Category Archives: Lockdowns

Anthony Fauci still won’t admit that prolonged school closures- fueled by his rhetoric- was bad policy

Source: Anthony Fauci still won’t admit that prolonged school closures- fueled by his rhetoric- was bad policy

Vinay Prasad Recently in a television interview, outgoing Dr. Anthony Fauci defended the decision to close schools. He says that it made sense prior to adult vaccination— and once teachers were vaccinated, shutdowns were not prolonged.
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First, let me be clear: I think that it was forgivable to have closed schools for 4-6 weeks in March 2020. It wasn’t the right call, but it was forgivable because of uncertainty. The correct call was to keep elementary schools open, as Sweden did, but I don’t blame the Netherlands, Finland, Switzerland, and the US for closing school briefly. Of course, the story doesn’t end there.

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A few weeks later it became clear: schools could be run safety (largely through Sweden’s experience), the risks to children were low, teachers did not have vastly elevated risks of death, and, by late summer, a German study proved that opening school did not drive substantive community transmission.

Many European nations reopened after 6 weeks (e.g. Switzerland) in the spring of 2020, while nearly all reopened by the fall of 2020. Some US states managed to reopen rapidly too, such as Florida, Texas and Rhode Island. But many cities remained closed: DC, Chicago, SF, Portland, Los Angeles.

During these months, Fauci went on television stirring up fear that reopening schools was dangerous. This would be disastrous advocacy. Even now, in 2022, with the benefit of hindsight, Fauci comments remain full of errors. He still doesn’t not get it— He was wrong; Spectacularly wrong; Once in a century error sort of wrong.

Let’s consider the errors in the quote.

  1. Fauci says it was OK to wait till you had “vaccines available for the general population” to reopen schools. This is profound ignorance. It is contradicted by the experience of nearly all European nations, as well as many US states (FL/ RI/ TX). The truth is that adult vaccines were not necessary to reopen schools, and many places on earth did not wait— to the benefit of their children.
  2. Fauci says shutdowns weren’t prolonged. This is false. Cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles closed schools to kids from March 2020, until the Fall of 2021. They did not reopen in the Spring of 2021—even after vaccines were prioritized to teachers (who took them, but whose unions still resisted return to school). Fauci appears to be ignorant of recent events.

Fauci elaborates in the interview to further fear-monger about the harms to children, but many of his statistics and comments are inaccurate.

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Here are some errors. Fauci laments the loss of 1400 kids, but the CDC tracker as of 9/21/22 says 1282, but more to point: it is unclear which deaths are due to COVID and which are from COVID. Fauci also doesn’t distinguish the risks to elementary kids which are profoundly different than teenagers. He doesn’t distinguish risks to health kids vs. those with co-morbidities. Finally, he has no evidence that school closure lowered this number! The best studies shows that closure did nearly nothing to alter it.

Fauci talks about long covid in kids, but this relies almost entirely on low quality research. Hirt and colleagues performed a systematic review of long-covid in kids and they find, “The reported proportion of children with post-COVID syndrome was up to 66.5% in children with and 53.3% in children without SARS-CoV-2 infection. All studies had seriously limited validity due to critical and serious risk of bias in multiple domains.”

In conclusion, Anthony Fauci did position himself initially as a forceful defender of school closure. When much of Western Europe and Ron DeSantis reopened— Fauci went on TV to criticize the Florida governor. Even now, 2 years later, Fauci clings to delusional ideas to justify closures. He denies the reality that many US cities—with strong allegiance to him— closed the longest. Fauci’s comments show a person not capable admitting error. I suspect these comments will not age well in history.

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It’s past time to throw away routine, forced masking in health care facilities

Thank you! Been saying the same for 18 months. COVID is the largest scam and the ‘vaccines’ the most damaging illegal experiment ever pulled on the human race. mrossol

Source: It’s past time to throw away routine, forced masking in health care facilities

Sep 13, 2022

Most health-care facilities in the United States have not yet embraced what hundreds of millions of Americans have: throw away the mask, and return to normal. For hospitals this means “Yes, you can choose to wear an n95 mask in a Covid + patients room,” but “No, we don’t need to force mask all visitors and all workers in the hallways between sips of coffee”. For the dentist’s office, this means that after you keep your mouth open for an hour, you don’t need to put a mask on to walk back to the door. These are policies that no longer make sense in Sept 2022 and have to go.

I usually start with efficacy, but this time let’s begin with harms and downsides. Masking is a burden. If it were not obligatory, few would do it. Want evidence? Exhibit A: everywhere in America. Masking use on airplanes is almost gone. Masking in grocery stories is just a dream. Masking in restaurants and bars— non-existent. Well, except for servers and kids in headstart, who are powerless.

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Masking has real downsides, particularly in hospital and clinic settings. Masking muffles speech, and irritates skin, noses, cheeks, etc. Masking makes it harder to read emotions and gauge reactions— both for your colleagues, your staff and your patients.

Masking harms patient care for older people who are hard of hearing. It harms people who are acutely short of breath. It harms older people seeking care for suspected stroke (did they suddenly develop facial droop?). It harms women giving birth (forced to mask during contractions— why? they just tested negative anyway). It prevents people from seeing your facial expression. In many cases, harm may be limited to subjective discomfort— but guess what: that is still a harm. Unless masking in hospitals has a clear upside, it has to go.

In terms of efficacy, there are zero high quality studies that universal hospital visitor masking on any important outcome. But more importantly, even if there were, that might apply to 2020, but as of Sept 2022, it no longer makes sense.

Have you walked around America? Flown anywhere? No one is wearing a mask. Most Americans have been vaccinated, had Covid, or both. In the short term, 93-97% of all people on earth will get COVID. In some age groups, we are likely already at that saturation point.

Passing out sea-turtle strangling surgical masks to hospital visitors will have zero impact on the time till total Covid19 saturation— even if worn perfectly, given the absolute lack of use outside the hospital. But consider also that they are not worn well at all.

   

Recently, I visited a few hospitals in different cities. I saw masks off for tea, coffee, food. I saw more noses than I could count. More masks spill out of boxes on the floor than tightly seal lips and noses.

No one wants to enforce the policy. I saw joggers duck into one hospital (it was urban and had restaurants and shops on the ground floor), maskless, and duck out, and no one said a word. Who would?

What should we do? Of course, anyone who wishes can do whatever they want. Patients who want protection can wear tight fitting n95s. Perhaps hospitals can offer fit testing for truly vulnerable, transient immunosuppression. Why haven’t they already?

Doctors who have not recently had BA4/5 can choose also to wear n95 in known COVID positive rooms. Of course, if I have not been recently infected, I would take that choice any day of the week. The short term application of a tight fitting, fit tested mask for a double digit absolute risk reduction over 15 mins is worth the short time. A doctor just getting over BA4/5 (non-infectious now) might make a different choice. Forcing a doctor who just had covid to wear a tight fitting mask to protect other patients doesn’t make sense for the simple reason that the doctor could acquire covid in that room, yes, but also in a million other places outside work, and you cannot patrol all those places. And also because having just had covid, they are unlikely to get it again.

Of course, healthcare workers who are actively sick and infectious should not be working, but guess what? They never should have, and forcing a sick health care worker to wear a flimsy surgical mask (99% of hospital policy) is little protection for a patient. A false protection.

Ultimately there is no longer any good reason to force people in hospitals to wear masks. People can make their own choices. Everyone will get COVID in the short term, and people are adult enough to decide what risks they want to take. This has always been how the world works, and always will be. Finally, here is a tweet I saw that I have no comment on, but perhaps you do.

Twitter avatar for @juli_bg_bsJuli798686 @juli_bg_bs

Poor MD who spoke about “hey we have no severe Covid” got cancelled ofc. Luckily, he has some decent friends🙏😊🫂 Repeat after me: Covid was REALLY bad. It is manageable now. 99% of the world get that. The 1% who don’t either have agenda OR mental disorder. 😬😬🙄🙄

Brad Spellberg @BradSpellberg

@AnilMakam 1) i understood what you mean & thank you for saying it; 2) i don’t think you need to apologize. We seem to be in a world of 2 distinct, unchallengeable realities. Either Covid will end civilization or it’s a total scam. And any thought in between is attacked by both sides. Sad.

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The White House Needs New COVID Advisors

Source: The White House Needs New COVID Advisors

Sep 10 Comment Share

Political leaders rarely know enough about complex biomedical topics to make judgments. Instead they rely on experts they trust. Trusted experts are not the best scientists. They are the most loyal ones. The ones who routinely cheerlead the administration in civilian life and the ones active politically and drawn into public health advisory roles.

The current cast of characters– Jha, Walensky, Fauci, Murthy and others- were chosen for these reasons, and are simply not good at thinking about medical evidence and policy. They must be replaced if the administration wants to turn around COVID. And let me be honest–I am giving this feedback as a Democrat, who hopes Dems do better at covid policy and holding the Pharmaceutical industry to task.

Let’s start with what they don’t get: they fundamentally do not understand that boosters have different risk benefit profiles based on age/ sex/ and prior infection of COVID-19. This has relevance both for the new bivalent booster and for kids primary vaccination.

When it comes to boosters, a 95 year old nursing home patient who never had Covid is different than a 25 year old college man who just had BA5.

When it comes to kids vax, a healthy 6 year old kid who just had covid is different than an overweight 11 year old with diabetes who never had Covid.

Yet even when these facts have been repeatedly pointed out to them, they refuse to admit it. Watch this video clip.  (I believe the link site/tweet has been removed. – Too embarrassing?)

Is it so hard to admit that data for boosting someone who just had the virus is non-existent? And it’s even worse for a healthy kid who had covid19.

Why are these advisors so hellbent on vaccinating people who we simply do not know if their is net benefit? Any why provide misleading rhetoric to achieve that pyrric aim?

 

Are they also unaware that no matter how high booster rates go, the virus will continue to circulate forever? Dampening transmission ever so slightly for a few weeks is pointless in an ocean of replications that will last thousands of years.

Scientists around the world can see the obvious. The US advisors are incorrect. One e.g.

On a number of issues the current cast of characters is entirely aloof to EBM and sensible policy.

  1. They don’t seem to understand masking toddlers has no data and is actually pretty stupid and probably harmful and unethical and will age poorly
  2. They don’t seem to understand that telling a quadruple vaccinated adult to wear n95 is a deranged policy that might at best modestly delay the inevitable moment they get Covid, at the cost of pointless disruption.
  3. They don’t seem to get that evidence for long COVID is extremely poor. If you are very sick then convalescence can be long, but the idea you will have a mild infection and then your brain will shrink is prima facie highly incredible and unlikely and thus evidence must be extraordinary, which it is not.
  4. The current cast do not understand the need for randomized trials measuring clinical endpoints. Not surrogates
  5. The current cast are so committed to giving Pfizer a huge market share — I mean simplifying the message– that they appear indifferent to the fact that there may be some actual human being—most likely young men—who may even have a net negative effect by participating in an endless booster program. This would be a catastrophic error, which they refuse to acknowledge.

There are plenty of democrat medical doctors who would not make these errors. These errors are not necessary or integral to the democratic party platform. They are just foolish policy choices. The only reason they persist is that the political figures that sanction these choices are getting bad advice.

I can only speculate as to why the advice is so bad, but these likely include: groupthink, a desire to play nice with Pfizer and Moderna, whom many of these people will consult for very soon, and the tragic fact that none of these figures have made a career on the principles and ethics of evidence-based medicine. Unless you really internalize those principles, you can find yourself the victim of fear, and irrationality may take hold.

The Biden administration needs to clean house with its COVID-19 team. I suspect that they do not feel the pressure because the polls do not condemn them. However, polls can be notoriously unreliable. And the gap between the policy and what the average American is doing on the street is so wide, you could fit the Grand canyon in it. The status quo is bad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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C&C. Bah Bye! What, Masks Don’t Work??

Source: Coffee & Covid ☙ Wednesday, August 24, 2022 ☙ UN-BANNED

🗞 *LOCAL UPDATE* 🗞

🔥 Local elections here in our county went smoothly last night. Smoothly, that is, if “smoothly” includes running out of Republican ballots in the largest precincts mid-afternoon, so that R-voters getting off work couldn’t vote. It was also raining heavily on and off through the evening so the suggestion to wait around outside for officials to print new ballots was not super helpful.

Then, after the polls closed, based on what we know so far, the modems in many of the voting machines all “malfunctioned,” so voting results were not updated for hours, and then voting officials took memory cards out of the scanning machines and drove them down to HQ for processing in the middle of the night.

I assume there will be a statement from the Supervisor of Elections this morning explaining all the issues, and what effect they had, in GREAT detail, along with an assessment of whether there needs to be a complete reboot of the election. That’s my assumption. Otherwise, there are going to be a lot of unhappy campers around here.

🗞*COVID NEWS AND COMMENTARY* 🗞

🔥 I re-read Fauci’s resignation letter yesterday. I don’t know how I missed it before, but it’s glaringly obvious once you start looking for it. HE NEVER SAYS ‘WHY.’ Most of these letters say, at least, “to spend more time with my family,” suggesting they resigned due to the pressures of the job or something like that. Fauci just says “to pursue the next chapter of my career.”

In the letter, there’s a hint, a whiff, a trace odor, of a man who’s not leaving voluntarily. He didn’t say he quit or resigned, he’s “stepping down.” Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but it seems like “step down” is used a lot in the context of polite pressured resignation:

Don’t get me wrong; people can also be asked “to resign,” and there are plenty of examples of that usage. But “asked to resign” seems to be the blunt, impolite idiom, and “asked to step down” is what you say about your otherwise beloved but past-the-expiration date darling who needs to be handled a tad delicately so they don’t become a human wrecking ball on the way out.

So we’ll probably never know, but I think, after all these long years and mishap after mishap, somebody finally got to the consummate deep-state bureaucrat. It wasn’t his idea. Fauci’s idea was to continue infesting the NIH for another two and a half years, at least. This Fox News headline was from an article published only ONE MONTH AGO:

In the July article, Fox asked Fauci about potential investigations under a new Congress, and he didn’t seem phased at all, pointing out that he’ll be investigated in or out of the job:

“They’re going to try and come after me, anyway. I mean, probably less so if I’m not in the job,” Fauci said. “I don’t make that a consideration in my career decision.”

So something changed between June 18, when Fauci said he wasn’t worried about investigations and planned to stay at least through the end of Biden’s term (if you can call it that). As I described yesterday, my best theory on the available facts is that the deep state is getting its house in order prior to the arrival of a Republican-led Congress.

🔥 I thought that *I* had fun with the Fauci Resignation story, but on his show Tuesday night Tucker Carlson seems even happier than I was. Nor does Tucker buy the argument that Fauci randomly resigned.

Tucker’s Fauci segment (17:00): https://video.foxnews.com/v/6311272948112#sp=show-clips

Tucker speculates that Fauci is worried about the investigations, and lists all the things the Republicans might want to look into, including some surprises like: treatments that he knew didn’t work, lies about herd immunity, lies about masks — and listen to this one — lies about UKRAINE BIOLABS, gain of function research, and remdesivir.

Tucker flatly accused Fauci of helping create covid and then trying to cover it up: “Tony Fauci covered up evidence that HE — Tony Fauci — helped create that virus in the first place.”

Tucker also spends several minutes arguing in detail that the EcoHealth Alliance grant WAS in fact gain of function research, as many scientists believe, and accused Fauci of lying to Congress. “He’s the one who authorized the grants,” Tucker points out.

I was most impressed with Tucker’s obvious interest in the Ukraine biolabs. He even asked the obvious question — the one we’ve been asking for months now: “WHY do we have all these biolabs in Ukraine of all places? It’s not like Ukraine is a hotbed of pharmaceutical research or anything.” Indeed. I can’t WAIT to find out the answer to that one.

Tucker also dug into Fauci and Collin’s early February 2020 conspiracy to clamp down on scientists who were frantically emailing the NIH saying the new virus looked engineered. After which Fauci went on to promote the lie that the virus’ origin must have been natural, from cave bats or pangolins or sock puppets or something. Tucker also spotlighted the attempt to discredit the Great Barrington scientists, calling Francis Collins “repulsive,” and quoting the now infamous and chilling line from Collins’ email: “There needs to be a quick and devastating takedown of [the Great Barrington Declaration’s] premises.”

Another surprise was when Tucker tackled Remdesivir, stating as fact what we already know but never hear from corporate media: “Remdesivir doesn’t work as advertised…. But they all made a ton of money.” Tucker was a little more cagey on this topic; he did NOT say it killed people, probably concerned about a defamation lawsuit. He COULD have used MUCH stronger language about that drug, and about what happened to a lot of people that got it in the hospital — and often got it without their permission or even against their direct instructions.

Tucker also had a great time mocking the vaccines. He pointed out the obvious fact that no other vaccine results in you immediately getting the disease the vaccine is supposed to protect you from. Haha, he’s right. Tucker also reminded the audience about Fauci’s lies about vaccines being effective to stop transmission, and played video clips of Fauci jumping right on the doomed Biden bandwagon and parroting, “it is, in fact, a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

Tucker ended the delightful segment with what may be Fauci’s most infamous line, where the old beagle torurer not only bizarrely referred to himself in the third person but equated himself with capital-“s” Science: “I represent science. So if you are trying to get at me … you’re really attacking not only Dr. Anthony Fauci, you’re really attacking Science.”

🔥 Ding, dong, Fauci’s dead, and masks are dying. While I languish in Facebook jail for ANOTHER 30 days, YouTubers just got a reprieve. The platform recently slid a stealth update into its covid policies, removing the bans on claims that masks don’t work. Gosh. Here’s the before / after:

In case it’s not clear from the graphic, YouTube removed these two particular bans:

  • “Claims that wearing a mask is dangerous or causes negative physical health effects”
  • “Claims that masks do not play a role in preventing the contraction or transmission of COVID-19”

So. Go ahead and discuss the fact that masks don’t work on YouTube now. Aren’t you pleased? Never mind about the last year of getting deplatformed, shadow-banned, or perma-banned. Everybody makes mistakes, and its just pedantic to insist on apologies and stuff.

Notwithstanding that it is still defending a lawsuit to preserve the CDC’s authority to order things LIKE masks, this stealthy YouTube shift is evidence the Biden Administration just chucked masks out the window, or as the kids would say, yeeted them. As further evidence, around the same time, two hardcore pro-mask media experts, Doctors Leana Wen and Monica Gandhi, completely pivoted on masking:

Both ladies have ALWAYS been reliable weathervanes for official government policy, and both are currently taking a lot of heat from followers for this sudden and unexpected betrayal. Wen even made it personal, invoking harms to one of her kids. The two docs were so helpful to government that, if they aren’t being paid by deep-state psyops teams, they should be on the payroll. So ‘science’ now says masks cause more harm than benefit.

What does it MEAN? It means that goofy characters like the Philly school board who are still hanging onto masks have NO SUPPORT, and parents in that district have LOTS of new ammunition with which to mercilessly mock the board members as science deniers, which until ten minutes ago being a ‘science denier’ made you a BAD PERSON or a flat earther or moon-landing-refusnik or something.

It took a while, but we finally got here: the Triumph of Reason. I get that the victory took too long to get here, and is bittersweet at best, but we were up against an age-old problem. As far back as 1710, three hundred years ago, author Jonathan Swift described the same problem, but more eloquently, like this:

“Besides, as the vilest Writer has his Readers, so the greatest Liar has his Believers; and it often happens, that if a Lie be believ’d only for an Hour, it has done its Work, and there is no farther occasion for it. Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it; so that when Men come to be undeceiv’d, it is too late; the Jest is over, and the Tale has had its Effect…”

If you’re a C&C reader, odds are that you’ve been on board, or at some point got on board, the Team Reality express, and at least you can feel vindicated.

Masks don’t work.

🔥 In another bit of late good news, good news that just made everybody furious, the Hill ran a story Monday headlined, “New York Ending COVID-19 Rules In Schools.” Messianic replacement governor Kathy Hochul has finally announced relaxing most — albeit not all — covid rules in primary schools in the state.

The removed rules mainly relate to the worst and least logical quarantine guidelines. New York is going to stop contact tracing and random testing, and no quarantine will be required for kids who have contact with positive testers. They’re also shuttering social-distancing rules.

The governor blamed the original rules, which utterly failed to reduce the spread, on ‘inadequate information.’ Hochul said, “No longer are we going to be sending kids home, keeping them away from that essential experience of being together in the classroom because we are now still dealing with the fallout of those decisions made when we had less information.”

Less information? I wonder what more information she needed? Did she suddenly discover in-person learning was “essential?” And who’s this “we” she keeps referring to?

🔥 More good news came Sunday in a Zero Hedge article headlined, “Judge Permanently Blocks Biden Oil And Gas Leasing Pause In 13 States.”

Biden signed an executive order in January, 2021, that banned all new oil and natural gas leases on federal lands and offshore waters. But in last week’s ruling, Judge Terry Doughty of the Western District of Louisiana permanently blocked the January 2021 executive order in the 13 states that joined the lawsuit.

The details are complicated, but there was a five-year agreement to allow leasing that Biden terminated with his order. The judge found that only Congress can make changes to the agreement, and not the executive branch. We’re going to need those leases when the strategic reserve runs out.

🔥 Joe Biden says employment is GREAT in the U.S., but Breitbart ran a story yesterday headlined, “Report: Ford to Cut About 3K Jobs amid Transition to Electric Vehicles.” The spin is that, by adding a NEW technology and a NEW line of cars and trucks, Ford needs FEWER employees. That makes sense, right?

Breitbart also reported that Ford just increased the price of its vehicles by about +$8,000 each, “because of material costs rising and additional factors.”

So Ford is cutting employees AND making the vehicles more expensive. BAM! The two-by-four of reality strikes the Biden Administration again.

🔥 On Monday, the Biden Raid’s federal Magistrate and former Epstein lawyer Bruce Reinhart entered an order saying he plans to unseal PART of the search warrant affidavit. Part is the key language. But before we get to that, let’s look at some interesting word choices in the Magistrate’s order.

First, Magistrate Reinhart dismissed the DOJ’s silly “undue burden” argument, wherein the government claimed that all the work from having to redact the Affidavit would tie up too many federal resources, and would “set a bad precedent,” presumably for the next time they want to raid one of President Trump’s properties.

“The Government argues that even requiring it to redact PORTIONS of the Affidavit that could not reveal agent identities or investigative sources and methods imposes an undue burden on its resources and sets a precedent that could be disruptive and burdensome in future cases,” Reinhart wrote. “I do not need to reach the question of whether, in some other case, these concerns could justify denying public access; they very well might.”

He disposed of the DOJ’s undue burden argument in a way that suggests he is starting to recognize that even the Court might be a little over its skis: “Particularly given the intense public and historical interest in an unprecedented search of a former President’s residence, the Government has not yet shown that these administrative concerns are sufficient to justify sealing.”

This is the first time that Magistrate Reinhart has explicitly recognized the “unprecedented” nature of the search. I would have preferred to see this in an earlier order, but there it is, now. Before, the Court was acting like this was just any old search warrant; but Reinhart just signaled those halcyon days are over.

Ultimately, Magistrate Reinhart said he rejected the government’s argument that the entire affidavit should be kept under seal. He ordered that “by the deadline [tomorrow], the Government shall file under seal a submission addressing possible redactions and providing any additional evidence or legal argument that the Government believes relevant to the pending Motions to Unseal.”

Obviously, Reinhart could just approve an affidavit that is so heavily redacted that it is effectively useless. We don’t know yet. In the meantime, he wisely chose this approach, slowly splitting the legal baby, giving both sides a little something they wanted, and also withholding a little something they wanted. Classic judge move. But we could easily still wind up with an unsealed partial affidavit that does not move the needle.

Stay tuned.

🔥 The Wall Street Journal ran an article Tuesday headlined, “Trump Files Lawsuit Challenging Mar-a-Lago Search by FBI.” The sub-head explains, “Former president seeks appointment of special master to review seized material and calls for freeze in examining it.”

President Trump filed what appears to be a hastily-prepared, but professional, Motion for Judicial Oversight and Additional Relief. Trump wants four things:

  • A “special master” be appointed to oversee the decisions about which documents are privileged and which aren’t
  • to stop the FBI from reviewing his documents until the special master is in place
  • to require the government to produce a more informative receipt for property
  • to require the government to return items not within the scope of the search warrant.

Here’s a link to the motion/complaint.

If I had to guess at Trump’s strategy, it would be to publish his side of the story in the official record. That motion, long as it is, is written in plain English and is fairly interesting even for non-lawyers. It tells the story of Trump’s full cooperation with the investigation and eviscerates the government’s lame story that he ever STOPPED cooperating.

I can’t help feeling that there are wheels within wheels in this story. But who is getting ground up in those wheels?

🚀 Another Mission Impossible story emerged this week from the Ukraine conflict. The Epoch Times ran a story yesterday headlined, “US Embassy Alerts All Americans Still in Ukraine to ‘Leave Immediately’.” Apparently, today is Ukraine’s 31st anniversary of its separation from the Soviet Union, kind of like our Fourth of July. But all public celebrations in Kyiv have been cancelled.

According to a bulletin from the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, “The Department of State has information that Russia is stepping up efforts to launch strikes against Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure and government facilities in the coming days.”

The advisory continued, “The security situation throughout Ukraine is highly volatile and conditions may deteriorate without warning. U.S. citizens should remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness.”

So things are heating up, but it may not be about the anniversary. Here’s the wild spy-movie part. The UK Telegraph ran a story on Sunday headlined, “Russians Vow To Strike Ukraine After Daughter Of Vladimir Putin’s Ally Dies In Car Bomb.”

Over the last few days, Russian security officials blamed Kyiv for a car-bomb attack killing Daria Dugina, 29, the young adult journalist daughter of Russian political commentator Alexander Dugin, one of Putin’s close personal friends and advisors.

Here’s Darya, now deceased:

Here’s her alleged assassin, Natalya Vovk, now on the run:

The Telegraph reported it was likely that Darya’s father, who has been called “Putin’s brain” and is close to the Kremlin, was the intended target. He was supposed to drive back into Moscow from visiting an arts festival with his daughter, Darya, but he decided at the last minute to travel back in another car.

There is currently a raging twitter war between independent Russian and Ukrainian citizens alternatively tracking the alleged assassin, or debunking the tracking evidence. The Ukrainians call the car bombing a Russian false flag operation, to the point of accusing the Russian FBI of planting the bomb and killing the girl themselves.

But what IS clear is that Darya’s father, Mr. Dugin, who was already a hardliner against Ukraine, and who is influential with Moscow, will now be fully committed to Ukraine’s utter destruction. What we don’t know is how much influence he’ll wield. Russia has vowed serious retaliation for strikes within its border.

Somebody remind me how World War I started. Things could get pretty hot over there.

Have a wonderful Wednesday! I’ll be back tomorrow with more delicious C&C.

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