WTF Community

Day 142

1/ The Interior Department’s inspector general concluded that U.S. Park Police did not clear the park outside the White House of protesters on June 1, 2020, so Trump could walk to a nearby church for a photo op. Mark Greenblatt instead found that Park Police had the authority to clear the park and surrounding areas so that a contractor could install anti-scale fencing and did not know that Trump would be leaving the White House and crossing Lafayette Park until “mid-to late afternoon” on June 1 – hours after the contractor had arrived to begin installation. Park Police officials said the plan to clear the area was in place before a 2 p.m. meeting that included then-Attorney General William Barr, who “did not mention a potential presidential visit to the park,” according to the report. Barr, however, did urge officials to speed up the clearing process after Trump decided to walk through the area around 6:10 p.m. (NPR / Politico / NBC News / CBS News / ABC News / CNBC / USA Today)

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

“Really Bad Thing happened”
– CEO of company trying to sell a product to stop Really Bad Thing.

I don’t think that Axios article had enough evidence or confirmation to merit inclusion. Maybe with a second source, one who’s not as financially invested in the reader believing his unsubstantiated claims?

This is a disingenuous and cynical take. Felix is an extremely well-respected reporter. No need to think it’s some clickbait reporting…

Normally when I click through for more information on a story digest, I find more information. Here, there was nothing, just the reveal that the source was the CEO of a startup with a vested interest in the subject.

It could be 100% accurate, but given the Dept of Labor estimated ~10% just a few months ago, the most I’d make of this is the same thing that the Washington Examiner made of it:

Half of the pandemic’s unemployment money may have been stolen by criminals and funneled out of the country

(Emphasis mine).

Snarky and skeptical, maybe, but definitely not disingenuous, and coming from someone who has worked for self-serving CEOs of startups for a decade, hardly cynical.

I rather expect to see rebuttals in the near future, or a proper study on the subject, but until then, it’s a rumor.

Not sure how you conclude it’s “a rumor” when it’s been reported out and the White House is quoted in the story but does not knock it down and confirms that fraud is a problem (neither confirms the figure, but you wouldn’t expect that). Just because you don’t believe it or have an issue with the sourcing doesn’t make it not true. The bigger issue here is that you’re flippantly suggesting that the source is acting in bad faith when you have no reason to believe it other than your perception of a conflict of interest. By doing so, you’re undermining the credibility of the reporter and the publication — which are both trusted and respected. I’ll take Felix’s reporting over your conjecture 100% of the time.

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On twitter, Felix says he has no way to verify the $400 billion figure.

I’m not contesting that fraud happened. We have plenty of additional evidence of that. Felix has one source claiming a ~50% fraud rate, is admitting that’s not enough to say that for certain, but the digest is passing that along with the same level of apparent confidence as far better sourced stories.

You’re referring to my two-sentence summary? Not sure what to tell ya… it’s a high-level, conversational summary for normal people who are mildly interested in politics. It lacks nuance by definition. If you want the details, the source is clearly cited right there.

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