a US embassy. And then NBC published the MACE document a few days later. I haven’t seen anyone suggest that the document in Australia is the MACE document, but the Herald’s description and debunking of it sure would fit with them being the same or at least having the same source.

Given Pompeo’s central role in spreading propaganda that has been so easily refuted, I can’t help wondering if we will have another shoe drop on the firing of Steve Linick. Note that in his letter to Congress on the firing (which will be complete at the end of a 30 day clock starting Friday night), Trump said it was based on Pompeo’s suggestion that Linick be fired. Also note that we were first told it was because Linick was investigating Pompeo using State Department personnel to run personal errands. Today, that’s been expanded to cover the fast-tracking of arms sales to Saudi Arabia. But in their article on that, CNN notes:

But at this time, House Democrats say they do not yet know which investigation was the biggest factor behind the decision to dismiss Linick.

“I wouldn’t assign percentages,” a Democratic committee aide said.

Democrats on both the House Foreign Affairs and Senate Foreign Relations committees are interested in learning more about Linick’s investigations into Pompeo, and Engel emphasized the importance of cooperation from the administration in his statement Monday.

“The administration should comply with the probe I launched with Senator Menendez and turn over all the records requested from the Department by Friday,” he said, a reference to Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

I find it hard to believe that Pompeo would have felt truly threatened by either the investigation into using aides for personal errands or expediting the Saudi arms sales. Those just seem like garden variety Trump corruption that gets shrugged off as the next daily outrage appears. However, if Linick had started nosing around the leak of the State Department’s own Wuhan cables and/or the allegation of the leak of the report from the Canberra embassy, I think Pompeo would see a bigger danger. That would represent an investigation into an ongoing propaganda operation in which Pompeo disseminated easily disproved disinformation.

The final beautiful irony here is that if Linick had started such an investigation, it likely was based on open source information. Unlike the MACE information though, this open source information would consist of Pompeo’s own recorded media appearances and the subsequent public debunking of the propaganda. That propaganda getting debunked would be both Pompeo’s direct statements and the debunking of the “supporting” material that appears to have been released either by him or those doing his bidding.

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55 replies
  1. Rugger9 says:

    The trouble with slime is that it oozes out. Pompeo (for such a good “Christian” who is more Pharisee) should know that bearing false witness and stealing are Ten Commandment sins even if he considers himself permanently “saved”. What the Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away, Mike, or were you sleeping during that part of the Bible study?

    So, the slow-walked termination of IG Linick seems to have opened a Pandora’s Box of personal and government peccadillos which for anyone else would have been the kiss of death three scandals ago.

    Also, Karl Rove crawled out to whine that Obama wasn’t being nice in his graduation address (the “drive by shooting” reference is also a dog whistle), but then he should know after what he did to McCain in 2000 with his push poll in SC. No one should give any of these creeps the time of day, much less network time without pushback (see Todd, Chuck for the latest journalamism failure).

    I’m aware most of the MSM is worried about losing “access” but also they need to understand that access is a two way street, and if they had the spine to tell the WH that there will be no interviews (or WH input on investigative reporting) until they stop lying (stop laughing, y’all) this crap would stop in a month at the most.

    • Yohei72 says:

      -“if they had the spine to tell the WH that there will be no interviews (or WH input on investigative reporting) until they stop lying (stop laughing, y’all) this crap would stop in a month at the most.”

      I’m not so sure. There’s a large enough and high-profile enough right-wing bubble media now that the WH might not mind.

      • oldoilfieldhand says:

        “There’s a large enough and high-profile enough right-wing bubble media now”…
        I believe this was correctly recognized and described by lifetime advocate for children, former First Lady, Senator from NY, Two-time Presidential Candidate, Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton as a “Vast Right Wing Conspiracy”.
        Amazing how accurately and presciently some intelligent women can describe current events. No wonder Vladimir Putin preferred Trump to Hillary Clinton, as he too is manifestly afraid of powerful women.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Mikey is too busy asking his spouse if there’s any more he can do for her at the office.

      What competent personality or executive would accept having his non-working spouse have so much space and authority at his workplace – a high-profile gubmint job at that? That’s a pattern for Mikey, in that he apparently did the same thing at the CIA. Golly gee whiz, even Pence seems to keep a distance from his spouse at work. Mikey’s only hope is that wingnut welfare is kind to him: I think he’s overstayed his welcome in public life.

      The strange thing is that Trump used one illegality to cover up a worse one. I wonder how Mikey likes the underside of the Trump tour bus, cause Trump is just getting warmed up.

    • Alan Charbonneau says:

      Access journalism has taken over. Mencken said a long time ago and Alastair Cooke mentioned in an interview: “Never accept a free ticket from a theatre manager. a free ride from the chamber of commerce. or a favour from a politician.”

      Cooke added: “He lived absolutely by this rule. He wanted to have his say, and he knew that a very gifted man who isn’t interested in money is very hard to tame.”

      • Rugger9 says:

        Today’s example for MSM cowardice comes from CBS hiring the GOP hack that spread the news that “150” federal agents were looking at HRC’s emails in 2016. Edward R Murrow should be spinning fast enough to run a turbine efficiently.

  2. gmoke says:

    “Pompeo (for such a good ‘Christian’ who is more Pharisee) should know that bearing false witness and stealing are Ten Commandment sins even if he considers himself permanently ‘saved’.”

    I thought that among the elect it is perfectly fine to violate any and all of the Ten Commandments as long as it brings the unbelievers into the fold. It’s as if Leo Strauss’ noble lies also apply to religion. I mean, of course, the only true and proper religion, whatever that may be ($$$$$ and power by the looks of it).

    • John Paul Jones says:

      Only true for Calvinists (see James Hogg’s novel, Confessions of a Justified Sinner), or for followers of the Reverend Moon. Pompeo is, I believe, and like Barr, a Catholic. So those guys would be using Jesuit techniques (viz, “jesuitical,” meaning, a strained argument).

  3. BobCon says:

    This is terrible. I really like Sierra Nevada’s beer.

    But seriously, this is a nice breakdown and I agree that using a staffer for a personal shopper isn’t enough to get Pompeo antsy. Mishandling intelligence is a bigger risk, hopefully we’ll find out more.

    • blueedredcounty says:

      The company in the article is Sierra Nevada Corporation – https://www.sncorp.com/

      This is not Sierra Nevada Brewing Company – https://sierranevada.com/

      I agree, I really like their beer. Although I have developed a great fondness for Modelo Negra, especially if I am making turkey chili and am using it in the chili and myself at the same time.

      • Jim White says:

        Okay now, I do like Sierra Nevada beer and Negra Modela has been steadily moving up my list of favorites.

        But let this serve as a moderator warning, one more mention of the obscenity of putting turkey into chili and the ban hammer will fly! (/s)

        • Pajaro says:

          Now wait just a minute! Jim, I admire your many facebook posts on cooking, you’re good at it. But I use turkey, raised here, in my NM style green chili stew and enchiladas, and it is wonderful. Chili was extra hot Lemitar, warming all over. Also once made a great turkey chicken sausage with resident birds and local green chili (Lemitar, extra hot) and usual fowl herbs and it was great. Hey, I need to do that again! That stuff with red chili and tomatoes is a TX invention.

    • Tracy Lynn says:

      Ha, ha! Sierra Nevada beer is located in Chico, CA, not Nevada. (But I did take a second glance at the reference to Sierra Nevada in Dr. Wheeler’s post.)

      • Tracy Lynn says:

        My apologies, Jim White. I meant the reference in your post. I forgot who wrote it.

    • Eureka says:

      Well hasn’t this sub-thread turned into a Who’s on first-ish clown car.

      Bobcon was kidding (just to get in a reference to some good beer); also it’s Jim’s post (lol).

      I, too, favor their beer.

      • BobCon says:

        Thank Eu. I’d better more be careful next time about any tongue in cheek references about Jim Koch of Sam Adams being behind Koch Industries….

  4. John Paul Jones says:

    When I got to the part in the Daily Beast article about the Oz report being based on “open source” stuff, my mind immediately went to the notion that it was in fact the MACE report, or a version of it. My speculative guess would be that Pompeo simply commissioned it from these contractors because the regular IC folks he has to work with wouldn’t do what he asked as quickly or as pointedly as he wanted.

    • Jim White says:

      Absolutely agree on the “open source” part being the key on the two likely being the same. And I agree as well on Pompeo likely commissioning the report. Note that Daily Beast got a statement from DoD that MACE didn’t produce the report in coordination with DoD. I wonder if State can say the same (truthfully).

      And one more point on that. In the April 30 post, I went on for a bit about how Trump really seized onto the word “sources” from John Roberts. I’m wondering now if that is because before this report, he probably had never been briefed about information from “open sources” and was still intrigued about it.

    • Rugger9 says:

      It should be obvious by now that the rest of the world is not buying what the WH is selling, heck, they even won’t even talk to us on COVID-19 responses because of WH and DJT stupidity. This is all about riling up the “base”, but most of America isn’t buying it either.

  5. Eureka says:

    Nice searing post. There’s also that matter of someone at State monkeying with Social Security +/- Medicare. Didn’t pay enough attention to it to suspect whether it’s anything more than the simple gross inappropriateness of late-stage corruption.

    As to early COVID-19 events, last week CRS put out an informative report, handy thorough timeline:

    COVID-19 and China: A Chronology of Events (December 2019-January 2020) – R46354
    https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R46354

    • Eureka says:

      Darn, just missed Laurie Garrett on Chris Hayes (catch the rerun), but I love her shelves / office set-up!

        • Eureka says:

          Yes! There is nothing more soothing than to bask in her, and relevant others’, matter-of-fact competence.

          • Eureka says:

            Where ‘competence’ these days means ~ excellence previously taken for granted, not the ~ passing, under-the-Peter-(Principle) threshold connotation that it might have taken in earlier times.

  6. Eureka says:

    OK this is OT by a bare technicality (different subclass of Trump admin COVID propaganda) — but Trump and the hydroxychloroquine!?! Meanwhile, he’s free-ballingdropletting wherever he goes.

    My knee-jerk was that the lie was that he was taking it. But BFF suspected that the lie might be that he doesn’t have the vid. Said to pay careful attention to his appearance over the next days (and I naturally forget the list but it included flushing or paleness).

    So then I see Marcy has retweeted:

    Sam Stein: “This doctor letter the White House just released doesn’t actual include the doctor saying he prescribed Trump hydroxychloroquine [screenshot]”
    https://twitter.com/samstein/status/1262536055556898816

    That last sentence, though (emphasis added):

    As has been previously reported. two weeks ago one of the President’s Support staff tested positive for COVID- 19. The President is in very good health and has remained symptom-free.
    He receives regular COVID-19 testing, all negative to date.

    After numerous discussions he and I had regarding the evidence for and against the use of hydroxychloroquine, we concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks.

    In consultation with our inter-agency partners and subject matter experts around the country, I continue to monitor the myriad studies investigating potential COVID-19 therapies, and I anticipate employing the same shared medical decision making based on the evidence at hand in the future.

    Does the last clause go with the one before it, as I read it (shared decision-making re COVID-19 therapies)?

    • Eureka says:

      To me, the key word of intrigue in the emphasized text was “future”, if the clause it’s in goes with the rest of the sentence about COVID therapies (and one can often not be sure with these parse-fests). Like is the White House such a COVID hotbed — as, for example, April Ryan tweeted in recent weeks — that the doctor anticipates such future, evidence-based discussions with POTUS about COVID therapies?

      [Reminds me when BoJo was sick — wish I had the exact quote — that POTUS said they had “sent” BoJo something, ~everything he’d need, in a way that sounded like it was physically sent (versus, say, information shared electronically). Would love to know what that all was.]

      • P J Evans says:

        IIRC, the WH was trying to pressure them into treating BoJo with hydrochloroquine and Z-packs. The offers were politely refused, but it wouldn’t surprise me if a box of drugs was sent via diplomatic pouch.

        • Eureka says:

          Yes I think your recall is correct, and I remember thinking that what he’d _really_ want is convalescent plasma, and wondering if they had somehow sent him some of that and maybe remdesivir (thinking that the WH could not possibly be so dumb as to fall for their own scams, that someone there would ‘believe’ in the then-more-promising /less-unpromising options, and would act accordingly — despite their public posture. LOLOL, I know, rationality should *never* be assumed.)

    • PeterS says:

      “After numerous discussions he and I had regarding the evidence for and against the use of hydroxychloroquine, we concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks.”

      It’s the word “we” that jumps out at me in this sentence from the doctor’s letter. 

      I mean, sure a doctor discusses with the patient the pros and cons of a treatment, but it’s the doctor’s decision on the balance of risks, not some ignorant buffoon. 

      I suspect the doctor is signalling that it wasn’t his decision. 

      • Vicks says:

        The obvious question is “treatment” for what exactly?
        Along similar lines the doctor’s note didn’t even confirm the drug was “the treatment” or that Trump was the patient being discussed
        But here we go.
        It headlined everywhere last night as it’s still going strong this am.
        Let’s talk about the idiot like he’s a child instead of our country’s number one national security and health risk.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Doctors who write prescriptions because their patient tells them to are a dime a dozen, non? There’s a seminar on that in Med School. I’ll bet it happens to you and people you know every day, amirite?

        The MD does not get off the hook because he caved in to el Presidente. He puts himself on it. What kind of person would want to keep Donald Trump as a patient – or a client? He’s the world’s biggest shit, he lies about everything, and he never pays his bills. When he doesn’t like what you say, he has his goons criminally break into your office and steal your files.

        Now, back to those 91,000 dead and counting….

        • MB says:

          Yes, U R rite. Lotsa “Dr. Feelgoods” around. I have an insomniac friend who has a cozy relationship with a psychiatrist fills who his sleep meds Rx upon request…

      • StarRN says:

        I think it is interesting that the physician made a point to specifically mention “shared decision making”. In shared decision making, the patient and the physician discuss benefits/risks and go from there, with the patient’s unique physical, social, and psychological needs, as well as values and beliefs, etc., factored into the treatment plan; treatment decisions are not made at the sole discretion of the physician. In this case, I think the physician is being very careful to make sure that it is known that this particular patient had substantial input into the treatment decision. I agree with PeterS that there is some signaling going on. That said, in my humble opinion, that certainly doesn’t make the idea of a physician caving on the use of hydroxychloroquine as a prophylactic for this virus acceptable at all.

  7. John Paul Jones says:

    The only clear statement in that relating to T’s health is that he’s being regularly tested. I don’t have a copy of his last health report to hand, but given his diet, it’s hard not to believe he has potential heart problems in waiting; and since hydroxychloroquine is not indicated for patients with a potentially risky ticker, I doubt his doctor would allow him to have it. But T will continue to lie about this; makes his fans think of him as invincible, beyond ordinary rules. Plus, he said that he takes it “whenever I get a moment” or something like that. Usually, the doc will say – once a day, or twice a day, and give you rough times. I’ve never had a doctor tell me, just pop a pill whenever you feel the urge.

    • P J Evans says:

      IIRC, he’s on a statin and BP meds (though I don’t know which ones – there are a lot). Some of the BP drugs are known to have bad interactions with the chloroquines.

  8. earlofhuntingdon says:

    If Trump is really taking hydroxychloroquine without a prescription, in unknown dosages, for an undisclosed period of time, without observation or monitoring, why is the US taxpayer paying for the Secret Service? Is self-harm not one of the risks it is meant to protect the public from happening to its president? (He’s the beneficiary of its work, which is to protect an asset that belongs to the public.)

    The more likely fact is that Trump is lying. Again. About something as harmful as taking a drug unproven for this purpose – and promoting its use by three hundred million others. Trump has lied twenty thousand times and counting since becoming president, why would he stop now?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Trump will, of course, use the DPA to maximize production of hydroxychloroquine. Prescriptions have gone up 46 times since he promoted it as an anti-Covid 19 therapy. “What have you got to lose?”

      One answer – apart from the drug’s nasty side effects – is that those with diseases against which it is effective, such as lupus (Christy Hardin Smith), are having to ration their meager supplies – and pay more for the drug. Trump will, no doubt, solve that problem by mandating its purchase and resale at cost by the Feds. Not.

      • Vicks says:

        A doctor still has to write a prescription.
        Let’s see if anyone in power has the b’s to make a strong enough warning statement against using the drug in the way Trump claims he’s doing to make doctor’s worry about malpractice issues.
        In a perfect world the manufacturer would step up

          • Vicks says:

            I mean a real power in the medical community that would make it official guidance.
            It would probably be helpful to the doctors that will have to deal with all the goofballs asking for it s well.

  9. vvv says:

    Does hydroxychloroquine interact adversely with, say, anti-narcolepsy meds?
    Asking for about 218M friends.

  10. Vicks says:

    Hell, I think Trump is invincible.
    Like a cockroach or these freaking bind weeds in my garden.
    My money is on his fans will turning it into a conspiracy.
    I’m going with Trump used hydroxy-c to foil the deep state’s plan to infect Trump with the virus.
    But why stop there?
    How about it was Obama’s idea that Joe use his shady contacts in China to create the virus and bring it into the United States the target being the Trump and the Whitehouse?

  11. Vinnie Gambone says:

    “In Math we have a thing we call proof by intimidation.”

    Been curious some time whether pandemics were ever topics at Davos. Came across this which treats operations like the MACE move somewhat. Knowing you all are all day doing hand to hand combat analyzing Trump’s gang every move the piece might provide a bit of respite. Worth the time.
    Unfortunately I had to skip Davos this year. I am glad I did because I noticed that the 300 private jets at the airport wer not practicing social distancing. Cheers

  12. Rugger9 says:

    OT but despicable and so typical of not paying his obligations comes the report that the National Guard will stand down on June 24, conveniently one day prior to when the 90-day threshold is reached for early retirement and education benefits from the latest GI Bill. Hmmm…. I’m beginning to think that DJT thinks the military is like his help, there only to be seen as his props.

  13. John K says:

    It’s not right for Nancy Pelosi to call Trump morbidly obese-he’s not quite that much overweight. Morbidly obtuse? Absolutely!
    “Hey, Mom, I started taking a drug once a day that’s only prescribed for a few diseases, none of which I currently have. But I’ve heard lots of good stories about it! What do I have to lose?”
    Seriously, this behavior from someone who swears that he has never touched alcohol or drugs in his life defies credibility. I believe that he’s trying to see how many lemmings survive a leap that he’s not willing to make himself. Then he will try to convert a few anecdotes into a winning campaign strategy.

    If he is really taking it, he’s stupider than I ever imagined.

  14. jaango says:

    Today’s Anglo-Oriented America has become self-embarrassing and to the point that both chambers of Congress should be calling for the ‘dis-employment’ of all of Trump’s minions and who have a tad of knowledge that Pompeo and subscribers are out and out lining their pockets with this nonsensical propaganda.

    Of course, this is my Indigenous View, and a lonely one at that. Perhaps, I should change my name to “Mr. Goofiness That I Don’t Mind.” And given that the overwhelming majority of Anglos are still into their practice for Criminal Stupidity, Anglos won’t know how to contend with the following and which will arrive in the next 10 to 15 years:

    1. The President’s Saturday Morning Bloggers’ Conference.
    2. The Municipal-Owned Internet Media Network
    3. The National Monument and Museum of Criminal Stupidity.

    In the meantime or for the next dozen years, Anglos will still not come to realization that Decency Personified is equivalent to the relentless and daily usage of ‘cojones’.

  15. Jenny says:

    Trump says he taking hydroxychloroquine. Is that with injecting disinfectant and sipping Clorox? If so, a potent cocktail. Bottoms up!

    The Hill Twitter: 4:44 PM · May 18, 2020 https://twitter.com/thehill/status/1262484184540549124
    “I’d rather have [Pompeo] on the phone with some world leader than have him wash dishes because maybe his wife isn’t there. Maybe his kids aren’t there.” Trump

    • P J Evans says:

      Trmp is demonstrating that he hasn’t been inside a kitchen in more than 40 years: he doesn’t know about dishwashers.

  16. Rugger9 says:

    OT but what the WH has in plan for us resisters:

    https://www.salon.com/2020/05/18/emails-show-uc-santa-cruz-police-used-military-surveillance-to-suppress-grad-student-strike/

    So, the state militia will be used for suppression, and what I also find interesting is that Alameda County deputies were apparently used, when UCSC is in Santa Cruz County, with Santa Clara County in between. One might think it was to create a plausible deniability, but doesn’t a deputy’s status as a law enforcement officer disappear outside of their jurisdiction? It’s not clear whether there is a shared forces agreement, otherwise I would suspect these Alameda deputies would have been formally sworn in by the Santa Cruz County Sheriff.

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