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'Alarming': Trump Blocks CDC Officials From Testifying to Education Panel on School Reopenings

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/07/18/alarming-trump-blocks-cdc-officials-testifying-education-panel-school-reopenings

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Does Trump and his enablers really think the public doesn’t get why this administration doesn’t want CDC officials to testify? All of these officials need to defy this gag rule, as did the heroes & heroines who testified in the impeachment hearings.


We’re 2 or 3 weeks out, in many cases, from school start-dates. Apparently Cruella DeVos is intent on flatly feeding teachers’ bodies into the maw of it by fiat, as Pestilency did with the meat-packers. That could work, here and there, with enough urban-camo federal troops to keep trouble-making teachers in line. (Will Leech-for-America teacher stand-ins stand in wearing full desert camouflage?)

You don’t initiate congregations inside while a novel pandemic ascends to untold caseloads – doubling monthly. And you don’t need a weatherman to tell which way that wind blows. The war-on-science medical pandemic strategy took hold in Reagan’s day to facilitate the global spread of AIDS – perceived as a disease for undesirables. COVID is a different story.


“Alarming”? Is this the best descriptive for trumps destructive actions designed solely for political benefit? That term is weak and does not describe the criminal aspects or associated mental illness that drives them.


As usual, I’m proud of my congressional rep – Bobby Scott. As for Trump, the fact that he is still there clearly demonstrates the fatal flaw of this rotten, corrupt system. How many of us we he kill before this is over? Every elected individual and every military individual who allows Trump to continue as president is equally guilty of his continuing crimes. It is them or us. The Jonestown rule of corporations and billionaires must be swept away by popular demand.


Yes! And this would include the powerful, insidious, Deborah Birx (who makes my skin crawl and alarm bells sound loudly in my head) who:

"spearheaded the administration’s recent decision to have hospitals send information on coronavirus patients to a new federal database, bypassing the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an agency Birx has often complained about to colleagues. She has also been a forceful advocate for the President’s push to reopen schools, forming a working group to create new guidance after the President criticized the CDC’s initial recommendations, calling them “too tough” and “expensive.”

The common and deeply destructive thread that has been woven between trump and those surrounding him:

Betsy Devos "wants to Use America’s Schools to Build “God’s Kingdom”.

“Surrounded by those who share their belief in Christian-based politics, the Prince family (including Betsy DeVos) has used its fortune to help build the conservative Christian movement.”


The alt right and the Christian nationalist movement have joined forces behind trump.

This is extremely dangerous and seems to be gaining momentum as evidenced by what is unfolding; environmental destruction ramped up (via massive destructive rollbacks, among other things), the handling of covid and the most recent example the deployment of federal agents to Portland against the wishes of state and local political leaders.

Whatever crumbs of democracy that existed in the u.s. are being gobbled up by these whackos who have tremendous power right now. How much power do you think they hold?

We need an updated article that connects the dots between trump and those that surround him that seem to be a marriage of the alt right and the Christian Right who Steven Bannon (of all people) said, “need each other”.

From Rolling Stone

"The Christian nationalist movement today is authoritarian, paranoid and patriarchal at its core. They aren’t fighting a culture war. They’re making a direct attack on democracy itself. They want it all. And in Mr. Trump, they have found a man who does not merely serve their cause but satisfies their craving for a certain kind of political leadership.”

What’s often painted as a marriage of convenience between Trump and the religious right is far closer to a pure love match. When Pence fixes those doe eyes upon his president, he isn’t just kissing up; he means it.

It’s perhaps no surprise that Trump put Pence, one of the most anti-science politicians on the planet, in charge of his COVID-19 response. (Or that one of Pence’s first acts was to lead the task force in performative prayer, with cameras rolling.) The great unwritten story of Trump’s presidency is the extent to which it’s dominated by End-Times Christians. Like Secretary of State Pompeo, the vice president — along with at least four other Cabinet members and Chief of Staff-in-waiting Mark Meadows — believes we’re in the bloody final period of history before Jesus Christ returns to vanquish Satan.


And I fear this may be true:

“White evangelicals are an armed American Nazi Party.”

"Trump is a fascist thug leading evangelical ISIS-like terrorists. Add Robert Jeffress to Trump, Trump to Fox News, Fox to white nationalists, white nationalists to the NRA, the NRA to the Republican Party, the Republicans to the fossil fuel climate deniers, and you’ve described the empire of darkness driving the USA and our planet into oblivion.

This is what Trump wants from Republicans: to fight and die in a bloody civil conflict to bail him out of the mile-deep mineshaft he’s dug in a lifetime of bottomless corruption. That’s how he sees his evangelical fans – a human shield for him, worthless in itself, dumb, laughable but useful."



Hi Caroline,

Highly recommended, healing read from Karen Armstrong: The Lost Art of Scripture. Her best yet, imho, and that’s high praise from me, toward KA. Armstrong skims though the human relationship to memorized or transcribed text through millenia at light speed, but conveying a comprehensive overview in not many pages, really. I don’t know how she does it.

I recommended Wollstonecraft’s Vindication to my niece, who, as an honest young person, honestly told me she has way too much stuff to read already at this point. I left it as a suggestion for her “to read someday” list – but dammit, some readings, like Malcolm’s autobio, can’t be put off all your life, young folks. Some of these old folks had a few pertinent thoughts about liberation, maybe? And underneath her polite exterior, liberational thinking doesn’t get more radical than Wollstonecraft, way back when.

Now I’m way off on a tangent, but an upside of apocalyptic-seeming times is I’m finally getting around to readings which have languished on my bucket-list much too long. Right now I’m about 3/4 of the way through John Milton’s Paradise Lost – which I’ve been meaning to read because it’s a favorite of many later authors I favor. So much fun: Milton basically invents your modern British Satan, the delightful protagonist of the whole epic poem. (Many problems Wollstonecraft brings up originated with the blind old Puritan Milton, dictating erotic Christian poetry for his daughters to transcribe.)

As the Orange Menace butchers children to feed more red meat to his craven fanatics, Mama Bear rears up to defend her babies.
The Evil Cohorts are silently aghast as they are forced over the cliff, bound at the waist.
As one head of the Beast falls, an old demon sprouts as the new head.

The military, especially the Air Force, are hotbeds of evangelization, going back to Gulf War ll and probably earlier. Google air force and christian or some other combination and find countless articles, or use Common Dreams search as this is where I learned of this almost 20 years ago.



Thanks for the recommendations Aleph. Just finished Mary Gabriel’s Love and Capital (for the second time . . . first time was 8 years ago, yikes!) and am going to start a new (old) book today.

Timely/coincidental that you should mention Malcolm X.
My daughter (a “young folk” who is working on a book of her own creation!) placed The Autobiography of Malcolm X
in a not so subtle way on the top of my— to read— books by my bed. It’s been decades . . it is one of her all time favorites! If I don’t re-read it and soon, she will be very miffed which is not a good thing because we are living together in my tiny, tiny cottage for the long haul of covid.

After Malcolm X, I may give your Karen Armstrong recommendation a try. I seem to recall she stood up to misogynist (and racist) Bill Maher.
And I liked reading this about and from Karen Armstrong (compassion . . . . teaching compassion, living with compassion is a big deal to me!):

“She maintains that religious fundamentalism is not just a response to, but is a product of contemporary culture and for this reason concludes that, “We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensable to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.”


i think satan won the original war , banished “god” , called himself “god” and that explains the “religious right”. To me anyway.


What I meant to say is Trump may get burned pushing this hot button, people are more protective of children than any other group, in general.
Many schools are primed to open mid August, leaving 6 weeks for the Trump Virus to explode before The Vote.
As people rally togther against this disease threat, it is becoming clearer to more that Trump and his death party are more aligned with the enemy than with their families.
Then if we get through that, we will have to deal with the Coke/Pepsi Political Machine’s next either/or, Presumptive President Biden.

Good piece---- albeit chilling.

The rabbit hole I dove into this morning (and will now exit so I can cheer up a bit!) that connect the links between Christian nationalism, alt right, evangelicals and what is unfolding in the u.s. (fascism/science denial) is in keeping with the severe weather in the upper midwest today----ominous to say the least.

We are here, right now, in fascist u.s.a. as ecosystems collapse.

The u.s. has these seven characteristics of fascist regimes! The first one most definitely involves “the church”: (just 2 examples---- Dr. Birx is calling most of the shots regarding covid----and that nutcases Pompeo and Barr . . . no more need be said—

  1. Usurpation: The state overtakes and merges with corporate power and sometimes the church.
  2. Nationalism: Leaders appeal to a nostalgic wish to return to an earlier “golden age” (maga).
  3. Militarism Leaders glorify military strength through propaganda (trump’s 4th of July disgusting military display as but one recent example)
  4. Father figure: A leader assumes the role of the father of the nation. He creates a cult status as a “dauntless ruler beholden to no one.”
  5. Mass appeal: A leader claims that the people, manifested as the state, can achieve anything. If they don’t succeed, it’s because of naysayers, minority groups, and saboteurs.
  6. Government surveillance: The government takes an active role in suppressing dissent.
  7. Persecution: The state violently persecutes minority groups and opponents.

I didn’t find Naomi Klein’s book in my bookcase but this article must have come out around it’s publishing

Fascist America, in 10 Easy Steps

Naomi Wolf

The Guardian, 4-24-2007

  1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy

  2. Create a gulag

  3. Develop a thug caste

  4. Set up an internal surveillance system

  5. Harass citizens' groups

  6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release

  7. Target key individuals

  8. Control the press

  9. Dissent equals treason

  10. Suspend the rule of law

From Hitler to Pinochet and beyond, history shows there are certain steps that any would-be dictator must take to destroy constitutional freedoms.
They were not figuring these things out as they went along. If you look at history, you can see that there is essentially a blueprint for turning an open society into a dictatorship. That blueprint has been used again and again in more and less bloody, more and less terrifying ways. But it is always effective. It is very difficult and arduous to create and sustain a democracy - but history shows that closing one down is much simpler. You simply have to be willing to take the 10 steps.

Quite frankly, the system the US Revolution replaced that of Monarch, Church, Courts and Parliament had more checks and balances then what those founding fathers implemented.

More Kings and Queens were forcibly removed from office then US Presidents.


Thanks evolver. Naomi Wolf(Klein?)?

Your quote below is powerful truth that we are witnessing in real time:

There are too many recent examples of the 10 steps that take down democracy to list in this small space. With that said, in regard to #9 ----“Dissent equals treason”
What immediately came to mind was this:

President Donald Trump has accused a Black Lives Matter leader of committing treason, sedition, and insurrection in a tweet on Thursday.

President Trump’s tweet was aimed at Hawk Newsome, the leader of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York.

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I expect nothing less than the murder, rape and plunder of America by republicans but what I can’t understand is why there is no meaningful pushback from democrats or why the folks in these agencies go along with this garbage. Trump cannot stop anyone from telling the truth. Historians will look back on these events as a time of national cowardice, when folks in positions of authority were to cowardly to speak up and be counted. And the most galling aspect of this national cowardice will be who they were afraid of, Trump, a fat, greasy, lying, thieving, racist, rapist, traitor, a man that is not even able to walk an 8 hole golf course.

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I’ve been reading about Christian Dominion-ism - MANY in the Trump Administration are ones:Pence, Pompeo, Birx, Barr, DeVos to name just a few… they are working to make the U.S. a Christian Nation (and expand it globally). The majority are white - no surprise… It is very frightening !! (and I am white and christian)…

You could write a book on what Trump is doing with the fascist playbook, hopefully Naomi Wolf, apologies to the wonderful Naomi Klein, will write a sequel soon!

Like I hinted at yesterday, we MUST drag him out of the Oval Office before, during or after the election. Far more damage has been done than we can readily fix.
The complicit republican party MUST go with him.
Revolutionists may have to operate underground because trump holds the reigns to most of the armed thugs.
It’s past time to round up military people supportive of justice.
This very sick man in the WH is only going to get worse in conjunction with the inevitable push back on trumpism. If only he had enough character to fight against his corruption instead of marshaling it.