Donald Trump

Notes from the Kakistocracy: Miracle cure or deadly toxin?

My Pillow exec is pushing Oleandrin to Trump as a cure:

Mike Lindell, the chief executive of My Pillow and a big donor to President Trump, told Axios that the president was enthusiastic about the drug, called oleandrin, when he heard about it at a White House meeting last month.

“This thing works — it’s the miracle of all time,” Mr. Lindell, who has a financial stake in the company that makes the compound and sits on its board, said in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Tuesday. When CBS asked Mr. Trump about oleandrin for Covid-19, Mr. Trump said, “We’ll look at it.”

Forget about "snake oil," this stuff is more dangerous than most snake venom. I'll let Dr. Cassandra Quave explain it:

Protest held in front of Louis DeJoy's Greensboro mansion

Enemies of democracy will find no sanctuary:

Protesters gathered for about two hours Sunday along the streets below Louis DeJoy's gated property, which overlooks the Greensboro Country Club golf course. They chanted and held signs that read: “Sabotage of the USPS is un-American” and “Save USPS," among other messages, news outlets said.

DeJoy, a Republican fundraiser and major political donor named to lead the Postal Service in May, has sparked a nationwide outcry over postal delays and cutbacks just as millions of Americans prepare to vote by mail to avoid polling places during the coronavirus pandemic.

Methinks Aldona's next dinner party might be a tad uncomfortable. It's fine to punish the peasantry, but don't bring them into the neighborhood. The same thing happened on a larger scale at his DC residence:

Insane in the Methane: Trump scraps rules on natural gas leaks

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Bad news for those concerned about climate change:

The Trump administration is scrapping limits on methane leaks, allowing oil and gas companies to decide how much of the potent greenhouse gas can escape into the atmosphere from wells, pipelines and storage tanks.

The new rules, issued Thursday by the Office of Management and Budget, effectively rescind the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate methane, the largest component of natural gas. Although it dissipates faster than carbon dioxide, methane is estimated to be at least 25 times and as much as 80 times more potent in terms of trapping heat in the atmosphere.

Just a clarification: Methane doesn't actually "dissipate," it converts to carbon dioxide after about nine years of exposure to oxygen. But during that short atmospheric life cycle, it traps heat like a bandit. Which helps trigger the dissolution of methane clathrates in the oceans and permafrost, putting even more methane into the atmosphere. It's a perfect climate change storm, and Trump is pulling all the stops out:

Notes from the Kakistocracy: DeJoy goes postal, pads his portfolio

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Better give your crime boss Trump a cut of the profits:

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy continues to hold a multimillion-dollar stake in his former company XPO Logistics, a United States Postal Service contractor, likely creating a major conflict of interest, according to newly obtained financial disclosures and ethics experts. Outside experts who spoke to CNN were shocked that ethics officials at the postal service approved this arrangement, which allows DeJoy to keep at least $30 million in XPO holdings.

Raising further alarms, on the same day in June that DeJoy divested large amounts of Amazon shares, he purchased stock options giving him the right to buy new shares of Amazon at a price much lower than their current market price, according to the disclosures.

I wouldn't even dream of trying to speculate what DeJoy's investment goals are, but XPO and Amazon had a painful divorce last year:

Coronavirus vaccine may be only 50% effective

Masks and social distancing will be with us for a while:

Scientists are hoping for a coronavirus vaccine that is at least 75% effective, but 50% or 60% effective would be acceptable, too, Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during a Q&A with the Brown University School of Public Health. “The chances of it being 98% effective is not great, which means you must never abandon the public health approach.”

Dr. Stephen Hahn, the FDA’s commissioner, said last month that the vaccine or vaccines that end up getting authorized will prove to be more than 50% effective, but it’s possible the U.S. could end up with a vaccine that, on average, reduces a person’s risk of a Covid-19 infection by just 50%. “We really felt strongly that that had to be the floor,” Hahn said on July 30, adding that it’s “been batted around among medical groups.”

I know it's depressing as hell to see this on a Monday, but the sooner we get this through our heads the better. That 50% is about the same as influenza vaccines:

Manhattan DA mentions the "F" word in Trump investigation

We're talking about Fraud, and the noose is tightening:

The Manhattan district attorney’s office suggested on Monday that it has been investigating President Trump and his company for possible bank and insurance fraud, a significantly broader inquiry than the prosecutors have acknowledged in the past.

The reports, including investigations into the president’s wealth and an article on the congressional testimony of his former lawyer and fixer, Michael D. Cohen, said that the president may have illegally inflated his net worth and the value of his properties to lenders and insurers. Lawyers for Mr. Trump have said he did nothing wrong.

"May" have? Dude lies in his sleep, of course he misled investors. With all the evil he's done, these charges might not seem very sexy. But remember how they finally brought down Al Capone. No doubt he will try to delay this investigation until after the Election (if not forever), but he can't stop us from talking about it.

Trump's EPA has been corrupt since day one

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Completely subservient to the industries it's supposed to regulate:

Not long after President Trump’s inauguration, the head of a fossil fuels industry group requested a call with the president’s transition team. The subject: Barack Obama’s requirement that oil and gas companies begin collecting data on their releases of methane. That outreach, by Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Western Energy Alliance, appeared to quickly yield the desired results.

“Looks like this will be easier than we thought,” David Kreutzer, an economist who was helping to organize the new president’s Environmental Protection Agency, wrote of canceling the methane reporting requirement in an email to another member of the transition team on Feb. 10, 2017. Three weeks after that email, the E.P.A. officially withdrew the reporting requirement — and effectively blocked the compilation of data that would allow for new regulations to control methane, a powerful climate-warming gas.

This isn't just willful ignorance (burying your head in the sand), it's a concerted effort to conceal information that's vital to the public and its institutions. Among many other things, it allows fossil fuel cheerleaders like John Hood to write glowing Op-Eds about natural gas to a public that is kept ignorant on purpose. Just as methyl mercury once was for coal, fugitive methane is the dirty secret of the natural gas industry, and Trump's kakistocracy has been working overtime to maintain that secret:

Notes from the Kakistocracy: Trump's vaccine czar won't disclose investments

Billions of taxpayer dollars and thousands of lives are at stake:

The scientist leading the Trump administration’s coronavirus vaccine program will be allowed to remain a government contractor, a decision that permits him to avoid ethics disclosures required of federal employees and maintain his investments in pharmaceutical companies.

Two prominent watchdog groups as well as some Democrats in Congress had called for the Department of Health and Human Services to require that the scientist, Dr. Moncef Slaoui, a venture capitalist and a former executive at the pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, fall under the same ethics rules as federal employees.

And why are only Democrats in Congress worried about this? Rhetorical question, we all know why. The GOP has hitched its horse to a corrupt President, and it will go wherever he tells it to. This situation is ripe for conflicts of interest, but aside from the corrupt aspects, the end goal of securing and producing a vaccine is put in jeopardy by those conflicts:

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