Jared Kushner, having failed to deliver peace to the Middle East, is reassigned to manage the Trump administration’s COVID-19 response

I know I said yesterday that I wanted to spend more of my time thinking about positive things that people are doing here in our community, and less time considering Donald Trump’s negative impact on the lifespans of my loved ones, and I really meant it at the time… but then I read that the President’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner — someone with absolutely not experience in such things — was taking on a more central role in the administration’s efforts to align the nation’s supply chain with the demands of those fighting COVID-19, and it so thoroughly pissed me off that I felt compelled to throw open this metaphorical window of mine and shout into the night.

If you haven’t already, I’d encourage you to share my anger by reading the opinion piece, “Jared Kushner Is Going to Get Us All Killed,” in today’s New York Times… For those of you who don’t have the time for that, here’s a succinct video distillation of the problem that we’re up against.

That was Kushner, at the White House earlier today, at the side of Donald Trump, attempting to explain why states still weren’t receiving the personal protective equipment and ventilators that they’d requested several weeks ago… Take note of his use of the word “our.”

So, yeah, it’s looking as though, from here on out, our futures are going to be in the hands of failed developer and publisher Jerod Kushner, the man who most recently oversaw the Trump administration’s disastrous Middle East peace plan… a dilettante who has failed at every single thing he has ever done. Even in the best of times, with every advantage, he has failed spectacularly. And now he’s heroically stepping into the breach, two months too late, already displaying a complete misunderstanding of even the most basic issues at play, to ensure that our hospitals have all of the protective gear and ventilators that they need as we meet the brunt of this pandemic. What could possibly go wrong, right?

Speaking of his complete misunderstanding of the situation we’re facing, he’s absolutely wrong when he says in the above video clip that the role of the federal strategic stockpile isn’t to serve the states. Here’s the actual text from the website of the Strategic National Stockpile. “When state, local, tribal, and territorial responders request federal assistance to support their response efforts,” it says, “the stockpile ensures that the right medicines and supplies get to those who need them most during an emergency.”

I could go on, but I’m still trying not to let this stuff completely take over my mind again. I will say, however, that it was also Kushner, a little while back, who questioned Governor Andrew Cuomo’s projection that the state of New York would need another 30,000 ventilators by the time we reached the height of the outbreak. Dr. Anthony Fauci, for what it’s worth, said he accepted Cuomo’s projection. But it’s reported that Kushner responded to Cuomo’s projection by saying, “I have all this data about I.C.U. capacity… I’m doing my own projections, and I’ve gotten a lot smarter about this. New York doesn’t need all the ventilators.”

So, no, it’s not exactly like that time, back during the Obama administration, when we had a Nobel laureate in Physics leading our nation’s response to the Fukushima disaster. Kushner doesn’t have even a hint of relevant experience. What we need is someone with deep institutional knowledge and decades of experience in disaster supply chain management. And, instead, we have someone whose only qualification seems to be the apparent trust of his father-in-law, a man who dragged his feet for two months instead of taking this crisis seriously.

Here, speaking of Trump, is an excerpt from his press conference today. In it, he, like his son-in-law, makes the case that it’s not the federal government’s job to oversee things like this. This, by the way, is the opposite of what he said a decade ago, when he was critiquing Obama’s response to the Ebola crisis… not that hypocrisy matters any more.

update When I posted this on Thursday, I was absolutely correct when I noted that the website for the Strategic National Stockpile said, “When state, local, tribal, and territorial responders request federal assistance to support their response efforts, the stockpile ensures that the right medicines and supplies get to those who need them most during an emergency.” Since then, however, it’s been changed to agree with the language used by Jared Kushner. Here, before it’s completely scrubbed from the internet forever, is the original version, followed by the current version. George Orwell would be proud.

Yesterday:

Today:

Who knows what tomorrow holds. Maybe the site will just have a picture of Obama, with the caption, “It’s all his fault.”

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93 Comments

  1. Bob
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    The Jared doc that’s on Netflix will make you crazy with anger at what a total piece of garbage he is. It also reminds you that as corrupt and despicable as his family and the Trump’s are, the Clinton’s are completely tied up with all of them at every turn. Kushner’s jailbird father was actually a longtime fundraiser for the Dems and you see them will Billary at every opportunity. Not to mention Chelsea Clinton and Ivanka being besties Sorry Jean and Lynne, your girl HRC is every bit the piece of shit America recognized her to be.

  2. Sad
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    This whole thing is quickly going from bad to worse.

  3. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    The list shows pics of locations and people, some of which are crime scenes and elite respectively. Unusual images to appear on a network affiliate, especially considering the implications.

    https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/missing-children-ny-complete-list/442173/

  4. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 2, 2020 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    Kushner is correct though, obviously. FEMA should not be depleting their stockpile to build a state or cities stockpile. FEMA should be distributing based on more immediate needs. Not based upon what a state, city or hospital thinks it might need… Not based upon what a state or city feels comfortable with based whatever model they might be using.

    How dumb are the people that you follow on Twitter, Mark?

  5. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    “When state, local, tribal, and territorial responders request federal assistance to SUPPORT THEIR response efforts,”

    It’s support for their efforts, not just Big Brother taking all that remaining burdensome responsibility out of the hands of the states. It’s the United States of America, not “The US GOVERNMENT”.

  6. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    Is Mark on the downstream end of a twitter pyramid scheme where if he retweets the idiotic comments from more famous tweeters then he will get his turn to be Twitter-famous someday?

    I don’t get Mark’s fascination with these jokers. Vox and GQ are trash-ola. This dude Rupar is a mega-goofball. But Mark posts that guys dumb stuff so often it feels like Rupar owns him.

  7. iRobert
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    Trump said federal stockpiles are nearing depletion. Is there an accounting of where everything went?

    There have been complaints that a disproportionate amount was sent to Florida. Is there any truth to that?

  8. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    I read one article that suggested Florida was getting everything they asked for, whereas other states didn’t. The article seemed to be insinuating Trump is playing favorites. The article for example, said the federal government gave Florida 100% of what they asked for whereas other states only received 10% of what they asked for. Seemed like a phony way to calculate the appropriateness of levels of support to various states. Cuomo wanted 30k ventilators.

  9. I bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Aloha FF, remind me to never have you in charge of planning logistics. Obviously the purpose of “stockpiles” is a foreign concept.
    The need to escape reality by Trumpets has never been more apparent.

    See where the Gulf of Mexico is 10 degrees above normal. Another above “average” hurricane season on the horizon. Mean while Trump is encouraging us to put more carbon into the atmosphere (trashed auto fuel standards while everyone is focused on the virus).
    I just cant get enough of being made great again. After all what goes around comes around.

  10. I bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Aloha, read that ems units in NY are being told not to bother resuscitating folks on the way to hospitals. No ER capacity to deal with heart attack victims. Of course they will not be counted as COVID 19 deaths

  11. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    What part of the concept “stockpile” am I missing, my friend?

  12. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/04/02/826105278/ventilators-are-no-panacea-for-critically-ill-covid-19-patients

  13. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    From NYT:

    “Mr. Cuomo said, however, that the state had been making contingency plans. It is trying to buy ventilators on the open market and converting so-called BiPAP machines — another kind of respiratory device — for use as ventilators. Unused ventilators from hospitals in upstate New York could also be trucked to New York City and the surrounding area as needed, he said.

    “We have all these extraordinary measures that I believe if push comes to shove will put us in fairly good shape,” he said.“

  14. Anonymous
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Ben Rhodes: Put your son in law in charge of the car dealership franchise, not the pandemic response.

  15. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Compare the headline with what Fauci is actually saying:

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/nypost.com/2020/03/29/cuomo-needs-30000-ventilators-for-coronavirus-stricken-new-yorkers-fauci/amp/

    So phony.

  16. Jean Henry
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    What a nightmare. The SS Confort isn’t accepting Covid19 patients. Or anyone else really. Maybe that dude who ran the train into the one in LA had a point.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/02/nyregion/ny-coronavirus-usns-comfort.html

  17. Jean Henry
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Bob— I don’t know how many politicians or famous people you know, but they take a lot of photos with other people. They rarely know those people or have anything to do with them.

    I’m not a fan of big money in politics. Who is really? But I’m also unimpressed with Sanders attempts to frame himself as free of it or much different than the rest. The only candidate willing to forgo Super Pac funding was Warren. She asked the others to join her in refusing it and they refused, so she has to cave too. Sanders didn’t even bother to ask. Railing against big money in politics and corporatism is a good talking point for him to emphasize his supposed purity— lacking any other differentiator than a lot of foolish young people buying his whole schtick. But it’s a bunch of hogwash. He’s as complicit as any politician.

    I didn’t support HRC because I don’t care about corporate influence on politics; I supported her because I hate isolationism and I don’t like liars, righteous moralism and cults of personality. Also his policy plans were wack. Great objectives; shitty plans. (They were better this go around)

    I’ll say it again: it must be nice to think that ones political position makes when morally superior to others and free of responsibility for the horrors of much American Policy.

  18. I bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Aloha JH you should get your facts right. Tulsi refused all PAC money And support. Campaign entirely funded by humans contributing to her campaign.

  19. Jean Henry
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Yes and she didn’t manage 1% of the vote.
    Of course one can run a campaign on principle but then one is doomed to failure. She’s a candidate for ppl who want to make themselves feel better by being right more than they want to make change your doing hard and often paradoxical work.

    It’s easy to rail against these systems of oppression, and another to disassemble them . Sometimes you need to participate in the shitty system to gain enough agency to take it apart. The tendency of moralists is to think the person who takes a principled stand is the agent of change. That’s a bad movie narrative not reality.

    People who think they are morally superior are almost always a problem for others.

  20. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Maybe keeping the Corona patients separate from the non-Corona patients is smart not stupid? Maybe there are negative health consequences when you load a ship full of contagious Corona patients? I wish we could talk to a the CEO of a 15B dollar health system to get a better perspective cause I’m stupid about this stuff.

  21. I bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Aloha JH, just correcting your misstatement about Warren. I know facts rarely matter to you when it comes to your biases.

    Biden evidently wants the in-person voting primary to go forward in Wisconsin. Since Joe is the “any blue will do” candidate, should we just ignore this kinda stupidity?

  22. Lynne
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    If HRC were president now, we would be in a much better place. I haven’t seen the documentary but I doubt the Clintons are tied up in anything more than superficial social things except for the friendship between Chelsea and Ivanka. But so what? I guess Bob doesn’t have any friends who have different political views than he has, if he has any friends at all. Next, he is going to berate Ruth Bader Ginsberg for being BFFs with Scalia. I think Bob is WAY worse as a person than Hillary Clinton! He is only harmless because he has no power.

    You have to admit though that Kushner is right that the states cannot count on the federal government to help them out. The federal government at this point is incompetent. It wouldn’t have been if HRC had been elected because if there is one thing she is, it is competent. Oh well, woulda shoulda coulda I guess. For now the states are mostly on their own.

  23. Lynne
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Wobblie, I disagree with having in person primaries right now too. If Sanders cared about people, he would drop out now and save everyone the bother. Especially now that he can’t win.

    I guess you are going to have to make a choice just like last time. Do you want Trump in office? If so, vote for the third party candidate of your choice. If not, suck it up and vote for Biden. It is as simple as that. Maybe Biden will pick Gabbard as his running mate? She has endorsed him and he has stated that he is committed to having a female in that office.

  24. iRobert
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Gabbard is not being considered for Biden’s running mate. I still think Stacy Abrams would be the best choice strategically.

  25. Anonymous
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    All bullshit and politics aside, does anyone feel as though Kushner is the best qualified person in our country to deliver the goods? If so, I’m curious to know why you feel that is. This is a serious question.

  26. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    The anti-semitism on display on MM is palpable.

  27. J.
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    anti-semitism? really? can one not express displeasure with the fact that a non-confirmed political appointee with such a dearth of relevant experience has been given such an important position? looks like someone is reaching.

  28. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    It was 100% a joke.

  29. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    My serious opinion is the one that will make you guys laugh though.

  30. Lynne
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    iRobert, I agree that Abrams might be the best choice but I think Kamala Harris would be a good one too. Either way, it would be pretty awesome for the first female president to be a woman of color. (I don’t think Biden is going to make it the full 4 years) No one really likes Gabbard as evidenced by her primary showing.

  31. Jean Henry
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    I would like to hear FF’s response to Anonymous’ question. Is Kushner the bes qualified person to be doing this medical supply chain coordination work? What qualifies him to do this exactly?

    If Obama had appointed his Michelle Obama to run the response to a pandemic would that have been different?

  32. Jean Henry
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    “A source familiar says there was a last minute decision to exclude Dr. Fauci from today’s Coronavirus news conference at the White House.”

    https://twitter.com/DHBerman/status/1246190876151472131?s=20

    Hey don’t worry; we have Kushner to run things.

    I actually believe that Fauci was probably just getting too much laudatory press and the President, being who he is, got jealous and demanded Fauci take a back seat out of the spotlight. I truly hope his job is not at stake. With news outlets saying they won’t broadcast the updates without Fauci (CNN dropped it today), maybe Facui will re-appear and maybe he’ll be removed.

  33. Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Trump being Trump again today.

  34. Jean Henry
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    I have neither enough time nor enough obsessiveness to fully develop my pet theory that Kushner has been cultivated as a foreign asset, so I’ll share a few fun links and maybe one of you can pick up that ball and run with it. Just for fun:
    https://www.politico.com/story/2019/04/29/mueller-report-jared-kushner-dmitri-simes-russia-1291392

  35. Jean Henry
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    https://medium.com/politicalhaze/is-jared-kushner-a-saudi-spy-72dcce16bc15

  36. Jean Henry
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    https://www.businessinsider.com/kushner-warned-that-his-friend-wendi-deng-murdoch-may-be-a-chinese-spy-2018-1

  37. Jean Henry
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/01/29/jared-kushner-is-chinas-trump-card

  38. Jean Henry
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-is-jared-kushner-dangerous-for-america-1.6877243

  39. Jean Henry
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    I know he can’t be a spy for all those countries, but he could be lame and vulnerable enough to be useful to their interests. And he has the ear of the President. Always. He got Bannon dumped when Bannon gunned for him.
    One thing I know for sure, there are no articles about how useful Kushner is for US interests.

  40. Jean Henry
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    “As of early Friday morning, the stockpile’s home page had read: “Strategic National Stockpile is the nation’s largest supply of life-saving pharmaceuticals and medical supplies for use in a public health emergency severe enough to cause local supplies to run out. When state, local, tribal, and territorial responders request federal assistance to support their response efforts, the stockpile ensures that the right medicines and supplies get to those who need them most during an emergency. Organized for scalable response to a variety of public health threats, this repository contains enough supplies to respond to multiple large-scale emergencies simultaneously.”
    These sentences were gone as of Friday afternoon. In their place were new sentences that emphasized that the stockpile is meant as a temporary backup for states’ own supplies.
    The revised page reads: “The Strategic National Stockpile’s role is to supplement state and local supplies during public health emergencies. Many states have products stockpiled, as well. The supplies, medicines, and devices for life-saving care contained in the stockpile can be used as a short-term stopgap buffer when the immediate supply of adequate amounts of these materials may not be immediately available.”

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/03/politics/stockpile-website-edited-kushner-claim/index.html

  41. bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Aloha, all the folks ( Im thinking of you Lynne) who want to blame Sanders for the primaries continuing: You are not thinking clearly. Just like in Michigan, other things besides the Democratic nominee for President are decided (WCC mileage) In addition it would be nice for the future of the Democratic Party if there was a progressive presence.

  42. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    So the upshot is each state is supposed to have a fuckin’ supply, right?

  43. Jean Henry
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    They do, HW. They weren’t adequate to the need. The federal supply is the back up. Who is that supply for if not the states?

  44. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    How many masks and ventilators did Michigan have?

  45. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Jean,

    Thank you for asking for my opinion. As the face of the supply drive and allocation Kushner was born the role. I would go so far as to say it is his destiny! (I told you would laugh but I am dead serious.) The McKinsey consultants are going handle the difficult stuff and the private sector is going to assist. It is 100% normal give. our situation. Kushner’s super strengths are he is intelligent and stoic. Having a gentle demeanor and sweet face are going to help when he announces difficult to hear decisions to the American people. There will be difficult decisions. They will be data drive decisions. I would be very surprised if we don’t witness some hard to stomach triage. Triage and rationing are the facts of life that we have been insulated from. Italy was refusing ventilators to people older than 60 for example. I think we will avoid that though. We are at war right now. With who? We are at war with ourselves and China. Literally. When I hear the bitch babies bitching I just can’t believe it.

    Support your president! We can get through it best if we stick together and understand the enemy we are fighting. We have blindly prepared for these vulnerabilities for 30 years. Duh. Blaming Trump is insane.

    Also, I love what Trump is doing to the governors. Manage your shit! Cooperate and make difficult asks. The role of the federal government is not to save a bunch of babies. Just like the role of the federal government is not to force us to self isolate by gunpoint. Look at Cuomo making difficult decisions. It is on him. He set his own fucking trap. NYC hospitals were already collapsing. Cuomo is a conman.

    The criticisms of Kushner about FEMA stockpiles is some of the stupidest shit I have ever read on the internet.

  46. Sad
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    You’re a cruel one

    Mr. FF

    Like the grinch of the pandemic.

    What’s your zip code? I want to see how many of your neighbors are dropping dead while you whistle at Jared Kushner.

  47. bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    FF what an idiot. At war with China? You dope they already won. How many dead Americans is the only question. Thanks to China 1000 more plus New Yorkers won’t die because of STUPID American exceptionalism. I hope Whitmer is on the phone to Xi.

  48. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    “They play the Beautiful Soul, which feels superior to the corrupted world while secretly participating in it: they need this corrupted world as the only terrain where they can exert their moral superiority.” —Zizek

    All the beautiful souls in the world are not going to save a single life, Sad. Have you not noticed that the class of person who is most unable to even have **a practical conversation** about the real decisions (which eventually need to be made) between economy and health are the same people who are most insulated from the effects of a shutdown? I am talking the college educated class that can work from home without huge sacrifices…In this area they are often tied to colleges…

    Who are the real grinches? Fascinating to me that you used the grinch example. I want to give you something cool to read but it is a lot of words. (I can’t find it right now.)

    Thanks for the “table is a table” thing the other day,btw. I enjoyed that.

  49. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Call me a sucker if you want but we are not battling exceptionalism. Maybe I am wrong though… I do think we are exceptional. I also have a soft spot for governments that do not make journalists and doctors disappear.

  50. Jean Henry
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    FF– A reminder here that at Kushner’s behest, to protect his relationship with MBS, the murder of Jamal Khashoggi the AMERICAN journalist (worked for WAPO, was applying for US citizenship) was ignored by our government.

  51. Jean Henry
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    As for Kushner’s talents. Let me offer a few links to peruse.
    https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/10/jared-kushner-worlds-worst-real-estate-developer

  52. Jean Henry
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Kushner, Bernstein told me, “really sees himself as a disrupter.” Again and again, she said, people who’d dealt with Kushner told her that whatever he did, he “believed he could do it better than anybody else, and he had supreme confidence in his own abilities and his own judgment even when he didn’t know what he was talking about.”

    It’s hard to overstate the extent to which this confidence is unearned. Kushner was a reportedly mediocre student whose billionaire father appears to have bought him a place at Harvard. Taking over the family real estate company after his father was sent to prison, Kushner paid $1.8 billion — a record, at the time — for a Manhattan skyscraper at the very top of the real estate market in 2007. The debt from that project became a crushing burden for the family business. (Kushner was able to restructure the debt in 2011, and in 2018 the project was bailed out by a Canadian asset management company with links to the government of Qatar.) He gutted the once-great New York Observer, then made a failed attempt to create a national network of local politics websites.
    His forays into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — for which he boasted of reading a whole 25 books — have left the dream of a two-state solution on life support. Michael Koplow of the centrist Israel Policy Forum described Kushner’s plan for the Palestinian economy as “the Monty Python version of Israeli-Palestinian peace.”
    Now, in our hour of existential horror, Kushner is making life-or-death decisions for all Americans, showing all the wisdom we’ve come to expect from him.

    “Mr. Kushner’s early involvement with dealing with the virus was in advising the president that the media’s coverage exaggerated the threat,” reported The Times. It was apparently at Kushner’s urging that Trump announced, falsely, that Google was about to launch a website that would link Americans with coronavirus testing. (As The Atlantic reported, a health insurance company co-founded by Kushner’s brother — which Kushner once owned a stake in — tried to build such a site, before the project was “suddenly and mysteriously scrapped.”)

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/02/opinion/jared-kushner-coronavirus.html

  53. Lynne
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    wobbie, Yes there are other things on the ballot but Sanders really should still drop out.

  54. Jean Henry
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Kushner reminds me of those many people who comment on the internet about politics as if they know better than the experts. Those people are legion, especially around this area. They often seek and gain seats in local politics. They usually do so by lobbing a bunch of populist nonsense calling the experts ‘elites’ and saying they will return decision making to the people. (One thing we have learned in this pandemic is just how stupid humans are at figuring out the best course of action for themselves)

    What almost never happens though is that a total rube becomes President and then chooses another total rube to run the response to a pandemic. I feel like Fauci will never abandon us, but I’m certain Kushner is proud to make his job that much harder.

  55. Jean Henry
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    HW– re Michigan’s emergency supply of masks.. I don’t know how many we had stockpiled (do you?) but we managed to supply ourselves with many more than we have received from the feds:
    “Whitmer said Michigan on its own has amassed 4 million gloves, 4 million N95 masks and thousands of gallons of hand sanitizer”

  56. Jean Henry
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    I answered your question HW, so please answer mine:
    “Who is that supply for if not the states?”

  57. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    I should be surprised that people don’t like Kushner and have written opinion pieces against him?

    I should be like: “OMG Jean has access to negative representations of Kushner I guess we are all fucked. OMG. OMG. Bad timing with loans. Billionaire parents. OMG. Average student. OMG we are all going to die.”

  58. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    The objection to what Kushner said is twilight zone weird—and Jean thinks she is building a case. Tough questions. HW is afraid to answer Jean’s tough questions. Hahahah.

  59. Lynne
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    It would only be Twilight Zone weird to someone very invested in patriarchal power structures.

  60. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Thus spoke Princess Cassandra from the mountaintop . And nobody believed her—not even the childless SJW’s in the crowd.

  61. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Princess Cassandra requested a personal ventilator, a backup personal ventilator, a case of N95 masks, and 2 pounds of chloroquine but she hasn’t gotten it yet—because the patriarchy.

  62. Sad
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Man.

    Ypsilanti is becoming a hot spot.

    Sad

  63. Sad
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    I bet Jared Kushner doesn’t give a rats ass about Ypsilanti.

  64. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    “Whitmer said Michigan on its own has amassed 4 million gloves, 4 million N95 masks and thousands of gallons of hand sanitizer”

    Then she is doing what she is supposed to do instead of deplete that national stockpile right away, right?

    I already answered who it is for. Like the official verbiage says it is for the states when they need a boost in their efforts, not right off the bat. A lot of states appear to have been negligent.

  65. Sad
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    If Whitmer is so incompetent why doesn’t Trump step in and help?

    These are people dying a horrible lonely death HW.

    People from Ypsilanti .

  66. Anonymous
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Senator Schumer: “We are not going to overcome this supply problem unless we have someone — a military person in charge.”

    He’s right.

  67. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Sad, I don’t want you take this the wrong way, like I am trying to insult you. I am not. I am wondering what you think about this passage though:

    “The thing that characterizes the acting con- sciousness is precisely this confusion of the universal and the particu- lar, in which his individual will is posited as universal. As Hegel says, only the rock is innocent; as soon as we act we fall into sin, we impose the particular contents of our act as universal. It is in reaction to the necessarily sinful nature of the act that the “beautiful soul” emerges. Instead of acting, it talks, it expresses profound convictions that deplore the sad state of the world and its injustices. It does not want to get its hands dirty, it wants at all cost to keep a distance between itself and the prosaic world…The “beautiful soul” presents itself as describing the sad state of the world as if it was excluded from it, as if it was observing from an objective distance – we could say, from the distance of meta- language. But it forgets to include its own subjective position, the fact that it wants the world to be as it is, so that it can continue to occupy the comfortable position of the exploited victim. The entirety of its jouissance is tied to this role, its identity as an exploited victim gives consistency to its imaginary-me.”—zizek

  68. Nobody
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    FF –

    I’m wondering what you think about this exchange…..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z6vsYELcjw

  69. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    Wow. Thanks for sharing that! That was a pretty intense scene! I want to watch the whole episode/ series now. I only know a little about Mad Men and Don Draper—misty just liked the sets and costumes—that scene has me very intrigued…

    The scene I remember from Madmen was when the people around Draper were talking about politics and he said “I don’t vote”. Is he generally not political?

    Part of the reason I was careful to tell Sad I was not meaning it as an insult is I suspect part of the TDS is form of a kind of natural thing that might happen when a group has lost control…When they feel like they are outside of the realm of action and pushed into the role of talking/criticism—which are the conditions under which “The beautiful soul” emerges.

  70. Jean Henry
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    FF– Those opinion pieces also had assessments of Kushner’s qualifications based on facts.

    **What facts do you offer to support Kushner’s qualifications for running the supply chain and possibly much more of our government’s pandemic response?

    What you offered were vague opinions. And McKinsey behind the scenes.

    **Is it your impression that Trump et al are listening to the experts?
    **Do you expect them to continue to do so?
    **If they break from the expoerts, will you havE the same confidence?

    I added asterisks to the questions so you can be sure to answer them

  71. Jean Henry
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    I think FF is stoned.

  72. Jean Henry
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    It’s amazing to see HW adopt the changed official language re the national stockpile as though those were the guidelines all along.

    And FF says there’s nothing to see in what Kushner said, ignoring that there was enough to spur the government to CHANGE THE GUIDELINES overnight to match his take.

    Watch while he and FF adopt the party line lockstep, because they are ‘independent thinkers’ and ‘not sheep.’. They use logic. I guess a fucking timeline doesn’t matter in your logical framework.

  73. Nobody
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    I don’t remember much about the series. I usually dozed off while watching with my wife. That scene got my attention and I never forgot it.

    My memory was that Don Draper “recreated” himself. He is a bit of a Trumpian figure in that he is bullshitting his way through things. The constant is that he sees the need to take action and create/destroy rather than daudle and complain. However, like Trump, he does not spend much time looking at what Good he is aiming at. And that brings us back to the ancient discussion of the Good that never seems to advance here.

    Here is another clip for you. It is Jeff Goldblum quoting George Bernard Shaw in the context of how to deal with Trump & Trumpian characters who are now in power. It is a follow up to his “I will not be uninspired” remarks he made as a guest on Colbert on election night. I think it is a quote worth memorizing. Here are both of them….

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IsWk5513n0

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbnUGrtzcLc

  74. Nobody
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Here is the quote for those reluctant to listen to Mr. Goldblum, but let’s be honest.. he is really entertaining though.

    “This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

    I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. Life is no ‘brief candle’ to me. It ia a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to the future generations.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

  75. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    “changed official language re the national stockpile as though those were the guidelines all along.”

    I thought it was clear from all the language I saw that the national stockpile is supposed to be a supplement not the primary stockpile for all the states. You seem to ignore what I already said about it. Was there a good answer I missed?

  76. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    “When state, local, tribal, and territorial responders request federal assistance to support their response efforts, the stockpile ensures that the right medicines and supplies get to those who need them most during an emergency.”

    That’s the original language and that is what I responded to. Jean, you ought to retire from this shit. You are not cut out for it. You will be done soon anyway.

    Hey, you didn’t answer me about the money and the bootlicking. You are doing that in reality if Obama/Clinton/et al are convicted of major crimes, correct? You said you would literally do it so I want to make sure it’s not a slippery lawyerly escape clause when you use that word. By literally you mean in physical reality.

  77. Jean Henry
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    Yes. I will. Bet stands.

  78. Jean Henry
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    “The notion of the stockpile is that it’s our stockpile. It’s not supposed to be the states’ that they then use’

    HW—Do you believe this statement from Kushner was accurate?

  79. Jean Henry
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    Again, who would is the stockpile of not the states?

  80. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    Am I the only one who finds this conversation and the line of questioning from Jean very weird? It’s bizarre. It’s like Jean feels like she has some kind of case. ColuMbo too. Check out his updates in the article. Haha. Man, these two must be reading the same newsletter.

    Jean, Because it seems important to you I will answer your questions the best I can even though I think they are lame questions which I have already kind answered. Under one condition: I want you to first throw out your best guess for why I call Lynne “Cassandra”.

  81. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted April 5, 2020 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    The states are supposed to have their own. Durr. It’s not supposed to be their stockpile. It’s supposed to back up state stockpiles when the shit really hits the fan. Cuomo could have got a ton of ventilators cheap just a few years ago but decided not to. Now he’s pissed the federal gov isn’t getting him the maximum number he’ll need in a worst case scenario. Damn, at least admit you were negligent before asking for what you need.

    Half-Whit has been in for a few minutes. Shouldn’t Michigan have our own shit considering the taxes we pay? Being totally unprepared and getting bailed out by the Federal Government is the way to go I guess.

  82. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 5, 2020 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/05/automakers-gm-ford-ventilators-coronavirus-detroit

  83. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 5, 2020 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/05/automakers-gm-ford-ventilators-coronavirus-detroit

  84. bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted April 5, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Aloha Xi has more compassion for New Yorkers than Trump
    https://gizmodo.com/china-gives-new-york-1-000-ventilators-as-u-s-governme-1842681210?fbclid=IwAR2OZg3B0BRkuCWIeHEMxBddnM0VIlBNpU5BHv1oNG5F7HEElV5ixxADhqM

  85. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 5, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Nobody,

    I thought you might like the Tom Perkins article above.

    I woke up and watched that scene again. I did not watch the episode but I read about the episode “Hobo Code” on Wikipedia. The story of the hobo when he was a child seems like it will be a crucial element for thinking about it. I do think the zizek quote helps thinking about the scene too and vice versa. Thank you for sharing it! It is fascinating already.

    For the purposes of this conversation an interesting line was “toothpaste never saved anyone, Dacron can’t save those 10 kids in Bikoxi” . I think GM and Ford are in the process of reminding us otherwise.

    I find that scene interesting because I don’t think it can be fully understood by simply negating the points of view of the hippies. That is why I was cautious to explain to Sad that I was not offering the Zizek quote as an insult to Sad.

  86. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 5, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Wobblie.

    Where is John Brown when you need him?

  87. bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted April 5, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Aloha. We can hope that Michigan statistics begin to look like Washington and California.

    https://www.aol.com/article/news/2020/04/04/flattening-curve-coronavirus-california-washington/23969789/?fbclid=IwAR2KVYMPmeYIlgVOoc6ZCiUpsC976ZjIzND3J_wYEIblVD-tzy2X1bMJnRg

    By summer time only the self delusional will still be thinking about voting for a Trumper. Ignorance might be bliss, but it is also deadly.

  88. Sad
    Posted April 5, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Just watch this and think about it. Roll it around in your mind. Ponder the deeper meaning of the self and the futility of actions. Sizemore, Shaw and Don Draper would appreciate the commentary on the fruits of our efforts.

    https://youtu.be/OHmJ_t2EneM

  89. Nobody
    Posted April 5, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    The line that stands out for me is ” the universe is indifferent”. Nature has her beautiful and terrifying Truths, and we have our conventional truths. We can argue with nature, but she always wins. Technology is the mediator that occasionally fails us.

    A couple of the beautiful things about manufacturing are the concepts of “Bill of Materials” and “Bill of Operations”. There are parts, sub- assemblies, and assemblies that go into a whole. Likewise, there are actions, sub-tasks, tasks, procedures, etc. that go into building the whole. Each person and each group of people acting as a sub unit or unit have a specific body of knowledge regarding materials and methods that is akin to an oral tradition…it has to be passed down to continue to function. If the F150 at the end of this process does not perform, they can trace the supply chain to figure out the failure. The job of management is to set the goals and make sure everything is happening efficiently.

    And then there is our current administration. They are behaving more like the corporate raiders that bought up companies, fired key people and replaced them with hacks, broke the oral tradition of methods and materials, and then stripped the company of its assets when it eventually failed.

    Henry Ford insisted that all management employees start out working the assembly line.

  90. Nobody
    Posted April 5, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Jared never worked the assembly line.

  91. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 5, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Still have not watched the episode…

    Great line though. I loved how the beatnik responded. Draper said two things to the beatnik that shocked the Beatnik’s system: 1) The natural order is indifferent; and 2) his choice to be inactive (aka to be a dropout) is not saving any lives—hence the beatnik is not escaping his real participation in the harsh indifference by pretending to be outside of the natural order that he actually is a part of. The beatnik’s response, “Man why did you have to say that”, is not an an indication that he absorbed the truth of the message; rather the beatniks expression is indicative of the defense mechanism that seeks to deny the indifferent aspects of the natural order and to place Draper outside of his imagined more beautiful natural order. It is a psychogical shell game that the beatnik is playing. Draper might not be a hero but he is able to act freely in the world in part because he is not in denial about his participation in the natural order that also has dark aspects. .. And there are moments that require action! The irony for me is the two products the beatnik identified as being worthless for saving anyone were a hygiene product and a textile product—which are low tech devices that we are relying on in this pandemic. We can probably agree that stuff right? I am guessing you understood the Zizek quote because you really picked a great model for talking about it. Very smart choice, imo.

    I am extremely suspicious of some of the other things you said though. Right now everyone is an armchair epidemiologist and supply chain manager. Who knew? All the beautiful souls on the sidelines who will make exactly zero ventilators. Many judging Kushner—who in reality has probably rarely even gone grocery shopping or used a wrench—so following that logic it will be a miracle if Kushner “makes” even one ventilator, right? . I don’t think we will witness a miracle but you can bet your ass “Kushner is going to give us” some ventilators but not because it is a miracle but because his approach will yield ventilators. To support Kushner, as I do, in his role, is not to deny the complexity of the systems that are required to manufacture a 300-700 part machine in a time where supply chains are already disrupted. Conversely, pointing out the real complexity of the process does not mean that Kushner can not play a crucial role. As I said above, Kushner is going to function as the gentle and stoic face in front of difficult but necessary data-driven decisions regarding the allocation of life saving tech. His actions will also put some lives in jeopardy—necessarily. No act is perfect. Perfect innocence is reserved only for the rock in zizek’s quote.

    It encourage people to listen to what Kushner said and think about what Trump’s game plan is rather than rely on insane interpretations of twitter snippets of what Kushner said….I think it is important to identify what is real and what is fake in our various responses to the situation we are in…I could go on and on. I need to limit my responses because it does require some time and thought. I am very thankful you picked that scene to talk about and apply to this situation. Any responses you have are welcome and appreciated! It seems fairly obvious we disagree about politics but I think that is actually a good thing because it makes it easier to make hidden things visible…

  92. Jean Henry
    Posted April 5, 2020 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    It has become abundantly clear that FF is really incapable of absorbing other widely-held perspectives and then regularly translates his befuddlement into defensive diatribes easily reduced down to an essence of “Bitch be crazy.”

    Then he’ll go on to post a big pile of faux philosophical sentiment about as sophisticated as his musical tastes that no one reads or replies to. No matter. He never stops.

    All we ever learn– and we learn it over and over again– is that FF really loves to hear himself talk. And no one else does, except occasionally the other conservatives here whom he validates and even then, they only pay attention when he validates them. They are really as disinterested as anyone.

  93. Nobody
    Posted April 7, 2020 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    FF-

    Sorry for the late response. I have been putting shop drawings together and lining up vendors for a project for a local aerospace company. 2500 assemblies due in 6 weeks.

    I tried listening to Kushner. After his confusing comments about who the owns the stockpile and the lecturing of state governors about management and inventory, it became unpalatable.

    As for “beautiful souls”, what are you making of yourself? To what mighty purpose are you sacrificing your comfort, your health, yourself?

    Here are a few articles for you. I’m delegtating out the counterpoints tonight.

    https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/april-2-2020

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/a-michigan-congresswoman-the-owner-of-a-sex-toy-company-and-a-global-scramble-to-find-n95-masks/2020/04/05/1035b0ae-768f-11ea-87da-77a8136c1a6d_story.html

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  1. By Mourning in America on May 5, 2020 at 9:37 pm

    […] This, as you’ll recall, was the team that Donald Trump promised us a month ago would make sure that all of our front-line health care workers would have what the needed. Well, they didn’t. And now we’re beginning to understand […]

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