No, Jared Is Not Going “To Get Us All Killed”, But He Shows The Value Of Familial Distancing In A Pandemic

The New York Times ran a column this morning with the sensational headline “Jared Kushner Is Going To Get Us All Killed.” The sudden appearance of Kushner as a main player in the task force on the Covid-19 was highlighted with his appearance at yesterday’s press conference. He was preceded by a formal thank you to Ivanka Trump for her efforts. While many have criticized statements made by Kushner in the press conference, I thought his points were well taken like noting that some mayors and governors have failed in this crisis while others have excelled. Nevertheless, I have been a critic of the inclusion of Kushner and Ivanka Trump on the White House staff since it was announced because it is a form of raw nepotism. (See here, here, and here and here) I have also been a long critic of such nepotism by members of Congress. The sudden thrusting of the two to the forefront of this crisis is remarkably harmful to the Administration and its efforts. I have been highly impressed, and relieved, by the superb team assembled by the task force. I believe that they have been doing an outstanding job.

For that reason, I have no idea why it was necessary to suddenly put the President’s family into the mix and rekindle the long controversy over nepotism. With some polls showing the majority of the public opposed to the White House response, this was a critical press conference where impressive data was to be disclosed on the federal distribution of essential materials. Rather than ride that possible news, Trump threw Kushner into the mix and his role promptly washed out the coverage on the success of the task force.

The column by Michele Goldberg runs through the long list of criticism over Kushner and his history in business. His critics insist that he has had a series of colossal failures before joining the White House and continued that record with such disasters as his Middle East peace plan. However, there is little reason to believe that he will endanger anyone on the task force. His comments seemed to be well-informed and focused on the issues. Some criticism that he showed a lack of knowledge, like not understanding how a federal stockpile works, are unfair and exaggerated. That does not mean that I believe this was a wise move. It is not. It was wrong for John F. Kennedy to appoint his brother at Attorney General and wrong for Bill Clinton to make Hillary Clinton the head of the health care task force. Those wrongs do not make this right. Just as I opposed the inclusion of any family member on the White House staff (a position I have held for decades in writing against nepotism in Washington), I think his inclusion on a pandemic task force magnifies those problems (and political costs) a hundred fold.

The weird aspect to all of this is the timing. President Trump has assembled an amazing team of top experts in medicine, emergency relief, and transportation. Critics have had to acknowledge the strength of that team. I still do not believe that this task force has been given sufficient credit for its work in this crisis. Yet, the fruits of that work are now appearing as resources ramp up across the country. Then the White House decided to inject this controversy into the mix — inviting cries of objections over family connections trumping expertise on a crisis where thousands may die. Why?

The column captures the tsunami of objections this morning well:

“The president was reportedly furious over the website debacle, but Kushner’s authority hasn’t been curbed. Politico reported that Kushner, “alongside a kitchen cabinet of outside experts including his former roommate and a suite of McKinsey consultants, has taken charge of the most important challenges facing the federal government,” including the production and distribution of medical supplies and the expansion of testing. Kushner has embedded his own people in the Federal Emergency Management Agency; a senior official described them to The Times as “a ‘frat party’ that descended from a U.F.O. and invaded the federal government.'”

Those concerns are not confined to anti-Trump critics. There is a legitimate reason to be discomforted by the appearance of the President’s son-in-law in such a key position. With projections of up to 240,000 deaths coming from the White House, the public wants to see people at the helm who are the top of their fields — relevant fields to this pandemic.

If this makes no management sense, it makes even less political sense. When the Administration is winning over some critics in aspects of its pandemic response, it decided to create a new and easy target for criticism. Critics can now spread doubt over the basis for the President’s decisions. Whatever position Kushner holds (and that remains undefined), he described making high level calls and directives on resources that could make the difference of life and death for thousands.

While I have opposed his appointment to the staff on nepotism grounds, I have never joined critics in attacking Kushner’s intelligence or background. I have never met him and many accounts of his past often seem highly biased, if not rabid. He clearly has had some success in life. However, at the time of one of our greatest challenges as a nation, the President owes it to the public to show that he is bringing in people who are the very best of their fields based entirely on their records, not their family associations.

This is why in a pandemic it is essential to engage in familial distancing in the management of the crisis.

270 thoughts on “No, Jared Is Not Going “To Get Us All Killed”, But He Shows The Value Of Familial Distancing In A Pandemic”

  1. I agree it was remarkably poor judgment to put Jared out there. Seriously. Not a super stable genius move.

    As for nepotism, it’s not always wrong. When people are qualified as far as I’m concerned it’s ok. I think RFK did a decent job as AG. It was a delicate time and JFK needed someone he could trust. J Edgar was in denial about the mafia’s interstate activities. Why? Was it because the mafia had “kompromat” on J Edgar? Made men have claimed exactly that. Namely, Michael Franceze.

    here is an article I found about RFK’s tenure as AG and it was very positive. I can’t agree with each and every point, but seems to me history has proven his worth in that role.

    back to Jared. I question his loyalty, not to the President as a father in law, nor a person, but to the President’s agenda which brought him to office. Jared is too close to powerful financial interests which need a spanking. That’s my opinion of Jared right now and this presser does not really help.

    Jared was also the one who backstabbed Steve Bannon. Steve Bannon has been on top of the pandemic since day one. OUTSIDE the adminstration where Jared put him. I say FIRE Jared from any role in this whatsoever.

    1. I think RFK did a decent job as AG.

      You’re not doing much thinking when you make remarks like that.

      1. I was thinking very clearly. I gave a precise reason you should be wise enough to acknowledge but maybe you didn’t read what i said. J Edgar was in denial about interstate criminal activities of the mafia. RFK helped correct that. You can look it up if you’re not familiar with the facts about that. If you want a bibliography I suspect you can generate a fine one on your own. If other people want to me to elaborate they can say so.

        1. By the time of the Apalachin conference, it was clear Hoover’s thesis was buncombe. That would have been in 1957, three years before RFK’s appointment. RFK as a staff counsel to a congressional committee did expose dirty dealings at the Teamster’s union, but David Beck wasn’t enmeshed with the mob the way Jimmy Hoffa was.

          1. I think you get my drift.

            this is from Professor G Robert Blakey’s wiki.

            “Under the close supervision of Senator John Little McClellan, the Chairman of the Committee for which he worked, Blakey drafted the “RICO Act,” Title IX of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, signed into law by Richard M. Nixon.[1] While in law school, Blakey edited a student note on the unsuccessful prosecution of attendees at the Apalachin Meeting, which first sparked his interest in organized crime; he also wrote a note that analyzed civil liberties in the union movement.[5] In 1960, after law school, Blakey joined the United States Department of Justice under its Honor Program, and he became a Special Attorney in the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section of the Criminal Division of the Department. After Robert F. Kennedy became Attorney General, the Department began a major effort to bring criminal prosecutions against organized crime members, corrupt political figures, and faithless union officials. The Section assigned Blakey to the effort.[6] He remained at Justice until 1964, leaving the summer after the November 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy.[1]

            Subsequently, numerous states passed racketeering legislation with Blakey’s assistance modeled on the federal statute. In addition, under the close supervision of McClellan, Blakey also drafted Title III on wiretapping of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968. Numerous states, too, have wiretapping legislation modeled on the federal statute, and Blakey aided in those efforts.”

          2. Absurd, my grandfather worked for Hoover, a special agent, clandestine. I got the FOIA, waited 2.5 years, and its sh!t. Okay, let me, I’m being reactionary. I wanted the intel on the plane crash. He died at 48 yo, with 2 other former FBI agents. A military fighter jet allegedly came down on top of them and ripped the tail and wing off. The 3 former FBI agents started an “Insurance Co.” Together in FL. So, they were on their private company jet when the military plane hit them.

            I smell something fishy. I could be wrong. But nothing from the FOIA. 🤔😒

            I have plenty of time, so ill get info eventually if there is a missing piece of the story. I’m very patient….ill sit on it for years if i have to. 😁

            1. I also FOIA-ed Arlington county on a different issue, but ive let that one go. That FOIA was better, but not great. 🤔😒

              You know, I’m not really sure how good FOIA’s actually are…

    2. Kurtz, yesterday you were celebrating an anticipated end to “globalization”. Here is a column by the always smart Fareed Zacharia on that subject. We still live on a shrinking globe and will not escape the consequences of a leaderless world in another great depression. In my opinion, this is at least as important as any other domestic reasons for getting Trump out of office and the US reclaiming it’s world citizenship and leadership. Anything else is a fantasy about returning to a past that can no longer exist.

      “Even as we are just beginning to confront the magnitude of the shock caused by the covid-19 pandemic, we need to wrap our minds around a painful truth. We are in the early stages of what is going to become a series of cascading crises, reverberating throughout the world. And we will not be able to get back to anything resembling normal life unless the major powers can find some way to cooperate and manage these problems together.

      The first phase has been the health-care crisis in the world’s major economies. The next phase is the economic paralysis, the magnitude of which we are only just beginning to comprehend. In just the past two weeks, the United States lost some 10 million jobs, exceeding the 8.8 million total jobs lost over 106 weeks during the 2008-2010 recession. But this is only the beginning.

      Next up will surely be the danger of countries defaulting. Italy entered the crisis with the highest level of public debt of the euro-zone countries, and the third-highest in the world. The country’s debt will skyrocket as it spends money to combat the economic fallout from covid-19. Italy has the third largest economy in Europe, but it is only one of many European countries that will face a fiscal breakdown. And this will happen at a time when Europe’s most dynamic economies, which often provide the money and guarantees for bailouts and support mechanisms, are themselves underwater. Germany, which has not had a full-blown recession in some 40 quarters, now expects its economy to contract by 5 percent this year.

      Next come the explosions in the developing world. So far, the numbers of infected have been low in countries such as India, Brazil, Nigeria and Indonesia. The likely reason is that those countries are less linked by trade and travel than the advanced world. These countries have also tested very few people, which is keeping their numbers artificially low. But unless we get lucky, and it turns out that heat does temper the virus, these countries will all get hit — and hard. All of them are cash-strapped, and the loss of tax revenue, combined with the need for large new subsidies, could easily tip them into their own versions of the Great Depression.

      And then there are the oil states. Even if the quarrel between Saudi Arabia and Russia gets resolved, at this point, demand for oil has collapsed and will not soon recover. An industry insider told me his firm is forecasting that oil will likely drop to $10 per barrel and stay there. Consider what this means for countries such as Libya, Nigeria, Iran, Iraq or Venezuela, where oil revenue makes up the vast majority of government revenue (often of the entire economy) — but they make a profit on oil sales only at prices of more than $60 a barrel. Expect political turmoil, refugees, even revolutions, on a scale we have not seen for decades — not since the last phase of $10 oil, when the Soviet Union collapsed.

      The world has entered this pandemic with two challenges. It is awash in debt — government and private. With a total global gross domestic product of $90 trillion, public and private debt add up to $260 trillion. The world’s two leading economies, the United States and China, have debt-to-GDP ratios of 210 percent and 310 percent, respectively. This would be more manageable if not for the second challenge. This crisis is occurring at a time when global cooperation has collapsed and the traditional leader and organizer of such efforts, the United States, has abandoned that role entirely.

      Last month, the Group of Seven meeting was not even able to issue a joint statement because the United States refused to sign anything that did not label the disease as the “Wuhan virus” — a dispute that sounds like something out of high school. The centerpiece of any global effort would have to be close cooperation between the United States and China. Instead, the relationship is in free fall, with each side deflecting blame on itself by blaming the other. The follow-up Group of 20 gathering was also a dud. Even the European Union has been late to recognize the seriousness and scale of the pandemic. A rash statement by the head of the European Central Bank caused Italy’s worst stock market crash in the country’s history.

      What would be achieved by greater global cooperation? Since so much of the containment strategy involves travel, it would be far more effective if travel bans and advisories were coordinated. During the 2008-2009 recession, central banks and governments worked with each other, helping to contain and dampen financial contagion. Without some assistance and coordinated effort, countries such as Iraq and Nigeria will explode, which will likely mean the spread of refugees, disease and terrorism beyond their borders. If the richest countries pool funds and share information, that will speed up the arrival of treatments and vaccines. And when the time comes to reopen economies, coordinated action — on trade and travel for instance — would give us all the biggest bang for our buck.

      The problem we face is broad and global but, unfortunately, the responses are increasingly narrow and parochial.”

      1. Book, we could now be entering the real 21st Century: ‘A period of neverending disasters’. Climate Change and Pandemics could keep hammering civilization for decades to come.

        It’s frightening to think that a big natural disaster, on top of this pandemic, could deliver a body blow to the U.S. Treasury.

        1. “we could now be entering the real 21st Century: ‘A period of neverending disasters’. Climate Change and Pandemics could keep hammering civilization for decades to come.”

          What a weenie. I don’t think this weenie couldn’t have survived long but for his luck in existing in a wealthy and peaceful America during most of his lifetime.

      2. Book,

        Zakaria is right that we are at the outset of a series of cascading crises. He is also right that there is a need for cooperation between nations. There are various other things that you said which are certainly relevant concerns.

        He and perhaps you, overstate the case a bit, by the implicit notion that “cooperation” can’t coexist with strong nationalism and leadership from America acting decisively and dragging some other laggards along with it. However, it remains to be seen if that will happen.

        Is China going to “cooperate” with other nations at this time? Certainly not in the South China sea were they are stepping up their belligerent activities. The “cooperation” that is needed against China now is mostly just military and trade coordination with regional allies such as Philippines and emerging partners such as Vietnam. “cooperation” is going to necessarily include a certain amount of conflict.

        I trust Trump for pressuring the Chinese PRC government in many constructive ways, without getting us into a full out war with them. But if they want a bite at that apple, I also trust Trump will act decisively, yet proportionately. He has an odd style, sometimes he makes mistakes, but on the net the situation vis a vis China is stronger than it was before, after decades of coddling the PRC and CCP by Republican and Democrat presidents alike.

        I am not so sure I trust Joe Biden with that level of command presence. I think Joe is getting old and his advisors will have too much pull over him if he takes the helm due to his aging. Trump has a strong hand on the helm and that’s a necessity in conflict with the PRC. I think Obama was headed in the right direction with his “pivot to Asia” but things got muddled under Hillary. I absolutely mistrust Hillary where the PRC is concerned and I fear she continues to wield an undue influence in Democratic leadership circles.

        There is a big difference in the way that Democrats and Republicans have seen Russia and China. Obviously Democrats have been very exercised over Russia and its mischief. I would contend however, that if you look at the relative size of the Chinese economy, compared to the Russian; and if you look at the importance of navigation in the South China sea to American strategic interests, compared to the lesser importance of whatever Russia is up to doing, it should be clear that PRC expansionist interests present a larger long term danger to the US. It was my thinking, and I am a nobody, but it was my thinking that Russia should be enlisted to contain Chinese expansion. Just as under Nixon China was used to contain Russian expansionism. And that antagonizing Russia was long term short sighted. But I know this viewpoint is routinely dismissed and derided. I continue to hold it anyways.

        And I don’t want to get into fencing over words, but “world citizenship” is not the language of realpolitik. It is a fanciful notion pushed by NGOs and UN agencies. there is no world state and none is coming any time soon. Let’s focus on national cooperation, absolutely, but not invent things that don’t exist and pin our hopes on them. That’s my suggestion in reply to your thoughtful comment.

        1. Kurtz, the history of nations pursuing nationalism, let alone cultural and racial purity as some here advocate for – you among them – is not good, to be much too generous. Do I have even have to recount it? That is what the history of humans since nation states has been dominated by and it is only in the last 70 years that we have broken from that and with spectacularly positive results. Again, do I even have to recount them? Beyond keeping the peace – on a per capita basis humans across the world, with a few exceptions in hots spots like Syria and previously Iraq are now much less likely to die at the hands of another human, whether that be in a war, from a neighboring tribesman, or even during a crime. International wealth is at an all time high, and that includes in the developed world, as is longevity, absence of famine and starvation, and health. World peace is not a far off dream but a reality for almost all humans. We could say that is at least partly due to a nuclear stalemate, but if so, we’ll take it.

          Why kick over this apple cart for some romantic (and possibly racist) vision of the good old days?

          Trump has been a complete failure at international leadership, and possibly by ignorant design. He does not play well with others and has managed to alienate our democratic allies while not really gaining anything of lasting signifigance from the various dictators either – some enemies and others he sucks up to. You mentioned China’s possible attempts at dominance in it’s region and should also note Trump’s killing the TPC which Obama put together and which is now a functioning and powerful trade alliance. With our participation it would have been significantly stronger and to our benefit and to China’s disadvantage. Almost anyone could do better than Trump, and if they have to prop up Biden, his appointed advisers would be world class compared the toadies and 3rd level yes men Trump is down to.

          My wife calling for dinner.

          1. “cultural and racial purity as some here advocate for (you)”

            I have never explicitly said there should be either cultural nor racial purity in a nation.

            I have no problem with nations that have a high level of cultural or ethnic or racial homogeneaity such as Japan for example. I think they are lucky and have a lot of unity that we lack. However, in some instances, “diversity” can be an advantage.That was not the subject of any of my recent comments however.

            Trump’s version of nationalism is not the slightest bit racist. It IS very nativist. And it is not anti-white or anti-European. It might be fair to call it implicitly pro white, although I know some racists who have hotly denied that Trump is “Racial” at all. But again that was not the thrust of my comments either way.

            My comments were pretty much just about globalism and internationalism, versus nationalism.

            Nationalism can exist in a racially mixed society. It IS possible. Singaporeans, who live in a small majority Chinese city-state national enclave which was carved off from Malaysia, have a strong “Singaporean” identity which is explicitly not-just-Chinese. There is more than one official language and a whole host of laws designed to make the Malay minority and other ethnics feel comfortable. But they have a strong independent national identity and policy.

            It is also different say than that of another nearby and comparable enclave of sorts, Hong Kong, which is thoroughly Chinese, in spite of a century’s worth of white Anglos living and doing business there.

            China as in the PRC itself is Han majority but it encompasses many different ethnicities and even some racial diversity, too, going from west to east. It is certainly Han dominant and the CCP rather tries to hide the racial-ethnic favoritism in favor of the Han Chinese, against say the disfavored Uighurs for example, but it too has a very strong and independent national direction.

            Why can’t America have one too? Do we have to go to the UN for approval of our strategies, do we have to get the EU to sign off on things, do the Israelis or the Saudis have a veto power in Congress? No.

            I favor cooperation with foreign nations, but I also support Trump’s America first orientation.

            Certainly there are times of opportunity for more cooperation and times of necessity. The Covid-19 may present certain necessities of cooperation. And we have seen certain failings. I think a big failing was the failure to reveal the extent of the problem emerging in the PRC which was the choice of the PRC. The WHO has sucked up to them too much and revealed itself increasingly irrelevant to how we manage it here. I certainly hope Trump will cooperate with our foreign allies, partners, and even our adversaries like the PRC, to contain the virus here and around the world, but I don’t want him to take any pointers from “Tedros” on the matter. Not one!

            “Almost anyone could do better than Trump, and if they have to prop up Biden, his appointed advisers would be world class compared the toadies and 3rd level yes men Trump is down to.”

            Well, I don’t think so, and your statement is very over-broad, but maybe we will all find out about Biden soon enough.

            I am not sure if I fear, or hope, that the Democrats will let Joe off the hook and find a better placetaker for POTUS candidate at the convention. In whatever shape that convention takes. That’s sure to be an interesting development. We will see.

            1. I’ll give you a clear example of how and why Trumpian nationalism is not racist, even if it is implicitly pro=white. Which some dispute, but let’s take it arguendo.

              Trump’s policies prior to the disease crisis, had raised employment among native born black Americans. This is factual, whatever the perceived existing inequities that remained. The policy of restricting low wage illegal immigration was explicitly understood by many economists and policymakers as something that would almost certainly benefit black Americans that have comparatively lower levels of education. In other words, it very much was wanted, expected, and it did materialize to some extent.

              Now do you seriously think Trump ever said, hey, wait a second,. if we restrict illegal immigration, that will help native born blacks, so um, maybe we shouldn’t do it? Of course not. He and they full well knew and wanted this benefit to materialize.

              Now you might argue that it benefits whites as much or more, ok. Maybe or maybe not. But there was not questioning the policy out of some sense of hateful racial animus towards blacks.

              This is how nationalism can operate for the benefit of all in a racially diverse country like America. We are in this boat together like it or not. I have to say yes sometimes I don’t like it. I don’t like inner city Detroit and I feel it’s mess is a combination of bad leadership by its black politicians and the criminal element which they pander to. Some people would say my attitude is racist. Perhaps it is or perhaps not. But, I don’t wish for black people to suffer in Detroit. I wish them well, I am wiling to see part of my federal tax dollars diverted up there to help pay for the free school lunches that we were talking about earlier so little black kids don’t suffer from malnutrition in Detroit.

              There are various other sorts of examples which might be elaborated but you get the idea. The idea is nationalism. It CAN operate in a racially mixed society even if theoretically it operates more effectively in a homogenous society such as Spain, lets say. I would ask for people to consider this possibility before they rush to embrace globalism and internationalism as some sort of panacea for racial problems.

              Moreover, and here I may begin to sound a little Marxist, sorry for that, but I would contend that globalism, is in part a movement designed by well paid and clever men to encourage the migration of the third world to the first, precisely to depress wages in the first world, and to ease the difficulties of the third world, which can give rise to nationalist movements in the third world which may impair the operations of global corporations in extracting resources from the third world smoothly. In other words, attacking “nationalism” and “populism” is intended by its advocates not just to suppress whitey in America, who is not that politically signficant, but more so to suppress nationalism in backwaters which may be increasingly important to global corporate operations.

              In this last point I would point to Arab nationalism of the style of Gamel Nasser as a form of socialist nationalism which resisted global corporate efforts to open markets in the countries which adopted it. Such as where? Hmmm… Iraq and Syria and Libya, perhaps? And are global corporations more free to do business in those places today than they were 20 years ago? well, in Iraq and Libya, for sure!

              Sometimes international organizations, NGOs, etc and their operations, are a mask for corporate penetration of new markets. I realize I may begin to sound like a Russian bot here now but perhaps that is sometimes true even if it’s our adversaries who say so.

              1. Anyways this is what Steve Bannon calls “economic nationalism” and it is very real thing. Some criticize him and say it’s a smokescreen for racism but Bannon has clearly repudiated racial nationalism on many occasions. I think he is sincere and i have elaborated the rationale for where he is trying to go with it. The nationalism of which he speaks is not to marginalize ethnic minorities it is rather to empower the nation=state against a global new world order of free trade and the free movement of labor, which he perceived to benefit global elites more than nations themselves and their citizens, an order which is now very much on the ebb and not the flow. For whatever reasons. Borders, for example, have recently made a big comeback, and for good reason.


                  The U.S. must protect its citizens from disease while starting the urgent work of planning for a new epoch.”

                  I just found this tonight after I wrote all that other stuff.

                  Actually it’s not Kissinger who is influenced by me a nobody, obviously, I have been influenced by him. It’s not great minds thinking alike, it’s my small mind being influenced by him, indirectly, over the decades, and all the others who appreciate his thinking and actions over the years.’

                  Which in turn I would claim was influenced by Carl Schmitt, though I don’t know if Kissinger ever credited him for it.

                  I havent read it yet, behind the paywall, have to look at the paper when i get home or maybe in tomorrow’s.

                  1. Mr. K, Henry the “K” should be well versed in the preemptive first strike scenario. Looks like China fooled even Henry and rather than a nuclear first strike, China went bio and relatively innocuously – mimicking a neutron munition with only a mild virus. It remains to be seen now who wins the “recovery.”

                    China executed the preemptive “first strike” of World War III.

                    China, through dictatorship, has survived having brutally forced its population, in Lincolnesque fashion, to react to the “outbreak” and to turn hard toward “first recovery” of its economy and military.

                    The only question that remains is whether the West, under one man, one vote democrazy, will recover at all or retaliate.

                    1. I see a letter on from Kissinger to Hoover. Maybe the CIA has a FOIA process and old records on deceased ppl. Perhaps, the FBI FOIA is not as good as the CIA FOIA. Or even FOIA of the military.

                  2. Kurtz, thanks for the long reply.

                    You did not discuss the murderous history of nationalism, and in the last century especially, or really what benefit it holds long term, nor the obvious advances of the last 70 years under an umbrella of world peace and globalism Simply put, there will be increased internatlonal cooperation or we will melt or blow up our civilization. A world economy is the best way to cement humans in common interests as well as the most productive approach to the future economically. We’ve seen it. Trump nationalism is a fantasy of turning back the clock and has been ineffective to destructive.We have seen that too.

                    Japan has been a well disciplined culture noted for it’s success in ripping off and copying other cultures.

                    US blacks employment rate – like for other Americans – grew more quickly in Obama’s last 2 years than Trump’s 1st 2 and demonstrates that the only benefit to the already growing economy he inherited was a deficit producing short term stimulus bill who’s effect was short lived. Trump promised 3-4% growth and under him so far we have had 1 quarter just barely above 3% and before the virus hit, predictions for stagnation to a recession ahead. Net immigration has been negative to low since the early oughts and the biggest question has been the approx 12 million illegals who live here full time. Their being illegal depresses wages at the lower end, and therefore for many blacks. The 2013 bi-partisan immigration bill, which began to address this problem, passed the Senate and was kept from a vote – the votes were there to pass it – by Boehner under the Hastert Rule. Trump’s immigration is xenophobic grand standing, not a serious attempt at fixing anything.

                    You have not cited any Trump wins internationally. He’s in over his head and is floundering on the illusion that he’s a great deal maker – name one? He’s done his best to destroy our alliances with fellow democracies around the world, killed our entry into the TPC which Obama produced as a serious counter balance to Chinese economic hegemony in the region (and which is working without out our participation) while sucking up without advantage to some dictator’s while recklessly stirring the pot with others to no positive effect. As I noted, as in other parts of the administration, anyone of international experience who was not a 3rd tier yes man is long gone and we have our amateur leader and his fellow daddy-made-man son-in-law pretending to steer the ship.

                    Your primary mistake – apart from a romantic fixation on a past we can’t reclaim or should even want to – is taking Trump seriously. He’s not a serious person. He neither reads, listens, or cares what the facts are. He’s gotten through life on BS and self promotion, and there is every reason to believe he’s hiding his finances because he was bailed out in the oughts by one last reckless bank and Russian olgarches in bed with Putin. Why would anyone think he has any serious policy positions, let alone smart ones?

      3. We still live on a shrinking globe and will not escape the consequences of a leaderless world in another great depression. In my opinion, this is at least as important as any other domestic reasons for getting Trump out of office and the US reclaiming it’s world citizenship and leadership. Anything else is a fantasy about returning to a past that can no longer exist.

        Thanks for the load of cliches. Been an education.

    3. Kurtz, last night on yesterday’s column, “Texas Man– , someone stole your identity to post an epic length article from some Catholic journal. I logged a note to Darren questioning if that was ‘your’ post. But he deleted my note and left the post in place.

      1. But he deleted my note and left the post in place.

        thanks for the chuckle Peter.

        Darren, your reward is in Heaven

    4. “I agree it was remarkably poor judgment to put Jared out there. ”

      Kurtz, there is a very wide range of opinion regarding Covid-19 and locking things down which might have economic consequences worse than the virus. There is a huge amount of anxiety and hysteria mixed with politics… very dangerous. The people influencing the President have strong opinions. I believe those that have the most moral authority are on the medical side of the equation, physicians, epidemiologists and researchers, They are generally conservative thinkers regarding life and death without IMO the necessary concern for the economic situation we have put ourselves into.

      Regarding Jarad’s appointment, I would not substitute anyone’s judgement for that of the President. He needs certain types of advice and he needs it from a person he understands and trusts.

  2. I got as far as New York Times and then went to leave a reply. No time to waste on that Marxist Leninist PCrap no matter what name they are hiding behind this time. Now a quote from some real Citizens and Constitutionalists would be welcome. Such as the need for a tit for tat system allowing impeachment filings against the Pelosians and Schumerites. Seems like complainants from FIFTEEN States should be enough through iniative from the citizens, a recall vote or a vote from the State legislature.

    Did we used to have that? Yes but then along came Woodrow Wilson and regressively dismantled the checks and balances system.

  3. Turley claims not to have any idea why little Jared is now on the task force. Really? If you have been paying attention to Trump, Turley, you’d know that everything in his universe revolves around him: attention, adulation, making him look good, making him look successful, making him look in charge. Now, you have this deadly virus that Trumpy Bear can’t control, and that he can’t lie his way around, even though he has tried. And, you have doctors from the CDC who contradict Trumpy Bear when he says that we’ll have a virus “very soon”, and that we have a “game changing” medication treatment. Dr. Fauci is supposed to stand there while Trumpy Bear calls the State Department the “Deep State Department”, and act like this is acceptable conduct during a deadly health crisis. The news on COVID-19 keeps getting worse, Trumpy Bear has to have someone out there he can control and rely on to cover for him and his incompetence, like Kellyanne, who’ll tell virtually any lie needed, like the whopper she and Kudlow told a couple of weeks ago, that COVID-19 is “contained”. Kellyanne has virtually no credibility any more, so it has to be Jared. If he sent equally-incompetent bottle blondie out there, people would laugh in her face, and mock her with cartoons on the editorial pages of newspapers, and she will be the laughingstock the rest of her life, so it has to be Jared.

    Jared has a lousy track record in business, and virtually NO knowledge or experience in the areas of medicine, epidemiology, logistics, federal law, or anything else useful to this COVID-19 pandemic. He is a nothing but a cover for Trumpy Bear, to deflect criticism and put out the story Kellyanne and Trump have come up with. Because he has nothing to contribute that is beneficial to Americans, and because he’s just there to make Trump look good, Ms. Goldberg may well be right. There are any number of qualified physicians, nurses, epidemiologists, logistics experts and others who could be helpful, but Trump can’t control them. This isn’t about America–it’s all about Trump. Whatever cover lies Jared tells could well result in deaths, just like Trump’s lies have. Why do Trump and Pence even show up? Free campaign publicity. Trumpy Bear even brags about his ratings while people are dying every single day from a pandemic he played down.

    Meanwhile, in other news, epidemiologists have no idea where the projections for the number of deaths that Trump puts out there have come from. Experts claim it is way higher than any model they ever came up with. Dr. Birx has no answer either, she hems and haws around about adjusting the numbers based on experience, but I think I know, It’s an old trial lawyer’s trick: you get a good offer to settle a case for an amount that you know the client will accept, so you call the client and get them to agree to a lower number. Then, after a few hours or a few days, call back with the higher number, claiming you beat up the other side and made them pay more, and voila! you are now a hero. That is exactly what Trump is doing. He knows the numbers he is claiming are exaggerated, and that the actual rates will probably be much lower, so if that’s how it turns out, he’ll be the big hero for saving lives. If it doesn’t, well, at least he wasn’t wrong. He praises himself every singe day for doing a good job, A+. All about him.

    Once you understand how a malignant narcissist works, everything he does is easy to understand and even predictable .

    1. Natacha shows up to urinate all over Trump as she does every day, Obsessively hateful and malignant language.

      It undermines certain correct observations in her otherwise obnoxious post—

      Namely that Jared lacks proper qualifications for any role in this thing.

      1. Jared is indubitably there as the President’s eyes and ears, and as someone with experience in running things. Those are his qualifications.

        1. Maybe so but is he undermining VP Pence who had an official role. I think he is.

          Turley suggested it before and I think so now more than ever.

          Jared has a “lean and hungry look” like Yon Cassius. I think he has an eye on future prospects. He probably sees Pence as a rival and wants to stab him in the back like he has others. Oh such as Chris Christie another competent helper who volunteered useful assistance to Trump but Jared stabbed in the back.

          1. Wait. Who was elected President? You or President Donald J. Trump. You are insubordinate of the Constitution. Any one of 150 million people could be President but they’re not. Would you trust your relatives? Exactly whom would you trust? Perhaps President Trump would do better to hire Valerie Jarrett as his trusted aid.

            Please cite where “nepotism” is precluded by the Constitution.

  4. While I can understand the keeping of an inner circle of trusted confidants by a President suffering from the most leaks, backstabbing, expose book deals, unlawful unmasking, etc by those around him as would make Brutus blush, those positions should not be those that require particular expertise. President Trump’s family are a trusted sounding board that he needs. The question is when does it rise above that, and what would the consequences be.

    The CDC flubbed its core responsibility. It produced an inaccurate test that should never have graduated QC testing. That test ran about 12 samples a day. The combination of low throughput, and pulling the test back to rework it, resulted in a hopeless backlog, until private industry stepped in. That is a burn that caused a deep wound to our response to this pandemic.

    It may be that because of this, President Trump does not trust government agencies to handle this crisis effectively. That’s what the task force is for. I quite like Dr Birx, and find her press conferences informative. I like Dr Fauci, as well, but believe his insistence that masks don’t help to really be an effort to stop private citizens from hogging supplies needed by health care professionals. Of course masks, when worn properly, help. That’s why health care providers so badly need them, and why nurses threaten to strike when supplies run low.

    VP Mike Pence is already on the task force. He already has someone he should trust on the team to ensure they get everything they need, and to report back if it gets mired in bureaucracy, red tape, or the slogging pace that accomplishes nothing that so much of government suffers from.

    So why put Jared Kushner there? My first thought is that he wants an unfiltered account of what goes on. Or perhaps he doesn’t trust the task force to run smoothly. Perhaps he thinks that the task force will fail like the CDC did, and wants his own man, whose loyalty is without question, in the room. There are consultants who step into companies, having no expertise at all on their particular industry, but their niche is improving work flow and logistics, or pushing up profits. There is a place for that kind of expertise. I am not convinced that Kushner would be the man to bring it, as there are logistical issues particular to epidemics.

    Jobs are often about connections. You meet the right people. Starting at college, students are advised to form connections and friendships, find mentors. Get a network. When a company re-orgs or is bought out, those lines are tugged on hard. I expect friends and relatives of important people to be well connected, and therefore come across opportunities. The problem is when it become pay to play, or when singularly unqualified people land positions they are unsuited for.

    Absolutely, we need to stop the long process of companies or foreign governments buying favor through employing unqualified relatives or friends of officials. Absolutely, we need people to be employed based on qualifications rather than blood.

    Why was VP Pence put on a pandemic task force? Why Kushner? Was it to escalate requests to ensure they have everything they need? Ensure there is not another catastrophic failure like the CDC? To listen in and ensure it does not become yet another attempt to use a crisis to strike at Caesar? Show how seriously it is taken by having the 2nd in Command head it?

    It’s not pay-to-play, obviously. It seems more about mistrust. From what little I know, it appears that Kushner’s appointment would create more problems than it solves.

      1. I’ve had to add “I’m glad Mike Pence is actually in charge” to the unlikely things the Trump presidency has compelled me to think. Rounding out the top three: “I’d vote for Joe Biden” and “At least John Bolton will be in the room with the North Koreans.”

      2. Kurtz – yeah, I agree that Kushner makes no sense in that position. And his placement is causing unnecessary problems during a pandemic, when the government is already shaky.

        Our military, police, fire, and medical personnel are getting sick. Now is not the time to add even a hint of instability to the teetering load. I am concerned at the country’s vulnerability to bad actors right now.

        1. Our military, police, fire, and medical personnel are getting sick.

          I can see medical personnel being vulnerable. That’s an unavoidable risk of treating infectious disease. Where is the evidence that soldiers, police, and firefighters are more likely to be ill than anyone else out and about? (And what the blazes does this have to do with whether or not Jared Kushner can do his job?).

  5. “Yet, the fruits of that work are now appearing as resources ramp up across the country. ” – Really? Where did you hear this? Fox? Or did the backup president tell you that?

    1. FEMA rolled out 9.4 million masks to hospitals this week as part of the Supply Chain Stabilization Task Force. They are working on getting the 1.5 million expired N95s in BP stockpile. They have coordinated with private industry to make more ventilators and masks. This is important as the Swift ventilator company has triaged its customers’ needs, and the US is down on the list. The FDA recently approved two related drugs to treat Covid-19.

      The Task Force’s job is to guide the government’s response to the Pandemic.


    The Secretary of the Navy on Thursday offered more details into his decision in relieving the commander…there was a “proper way of

    handling” his concerns.

    “The letter was sent over non-secure, unclassified email even…”

    Hillary Clinton used a non-secure server to send “…classified material…” to addresses which included that of the pseudonymous account

    of Obama.

    If James Comey had prosecuted Hillary, he would have convicted Obama.

    The law does not apply to core members of the Deep Deep State.

  7. Michele Obama wasted millions of dollars sticking her fanny into the public school lunch program. Her “revolutionary” program was designed to shame-starve children into thin-ness with salads, etc. What a ridiculous waste of taxpayer money, not to mention the stress it added to the public school system, a system her own children were too good (for).

    1. “…Alarmingly, the obesity problem strikes at an early age, with researchers estimating a staggering 9.4 percent of children ages 2 to 5 already have obesity. The obesity rate for children ages 6 to 11 has also more than quadrupled during the past 40 years – from 4.2 to 17.4 percent – as well as tripled for adolescents ages 12 to 19, climbing from 4.6 to 20.6 percent, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

      Key Facts:

      – In 2011-2014, 24.4 percent of African-American adolescent girls were obese.
      – Black and Latino youths have substantially higher rates of overweight and obesity than do their White peers. In 2011 and 2012, 22 percent of Latino children and 20 percent of black children had obesity compared to 14 percent of white children.
      – An overweight adolescent has a 70 percent chance of becoming an overweight or obese adult.
      6- to 8-year-olds with obesity are approximately 10 times more likely to become obese adults than those with a lower body mass index.
      – A third of the children born in 2000 in this country will develop diabetes during their lifetime.
      – Since 1980, the obesity prevalence among children and adolescents has almost tripled.
      – More than one in four 17- to 24-year-olds in the United States are now too heavy to serve in the military, a development that retired military leaders say endangers national security.
      – Children with obesity are already demonstrating cardiovascular risk factors typically not seen until adulthood.
      – Children and adolescents with obesity have a greater risk of social and psychological problems, such as discrimination and poor self-esteem, which can continue into adulthood.
      – Children with weight issues are more likely to miss school and repeat a grade than children who are at a healthy weight.
      – Children with obesity have three times more healthcare expenditures than children at healthy weights, costing an estimated $14 billion every year…”

            1. Obesity is certainly a national problem. Disaster may be a strong word for it. Obesity is a bad problem getting worse and you can see from the death toll in famously fat New Orleans it isn’t helping covid patients to be grossly overweight.

              I am overweight too but my kids are lean and mean. I taught better habits than i keep myself.

              1. No, obesity is a personal problem. It would only be a ‘national’ problem if we couldn’t field a military force. Which we certainly can.

                1. Check your facts before you leap to correct me


                  from 2017

                  “Even the kids in America’s fittest state are too fat to fight their nation’s wars, a pro-military nonprofit argues in a new study.

                  The military has long bemoaned America’s tubby youth, and the Council for a Strong America says Colorado is part of the problem, with more than 27 percent of the state’s children categorized as overweight.

                  “Low levels of physical activity and the obesity epidemic are contributing to an unprecedented readiness problem for our armed forces,” the nonprofit said.

                  Those extra candy bars compound a complex problem for military recruiting. Between other health issues, criminal records and other troubles from facial tattoos to drug habits, a full 70 percent of Colorado teens are ineligible for military service.

                  Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Terrance McWilliams said extra pounds are of special concern because weight can cost lives on the battlefield.

                  Image placeholder title
                  A grader for the new Army Physical Readiness Test ensures that a paratrooper completes the new 60-second pushup event correctly Aug. 10, 2011, at Fort Bragg, N.CU.S. Army photo

                  “It gets extremely dangerous when you can’t keep up with the rest of the pack,” said McWilliams, the former top enlisted soldier at Fort Carson. “You are putting your fellow comrades at greater risk.”

                  Strong America’s lament might sound familiar. The nonprofit has been citing the issue for years as a danger to America’s national security.

                  The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about 17 percent of America’s kids are overweight. But the military has a tougher standard. A 6-foot teenage recruit is expected to weigh less than 184 pounds by military standards, when most medical charts would let him have 12 more pounds of cheeseburgers.

                  M. Michael Cooke, Strong America’s state director, said the nonprofit sees the goal of slimmer kids as more than a military imperative.

                  “It does render those kids unfit to fight but there are many other reasons to combat childhood obesity,” she said.

                  Cooke said fat children face health challenges for a lifetime, costing society.

                  But as the Army aims to bring in 80,000 recruits in the next year, having too many obese teens is troubling for the military.

                  In a news release, Army Recruiting Command’s Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Snow said it met 2017 targets by bringing in 69,000 recruits, but hitting the goal came at a cost.

                  Image placeholder title
                  The 920th Rescue Wing (RQW) hosted 38 members of the University of Florida’s swim team at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 4, 2013.U.S. Air Force photo

                  “The command achieved its mission by the use of enlistment bonuses for as much as $40,000, with an average bonus of $12,800 for 33,000 recipients to attract the best-quality candidates for service,” the command said.

                  To help the military get more fit recruits, Strong America wants state-mandated physical education classes in public schools, more bicycle lanes and boosts to programs that provide healthy food to the poor.

                  Cooke said while Colorado is known for having the leanest adult population in America, that hasn’t translated to thinner kids.

                  “We are one of three states in the nation that doesn’t mandate physical education,” she said.

                  Strong America is broken into several wings, aimed at fighting crime, boosting the military and keeping children in school. The charity, backed by nonprofit giants including the Gates Foundation, plans on taking the obesity issue to the Colorado General Assembly next year.

                  Cooke said she hopes to push lawmakers into policies that lead to healthier kids. Most of what the group wants, she said, can be accomplished for little tax money.

                  “It remains an important message and we haven’t solved the problem,” Cooke said.

                  Retired Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart, who headed U.S. Northern Command in Colorado Springs, said the nonprofit is on the right track. He said families have a big role to play, too.

                  Renuart said parents need to turn off the television and send kids outside more. They also need to keep an eye on what their kids eat, he said.”

                  1. Check your facts before you leap to correct me

                    What would be the purpose to me ‘checking my facts’? I’m not interested in your facts, but in the frame you’re using. The frame is wrong.

                    1. The purpose of you checking facts would be to correct your mistaken impression that obesity is not a problem. Or is it? I don’t want to put words in your mouth. I can’t tell when you’re playing curmudgeon or making a serious point. Feel free to state plainly what you believe about obesity as a matter of public health.

          1. Did that give government the right to put all school children on a diet? To go into their home packed lunches, go through them, and reject them, forcing them to buy food from the cafeteria? Yes, that happened.

            Kids went hungry.

            Don’t you think childhood hunger caused by Obama’s policy is a problem?



            “The new standards led to kids throwing out their fruits and vegetables, student boycotts, higher lunch costs, and odd food pairings such as “cheese stick with shrimp” in order for schools to comply with the complicated rules.”

            I don’t think the Obama girls, at their tony private school, had to eat cheese sticks with shrimp because of their Mom.

            For the most part, I did not have a problem with Michelle Obama. I think a lot of people were unfair harpies about her penchant for sleeveless fashion. But this was a big miss for her.

            1. With respect Karen I disagree. School lunches were pathetically bad prior to her initiative. I don’t think she made a big impact but it raised consciousness.

              Poor kids have poor choices. They get a lot of free lunches at school. This is a merciful and efficient form of welfare in our system. But rather than just eat similarly poor choices as they get at home, let them be introduced to real food.

              At that time my ex wife was working in a public school with about 90% free school lunches. The Obama healthy food initiative was welcomed by all the teachers. The situation was awful. I’m thinking of one kid I know about who was habitually neglected, and had to feed himself with sugary cereal at home because his lazy drug addicted mother only stocked booze, sugary cereal and pork rinds, At least according to the social workers who had visited and seen it with their own two eyes. Well, it was a real blessing if kids like that were actually introduced to vegetables and lean meat. They sent kids like that home with a backpack of food on the weekends. At least he had that.
              Very sad situation. These direct aid initiatives were so much more efficient than a lot of other worthless programs because they put the food right into the hands of the kids who needed it and bypassed their shiftless “parents.”

              Sometimes I don’t think some of my friends understand how utterly destroyed the domestic culture is in certain sectors. As different as these people are to most of us, they’re our fellow Americans, and our karma is intertwined.

              1. In Japanese schools, there is a wok and small refrigerator in each classroom. The children and teacher gather around the wok at lunch time and cook meat, vegetables and rice and share the meal. They usually have soup, too, which is filling and helps prevent overeating. Their meals are healthy, plus it promotes a sense of community. All good. We could learn from them.

              2. Kids in poor communities with parents who aren’t well-educated pick up the bad eating habits of their families, who often only have convenience stores at which to shop if they live in a food desert. Obesity, heart disease and hypertension are rampant. Back when lots of poor people lived on farms they had diets that were much better–fresh vegetables, fresh milk and dairy, but not after they move to the city. Where are they going to learn about nutrition, if not from school? Where are they going to learn to enjoy salads, fresh fruits and vegetables, and meat that isn’t smothered in gravy or a fried crusty covering if their families only buy fast food or convenience store food? Some of them probably never saw a peach that wasn’t canned in heavy syrup or an orange that wasn’t a canned mandarin orange in sugary syrup. Michelle Obama used her platform to try to teach kids good nutrition and improve their diets. How can that be a bad thing?

                1. Comrade NUTCHACHA, you’re conflating ridiculously.

                  The doctrine is separation between charity and state.

                  Kids are the concern of their parents not an issue for “government” (i.e. taxpayers).

                  Go start a charity in the free markets of the private sector which is absolutely constitutional.

                  The American thesis is freedom through self-reliance.

                  Have you noticed that you relentlessly attempt to force individuals to perform your dictates.

                  That’s the nature of communist dictatorships.

                  Try Constitution 101.

                  It will show you what you cannot force on free people and do you a world of good.

                2. There are 67,000 dietitians and nutritionists in this country. MO’s efforts were perfectly redundant and a nuisance.

                  1. Let the entire American, redistributionist, welfare state “wither on the vine.”

                    It is irrefutably unconstitutional.

                    Article 1, Section 8 – Absolute
                    5th Amendment – Absolute

                    Government cannot tax for charity, regulate anything but money, the flow of commerce and land and naval Forces, or interfere in any way with the possession and/or disposition of private property, while it may “take” and compensate for it.

                    Industries will see the value in effective self-regulation including avoidance of litigation-cum-insolvency.

      1. Bythebook:

        My own child is athletic and lean. He did not need to go on a diet. I did not appreciate that when he bought lunch at school, he couldn’t get whole milk, for instance. Michelle Obama’s task force created a poster with a plate, showing that fruit and vegetables should take up half the plate, protein a quarter, and carbs a quarter. That was helpful to explain what the serving amount and distribution should be. But she went beyond that and put all school children on a diet. That was wrong.

        There is no dispute that too many children stay at home and play video games. Whose job is it to ensure children are healthy? Is it the public school system’s job to open and go through children’s packed lunches? Yes, that happened. In some parts of the country, schools sent those home packed lunches home with a note that they did not meet nutritional guidelines. Who do children belong to?

        I applaud the following efforts to encourage children to be healthy and active:
        1. Multiple recesses where children are allowed to run and play. At my child’s public school, the list of activities, like tag, they are not allowed to play is extensive. They basically expect the boys to sit in a circle, chat, and braid each other’s hair.
        2. School garden where each class has its own plot. Get the kids outside. Teach them how to garden. Prepare a meal with the produce they grew themselves. Send them home with a few seeds and recipes.
        3. Ensure there is PE at school. My son’s public school doesn’t really have a PE program. There is a lady that has them play dodge ball occasionally. But there is no real physical education program. They have PE has a rotation a few weeks a year, and what my son tells me they do is stupid. It does not foster physically fit kids, at all.
        4. Teach nutrition classes. This comes as a caveat. The government food pyramid taught for so many years turned out to be a total bust. It doesn’t lead to healthy eating, at all, and was based on a study so flawed as to boggle the mind. It turns out that high carbs is far more unhealthy than high fat. Therefore, the way nutrition should be taught in school needs to be updated to reface the current data.
        5. Have sports teams at school.
        6. Take outings where the kids get to walk and explore local state and national parks, hiking trails…anything where they walk and move around. It’s all about screens and tech now in schools.

        French school children are healthier on average than American school children. They have incredible meals prepared fresh on site by French chefs, using local produce, meat, and seafood. And most walk. Everywhere. To school. To outings. From school.

        American kids don’t walk or play outside like they used to. They eat orders of magnitude more processed food than they used to. They eat more carbs than they used to. Kids come over to our house, and they don’t want to play with the horses, ride bikes, play outside, play baseball. They want to go inside and play video games. When I was a kid, the kids in the neighborhood were outside all day. Rain, snow, or shine. When it was raining, we made mud pies or dams in the creek. Then we got yelled at because our play dams worked. Or we made boats and sailed them down the creek to the pond. We found caves. Lizards. Snakes. You go take a walk in a typical CA suburb today during summer, or the weekend, and it’s a ghost town. The only people you see outside are the adults, exercising for health or walking together to gossip. Where are all the kids? In front of screens. We bring harness or antique ranch stuff for show and tell to school, and there are even rural kids who all they know is video games and TV. Looking at farming equipment or horse tack is like looking at a window into outer space.

        1. Karen, I agree with most of what you write and I was – along time ago – that skinny active kid who didn’t have to think about counting calories until well into my 50s. Now, I’ could lose 10 pounds but anymore and I’d look dead. While I have a hard time imagining your son starving from a lack of whole milk and too much fruits and vegetables – we are not by evolution set up for lactose which from 1/2 to 3/4 of humans can’t digest – your job as a parent is hard enough, and I’m sure you approach it with much love and concern, that I won’t press that or any other issue you have to deal with. Our kids through genetics and my wife’s diligence never flirted with obesity and are now long grown and in great shape and I hope you and yours do at least as well and better.

      2. ““…Alarmingly, the obesity problem strikes…”

        Yet Dems will complain that Americans are starving.

    2. I’m not sure if it was Mamie Eisenhower or Bess Truman who was the last first lady who resisted being saddled with a ’cause’. Mrs. Truman appeared at events during what used to be called ‘the social season’ and otherwise hid out at her homestead in Missouri. Mrs. Eisenhower I suspect was practiced at the sort of ceremonial the wives of flag rank officers have to learn. Mrs. Reagan and – surprisingly – Mrs. Nixon were mad for state dinners, and arranged a dozen or more a year. We should expect the president’s wife to attend to the condition of the White House residence as a residence and to provide light supervision to the residence staff, to host some ceremonial occasions, and otherwise to leave her in peace. When the president is a bachelor or the president is female, these functions can be assigned to another family member, or to salaried officers who report to one of the chief of staff’s deputies or to the chief of protocol at the State Department.

      Michelle Obama abandoned law practice in 1991, then allowed her license to lapse two years later. For three or four years she had patronage positions in the Chicago city government (presumably arranged by Valerie Jarrett). After that, she had one position after another in the diversity racket, most notably at the University of Chicago Hospitals. Her actual skill set was collecting fat salaries for busywork. People who’ve had a hard look at her say she has the following interests: (1) the day-to-day business of child care (2) the decorative arts, including home decor, (3) shopping, (4) travel. She’s never been career-oriented and was for years exasperated that her husband couldn’t manage to order his life such that she could lead the life she wanted to lead and not the life she did lead. The life she wanted to lead was somewhere in the gray area between that led by Barbara Bush and that led by Jackie Kennedy.

      1. That is all true, there is a lot of bad to say about Michelle Obama, but effort at improving the quality of school lunches is the least worthy of criticism. Perhaps it is worthy of modest praise.

    3. 1. Why does the federal government take an interest in lunch menus, or school lunches at all? It’s a fine example of obsessive-compulsive gotta-put-my-hands-on-everything policy.

      2. Come to think of it, why do we have school cafeterias? Have the building custodian supervise and maintain a set of walk-in coolers in which every student has a dedicated and partitioned space for his lunchbox. You send the kids down to the lunchroom in shifts and have the faculty and staff work in shifts on supervisory duties. The youngsters can keep a thermos and non-perishibles in their lockers.

      1. DSS – students whose parent(s) fall beneath a certain financial threshold are eligible for a free breakfast and lunch. Hence, the cafeteria.

        1. The cafeterias were there when my mother was in high school 70 years ago, ‘ere the school lunch program was created.

          While we’re at it, why are we subsidizing meals for youths? If the family’s real income is a concern, an elaboration on the EITC will provide more utility for a similar effective expenditure.

          1. The family as a social unit has been utterly destroyed in a lot of urban areas. Due to whatever complex causes. But it is real. So it’s critical that these little kids get some free lunches or we would have to pay for them to be treated for malnutrition related illnesses. It’s that bad. Not just in scheissholes like Detroit but in plenty of cities which are smaller.

            You give some of these irresponsible parents more SNAP money and they will jsut find a way to waste it and the kids won’t get jack squat. Putting the food directly in front of the kids is actually one of the most efficient forms of social welfare we have implemented.

            1. The family as a social unit has been utterly destroyed in a lot of urban areas.

              No, the family is still there. It’s just discombobulated and of suboptimal construction. That’s what happens when you have people with short tempers and short time horizons in a matrix where unstructured sexual activity is not severely status-lowering.

              The domestic unit in much of the country is the mother, her children, and a series of men of varying degrees of transiency. That’s not the way things should be, but that’s the way they are.

              I’m not advocating they receive any SNAP money. SNAP should disappear. I’m advocating that EITC be amended and enhanced. Most people balance their rations passably. Those that don’t have issues with liquor or street drugs. Well, we have the foster care system for those youngsters.

      2. The federal government sometimes takes an interest in things like that because we have a nation of states and not just a bunch of disunified states, and some of the states are clearly incompetent in certain areas from time to time. We see this again and again over American history which is why there is a USA in the first place. If there wasn’t then we would still be part of the English Commonwealth.

        I am sure that some of the states have been woefully incompetent at setting back or helping or requiring their in-state hospitals and so forth, to set back sufficient emergency supplies of PPE. If the USA has to correct the wayward states who don’t do what they should then necessity dictates what must be done.

      3. Because there are a lot of hungry kids showing up to school who not only can’t bring a lunch in, they haven’t had breakfast. In fact, in select schools a large chunk of the student body come back from the weekend so hungry it takes until Tuesday (after a couple meals on Monday) to reel it in enough for classes to be anywhere near orderly..

            1. Absurd, was the discussion not about obesity? Or was I only allowed to criticize Michelle Obama?

              1. Your brain seems to work this way: Cindy Bragg lived in Mississippi >> there are a lot of fat people in Mississippi >> ergo, the President’s wife should hector local school diistricts.

                It makes sense to you, not to anyone else.

                1. Yeah, Absurd, we have an obesity crisis that becomes the government’s business because Medicaid pays ‘X’ amount of dollars to cover preventable conditions like diabetes. What’s more, obesity is a national security threat since a growing number of new recruits fail basic physicals.

                  1. There is no crisis, Peter. It’s just one of the many conditions from which people suffer in this imperfect world.

      1. Seth – was that a little elitist snark I detected there? Do you experience bigotry against people based on what part of the country they hale from?

        That’s not good. Why don’t you get out and travel more? Get to know people from different parts of the country. Different cuisines, traditions, music. It’s kind of fun to collect sayings from around the country.

        Remember that scene from My Cousin Vinny when it was implied the judge was a dumb hick? It turned out he was Ivy League.

        1. Karen, my sister lived in Mississippi for 10 years. So shut up with your ‘snarky elitist’ crap! I’ve spent a couple weeks in Mississippi, it’s a pretty state. But I happen to know that Mississippi consistently ranks at the bottom of public health stas, including obesity.

          1. oh come on, let’s be honest, southern food and its neighbor, soul food, are both full of pork fat and lard and if one worked on a farm all day doing manual labor that might be fine. but most of us don’t anymore so turnip greens cooked in lard should give way to turnip greens cooked in olive oil. one might say the exact same thing about yams,. this is not rocket science. I love southern food and soul food but the high fat high carb low fiber concoctions should be treated like delicacies and treats and not daily fare.

            Some people might suspect this remark is racist. Bu it affects white people as much as black people. And anyways I saw a Nation of Islam cartoon once that made this very point. I wish I could find it, it was funny, about how Big Mama showed her love for her family by feeding them fat-soaked soul foods, and then Big Mama died from a heart attack, and her un-insightful family had a big meal after the funeral filled with the same comfort foods that killed her off, fatback and grits, whatever. That cartoon was aimed at black people but one might make similar observations of white families.

            I’ll take this sideways now too., Chinese need to stop eating dogs and cats and all that jive. Traditional cuisine that suggests eating bizarre animal parts is “medicine.” Not just dogs and cats but really this was aimed more at the other stuff– snake wine, bat soup, pangolin soup, shark fin soup, tiger penis, etc. This is in China I mean, not really a problem here. And the PRC has just passed a new law to that effect. Good for the PRC and the CCP for trying to rectify bad diet habits in the population.

            sometimes, government action is necessary to improve our shared situation. because people are too weak to take action on their own. this is a matter of prudence. it is not always the solution but yes sometimes it is.

            1. Kurtz, it’s sad but low income families can suffer obesity from eating cheap foods. Like Ramon Noodles, for instance, a highly fattening cheap food. And some parents serve their children soda with meals because it’s cheaper than milk.

              Kurtz, did you get my note about yesterday’s “Texas Man” column? Someone stole your identity to post an insanely long article from a Catholic journal.

              1. Kurtz, it’s sad but low income families can suffer obesity from eating cheap foods.

                Again, this contention has been discredited time and again. It’s just one ratchet above the urban legends about Social Security recipients eating cat food.

                I’d refer you to Julia Child’s remarks on the cuisine served in her mother’s California upper crust household ca. 1925: pot roast and Melba toast. We have today a great deal of interesting food to sample. Even the affluent of my grandparents generation saw such food only on special occasions. And we enjoy that food. Also, our work life is more sedentary. My unathletic civil servant grandpappy walked 10 miles every week in the course of commuting. This deficit of activity has only been spottily replaced with structured exercise programs. Impecunious people have the same anatomy and physiology as everyone else. Doesn’t have a bloody thing to do with Ramen noodles.

                1. Absurd, the diets of low income families in America has been well-documented. Sadly they eat a lot crappy foods for lack of income. Look at the produce section of any major grocery store. Apples at $1.99 per pound. How many apples can a low income mom buy at that price??

                  Yet many low income neighborhoods lacks real supermarkets. Which means low income families are shopping at convenience stores or eating at fast food places.

                  These issues, Absurd, have been widely publicized for decades. But I guess people in Libertarian Neverland never see these items.

                  1. seth peter, i will agree that there are such things as “food deserts” which was a Michelle Obama observation too. Detroit for example, city proper, has a bunch of gas stations selling twinkies and stuff.

                    but just outside the city limits there are some fantastic Arab food markets in Dearborn that are chock full of cheap, healthy, whole foods, such as blemished fruits that they won’t sell at the fancy places, but are just as good. and tons of lamb, yum!

                    The Muslim women tend to cook for the family. One of the things I like about some immigrants, is how conservative they are at home.

                    I went to a massive chinese market just north of detroit once too. Same concept!

                    White folks can and should learn from this. My people! Look and learn.

                  2. Absurd, the diets of low income families in America has been well-documented.

                    No, it has not. You’re recycling memes propagated by the social work industry.

                    Yet many low income neighborhoods lacks real supermarkets. Which means low income families are shopping at convenience stores or eating at fast food places.

                    No, it means they have to commute to the market.

                    The reason you have denuded retail trade in slums is because of a deficit of local purchasing power conjoined to high service production costs. Local governments can partially address this matter by doing something about slum crime. With some exceptions, that’s something local governments have refused to do much about for nearly 60 years. In New York, which did tackle the problem, none of the city’s 120-odd police precincts had a homicide rate exceeding 15 per 100,000 when Michael Bloomberg left office. Recall that in 1980, the mean homicide rate in metropolitan areas in this country was 12 per 100,000. Local governments can make it passably safe for retail merchants through assiduous policing and can entice businesses by scrapping property tax liability in slum neighborhoods and levying at reduced rates in transitional neighborhoods. Attention to aesthetics – extra street sweepers and citations for property owners who fail to fix broken windows, pick up trash, and sandblast graffiti will also help.

                    1. i agree with what absurd said that lack of groceries in schiessholes like inner city detroit could be addressed by doing better on crime and aesthetics.

                      in dearborn, nearby detroit, you don’t see gang-bangers wandering into the arab food market in baggy pants. well for starters they don’t sell 40s there. …Sorry …..For my part as a regular white guy, I love shopping there and always hit that place up for a cheap tin of olive oil and more, when I go to town. and they butcher whole lambs there so i can get more than the two cuts they offer at “meijers” …. i think its called Super greenland on warren ave.

                    2. Absurd, you seem determined to dismiss these issues (like your ideology can’t process). Of course there are reasons some communities don’t have real supermarkets. Whatever! When communities don’t have real grocery stores family diets suffer.

                    3. Family diets will suffer if they don’t commute. The distance from the middle of Rochester’s southside slums to a handsomely stocked Wegmans food market is about 5 miles, Peter and requires traveling on two buses. Of course, even in slums, most people own cars.

                      What’s amusing about liberals is they impugn everyone else’s motives while they fancy working class blacks cannot wipe their own asses without instructions from social workers.

                    4. “What’s amusing about liberals is they impugn everyone else’s motives while they fancy working class blacks cannot wipe their own asses without instructions from social workers.”

                      It makes Paint Chips feel better about himself to believe he is better than another class of people.

                    5. Absurd, you seem determined to dismiss these issues (like your ideology can’t process). Of course there are reasons some communities don’t have real supermarkets. Whatever! When communities don’t have real grocery stores family diets suffer.

                      My ideology? You’re propagating fictions and my ideology is the problem? The verifiable problem to which you make reference is that there are few grocery stores in slum neighborhoods. There are few grocery stores because of chronic neglect of basic local government functions. Liberals don’t care about law enforcement and make it their business to disrupt the efforts of others to improve law enforcement. Well, there are consequences for that, and you’re sitting here say my ‘ideology’ is the problem.

                  3. “When communities don’t have real grocery stores family diets suffer.”

                    In certain areas it is difficult to find a good grocery store. Why do you think that is? Do you think people don’t want to place a good grocery store in certain areas and make money? Of course not. Then why don’t they want to make money doing so? Because Liberals create an unsafe and unworkable environment for the groups of people the Liberals supposedly wish to help.

              2. i dont remember about texas man whatever. I did post the text of “Vix Parvenit” a Catholic encyclical forbidding lending money at compound interest. It’s a sin, technically, but its entirely dispersed throughout the world economic system. The Muslims are about the only ones who retain any negative concept about “usury”

                I was also posting an NPR radio piece with Michael Hudson talking about the idea of Debt Jubilee and the notion of consumer debt financing reform

              3. it’s not just a question of cheap. it’s also lazy. you have to cook to get health food and by cooking it’s easy to save money

                let me tell you what’s even cheaper than “ra-men”

                hui-mien, or hand pulled noodles. made from water and flour. it’s a central chinese thing.

                but it takes work and you have to cook.

                most people in America are super lazy about cooking. they just dont want to bother., too busy playign with phones.

                whole vegetables are palatable if properly cooked and served. and not expensive. lean meats can also be found for good prices

                convenience foods are cheap garbage, mostly.

                here’s a crazy idea. and this comes from me a man who has cooked a lot in his life. a lot of that is because my ex wife was too busy doing whatever to do it for the family.

                American women should learn to cook again. now’s a great time!

                1. most people in America are super lazy about cooking. they just dont want to bother., too busy playign with phones.

                  You’ve been reading time studies I take it?

                    1. Sorry. I’m not acquainted with anyone I’d describe as ‘superlazy’ about cooking. The one person I’ve known whose children often got Ramen noodles was a divorcee (who never saw the children) working two jobs.

    4. Cindy:

      That was one area that I bitterly criticized Michelle Obama over. My child is extremely active. I am constantly trying to put weight on him, not take it off. He needs fuel. But if he needs to buy lunch at school, he cannot get whole milk. The calories are restricted because Michelle Obama mistakenly believed that all children are couch potatoes and need to go on a diet. So much food was wasted because children wouldn’t eat it. I know of several lunch service companies that closed because of Obama’s restrictions.

      She literally caused children to go hungry. That is a terrible legacy, but I believe she meant well. The only other problem that I had with her was the patient dumping scandal when she served on a hospital board. Other than that, I did not take issue with her. And later, I admired her close friendship with former President George W Bush. I thought it was sweet how Bush supported her during, and after, her time at the White House.

      1. The Study:

        “…The University of Connecticut’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity conducted a study, published Wednesday in the journal Childhood Obesity, that found that lunchtime food waste decreased across 12 middle schools in a low-income urban school district since the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act was put in place in 2012.

        The revised school lunch policy—famously championed by Michelle Obama—doubled the minimum amount of fruits and vegetables available in cafeterias and requires students to take one of the options. In addition, the regulations decreased the amount of meat, substituted whole grains for white bread, and staged out starchy vegetables such as tater tots and french fries, to be replaced with more nutrient-dense options.

        Critics of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act are convinced that “forcing” kids to take more fruits and vegetables—and giving them healthier but less kid-friendly options across the board—will increase food waste and decrease total nutrition. Those with stories of whole-wheat sloppy joes and zucchini sticks being fed straight to the trash gather around the Twitter hashtag #ThanksMichelleObama to commiserate, hoping to gain enough visibility and support to enact some serious change. If kids are throwing away all their veggies and whole-wheat pasta, then obviously the nutrition standards have failed. But, according to the study, Twitter and reality paint vastly different pictures.

        Researchers from the Rudd Institute compared the proportion of fruits, vegetables, and entrées consumed during the 2012 school year—before new policies were enacted—with the numbers in 2014. The proportion of students who took a fruit option increased from 54 percent to 66 percent, and the amount of fruit wasted remained constant at 26 percent. The number of students who chose a vegetable dropped from 68 percent to 52 percent—most likely due to the lack of white potatoes—but 20 percent fewer of those vegetables were thrown away. Entrées were also wasted 13 percent less often than they were under the previous standards.

        The study obviously doesn’t make the individual stories of inedible vegetables and rock-hard wheat rolls depicted in the hashtag #ThanksMichelleObama untrue, but it does provide some much-needed long-term perspective. Policy change shouldn’t be given normative value based on individual stories, but rather the systemic change it’s created.

        The school lunch system is nowhere near perfect, but if kids are eating more fruit and fewer tater tots, and wasting less food, then it would seem that there’s some serious positive payoff, even if the haters are saying otherwise.”

        1. Nutritional science, like so many others, has a problem with replication. Public officials have their uses, but hectoring you about your housekeeping is not one of them.

          1. I’d give them all baked potatoes before tater tots and french fries. cheaper and more healthy. They can learn to eat good food or go hungry. Eventually they learn to eat what’s put before them. The key thing is putting the right food before them early and consistently.

            My kids almost never given french fries by us except in a pinch travelling. Now my son is in his 20s and built like a Greek god and eats baked potatoes without even so much as a pat of butter. He can do over 20 chinups where most men his age can barely manage one. This is what can be done.

        2. 1. Why should every child be put on a calorie restricted diet, even if they need to gain wait or are highly active?
          2. Non fat milk was used by pig farmers for generations to fatten hogs. It is also high in oxidized cholesterol, due to its processing. It is not a healthy beverage, compared with whole milk. Why should non fat or low fat milk be the only options?
          3. Obesity is still rising
          4. Kids are still sedentary video game addicts
          5. PE is still not a part of many elementary schools
          6. Kids still don’t have enough recess
          7. Care to address the “cheese sticks with shrimp” phenomenon, as schools struggle to comply with the requirements
          8. Government Accountability office stated that a million kids and hundreds of districts dropped out of the school lunch program in 2013 alone, citing Obama’s regulations. See earlier link.
          9. I read the Rudd study at the time. It was conducted because of a change in 2012 where the children were required to have one of their options either a fruit or a vegetable. The Hunger Free Kids Act was in 2010. Were you aware that all of the schools were in a single school district? For each additional option of fruit offered, selection rose 9%. (Offer only an apple, and you won’t get as many kids picking fruit as if you offer an apple, strawberries, and pears.) The proportion of students who chose a vegetable actually dropped, but those who did choose a vegetable ate a little more of it. (Were more veggie choices offered in this district, as in fruit?) The study followed one grade, over the course of 3 years. Kids eat differently when they are older than when they are younger. The study required a before and after picture of each child’s meal tray. That creates pressure on the child to eat.


          If you offer a greater variety of fruit, students will choose fruit more often. Hurray. Why did vegetable consumption go down? I don’t know. The researchers don’t either because they did not ask the kids. Was a greater variety offered? Was it an either/or dichotomy so more kids chose fruit than veggies?

          Does an adult taking a photograph before, and after, a kid is finished with their plate lead to less food waste? Did photographing the same kids’ food for 3 years lead them to try to eat a little more of it? The only way to remove the effect of the study itself would have been to have an unobtrusive camera take a photo of their tray at the checkout line, without their noticing, and then they have to put their trays on a conveyor belt that prevented them from realizing they were being photographed after. AND ensure the kids had no idea the study was going on…which would be impossible due to the passive consent form mailed home. Consumption was level for 2012 and 2013, and then increased 13% in 2014 when the kids were older.

          I agree that offering more variety of fruit and vegetables will lead to a statistically significant increase in consumption. I wonder at the effect of an adult measuring the kids plates, and at following the same kids over time, as their caloric needs and appetite would increase. In addition, the study did not examine, at all, entree choices, such as cheese sticks and shrimp, or what quality of food was offered in this one school district. But at the time, I noted that journalists parsed out one line of the conclusion and ran with it.

      2. She literally caused children to go hungry.

        She didn’t cause anyone to go hungry, Karen. If your kid doesn’t care for the fare in the cafeteria, send him to school with his own lunch. If an officious nuisance in the employ of the school tries to debar your child from consuming food from your larder, they’re the problem, not Michelle Obama. (And they will make it an issue, because ‘officious nuisance’ is the modal type among the sort of women employed by elementary schools).

        1. DSS – some parents cannot afford to send their children to school with lunch, that is how poor they are. If they are dissatisfied with the lunch they have no choice.

          1. 1. Real income per capita has quintupled since 1929, Paul. The number of people in this country with more meal times than meals is tiny, and often the issue there is drug abuse.

            2. Which is why we live at a time when obesity is inversely correlated with income.

            3. Again, EITC. You don’t need to subsidize people’s mundane purchases. Sectorally-specific subsidies are for problem markets, not for goods and services which are frequently replenished, in markets where information imperfections are modest, and in which consumption is driven by considerations of taste and amenity. Subsidies to grocery expenditure, rent and mortgage payments, and utility charges all have one feature in common: bad policy.

              1. Paul, too few people are in that situation to justify school cafeterias. We have community foodbanks for that.

                1. Absurd, you’re living in a Libertarian Neverland that never was and will surely never be.

                  This pandemic and its aftermath will make Libertarian ‘ideas’ seem so hopelessly outdated that all those programs the Koch Bros endowed at various universities will play to no one.

                  1. I was once a liberterian and then wised up. and yet. there are still some useful observations about feasibility and efficiency (or lack of it) in studying the effects of regulations. I should hope people will not get too carried away going in any direction.

                    the universities can should get a major overhaul as part of this. whatever dumb stuff the Kroch bros have done isn’t tiddlywinks compared to all the other useless majors that needed to be ended, immediately,. gender studies tops the list.

        2. TIA – every time a child threw away their lunch as inedible, that child went hungry.

          I do pack my kid’s lunch. Or I did, before all the schools closed. On the few occasions where I needed him to buy lunch, I did not appreciate the fare and non fat milk, and he most often told me he ate a bite or two and tossed it. Then he would be hangry in the car on the way home.

          Kids on nutrition assistance rely on school lunches. The poor kids get hit hardest with the cheese sticks and shrimp option. The rich kids go to private schools, or have a higher percentage get nice home packed meals.

          1. Kids on nutrition assistance rely on school lunches. The poor kids get hit hardest with the cheese sticks and shrimp option. The rich kids go to private schools, or have a higher percentage get nice home packed meals.

            No, they rely on ‘nutrition assistance’ because that is how the family budget is ordered. It’s ordered that way because… the government is providing subsidized meals. The number of people who ‘cannot afford’ to pack a lunch for their child is tiny.

            TIA – every time a child threw away their lunch as inedible, that child went hungry.

            So what? They’ll get over it. If your kid doesn’t like the school lunches, you deal with it. Michelle Obama was wasting her time. However, your child’s particular problem is easily remediable. You can do two things: pack a lunch for him or ignore the problem like my mother did. Either can be a legitimate response. It only gets hairy when Jill Seldin, EdD, tries to tell you that ‘the rules’ don’t allow your son to consume food from home. And if she tries it, don’t back down. Make it hurt for her, because she deserves it.

      3. Karen…….thank you for the comment. The act that defined Michelle, in my opinion, occurred not long into her “first ladyship”.
        A rumor started that she might be pregnant, because of what seemed to be a little bump on her abdomen. When she heard about the rumor she was furious! She yelled at those within earshot and said.” After all the hours I spend excercising…….and you think I look pregnant?!” As if looking pregnant was akin to looking like a freak, or a hideous person! I was appalled that the First Lady of the U.S. missed an excellent opportunity to praise and affirm women, especially women carrying precious children in their wombs, and instead spoke with such disgust about looking pregnant. I had zero respect for her after that outburst
        (Not to mention that over the years leading up to his election, she showed alot of disdain for white people)

              1. What the hell, Absurd?? Who asked you to buy it?
                It was a bona fide news story during Barack’s first term in office. Sorry google can’t produce it for you now, but that’s not my problem.

                1. cindy Bragg – you might try the Wayback Machine. Not sure how it works but it seems to archive old web pages.

                  1. Paul…….Thank you, but .I couldn’t get Wayback to work….but found Vanity Fair, 1/29/09
                    Michelle Obama Pregnancy Rumor: OshkoshBarack? That’s one source….

                1. I thought of you today Rose when I led a Zoom conference on Immune T cells with students (Chapter 9 of the Janeway book I mentioned).

                  Check this neat article that dovetails from our previous discussion
                  Polymerase is mentioned in the Discussion. Sorry no Zinc, Selenium or Glutathione


                  Coronavirus endoribonuclease targets viral polyuridine sequences to evade activating host sensors

                  Coronaviruses (CoVs) are positive-sense RNA viruses that can emerge from endemic reservoirs and infect zoonotically, causing significant morbidity and mortality. CoVs encode an endoribonuclease designated EndoU that facilitates evasion of host pattern recognition receptor MDA5, but the target of EndoU activity was not known. Here, we report that EndoU cleaves the 5′-polyuridines from negative-sense viral RNA, termed PUN RNA, which is the product of polyA-templated RNA synthesis. Using a virus containing an EndoU catalytic-inactive mutation, we detected a higher abundance of PUN RNA in the cytoplasm compared to wild-type−infected cells. Furthermore, we found that transfecting PUN RNA into cells stimulates a robust, MDA5-dependent interferon response, and that removal of the polyuridine extension on the RNA dampens the response. Overall, the results of this study reveal the PUN RNA to be a CoV MDA5-dependent pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP). We also establish a mechanism for EndoU activity to cleave and limit the accumulation of this PAMP. Since EndoU activity is highly conserved in all CoVs, inhibiting this activity may serve as an approach for therapeutic interventions against existing and emerging CoV infections.

                2. Prairie…….good to see you!
                  The story was modified for Oprah, to make it look like Michelle laughed it off.
                  Laughter was not Michelle’s initial response. But ya know, liars gotta lie, as they say. And it doesn’t matter now, anyway.

                  1. Cindy Bragg – isn’t there a rumor the Michelle is incapable of getting pregnant for a very obvious reason?????

                    1. Cindy Bragg – well, there are at least three photos that show her with what appears to be a penis.

      4. Michelle Obama “literally caused children to go hungry.”

        Nothing new, her husband, Barack Obama, let people with good insurance lose it and become uninsured.

    5. School lunches are usually full of garbage. I packed my own kids lunches personally all the Obama years precisely because of that. If Michele Obama tried to address the problem it was a socially useful endeavor. I am not sure about the details but school lunches are pathetically bad at least here in the midwest.

      My kids were in both public and Catholic schools in those years and both systems served up equally unhealthy amounts of garbage.

      We saved money on my sack lunches and they ate healthy. My kids were trained to pick up the fruits that other kids discarded and eat them. Of course i also taught my kids the story of the Spartan agoge and what the Spartan boys were expected to do for food. So I gave them purposefully bland pickings in their austere sack lunches so they were taking the good food the other fat lazy kids were prone to toss away to fill their bellies.

      When the other brats were eating fruit roll ups for example my kids were eating fruit. Fruit roll ups; a useless invention except for backpackers. The other losers were eating french fries and my kids were conditioned to coarse whole grain wheat bread with butter for their carbohydrates.

      I can think of a thousand bad things to say about Michelle Obama but trying to fix pathetically bad school lunches is not one of them.

    6. Don’t kids have moms?

      In elementary school, my mom used to pack a tuna fish sandwich and some corn/potato chips wrapped in wax paper in a small brown paper bag with my name written on it.

      We, kids, walked to school.

      The “School Lunch Program” was conducted by moms.

      Public school provided only the Yugo version of a rigorous basic education.

      Americans took care of themselves.

      Parasitic, communist hyphenates demand governmental sustenance…and worse, they get it.

      1. George – I, too, walked to school and back home for lunch, then back to school, then back home. In snow, barefoot, over broken glass, uphill both ways.

        1. Both ways, you must be exhausted to this day!

          Your tale is reminiscent of my father’s sob story but he really was poor and he really had no shoes and he really went to school barefoot and he was in the three CCC’s after his sophomore year in high school and he did send his check home to his family before commencing a factory Life of Riley just prior to serving in the artillery in World War II.

          1. George – that was compounded by my first college which was on top of a hill and the girl’s dorm was at the bottom. Got a lot of exercise. 😉

            1. I presume it was also uphill both ways.


              You forgot the oppressive heat. I hear it approaches 120 degrees Fahrenheit in your neck of the desert.

              1. George – the Berkeley Pit is in Butte, MT (armpit of MT). Helena is all gold mining. Last time I was there it was full of water.

                1. Well, make up your mind, is it the butt or the armpit?

                  I love Montana. I had family from there through Spokane to Tacoma and Gig Harbor.

                  My mom’s BFF from Wilson High in Long Beach, 1939, had a husband who ran for mayor in Kalispell.

                  My parents spent summers on the edge of Flathead Lake.

                  Big Sky Country!

                  1. George, Big Sky is overrun by celebrities now, I’m sure Kimye and Klan are there now in 8 millie mansion in woods. The Q is: they don’t cook, or clean, or do anything, unless for the cameras…so, did they bring their servants?

                  2. George – its Butte not butt. I grew up in SE MT where the deer and antelope play and Custer got his ass kicked.

                    1. OK, I gotcha butt I’ll just bet them Injuns still have some “reservations” about that pyrrhic victory over George Armstrong.

                      Whaddya think?

                    2. George – it was hardly a Pyrrhic victory. They seriously kicked ass. I was at the battlefield in 2000 and they had had a major grass fire a couple of years before. This allowed them to scour the entire battlefield, finding new skeletons, firing sites. They were able to recreate the entire battle as the forces were split up and killed.

                    3. OK. I gotcha.

                      Sitting Bull took his show on the road and became a “rock star.”

                      So not pyrrhic and no “reservations?”

                      It would seem that the Little Big Horn led to total defeat and incarceration on many “reservations.”

                      We know that’s true because that’s where we all go to party nowadays, right, The Reservation?

                      It’s Chumash in these parts.

                    4. George – in Montana there several reservations, Sioux, Cheyenne, Blackfoot, Shoshone, etc.

  8. JT, there is no political or monetary gain here for Kushner to head up logistics. Anything the President does will be under scrutiny for years to come. Let’s see how it plays out.

  9. JT: “It was wrong for John F. Kennedy to appoint his brother as Attorney General…”

    Exactly! He should have named his brother head of the CIA before they had him killed.

  10. what you are seeing today from the dems and liberals is like the Russian collusion garbage. the dems know they are done as a political party.

  11. My suggestion, Sir, is to take a working stance toward helping those who want to take us forward out of this crisis instead of another politically divisive column of “I’m the only person who knows what’s best. And my word is gospel.”

    1. Good point. The professor has spent his entire life in higher education and never had in that time what most of us would call a supervisor. He really doesn’t know much about running an organization.

  12. Prof Turley,

    “I have been highly impressed, and relieved, by the superb team assembled by the task force. I believe that they have been an outstanding job. ”

    Never mind other major concerns for now with what has/is happening because of this Chapel Hill NC, USA/Wuhan/Dr Fauci Bio-Weapon, lets keep it simple.

    State/Local/CDC/NIR/HHS/DHS/FEMA were mostly to stupid to even order enough “Masks” for healthcare workers/patients.

    And some would allow these same idiot, blood thirsty scum Doctors shoot them up with an experimental untested vaccine & cancel the US Constitution.

  13. We’re in the midst of a global pandemic, for sh!t’s sake. It’s all hands on deck. If Jared can contribute something, what’s to criticize?

    1. He’s been involved for a while already. I recall Governor Cuomo being highly complimentary of his role.

      While I agree with the Professor about nepotism, it’s not like Jared’s actually in charge of the supply chain, he is very well spoken, and at this point – considering the absolute animosity of the opposition media, why bother with optics.

  14. I have been a critic of the inclusion of Kushner and Ivanka Trump on the White House staff since it was announced because it is a form of raw nepotism.

    They’re not getting a federal salary. He’s relied on them for years. The permanent government is his enemy and there are saboteurs among the Republican establishment. They are the most qualified for the function he has in mind.

    Note, this isn’t Jack Kennedy putting his brother in charge of the Department of Justice. They are employed as confidential staff.

    Your complaints in this regard are twee even when you’re not uttering howlers (“his disastrous Middle East plan”). I bet you have a Common Cause membership.

    What’s amusing about this is that I wouldn’t have to scrounge very long to find the dangling spouses in various and sundry faculty marriages if I had a copy of the GW employee directory. Your tuition dollars at work.

    1. Jared is a backstabber of other good people who were riding the horse that brought Trump to DC

      Specifically Steve Bannon

      Trump should have consigned Jared to something he showed aptitude for. Perhaps he could convince his Saudi buddies to tighten the spigots on oil production and let the deflated price recover before the shale oil producers all go bankrupt?

  15. LOL! What a headline from NYT! The funny thing is that sites like this still take the Old Gray Lady seriously. The rest of us know that the very mention of the paper’s name just results in smirks and head-shakes. Not even the NYT takes the NYT seriously anymore. It’s a bad punchline from a worse joke!

  16. JT writes:

    “However, there is little reason to believe that he will endanger anyone on the task force. ..”

    Uh, well yeah, but not the point. Nor are his what aboutisms on Hillary being assigned to work on Bill Clinton’s health care proposals or RFK as Attorney General. Neither was the head of a response to an emergency which threatens hundreds of thousands of lives – if we’re lucky – or a Great Recession.

    As to the boy wonder’s comments, he was completely wrong that the Federal Stockpile “belongs to us” and not the states. Go to their web page and their pledge. FH

    Goldberg’s NYTs column is titled with a hyperbolic title – so what? It’s an opinion piece and of much greater value than JT’s typical hair splitting while missing the point.

    1. Uh, well yeah, but not the point. Nor are his what aboutisms on Hillary being assigned to work on Bill Clinton’s health care proposals or RFK as Attorney General.

      I gather when they sent out the talking points this morning, they told you to just pretend that rhetorical assertions are arguments.

      Correct-the-record is not sending us their best.

    2. Book, Absurd has a problem with Jewish women writing columns. He used to post comments to that effect. Jewish women are usually liberal and that means ‘Pro-Choice’: meaning they have to be discredited whenever possible.

      1. You seem to have confused me with someone else (or you’re lying your tuchus off). I’ve never made any such remark any time any place anywhere, nor ever given the subject any thought.

        1. Yes, you did, Absurd. I Remember comments you made about Jennifer Rubin ‘and’ Michelle Goldberg.

          1. I’ll take the heat on that one. I don’t like most columns I have read by liberal Jewish women.

            I am sure there have been some but I don’t remember which. Somebody else can go look for a needle in the haystack. I will let you know if I remember any.

            I realize Michelle Goldbug wrote a column about Jared that was negative in NYT. I cant read it behind the paywall. If we agree on something, it’s probably for very different reasons.

          2. I’ve never said a word about Michelle Goldberg. I’m not clear on who she is. I have commented on Rubin, to the effect that she’s employed by the Bezos Birdcage Liner to provide emotional validation for liberals. She’s pretended for years to be a Republican. See Charles CW Cooke’s critique of her writing over the last 3 years. There is no coherent perspective in it, just hostility to the president. Not only do I dislike Rubin, so does every committed Republican.

    3. Jared is smart but he is also a pencil necked geek and needs a lot of work on choosing the right words. He’s not ready for prime time emergency press conferences that’s for sure. He can probably find something gainful to do with his time besides this.

  17. Given the rampant leaking that has dogged this administration, I am not surprised that the president (or any president) would bring in people he could trust completely.

    If Barack Obama had appointed his wife or an adult child to a working group in a similar situation, the New York Times would have swooned.

    1. “If Barack Obama had appointed his wife or an adult child to a working group in a similar situation, the New York Times would have swooned.”

      Mofo, that is key. If it were Trump at the helm during WW2 and Albert Einstein so happened to be married into the family would that make Albert Einstein the wrong guy to head up our agency to produce a nuclear bomb?

    2. I agree with you that Trump wants to bring in people he can trust, we probably differ on the reason as I believe they are in place to protect the lies. It’s why tried and true Pence is in charge of the task force and they make most independent statements from the doctors and scientists go through him. There is reporting today that the minimum death rate is likely to be closer to 340,000 as opposed to the 100,000-240,000 the task force says. They’ve never said how they cam to those figures. Ask yourself, would Donald Trump lie to the American public to make himself look better and improve his chances for re-election? In a heartbeat. Putting an inept but loyal Kushner in place is necessary to maintain the lies. The other reason might be to funnel some of the money to the Trump Organization which is trying to renegotiate its loans with Deutsche Bank and not pay on his lease to Palm Beach County. You put a crook in office and he does crook shit.

      1. He does need someone he can trust, but he’s foolish for trusting Jared.

        Steve Bannon was a strong advocate of taking the covid-19 disease seriously and establishing social distancing from late January. See his pandemic broadcasts.

        Who ousted Steve Bannon from the NSC?


        Jared should be fired post haste.

        This was very poor judgment from Trump to inject this weasel into anything about this virus whatsoever. Turley was right about it before and even more correct now.

        1. Why would you take seriously news reports with anonymous sources on intramural disputes which are esoteric to anyone not working there?

          1. Because such news reports are sometimes credible. And relevant. It’s a tenuous connection but perhaps eventually it will be clear enough. We will see.

            1. No, they are never credible. Reporters make sh!t up or they allow themselves to be used by factional disputants.

  18. A significant detraction from Turley’s tomes arises from his constant urge to mitigate or discard atrocities regularly committed by Trump. Ex: Turley “doesn’t see why” it was necessary for Trump to include his family (Kushner) in high-level positions for which they are clearly not qualified. Really? There’s your sign!

    1. Chuck:

      “A significant detraction from Turley’s tomes arises from his constant urge to mitigate or discard atrocities regularly committed by Trump.”
      Please detail the “atrocities” counselor.

      To help you, here’e the dictionary definition: atrocity:
      1: a shockingly bad or atrocious act, object, or situation //
      the atrocities of war

      MW (online edition)

      1. Trump Derangement Syndrome is quite real! There are millions of people who bathe daily in the leftist propaganda from MSNBC and other sources, and seem to take glee in their developing hatred of President Trump. I don’t think there has ever been anything like it. It’s like an evil spirit is possessing all of them. They can’t be reasoned with. They won’t even engage in a discussion of the things they say cause them to hate Trump. It’s like they are afraid the truth will cause some of the hatred euphoria to wear off.

        1. There is without doubt TDS but the sufferers are by and large members of the Trump cult who blanch at facts and run when they see unaltered videos of their beloved leader saying exactly what he says he never said! Discussions can only be held when the other side is willing to accept some basic facts which is a precondition that eludes Trumpsters. Their idea of a discussion is..”yes, of course, you are right.” Their idea of compromise is capitulation and their idea of a free press is one that praises the orange leader and never questions.

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