MSNBC Attacks Trump For Using The DPA After Criticizing Trump For Not Using The DPA

500px-MSNBC_2015_logo.svgPresident Donald Trump has used the Defense Production Act to ensure beef, pork, poultry and egg plants keep operating to avoid a food shortage.  That did not sit well with MsNBC Chris Hayes who objected to Trump using the DPA after blasting Trump for not using the DPA.  For weeks, I have been raising what I view as a widespread misconception of the DPA and its function.  This is an example of how the DPA has become part of a media mantra to suggest that the Administration refused to use the Act when it could have addressed shortfalls.  This spin redirects the primary responsibility for the failure to prepare for a pandemic from governors, who ignored years of warnings of shortfalls and lack of stored material.  There are legitimate questions about mistakes made in this pandemic but the DPA has increasingly been used in a way disconnected from factual and legal foundations.

Hayes objects that the Trump Administration failed to use the DPA to force production of ventilators and other items. However, as I have said previously, there is no reason to use the DPA if the Administration believes that companies are at maximum input.  One legitimate objection that the Administration has made about the coverage is the widespread misrepresentations of the ventilator issue.  Dr. Deborah Birx and others have noted that no one was actually denied a ventilator and that states had a surplus.  We are currently producing an astonishing level of ventilators that far exceeds our expected needs by a sizable degree.

The point is that the DPA moves away obstacles or motivates companies when needed.  If companies are cooperating and meeting maximum projections, there is no reason to use the DPA.  The Administration has used the DPA in other areas to remove or motivate.  Clearly the Administration could have used DPS on everyone and everything to negate these criticisms.  However, it would simply create new levels of bureaucratic control and serve little real purpose if the companies are responding to government demands.  In this hue and cry over the DPA, there is a lack of specifics in how these companies would increase their effort further or what contractual obstacles need to be removed.

The latest DPA is a classic use of the Act.  The country has already faced panic buying on items like toilet paper.  Much of this trend is entirely irrational.  There was no reason why toilet paper should be the focus of panic buying but the result was a real shortage.  The chances of a panic buying on food is far far more serious.  There is already a drop of 25% in the food supply from these industries.  It could drop further.  The result is a serious threat to the nation as a whole in supplying the most basic necessity for life.

What is interesting about this use of the DPA is that it may be most valued due to its impact on liability.  By being forced to stay open, the companies can claim that they were not negligent because they were compelled to operate.  The question will be whether workers can be fired for refusing to work.  They cannot be forced to do so but could face threats over a refusal to work despite the obvious risk to them.

This is a real threat to the nation.  At a time of short food supply, we are seeing tens of thousands of animals slaughtered due to the reduction in processing.  It is not just confined to these meat plants and the virus outbreak among the work force.  We are seeing food destroyed due to interruptions in the supply chain or other market problems.  This is occurring when food banks are overwhelmed.  (This is an area where the government needs to act to pay farmers to allow for donations to food banks).

I remain highly suspicious of the failure of these companies to better protect workers.  These are startling numbers of affected workers and deaths.  The obvious response of the Administration should be to follow up with a greater federal presence in the operation and safety of these plants.  The Administration needs to bring federal resources and expertise to these plants to protect workers.

However, the use of the DPA to protect the food supply is exactly the type of national emergency that the Act was designed to address.  The MSNBC  attack reflects a curious pattern in the media where it moves effortlessly in adopting diametrically opposed positions. The only common denominator is the target of the coverage.  For months the media decried the Administration for not taking control of the pandemic and state efforts despite some of us noting that this is a primary state responsibility. Then when Trump, wrongly, claimed that he could take control, the media cried foul that this is a violation of state’s rights.  Likewise, the media objected that the Trump Administration was not using its authority to grab needed PPEs and other materials. However, when the Administration started to grab such material and distribute them to hot spots, the media criticized the Administration for interfering with states from getting such material.  Now the Administration is blamed for using the DPA after being chastised for not using the DPA.  The most remarkable thing about this pattern of flips is the absolute ease with which it has occurred.

None of this is meant to clear the Administration. Many questions remain about early warnings and early actions. That includes the possible use (including DPA orders) on mask and PPE production. However, there has also been some remarkable successes. FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers have done phenomenal jobs in ramping up production and building needed beds and resources. The speed of industry and government to address new therapeutics and treatments is also amazing.  As I have said before, the need for fair coverage has never been greater.  We should not paint with too broad a brush. Much coverage remains excellent and informative.  However, there is a clear agenda or bias in some of this coverage on issues like the DPA.  This bias can become outright misinformation on legal issues in pandemic from criminal claims to constitutional criticisms.    News coverage should have greater consistency than just the target of criticism.

 

146 thoughts on “MSNBC Attacks Trump For Using The DPA After Criticizing Trump For Not Using The DPA”

  1. The flaw in our food supply chain is that we are not set up to continue operations during a pandemic. N95s have been diverted to medical staff, and there are still none available to the public. Fabric masks are for cosmetic purposes only.

    Without proper protection, people working in assembly lines, such as meat packing plants or food packaging, are going to get sick. One in every five workers at a Mission tortilla factory tested positive. Clearly the precautions they have taken are insufficient, and it’s an unsafe work environment. Our food supply would have to be fully automated to prevent contagion, or slowed way down with a skeleton staff working far apart from each other. Even then, without N95s, airborne particles would still spread.

    Workers get to the point where they say, processing chicken isn’t worth my life. So they quit, strike, or stay home on leave. That makes sense for them, but it will mean at some point, the food supply will break and we’ll have to worry about starvation.

    We would need billions of rapid field tests and plenty of N95s to re-open. If people could take a same day test when they presented to work, we could easily quarantine people who are contagious, but have not yet presented symptoms. The numbers we would need would be staggering. At the very least, we need an enormous number of tests for medical staff, first responders, the military and anyone working the supply chain. There are 325 million people living in the US. It would require billions of tests. It takes time to get tests approved by the FDA, and they have to be manufactured in an FDA approved facility. Ford can’t set up a little manufacturing facility in an outbuilding and pump out a million field assays.

    We also need grocery stores to switch over to curbside pickup or delivery. As of now, they still force you to shop in person to get most perishables and basics like the mythical toilet paper.

  2. The left and the blue states didn’t seem to care about the most vulnerable. If you are on Medicare and your life his held in Democratic hands you might see your maker sooner than expected.
    —–

    https://cms.frontpagemag.com/point/2020/04/70-vets-dead-virus-nursing-home-reminder-daniel-greenfield

    70 Vets Dead From Virus at Nursing Home a Reminder Politicians Failed to Protect Those Most Vulnerable
    April 29, 2020
    Daniel Greenfield

    I wrote earlier this week about the fact that the death toll from the pandemic has hit nursing homes hard, even while politicians did nothing. (And yes, I know you saw the Tucker Carlson segment, but it’s not just Cuomo and New York, it’s many blue states.)

    Of the 4,377 coronavirus deaths in New Jersey, over 1,700 died due to infections in nursing homes. That nearly 40% of coronavirus deaths in one of the hardest hit states took place in nursing homes casts a stark light on the misplaced priorities of blue states battling the pandemic by locking down houses of worship and small businesses, while putting few to no resources into protecting nursing home residents.

    New Jersey’s coronavirus deaths were part of the coronavirus outbreak in 425 nursing homes. At one nursing home, after an anonymous tip, police found 17 bodies being stored in a shed.

    The article delves into New York, yes, but also Virginia, Illinois, Michigan, and California. Now we have a horrifying case out of Massachusets.

    Nearly 70 veterans have died of the coronavirus in a Massachusetts veterans care home — the deadliest known outbreak at a long-term care facility in the US.

    So far 68 of the aging residents who recently died at the state-run Holyoke Soldiers’ Home have tested positive for COVID-19, with at least one other death potentially linked to the contagion, officials say.

    Another 82 residents and 81 employees have tested positive — with a new death coming almost every day, according to the Boston Globe.

    People have been speculating about whether some deaths are being wrongly attributed to the virus. It’s possible. But death rates like these are not natural.

    Blue state pols failed to secure nursing homes and protect the most vulnerable residents from the outbreak. Instead badly run facilities moved staff back and forth, worsening the outbreak, and killing unknown numbers of nursing home residents.

    The old stats in my article suggested that nursing home fatalities amounted to 1 in 4 nationwide. But the numbers are partial and incomplete. And they continue being updated.

    What is inescapably true is that politicians were far more concerned with using lockdowns to enhance their power than protecting vulnerable populations of senior citizens.

  3. I know he doesn’t read these comments, but doesn’t it occur to anyone that “they didn’t drive me to the hospital when I was ill” and “they ran over that small child” are both valid criticisms of someone with a car?

  4. More change the subject by the right wing, a tried and tired old tactic. But I’ll give you all more ammo, doesn’t bother me, been shot at and missed shit on and hit all my life. Yep, I live in a military dictatorship, discount the election as it was rigged from the get go and the Thai people know it. Up until the trump virus I had more freedom than you do, oh you say you I can’t criticize the government, yep in that you are correct. It isn’t my country. I came here originally in 2002, a return to SE Asia for an R&R I turned down to go back out in the field back in 1967. Excuse me what R&R did you turn down? None, yep thought so. I am honest I didn’t come for the temples and food, I came for the women and the night life. It was a great move. Of course most Americans are too chickenshit to even leave the states, why they might learn what the rest of the world thinks about their police state. Not much by the way. You couldn’t have paid my now ex Thai wife to put a little toe on the mainland of America, she isn’t stupid.

    No, this country is not fascist, it is a military dictatorship. Just a slight difference. You better learn the definition of fascist. Oh and somebody wants what is left of our Embassy personal to scamper back to the states to vote. Now that’s real smar. I’ll have you know I love America and where I live does not change that. I do not care for what has become. We were never perfect, but at least for a period of time we tried to get there. I’ve been where most of you never had the courage to go so don’t tell me I don’t have a right to voice my opinion and facts about the current sorry situation in my country.

    Damn right I vote, got a problem with that? Your fascist votes by mail, got a problem with that? No, now why did I think not.

    Now that you right wingers have gotten your subject changing, attack the messenger diversion out of the way, your dear leader still doesn’t give a damn if poor, non white people die, evidently you don’t either nor does Prof. Turley.

    POTUS? Pot full of pus. Not my president, never my president.

    1. Sabai, your hysteria and incoherence are showing.

      Are you the perp on the news who recently threw his Thai wife from the balcony?

      1. Well I knew sooner or later your misplaced sabai would pop up. Do you really think it bothers me. Or maybe you like ladyboys. Come on over when the borders are reopened and I’ll introduce to a few.

        Nice try, my wife, ex to be, would beat you to a pulp…lol. Or her brother and friends would, doubt her brother would need any help. In fact her 16 year old son would. I had to bail him out a few months back for putting a 30 something in the hospital.
        No, farangs go over the balcony here, not Thais unless they are committing suicide. Or maybe by a Thai man. Most common way for Thai suicide is hanging though. You know you should really know something about Thailand before you vomit your crap.

        Oh and for your information, I’m the guy that put the perps in jail back in the states. Luv ya ignorant trumpites.

        Sorry dude, your attempts don’t work, but they do look nice. Got anymore pics with less clothes…lol.

    2. wait, you declined an RnR in 1967 while serving active in Indochina somewhere back then, so DOD sent you in .,….. 2002?

      are you suggesting that you were still in service 35 years later? Did DoD give you a raincheck>? I didnt know they did such things. Hmm, doesnt make much sense to me Sarge. Maybe you can explain that. Did i misunderstand?

      I bet you have your DD 214 handy. Maybe black it out and upload it somewhere, post a link then let’s see. Im curious what you mean by “out in the field”

      You brag so much, I think maybe your mouth is bigger than your record. Lots of guys out there running around lying about their service records these days. Always the DD 214 can prove a boast. Lets hear about being “out in the field” Im all ears!

      Yes, I’ve always been a civilian, but I know how to verify service records and I’ve done it.

    3. Hey Sarge, I don’t blame you for going for the women.

      Anyhow it says: “No, this country is not fascist, it is a military dictatorship. Just a slight difference. You better learn the definition of fascist”

      Ok, maybe so. Since you ask, I prefer Roger Eatwell’s definitiion. I’ve discussed it here before. You can look it up.

      btw, Wiki makes the case for certain Thai governments being fascist. You think Orange Man Bad is a fascist because he says America First, but what about your current landlords? Let’s pull one example from a whiles back:

      “Fascist Thailand: Phibun gave ultranationalism speech to the crowds at the Grand Palace in 1940.
      On 23 June 1939,[1] Phibun changed the country’s name from Siam to Prathet Thai (Thai: ประเทศไทย), or Thailand, said to mean “land of the free”. This was a nationalist gesture: it implied the unity of all the Tai-speaking peoples, including the Lao and the Shan, but excluding the Chinese. The regime’s slogan became “Thailand for the Thai.”

      Hmm, I can’t blame them for the sentiment of nationalism– Im a nationalist. But Sarge says Trump is a fascist! Yet he prefers to live in a foreign land with a “military dictatorship” if not a fascist regime. Hmmm

    4. ” your dear leader still doesn’t give a damn if poor, non white people die, evidently you don’t either nor does Prof. Turley.”

      haha what ? did i say that? or Turley? or trump? lol you got a vivid imagination

      anyhow I don’t care about any sort of racist taunt, I am white, I am blessed to be white, and when I’m out in the world, nobody seems to care one way or another. only on the internet these taunts get passed my way!

    5. ” I’ve been where most of you never had the courage to go so don’t tell me I don’t have a right to voice my opinion and facts about the current sorry situation in my country.”

      hmm, who you talking bout “Sarge?” are you saying I don’t have the courage to go overseas somewhere? i just wonder how you think you know that or what you think those words mean. On second thought, it’s ok, you’re entitled to your opinion, feel free to keep on patting yourself on the back for being an expat, I know the type!

      “Of course most Americans are too chickenshit to even leave the states, why they might learn what the rest of the world thinks about their police state.”

      haha sarge, what you think you know about “the rest of the world” may be your own little field of view. and you’re like a blind man feeling up that leg of the elephant thinking it’s a tree.

  5. “I want to see the good Prof., you and the orange fascist working in there for a couple of weeks, you willing? ”

    Wouldn’t that be a trip.

  6. So in other words Prof. like the orange fascist you don’t just don’t give a damn how many people of color the bloated fascist kills. I guess your hamburger is more important than a human life.

    1. JT’s column on this is wrong and stupid in so many ways, one gives up any hope in his good faith use of his brain. Your point is one of them sgt.

    2. I guess your hamburger is more important than a human life.

      That’s a strong pro-life, anti-abortion statement you and book are declaring. 👍 for having principles.

      1. You are soooooo wrong. Anti-abortion people are wackos and evidently you are too. I am every so pro choice. A woman’s body is hers, not some faux religion’s, old white man’s or the government’s. They don’t give a damn about life, just forcing some poor woman to have a child against her will and then saying “screw you, you made the baby, we don’t give a damn if you can feed it”. Very much off subject, a typical right wing tactic. Nice try.

        And by the way, maybe you should have walked in my boots for a few years to really learn about human life. You know not about which you talk.

        The subject here is forcing people back to work in an environment they will get sick and die in. I want to see the good Prof., you and the orange fascist working in there for a couple of weeks, you willing? Didn’t think so and neither or the Prof. or the orange fascist, hell he’s never done a day of work in his life, good ‘ol cadet bone spurs.

        1. i didn’t hear your response to my remark the other day sarge

          if you are so worried about Trump the supposed fascist then why live in Thailand where the country has been under one version of over military junta or one variety of fascism or another for decades?

          or tell me why Im wrong if you think that Thailand isnt, if you think the premise is mistaken

        2. IN JT’s book, any use of the PDA – even if to force poorer people to work in befouled conditions and then take it home – is the same as another. That we are not using it to produce tests, when that is the one necessary ingredient for a somewhat safe return to normalcy is not a problem to him and why his opinion on this is dog c…p

        3. This one has been waiting all day to jump on the blog to defend his post of several hours ago…like a swashbuckling hero welding a powerful saber, slicing and dicing as he thrusts

          My kids did that too when they played with their little friends, until it was time to eat dinner

          😉

        4. Nope. Sabai, your hypocrisy completely undermines your credibility. Either you protect all innocent human life or take the position that some innocent lives are more important than others. Sadly, you and your ilk consistently fail to do a root cause analysis before taking a policy position. In this regard, you seem to believe the root cause of an abortion is the woman’s personal circumstances forcing her to take such a radical step. Abortion in your mind is the solution to all her problems. That’s not the root cause. The root cause is the circumstances that led to getting pregnant in the first place. Human compassion would lead to policies preventing the pregnancy and the horrible choice to kill the unborn child. Political compassion would lead to policies protecting political power and the useful idiots that help sustain it.

          1. Are you a woman? Perhaps you know one that had to make that choice? No, I didn’t think so. I do, very, very well, I love her, always will, it was my embryo. You would want her to have a baby full of Agent Orange? Diseased and crippled in a country that doesn’t give a damn about it’s citizens. Oh that’s right you are one that just says have the baby and our responsibility ends there, even if it kills you. As soon as the border to Lao is opened again we will be together.

            You’ve no idea of the pain the correct decision causes, you know nothing about which you speak. Just go back to reading your interpretation of the bible, watching faux not the news propaganda channel and let people live their lives which you have never had. Maybe if you had you would have actually learned compassion.

            Do you know a woman whose baby lived 30 seconds and died, Agent Orange, I did, she drank herself to death after my friend/brother John died from Agent Orange, she was like a sister to me. We didn’t know about AO back then.

            You are a fool, even worse. An embryo is not yet a human life, damn where in hell did you idiots come from. Troglodytes from hell.

            Human compassion would lead to children born and not starving, human compassion would led to Medicare for all. I hope the rapture comes quickly for people like you so we can get back to living again without the faux christian sharia. America is a secular country, was founded that way and your faux christian sharia is bull****.

            Here is a horrible choice, killing men, women, children at a wedding party, are you protesting that policy? No again? Bet it sounds good to you, after all, they have darker skin and aren’t Americans.

            Still a good right wing way to change the subject. Congratulations.

            1. Carol Everett, Former Abortion Clinic Owner Testimony

              “I recognized I’d been involved in the death of 35,000 babies, the murder of 1 woman who bled to death from a 2nd trimester abortion, 19 women who’d had hysterectomies or colostomies, and never had one appear in the newspapers; no lawsuit. But the thing I couldn’t deal with was the fact that I had taken the life of my own child by abortion. You can’t deal with death and lies on a daily basis without being greatly affected by it.” ~ Carol Everett

            2. funny sarge you saying the border’s closed in thailand? Why yes, of course it is

              but only Trump is bad for daring to say we should keep and maintain borders, before the covid, now after, every other country on earth has now closed borders and its all good, this issue is now dead

              but trump is still orange man bad

            3. oh, yes, Asia knows all about abortion, and who was it that has killed more “embryos” off than any other country in history? gee that would be those asian communists in the PRC. their failed experiment was so awful that even they have changed it and seek to erase their past history now

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdkHA_-xryk

              ask about 30,000 or so Chinese women why they came to the horrible United States the past couple decades, check their asylum filings, what is the first reason, sworn under oath? Maybe persecuted as Christians, or Falun gong? No– victims of the one child policy.

              https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-china-asylum/end-of-chinas-one-child-policy-may-slow-u-s-asylum-cases-experts-idUSKCN0SN30U20151029

              maybe America’s not so bad after all! they seem to think so. but sarge says America is full of racists and lead by a fascist and prefers to reside under the military dictatorship of Thailand better. Well, it definitely has better weather, that’s for sure!

            4. Common Lefty tripe. Build a strawman, argue against it and then thump your chest for finally winning an argument against yourself.

              No, not a woman. Yes, my 1st wife had an abortion (my child), when I was 20 and she was 19. I was an E-4 (1 yr in the Navy) and did not have one critical thought about the decision.

              You would want her to have a baby full of Agent Orange? We didn’t know about AO back then.

              What a stupid question. What idiot gets a woman pregnant that would be at risk with Agent Orange? Oh wait, was that before or after you learned of AO? Because if it was before, then choosing an abortion was apparently for some other reason.

              An embryo is not yet a human life,

              Maybe yours isn’t, but even when I was 20, I understood full well that my wife was pregnant with what would be our first child. Eventually I grew up, developed some ethics and began to make moral decisions.

              Stop acting like a man-child and just grow up already. Own your mistakes and deal with your anger management issues. You’re embarrassing yourself.

    3. Thailand a country that seems to have been stabilized greatly by 90 years of intermittent fascist regimes one after another and the guy who chooses to live there instead of the land of his birth is going to lecture us about the American president.

      Do you get to vote my mail sarge? yes you do

      if the POTUS were really a fascist then he would cancel this law with a penstroke

      https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/while-abroad/voting.html

      expats would have to haul their backsides stateside and cast a ballot in person

      let us know when you come back and then your opinion will matter. for now just enjoy your retirement

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