Background: Trump as Liar in Chief
Trump posted a Tweet stating that mail-in ballots will be ‘substantially fraudulent’. Two points here: first there is no evidence that mail-in ballots are any more or less fraudulent than in-person voting. Second, the last time an election used mail-in ballots for a special election, the Republican won. It truly is remarkable how quickly Trump can utterly contradict himself. Vote by mail is totally fraudulent but the Republican won. Amazing. This is analogous to his 2016 claims that the electoral college was a disaster for democracy – when it looked like he would lose.
The Pulitzer-winning cartoonist Nick Anderson has described Donald Trump as an “adolescent wannabe authoritarian”, after the US president’s re-election campaign failed to pull one of Anderson’s cartoons mocking Trump’s inaccurate suggestion that injecting disinfectant could protect against Covid-19.
A victory over Trump and the GOP in November does not translate by itself into the kind of change we need. Nor does it provide any guarantee that advocates of a racist authoritarian state cannot roar back down the road. But only by preventing a Trump second term can the immediate threat Trumpism poses be averted. Only a Left that brings its determination and its vision of structural change to the fight that millions believe is priority number one — beating Trump — can come out of 2020 with sufficient strength and alliances to drive further toward our long-range goals.
“Those excessive practices have been again and again shown to disproportionately impact racial and language minority communities.”
Judicial Watch, which focuses on the courts and is funded primarily by large grants from conservative foundations, is suing Pennsylvania’s chief election official, along with county legislators and election officials in three of the state’s six counties with the most registered voters. Pennsylvania was critical to Donald Trump’s win in 2016. He won by less than 1 percentage point, losing only 11 counties, including the three suburban Philadelphia counties being sued by Judicial Watch. It was the first time Pennsylvania went red since 1988. Democrats almost certainly need to win the state — where former Vice President Joe Biden was born, and where his campaign is headquartered — to take back the White House.
The World’s dirtiest President Making America Dirtier Again MADA (ODT)
Trump is smashing China and needs a war (ODT)
When US propaganda overtakes any notion of necessary truth America is on the path of war no matter the cost. Trump is the man to take them there.(ODT)
When it comes to foreign policy, Pompeo’s penchant for undermining America’s credibility is top-notch
He said China was “open” to international scientific cooperation to identify the source of the novel coronavirus, but stressed that the process must be professional, impartial and constructive.
By being “professional,” it means that the process should be based on science, led by the World Health Organization, and conducted on a global scale by scientists and medical experts. The goal should be to enhance the scientific understanding of this type of virus so that people can deal more effectively with major infectious diseases in the future, he said.
By being “impartial,” Wang said source identifying should be free from political interference, respect the sovereign equality of nations, and oppose any presumption of guilt. The research should cover all countries closely related to the virus. The whole process should be open, transparent, objective and rational, he said.
By being “constructive,” it means that the research should not hamper the work of saving lives, which clearly is the top priority at the moment. It should not harm the international cooperation against COVID-19 or undermine the statutory role of the WHO, Wang said.
Instead, it should be conducive to enhancing performances of various UN systems, to strengthening international solidarity and cooperation among countries, and to improving the global public health system and governance capacity, Wang said.
Regarding China’s aid to the global fight against the pandemic, Wang said China has never pursued geopolitical goals and economic gains, or attached any political strings.
“We Chinese are always ready to reciprocate acts of friendship and kindness from others,” Wang said.
Can you see what’s going on?
The fact that tens of thousands of people are dying and the nation’s economy has been reduced to rubble, doesn’t matter to the tech giants. For them the crisis is a “golden opportunity”, a once-in-a-lifetime chance to further subsume the government, to garner more government funding for their futuristic projects, to assert greater influence over public policy, and to wrap their tentacles more tightly around the levers of state power.
The tech giants are using the pandemic as a vehicle for imposing their own vision on the country and for promoting their own malign police state agenda. Just as Corporate America is using the crisis to restructure the labor market, and Wall Street is using the crisis to garner lavish multi-trillion dollar bailouts, and Fauci and Co are using the crisis to push for universal vaccines, so too, the tech giants are using the crisis to grab more power, more money and more integration with the state until the US government is nothing more than a trifling subsidiary of the ever-expanding Google octopus. That’s the ultimate goal, privatizing the state so the corporations rule the world. It is a Mission (that is nearly) Accomplished!
Ukraine Repeated Domestically- Voter Suppression,(ODT)
As Jack Holmes of Esquire pointed out, Trump is threatening two U.S. states in exactly the same way he threatened Ukraine: Claiming he will withhold funds authorized by Congress if the recipient doesn’t help him cheat in the 2020 election. This is election fraud and blackmail, but this time directed at Americans.
Not only are these tweets an effort to blackmail the states, but they are also a direct effort to scare ordinary citizens out of voting.
As political analyst Judd Legum pointed out in his newsletter, Popular Information, “Telling someone that an absentee ballot application they receive was sent to them ‘illegally’ could dissuade them from voting.”
Indeed, the tweets themselves are arguably voter intimidation, since Trump is literally trying to scare people into thinking they may be prosecuted if they fill out an application for a mail-in ballot. Voter intimidation is a federal criminal offense that could lead to jail time — except that Trump is hiding behind “executive privilege,” which has been used to argue against legal punishment for all his criminal behavior.
Throughout America, state, local, and federal government epitomize failure. Trillions of dollars have been poured into weapons systems that cannot be used without destroying the United States along with the rest of the world, while dams fail, bridges collapse, communities deteriorate, and homelessness grows. The government in Washington spends time, effort, and money manufacturing enemies to justify the budget of the military/security complex, while jobs and the US economy are offshored, the environment is degraded, and health care needs go unaddressed. The US rivals third world countries in terms of the percentage of its population that has no savings, no access to health care, and no prospects for advancement in life.
The Quid Pro Quo President and another “Perfect Call” (ODT)
Another wave of COVID-19 infections is on the horizon and Trump is hastening its arrival. He views human lives as “embers” in what may develop into “fairly big fires.” With his inflammatory rhetoric, Trump is stoking those fires.
Lose a loved one in the inferno? Blame the governors — they’re the ones who decided to reopen.
The day before Trump claimed he was taking hydroxychloroquine, Sharyl Attkisson touted the drug on Sinclair stations nationwide
Sloganeering is a slog on hearing the worst of what America has been reduced to (ODT)
Trump’s campaign people are already talking about holding rallies as Trump blackmails the states by pushing his “open up” madness. “Lock her up” chant doubles down on hatred for Hillary Clinton, or these days for Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden, for those in love with Trump, by loudly calling for his political opponents to be imprisoned without trial for unspecified crimes. If you don’t believe me, listen to the chant the next time he holds a rally. Trump’s followers are both swearing allegiance and saluting him. “Lock her up” is Trump’s “Heil Hitler.”
Couple Trump’s Kim Jong-un Style mine’s bigger than your’s threat with the clowns that lie on his behalf and you have Dr Strangelove being played out before your very eyes. HE’S YOUR PRESIDENT AMERICA. (ODT)
Trump doesn’t care because the DEAD DON’T VOTE (ODT)
Esteemed medical journal The Lancet on Friday took an unusual step towards calling on American voters to remove President Donald Trump from office in November, condemning the Trump administration’s “incoherent” response to the coronavirus pandemic and expressing shock at the CDC’s inability to cope with the public health crisis.
The journal’s frustration with Trump centered on the president’s downplaying of the pandemic and his refusal to coordinate a robust national effort of social distancing, lockdown orders, and a testing regime to stem the Covid-19 outbreak.
Trump has already succeeded in his goal of running for president twice without disclosing basic financial information. He has already succeeded in using the office of the president to shield himself from potential prosecution of his suspected financial crimes. Trump has already won. The only question now is how much the rest of us will lose.
We should expect decisions on these two cases in late June. The Supreme Court will then tell us how much more of our democracy must be sacrificed in the service of Donald Trump.
Sunday night, right-wing media misinformation about the coronavirus’s origins — the idea that it originated in an infectious disease research laboratory in Wuhan, China — has even resulted in the Trump administration shutting down funding for actual pandemic research.
Against all of this background, are you now convinced about the dangerous mental state of the POTUS? What is the Trump Dx? Have recent events been a ‘clincher’ for you too?
If you still harbour doubts, read this article in Salon. Are you alarmed? Is the whole world in peril with this man at the helm?
What can be done?
Our legal system purports to place no person above the law. The court’s decision on Trump’s tax returns will tell us whether that principle stands strong — or is just so many empty words.
A company that offered to make life-saving protective masks as the coronavirus began its spread across the U.S. in January was snubbed by government officials.
Michael Bowen, the owner of medical supply company Prestige Ameritech, told the Department of Health and Human Services that he could begin producing 1.7 million N95 masks a week, only to be denied, The Washington Post first reported.
“We still have four like-new N95 manufacturing lines,” Bowen emailed a top HHS official on Jan. 22, the day the first coronavirus case was detected in the country. “Reactivating these machines would be very difficult and very expensive but could be achieved in a dire situation.”
Laura Wolf, director of the agency’s Division of Critical Infrastructure Protection, responded that the government wasn’t “anywhere near answering those questions for you yet” in response to Bowen’s offer.
“We are the last major domestic mask company,” Bowen emailed the next day. “My phones are ringing now, so I don’t ‘need’ government business. I’m just letting you know that I can help you preserve our infrastructure if things ever get really bad. I’m a patriot first, businessman second.”
The new revelation is part of an 89-page whistleblower complaint from former federal vaccine chief Rick Bright, who alleges he was removed from his position as retaliation for his early warnings about the pandemic and his refusal to make “potentially harmful drugs” to combat the virus.
In the past, the Pentagon suggested that it does not have the resources to conduct on-the-ground investigations in cases in which civilians are alleged to have been killed. Recently, reports surfaced that the military has begun requesting more funds to help track civilian deaths. But independent researchers and nongovernmental organizations have already been carrying out such investigations for years, with far few resources than the Pentagon — with its vast budget — has at its disposal. All this raises the question of who exactly the military has been killing over nearly two decades of war.
The decision to shelve detailed advice from the nation’s top disease control experts for reopening communities during the coronavirus pandemic came from the highest levels of the White House, according to internal government emails obtained by The Associated Press.
The files also show that after the AP reported Thursday that the guidance document had been buried, the Trump administration ordered key parts of it to be fast-tracked for approval.
The trove of emails show the nation’s top public health experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spending weeks working on guidance to help the country deal with a public health emergency, only to see their work quashed by political appointees with little explanation.
A majority of Americans are today wary of unlocking the economy and opening up the nation. Yet, each week, more and more people are demanding that it be done. And each week, more and more governors, reflecting the views of their constituents, are moving up the dates for partial reopenings.
By midsummer, the country will have caught up with Trump. That is the idea that animates the pivot.
Now, sure, you may read Daniels’s piece and wonder: yeah, what’s the point of looking back and holding people accountable?
Well, for one thing, we want a deterrent: we want public officials to fear that if they break laws, act unethically, or otherwise harm the public during a lethal pandemic, they will face some form of justice in the future from those looking back on their actions. That justice can be meted out in all kinds of ways — prosecution, firing, or at least public shaming in front of a national commission that has subpoena and discovery power.
But beyond deterrence, we should also want accountability in order to learn and grow as a society.
A country that doesn’t hold accountable those who lied us into the Iraq War is a country that effectively says it is fine with being lied into any war in the future.
A country that doesn’t hold accountable those corporate executives who created the financial crisis is a country that tells those executives they can continue fleecing us without fear of punishment — just as they have.
In short, a country that lets demands for bipartisanship create a cover-up is a country that refuses to learn from history — and then is doomed to repeat it.
Division for division sake is a political act. (ODT)