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166 F'n Saint

About BrickTopHarry

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  1. Current Trump administration stance is to deny any role in this. Just look at these guys, I guess this is what you get when you go bargain basement to hire mercs:
  2. BrickTopHarry

    America : Failed State The White House Has Erected a Blockade Stopping States and Hospitals From Getting Coronavirus PPE Whenever you start to think that the federal government under Donald Trump has hit a moral bottom, it finds a new way to shock and horrify. Over the last few weeks, it has started to appear as though, in addition to abandoning the states to their own devices in a time of national emergency, the federal government has effectively erected a blockade — like that which the Union used to choke off the supply chains of the Confederacy during the Civil War — to prevent delivery of critical medical equipment to states desperately in need. At the very least, federal authorities have made governors and hospital executives all around the country operate in fear that shipments of necessary supplies will be seized along the way. In a time of pandemic, having evacuated federal responsibility, the White House is functionally waging a war against state leadership and the initiative of local hospitals to secure what they need to provide sufficient treatment. Yesterday, a letter published by the New England Journal of Medicine highlighted the extraordinary measures that had to be taken to secure the delivery into Massachusetts of equipment that had been bought and paid for. The NEJM, which featured the letter in its COVID-19 Notes series, is far from a platform of partisan alarm or hysteria — it is among the most sober and high-minded professional journals in the country. It’s worth reading the correspondence, written by an executive running a small health system, at some length: In this instance, the executive managed to secure the supplies, but what is most horrifying about his account is that this experience was not all that surprising to him — he expected interference from federal officials, and did everything he could (including staging the shipment in food-service trucks to avoid detection) to get around that interference. Those measures do not seem unusual, horrifyingly enough. Last month, 3 million masks ordered by the state of Massachusetts were seized by the federal government. Last week, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that the governor of Illinois, J.B. Pritzker, was arranging secret chartered flights of supplies as a way of outmaneuvering federal interference. “The governor has clearly outlined the challenges this administration has faced as we’ve worked around the clock to purchase PPE for our health-care workers and first responders,” a spokesperson for the governor told the paper. “The supply chain has been likened to the Wild West, and once you have purchased supplies, ensuring they get to the state is another Herculean feat,” he continued. “These flights are carrying millions of masks and gloves our workers need. They’re scheduled to land in Illinois in the coming weeks and the state is working to ensure these much-needed supplies are protected and ready for distribution around the state.” A source “knowledgeable about the flights” told the paper that the governor didn’t want to be more open about the shipments “because we’ve heard reports of Trump trying to take PPE in China and when it gets to the United States.” This is not just the federal government telling states they are on their own, as it has done repeatedly over the last few weeks — a sign that the president, often thought to harbor authoritarian impulses, will invariably choose to unburden himself of responsibility even when seizing it would offer remarkable new powers — and itself a moral outrage demonstrating incredible political sadism, given that states lack the resources of the federal government to pay for this stuff. That’s in part because, in many cases, states are legally barred from deficit spending, which means in times of crisis, especially those producing huge budget shortfalls through collapsing tax revenue, they are functionally unable to respond at all. In such situations, the federal government is designed to serve as a backstop, but over and over again throughout this crisis, the White House has said states will get little to no help — that they are entirely on their own. (The federal medical stockpile isn’t meant for the states, as Jared Kushner has said, as though the country is anything more than its states.) On top of that outrage, the Feds are bidding against states who are trying to buy their own supplies, and refusing to interfere in those auctions between states, which have driven prices up by ten times or more. But while you might think that was as bad as federal management of this crisis could be, it is not. This new outrage is deeper: Even those states that are trying to manage their own resources, buying equipment themselves with incredibly scarce resources to aid in a time of crisis, are being stopped, and those resources seized on the way to delivery. You could call this piracy. You could call it sanctions. The federal government is choking supply chains to states like it chokes supply chains to Iran and North Korea. These blockades aren’t as complete as those surrounding sanctioned regimes, of course, and some amount of the disruption may be honest confusion in a time of crisis. But the disruption is being brought about by federal interference, and unlike the kind of disruptions you’d want to engineer against antagonistic states, the purpose seems completely unclear — indeed the policy is inexplicable and indefensible. Which may be one reason why no explanation has been given. We don’t know where these supplies are going. We don’t know on what grounds they are being seized, or threatened with seizure. What business do the DHS and FEMA have with ventilators and PPE purchases by governors and local hospitals? “This is like a story out of the last days of the Soviet Union,” David Frum wrote on Twitter of the NEJM letter. “This is what it means to be a failed state,” wrote the essayist Umair Haque, echoing him. In the absence of an explanation, it is hard to come to any conclusion other than that this is simply mafia government, exerting control for the sake of control, not in spite of but because of the crisis-led demand, and squeezing the American people, as they die in hospital beds and attend — with inadequate protection — to the sick and scared.
  3. BrickTopHarry

    Captain of USS Roosevelt fired.

    This continues to present a huge problem for all the world's navies: A COVID-19 outbreak on French aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle (R91) and its carrier strike group has ballooned from 50 positive cases last week to at least 668 today, with 31 service members hospitalized and one in intensive care. The French Navy (Marine Nationale) began testing suspected COVID cases on the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier on April 8 and found 40 initial cases. On April 12 that figure had risen to 50 positive tests of out the 66 total tests performed. Today, the French Navy announced it had tested 1,767 sailors from the carrier strike group, and 668 were positive for the virus. Another 530 tests results have not come back yet. The numbers are not broken down by ship, but the French Navy news release notes that “the vast majority of these tests concern sailors of the aircraft carrier,” according to a translation. At least two American sailors are among the sick on Charles de Gaulle, though neither navy has elaborated on the severity of their conditions. Four American sailors are assigned to Charles de Gaulle as part of the Navy’s Personnel Exchange Program, which fully integrates the sailors into partner nations’ crews and operations, according to a U.S. Navy news release today. Two of those four tested positive for the disease.
  4. BrickTopHarry

    Fauci got balls

  5. BrickTopHarry

    Captain of USS Roosevelt fired. A total of seven sailors aboard the hospital ship USNS Mercy have contracted COVID-19 and been removed from the ship as the remaining crew scrambles to stifle a full-blown outbreak. Navy officials would not specify where the sailors have been moved, but confirmed the crew members in close proximity to the infected sailors have since tested negative. Treatment of patients onboard Mercy, which arrived in Los Angeles on March 27, will continue as planned, officials said. The surge in confirmed cases, meanwhile, has increased concern among sailors and family members who were already skeptical about the crew’s screening process prior to embarking on Mercy or Comfort, the second of the Navy’s two mobilized hospital ships which is currently treating patients in the New York City harbor. Navy officials previously confirmed the screening process, one instituted in accordance to CDC guidance, consists only of a temperature check and “a series of questions addressing [the] member’s recent health and contact history.”
  6. BrickTopHarry

    Total Authority and No Responsibility

    I think Trump is losing it, even more than usually, because he's starting to realize the walls are closing in and he can't just bullshit his way out of this situation. Even with the curve beginning to flatten here in the U.S. (assuming it's not just due to testing limitation) there's a long time and a lot of deaths, illness and economic suffering that are going to dominate this year despite whatever reopening he may want to try to do. Between reporters starting to call him out on his bullshit to his face at his propaganda briefings, and outlets like the NY Times laying out very clearly and with documentation how badly Trump has fucked the country on Covid 19, Trump may be starting to realize that he and Fox News can't just fart out clouds of alternate reality and have it work for him anymore. Not with so many deaths and so much economic devastation. More and more people are starting to realize it didn't have to be like this. We could have saved tens of thousands of lives that are now going to be lost, we could have been like South Korea and kept our economy largely intact, we had at least a good chance to control this but a serious attempt was never made. Because it wasn't taken seriously, or just denied, or ignored with wishful thinking. His True Believers, like the right wing trolls on this board, will never move away from him or the GOP, but the fact that Democratic voters were willing to risk their lives in that Wisconsin shit show and move the needle twenty points the other direction means that people have had it with his shit, with his incompetence, with his arrogance, with his corruption, with his putting his shitty worthless family and inlaws in important positions for which they have no qualifications. His manifest refusal to do anything useful or constructive or do anything aside from acting like a petty dictator or feudal lord, pissing on Democratic governors and states, being abusive to reporters, letting Jared and his shithead fratbro friends grift off the desparate medical PPE situation. Had it with his shit enough to come out and vote and risk their lives to do so. With any luck they will still be pissed off to the same degree nationally come November. It probably means that most of the Midwest and PA are back in the Democratic column and that's enough to win the election, even with Trump hanging onto FL, OH and the South. Add in AZ, NC, FL or OH and it becomes a ridiculous blowout which I'm hoping for, and which we need, quite frankly, as a national "yeah we really fucked up electing this clown" moment.
  7. BrickTopHarry

    Captain of USS Roosevelt fired. The military's second-highest ranking officer on Thursday warned of a new coronavirus outbreak aboard the USS Nimitz, an aircraft carrier about to embark on a deployment to the Pacific as the military struggles to contain the spread of the virus that has already sidelined crewmembers from another carrier. "There's been a very small number of breakouts on the Nimitz, and we're watching that very closely," Air Force Gen. John Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters at the Pentagon on Thursday about the 5,000-member crews. He said that those sailors have "been isolated on the ship." Hyten pointed to the inherent problem of containing the spread of the virus, which causes a disease known as COVID-19, aboard a ship in which many crewmembers share quarters, sometimes with as many as two dozen sleeping in bunks in one room. Not enough local hotel space exists in Bremerton, Washington, where the ship is based, for its commanders to quarantine crew members, so they're attempting to isolate them on board, the general said.
  8. BrickTopHarry

    US ranked #1 to best deal with a disease outbreak

    Crazy coinfection season we're having, eh? I hate it every spring when coinfections fill up the ICUs and hospitals of NYC, NOLA and Detroit and bodies have to be taken away in refrigerated trucks.
  9. BrickTopHarry

    US ranked #1 to best deal with a disease outbreak

    Crazy cardiac arrest season we're having this spring.
  10. BrickTopHarry

    Captain of USS Roosevelt fired.

    I didn't check but as an O-6 carrier skipper I'd be shocked if he didn't have at least 20 years in already. And yeah, either way, he'd do fine in the private sector. Edit: Yeah, he was class of '92 from USNA.
  11. BrickTopHarry

    Captain of USS Roosevelt fired.

    The Emperor has already declared that he shouldn't have been an Ernest Hemingway, so no. If he manages to stay in long enough to see a new President his career may not be entirely finished but it probably is. I don't know if there's much precedent for a C.O. who's been relieved of a command successfully continuing their career or being advanced after a change of the Palace Guard.