JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

(Cartoonist - Chris Britt)

In other news, 57 people have been criminally charged for defrauding the Paycheck Protection Program in schemes worth $175 million. This is just the beginning.

Officials said they have identified 500 individuals who may have defrauded the $660 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and that, in many cases, criminal rings had worked together to steal funds from the program. The Justice Department along with other agencies would focus more closely on this organized criminal activity, officials said.

Meanwhile, AstraZeneca says their vaccine could be ready near the end of the year if trials resume soon. Assuming other drugmakers are on a similar timeline, there won't be any vaccine surprise next month.

Finally, Trumpworld staffers are apparently arguing over who is most to blame for allowing Trump to talk to Bob Woodward.

The fallout has caused internal strife at the White House as aides assign blame for allowing the taped interviews to proceed. Fingers have been thrust at ex-press secretaries, longtime confidants and old friends. [...]

At issue, according to several senior White House officials, is Trump's penchant for phoning Woodward without his advisers' knowledge. While Trump conducted two interviews for the book in the Oval Office surrounded by aides -- including, at one, then-acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, then-deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley and Vice President Mike Pence -- his subsequent conversations were often only him and Woodward on the phone.

Trump went around the White House communications office and staff for several of the 16 phone interviews he did with Woodward, a White House official told CNN. The official said Woodward would also call Trump directly without going through the communications office.

"Direct calls without us knowing were made all the time," the official said.

It's remarkable how everyone close to Trump including his own staff and biggest supporters just take it as a given that Trump is a moron who needs to be protected from himself.

Right wing media reaction to Trump's comments has mostly centered around pointing fingers at people who allowed it to happen as if Trump himself isn't ultimately to blame.

The actual content of Trump's words doesn't matter to any of them, only that he was recorded.

  • Christopher Foxx

    The actual content of Trump’s words doesn’t matter to any of them, only that he was recorded.

    When has it ever been any other way with the modern GOP? One of them gets caught with their pants down and the cry is never “Shame on them!” but only ever “It’s shameful that someone would point it out!”

    • Aynwrong

      And media demand that Dems swallow their own tongues apologizing if they stub a toe.

      • Christopher Foxx

        Well, it’s not like the Dems haven’t been happy to oblige.

        • Aynwrong


  • Christopher Foxx

    there won’t be any vaccine surprise next month

    The only surprise will be if Trump doesn’t declare that there is a vaccine before teh ned of October.

  • Aynwrong

    The Dear Leader will now have to spend a portion of his precious Executive Time to severely reprimand his minions for having once again utterly failed in their scared duty to prevent him from being the bumptious moron he naturally is.

  • muselet

    • That is genuinely good news, or it would be if I had any confidence this DOJ won’t let everyone plead out to a lesser crime and pay a few hundred dollars in fines.

    • I’ve been expecting a vaccine to be released next March. I’m as sick of wearing a mask as anyone, but I’m not going to be first in line for a jab.

    • Who’s to blame? Donald Trump, who apparently initiated a lot of calls to Bob Woodward. Any staffer rash enough to try to separate Trump from his phone would have pulled back a bloody stump.

    • Off any topic of importance, I found this story the funniest thing I’ve read in months. (Fair warning: it’s about Joe Arpaio and an Arizona furry convention. Yes, really, and no, it’s not what you’re thinking right now.)


    • Christopher Foxx

      Any staffer rash enough to try to separate Trump from his phone would have pulled back a bloody stump.

      Any staffer supporting Trump deserves whatever they get.

      • muselet

        I don’t have a huge amount of sympathy for staffers in this administration, but the White House is looking for someone to underbus. The fault lies with Donald John Trump, not some $36,000-a-year assistant to an assistant (who may very well be a horrible human being with disgusting opinions about, well, pretty much everything, but who is not responsible for The Boss running his mouth to Bob Woodward).

        Besides which, I was trying (and obviously failing) to make a funny.


        • Christopher Foxx

          I don’t have a huge amount of sympathy for staffers in this administration

          I don’t have any. Which is more than they deserve.

          No, an assistant to an assistant (ass to an ass) is not responsible for Trump running his mouth. But they is responsible for choosing to actively support Trump and his crimes.

          The chief fault lies with the camp kommandant. But the employee leading people into the chamber is a willing participant.

      • Big Rick

        Job security until 2024