Saturday 19th of September 2020

amidst coronavirus chaos, donald trump wages war on government watchdogs, china and sanity ...


The US President claims he's been taking a controversial, unproven, potentially dangerous drug in an attempt to ward off the coronavirus.

The President threatens to "hold up" federal funding for a state that's suffering a massive flood, all because it sent out applications for mail-in voting to reduce exposure to coronavirus.

The President calls a Chinese Government spokesman a "dope" and a "wacko" at a time of near unprecedented tensions between the world's two superpowers.

The President's son posts an Instagram meme that suggests Donald Trump's political opponent is a paedophile.

A week is a long time for a reporter covering the Trump administration.

Distractions and outrage are the only constants, even (or especially) during a pandemic.

But here's a thing that may have slipped your attention: Trump has purged five internal watchdogs in the space of six weeks.

It's hard to think of a time in living memory when independent oversight was more important for America.

Impropriety and incompetence are everywhere you look.


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Cartoon above by Glen Le Lievre c.1990...

Yep, The Donald does not gild the lily...

meanwhile on the other side of the US disaster...

We right-wingers are like velociraptors, forever coming up with clever and exciting ways to ambush our prey. There’s the old “conservatives pounce” trope, which the media uses to describe Republicans attacking someone for hypocrisy, exalting that into bigger news than the hypocrisy itself. And now we have an op-ed in the New York Times warning of yet another “right-wing trap.”

That trap? “Believe All Women.” The long-time #MeToo moniker is actually a snare set by conservatives. Lest you think I’m kidding, the headline of the piece is: “‘Believe All Women’ is a Right-Wing Trap.”

It’s the most diabolical conservative scheme since the Covington Catholic kids brought back racism by smirking on the National Mall. In the Times op-ed, author Susan Faludi undertakes an extensive and deeply professional journalistic investigation, consisting of her typing “#BelieveAllWomen” into Twitter’s search function. What she discovers is shocking: the hash tag had been used mostly by conservatives. They’d adopted it, she says, as a kind of sardonic echo, meant to hold the left’s feet to the flames: if you’re going to believe all women, then you also have to believe X accuser of Y Democrat.

In detailing her findings, Faludi makes an imperishable distinction:

This is why “Believe All Women” is not an amplification of “Believe Women,” but its negation. As Mr. Morales Henry at the Schlesinger Library told me, after several days of analyzing the use of the two hashtags, “It looks like #BelieveAllWomen, especially recently, is being used in opposition to #BelieveWomen.”

That’s it. That’s the peg on which the left intends to hang its skepticism of Tara Reade. “Believe Women” doesn’t mean the same thing as “Believe All Women.”

To which a sane person who’s graduated from the first-grade reading level might respond: yes it does. “Believe Women” does not mean “Believe Seven Eighths of Women.” It does not mean “Believe Hypoglycemic Women” or “Believe Welsh Women” or even “Believe Credible Women.” It does not mean “Believe Raccoons” or “Believe Protocol Droids.” Without a modifier, “women” is a noun that covers roughly half of the human race. The lack of an “all” does not imply partiality. Neither does any demand for consistency by conservatives.



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fanning the flames of the tinderboxes...

WASHINGTON — With a nation on edge, ravaged by disease, hammered by economic collapse, divided over lockdowns and even face masks and now convulsed once again by race, President Trump’s first instinct has been to look for someone to fight.

Over the last week, America reeled from 100,000 pandemic deaths, 40 million people out of work and cities in flames over a brutal police killing of a subdued black man. But Mr. Trump was on the attack against China, the World Health Organization, Big Tech, former President Barack Obama, a cable television host and the mayor of a riot-torn city.

While other presidents seek to cool the situation in tinderbox moments like this, Mr. Trump plays with matches. He roars into any melee he finds, encouraging street uprisings against public health measures advanced by his own government, hurling made-up murder charges against a critic, accusing his predecessor of unspecified crimes, vowing to crack down on a social media company that angered him and then seemingly threatening to meet violence with violence in Minneapolis.

As several cities erupted in street protests after the killing of George Floyd, some of them resulting in clashes with the police, Mr. Trump made no appeal for calm. Instead in a series of tweets and comments to reporters on Saturday, he blamed the unrest on Democrats, called on “Liberal Governors and Mayors” to get “MUCH tougher” on the crowds, threatened to intervened with “the unlimited power of our Military” and even summoned his own supporters to mount a counterdemonstration.

The turmoil came right to Mr. Trump’s doorstep on Friday night as hundreds of people protesting Mr. Floyd’s death and the president’s response gathered outside the White House. Some threw bricks and bottles at Secret Service and United States Park Police officers, who responded with pepper spray. The image of the White House surrounded by police in riot gear fueled the sense of a nation torn apart.

Mr. Trump praised the Secret Service for being “very cool” and “very professional” but assailed the Democratic mayor of Washington for not providing city police officers to help. While governors and mayors have urged restraint, Mr. Trump seemed more intent on taunting the protesters, bragging about the violence that would have met them had they tried to get onto White House grounds.

“Big crowd, professionally organized, but nobody came close to breaching the fence,” the president wrote on Twitter. “If they had they would have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen. That’s when people would have been really badly hurt, at least. Many Secret Service agents just waiting for action.”

His suggestion that his own supporters should come to the White House on Saturday foreshadowed the possibility of a clash outside his own doors. “Tonight, I understand, is MAGA NIGHT AT THE WHITE HOUSE???” he wrote on Twitter, using the acronym for his first campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

Asked about the tweet later, he denied encouraging violence by his supporters. “They love African-American people,” he said. “They love black people. MAGA loves the black people.”


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