☕️ OPERATION WARP BACKWARDS ☙ Thursday, February 8, 2024 ☙ C&C NEWS 🦠
A massive covid story unexpectedly just broke, when we least expected it; Senate border bill politics; and we have a winner in the Portland-San Mateo race to the bottom.
Good morning, C&C, it’s Thursday! Your roundup this morning includes one of the most important and least-reported stories of the year: border burrito burns in the microwave and democrats blame Republicans for leaving it in too long, or something; Latypova quietly breaks what could be the most important covid story in years; and we have a winner in the Portland-San Mateo race to the bottom.
🗞💬 WORLD NEWS AND COMMENTARY 💬🗞
🔥 I ignored last week’s tiresome, chimeric story about the Senate border bill because from the beginning two facts seemed obvious to me: (1) neither Republicans or Democrats expected to agree on a passable bill, and (2) politically speaking, the debate had more hidden ingredients than a José Olé frozen burrito. All the meat of what was really going on was tucked away inside the staged politics of the GMO tortilla. Or something like that.
To avoid aggravating you with the play-by-play, let’s start at the end. NBC ran a miraculous story yesterday evening headlined, “The Biden admin is weighing executive action to deter illegal migration at the border.
¡Madre mía! NBC’s headline described a modern border miracle. ¡Que miraculo!
It was a miracle because about ten seconds before that, Joe Biden was swearing on a stack of old Ukrainian travel brochures that he could do nothing whatsoever about the border without Republican authorization. But ¡milagro divino! Joe discovered executive authority.
Early in the day yesterday, before the bill failed, and before Biden located his misplaced executive powers, Biden was threatening Republicans with the exact opposite: that he would use his executive powers to increase illegal immigration if Republicans didn’t cough up the $60B for Ukraine:
By late afternoon, the bill stalled, even though “top Senate Republicans” diligently negotiated a horrible bill with Team Biden. Some conservatives were understandably vexed about that, and I am not defending anyone, but you have to look at this whole thing as a political burrito. The Republicans already knew Biden was going to blame them for the border so, to repel criticism, they staged negotiating a silly fake border bill everybody knew the whole time would never be microwaved, if you follow me.
But Senate Republicans may have put too much salsa on the tortilla, or not enough cheese, or — whatever, you get the idea — and rank-and-file conservatives were none too happy about what they were hearing about developing drafts of the bill, and before too long Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky), 103, was forced to throw out the whole burrito box yesterday and the deal died with democrat support in a 49-50 vote to table the bill.
Unfortunately, it turned out that the border burrito blew up in the Senatorial microwave making an unholy mess that Republicans are going to have to clean up. Plus they all now have Montezuma’s Revenge. This can’t possibly have been the original plan, which was probably to pass any bill and let the House Republicans kill it. I conclude that because the Republicans are in disarray and now the long knives are out for Mitch, as reported by the Daily Caller yesterday in its article headlined, “EXCLUSIVE: ‘This Is Our Opportunity’ — Top GOP Senators Game McConnell’s Ouster After Botched Border Deal.”
Democrats are running with the narrative that Republicans killed a perfectly edible bill that would have solved the border crisis once and for all, burritos for everybody, but racist Republicans would rather have an open border so they can complain about Biden, and TRUMP! and blah blah blah. Here’s an example of a completely ridiculous headline from the New Republic this morning to show you how the Democrats are spinning it:
I won’t bother responding to that, it’s a very silly, unsourced story. Every Republican knew the bill was terrible, because it was terrible. Because Republicans were trying to reach any kind of agreement in the Senate on any kind of border bill, they didn’t particularly care what was in it, chicken or beef or even tofu (gag), since they planned to stop it in the House anyway. But Democrats caught on and flipped the script and now nobody gets a burrito.
Anyway, the whole thing is patently ridiculous, as silly as my burrito metaphor, and regardless, the democrats were always going to come up with talking points for their partisans anyway. There’s no need for all this wrangling.
Regular people don’t want any burritos. We want the border closed and illegal migrants deported. We don’t care about optics. We don’t care about politics. We don’t care about who gets the blame and who gets the credit. We just want it done.
And, pass the salsa.
🔥 Get ready for another 2024 mind-blower. Diligent independent researcher Sasha Latypova, most well-known for heroically combing through seemingly billions of pages of public records to help uncover and expose the U.S. military’s early involvement in the pandemic response, published a remarkable Substack this week titled, “Audio Leaked from AstraZeneca: Covid was classified as a National Security Threat by the US Government/DOD on February 4, 2020.” Assuming Sasha’s audio is legit and her dating is correct — she’s been reliable so far — this is the biggest covid story in years, tucked away in a quiet little Substack post.
Intriguingly, Sasha doesn’t say where or how she got the audio from a February 4th teleconference, or maybe a Zoom, between AstraZeneca’s CEO and some scientists working on a covid vaccine. Keep the date in mind — February 4th, 2020 — since it’s the key to everything. You can hear the audio at Sasha’s Stack, but here’s the key bit from the transcript, when a vaccine developer named Mark Esser was explaining to others on the call that AstraZeneca was about to be transformed into a muscular, military-authorized covid vaccine developer (lightly-edited):
Our story begins back in 2017 in the basement of a Quality Inn in Tysons Corner VA at the Defense Department Industry Day. There, I met Colonel Matt Hepburn, architect of the Pandemic Prevention Program or P3, and the goal of P3 was going from the discovering a novel virus to producing drugs in less than 60 days – something that would normally take 6 years at best. To me that sounded more like science fiction than science… So, in January we were all anxiously following the emerging news from China about the new disease. It wasn’t a surprise to me when I got a call on February 4th from the Defense Department here in the US saying that the newly discovered Sars-2 virus posed a national security threat.
We needed to stop everything we were doing on our model system influenza, and put everything onto Sars-2.
Note that date! February 4th, 2020. The WHO’s Declaration of Pandemic wasn’t even issued until over a month later on March 11th, 2020. But somehow, at the very beginning of February, while the WHO was still reporting that Covid-19 was not airborne, DoD somehow already had enough information not only to determine Covid-19 was a National Security Threat but to begin deploying countermeasures like recruiting scientists at AstraZeneca to rush development of a so-called vaccine.
February 4th is crazy early. Trump — the President of the United States and allegedly the commander of the armed forces including the Department of Defense — continued comparing Covid to the flu through March 9th — over a month later:
Assuming the dating is correct, the leaked audio proves that DoD considered Covid-19 way more serious than flu, but — and this is the critical part — for some reason they didn’t bother to tell the President. Trump would not have been yammering on twitter in March downplaying Covid if he’d known in February the DoD considered Covid to be a unique national security threat justifying vaccine developers to stop everything they were doing and put everything onto Sars-2.
As far as I can tell, DARPA’s Pandemic Preparedness Program was formally initiated into the military’s shady, high-tech skunkworks and bestowed with a generous $200M budget in 2018 — which was fortunately just one year before the Covid outbreak (and two years after Trump took office, and a year before the elections). Whew! What a relief! What perfect timing! And boy howdy, the kooky DARPA government scientists moved at warp speed, getting the brand new preparedness group off the ground and up to operational status just in the nick of time, since one year later the Pee-Pee-Pee was fully prepared to handle the Covid-19 global pandemic.
It’s almost like it was meant to be. You could even say the PPP and the Pandemic were made for each other.
I bet Trump was so glad to find out he had a Pee-Pee-Pee on standby when the pandemic started, don’t you? Or at least, he would have been glad, had he been told anything about the fine men and ladies assigned to the DoD’s undercover, top secret, tailor-made-for-Covid Pandemic Preparedness Program.
Or maybe in hindsight, Trump might not have been perfectly enthusiastic about the military’s hyper-budgeted top-secret pandemic group after all, given how things worked out, you know? Or, given how the military was — secreting its fine work protecting the National interest even from the President — somehow racing even faster than Warp Speed?
Maybe DARPA has a time machine?
The newly-discovered audio also proves that, by the time President Trump got around to even considering his massive push to recruit commercial vaccine developers — including gross ones not part of PPP’s close-knit basement club — into a grand strategy the President labeled (in typical Trumpian fashion) “Operation Warp Speed” — not top speed, not light speed, but warp speed! the fastest you can go! — by that time, DoD was already way ahead of Trump with its carefully collated collection of compliant scientists who conferenced with Colonel Hepburn in Tyson’s Corner Quality Inn’s basement right in DARPA’s backyard.
It raises so many questions.
In February 2020, why didn’t the Pentagon tell President Trump it had determined Covid was a National Security Threat?
In February 2020, why didn’t the Pentagon tell President Trump the PPP had been activated?
Who made the decision to activate the PPP, and when?
In February 2020, why didn’t the Pentagon tell President Trump it was talking to (at least) AstraZeneca about a warp speed Covid vaccine? Why didn’t Trump know vaccines were already in the works with US military assistance so he could reassure the public?
What explains the fortuitous creation of DARPA’s PPP just in time to manage the covid crisis? Another happy coincidence?
Why was the military’s involvement in the early pandemic response kept secret? Whose decision was that?
When, exactly, did DoD make the determination that Covid was a National Security Threat? Who made that assessment? Who knew about it?
WHY was Covid assessed as a National Security Threat? Was it because Covid was assessed to be a bioweapon?
Most importantly, WHY didn’t the U.S. military TELL the American people that Covid was a National Security Threat? Why was that hidden? Who made that decision?
I am not okay with being kept in the dark. How about you?
If anyone on the House Oversight Committee is reading this, you should immediately subpoena for testimony “Colonel” Matt Hepburn, his superior officer, AstraZeneca’s Mark Esser, and Astra’s CEO. Let’s get to the bottom of this! Maybe there are perfectly reasonable answers to all those questions, probably there are, but the people who paid for every bit of it are owed a complete and transparent explanation.
🔥 Finally, we have a decision. After putting the issue to the smartest readers on Substack (the C&C Army), the decision became easy: Portlanders keep their claim to needing a little boost with some of the … more complicated stories. San Mateo shouldn’t be proud of this victory, though. It only squeaked by. But, at the end of the long day, San Mateo could not compete with Portland.
One commenter who lived in all three places even ranked San Mateo third dumbest, behind Portland (number one) and Berkeley, California:
But what really sealed the vote were comments from people who live in Portland.
People who live or lived in Portland obviously have strong feelings about keeping the crown. There were many more and it wasn’t even close. Who am I to reject this crowdsourced wisdom? Sorry, Portland!
Have a terrific Thursday! Come back here tomorrow morning at Warp Speed for another delicious, organic, 100% artificial-intelligence-free Coffee & Covid roundup.
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