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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,622

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"American carnage" in Kenosha: Trump comes closer to advocating right-wing terror

"American carnage" in Kenosha: Trump comes closer to advocating right-wing terror
Trump has flirted with right-wing vigilantism for years. His re-election strategy seems to be a full-on embrace

SEPTEMBER 2, 2020 1:58PM (UTC)

(Salon) In the aftermath of tragedies and disasters, the country naturally turns to the president for words of reassurance. Whether it's a mass shooting or a terrorist attack or a hurricane — all events that happen more often than we'd like — the president is called upon to comfort those directly affected and bring the nation together to face whatever the aftermath might be.

Depending on your political bent, you might think of Ronald Reagan after the Challenger explosion saying, "We will never forget them as they 'slipped the surly bonds of earth' to 'touch the face of God.'" Or maybe George W. Bush standing in the rubble of the World Trade Center or speaking at the Islamic Center of Washington six days after the attacks to quote from the Quran and declare that "Islam is peace." I think of Barack Obama singing "Amazing Grace" after the Charleston church massacre and Bill Clinton after the Oklahoma City bombing, saying, "You have lost too much, but you have not lost everything. And you have certainly not lost America, for we will stand with you for as many tomorrows as it takes."

This is a big part of the job that presidents are required to perform, and certainly some are better at it than others. But no president has ever been as terrible at the task as Donald Trump. He is simply incapable of being empathetic or reassuring. He doesn't even try. Instead of trying to bring the country together in a time of almost unprecedented stress and trauma, he has decided to intensify the nation's anxiety for his own personal and political gain. If there's ever been a more cynical election strategy I can't think of it.

Trump and his campaign are making no secret of the fact that they believe protests and civil unrest will make people vote for a second term and so they are stoking the discord as much as possible. They think they can finesse his administration's disastrous response to the deadly pandemic and the resulting economic catastrophe by ginning up chaos in the streets and focusing people's attention away from the other problems in their lives and aiming their anxiety at Black Lives Matter protesters, progressives and big cities. ............(more)


As with everything else, Trump is making the imminent Big 10 football deal up out of whole cloth....

(Detroit Free Press) As a global pandemic continues to shake this nation to its core, violence erupts in city streets and the American economy wades deeper into a recession, the leader of the free world has launched a campaign to revive Big Ten football this fall.

At 11:18 a.m. Tuesday, Donald Trump announced on Twitter he had connected with commissioner Kevin Warren to discuss the possibility of an immediate restart.

“On the one yard line!” he proclaimed.

But Trump didn’t specify on which side of the field they were, and hours later it became clear they were backed up in the shadow of their end zone instead of on the edge of pay dirt. ...............(more)


How did the US's mainstream right end up openly supporting vigilante terror?

How did the US's mainstream right end up openly supporting vigilante terror?
Richard Seymour

The apocalyptic conspiracy theories of rightwing groups afraid of losing their power give evil a name, and offer an answer

Tue 1 Sep 2020 04.32 EDTLast modified on Wed 2 Sep 2020 04.51 EDT

(Guardian UK) Kyle Rittenhouse, a “Blue Lives Matter” fanatic, Donald Trump supporter and militia member, has been charged with murder. It is alleged that having travelled from Illinois to Wisconsin to point his assault rifle at unarmed protesters, he shot two people dead. He was later heard claiming: “I just killed somebody.”

While the Trump campaign quietly disavowed this enthusiastic supporter, insisting he had “nothing to do with our campaign” (as though anyone had suggested otherwise), the president himself defended Rittenhouse, saying he appeared to have been acting in self defence. Message boards such as Reddit and 4chan are humming with commentary supporting Rittenhouse. Predictably, every accused lone-wolf murderer generates an online fan club. Likewise, the Christian right has already raised $250,000 for Rittenhouse’s defence.

However, the decision of rightwing celebrity journalists to gleefully defend Rittenhouse crosses a new threshold. Ann Coulter, the infantile shock-jock of American reaction, said of Rittenhouse: “I want him as my president.” While Coulter is a media opportunist mining for controversy, Tucker Carlson of Fox News, a more doctrinaire far-rightist, offered an emotional defence. “How shocked are we,” Carlson said, “that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would?”

This, from a talking head who has spent the Trump years mainstreaming various white nationalists, inciting racism and portraying the apocalyptic meltdown of the US caused by immigrants and liberal elites, betrays a conception of order identical to that of Rittenhouse and other white vigilantes who have pointed their guns at Black Lives Matter protesters, such as the Three Percenters and militiamen who have paraded the streets of Philadelphia, Ohio, Chicago and Albuquerque. ..........(more)


White 'vigilante' couple shoots at Black men who were simply returning a U-Haul truck

Gunfire broke out while Charles McMillon Jr., his son, and childhood friend Kendrick Clemons were dropping off a U-Haul truck. The next thing they say they saw was an older couple coming toward them, both pointing guns in their direction.

The couple ordered them to not move, but McMillon sped off in his truck in a panic. Speaking to the Tallahassee Democrat, McMillon says he thinks they were being racially profiled because they’re Black. .........(more)


We just passed 6 million cases, and it didn't have to be like this -- if we'd had a leader

We just passed 6 million cases, and it didn't have to be like this — if we'd had a leader
Another grim milestone to remind us how tragically Donald Trump has failed. He had an opportunity, and ran away

SEPTEMBER 1, 2020 11:00AM (UTC)

(Salon) The United States this week surpassed 6 million cases of COVID-19, the most in the world. Even when measuring relative to population, America's standing is dismal and depressing. We're currently ranked 10th in the world with 18,675 cases per million people, and growing by 30-50,000 new cases every day. As I begin to write this essay, midday on Monday, we've already racked up 14,151 cases for the day so far.

Just for the sake of contrast, Italy is ranked 60th in cases per million residents. France is ranked 63rd. Germany is 83rd. Iraq is ranked 49th. Canada is 76th. Again, the U.S. is ranked 10th. There are "shithole countries," as Trump called them, who are faring better than we are.

In case the Red Hat trolls jump into the comments to rubber-stamp Donald Trump's nonsense about how we have the most cases because we do the most testing, the U.S. is ranked 18th in testing per million residents, far from the most in the world (per million), yet we're 10th in cases, and 11th in deaths. Denmark, on the other hand, is 13th in testing, meaning it does more testing than we do, but it's ranked 82nd in cases and 55th in deaths (all per million residents). If Trump were right, and testing artificially increased cases and deaths somehow, Denmark would have many more cases and deaths per million than we do. It doesn't. We still have more. Many more.

It's difficult to verbalize how mortifying and inexcusable this is.

Trump can't shut up about making America great again. But based on his response to the pandemic alone, we're not even close to being great. We're not even greatness-adjacent. ...........(more)


The DOJ's COVID-19 Nursing Home Inquiry Is Nakedly Corrupt

The DOJ’s COVID-19 Nursing Home Inquiry Is Nakedly Corrupt

AUG 31, 20202:01 PM

(Slate) Last week, the Department of Justice sent widely publicized letters to the governors of four states—Michigan, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania—seeking information about nursing homes and coronavirus infections. The DOJ justified the request as part of an evaluation of whether to open a formal investigation under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act. This does not appear to be an ordinary independent investigation, though. In fact, there’s every reason to believe the DOJ letters are partisan attacks on opponents of the president.

The backdrop for all this is the COVID-19 pandemic’s devastating effect on life in nursing homes. The coronavirus pandemic has hit nursing homes hard and highlighted the inhumanity of our system of shunting away elderly and disabled people in isolated congregate institutions. The New York Times estimates that at least 68,000 people have died due to COVID in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities—41 percent of the total number of deaths attributable to the virus in this country.

The devastation underscores a truth we have known for years: Institutions separated from the mainstream of society—nursing homes, long-term care facilities, psychiatric hospitals, or jails and prisons—cause intense harm to the people who are confined there. They rigidly control the lives of their residents, limiting such mundane daily liberties as the choice of when to turn out the light at night or with whom to eat dinner. They often limit opportunities for employment, education, and personal development. And they frequently harm the physical and mental health of those who must live there—with the tragic consequences we are seeing today.

Government investigations of the poor conditions at congregate institutions—and efforts to promote community-based alternatives so that individuals would not be forced to live in those facilities—would be very welcome. The coronavirus pandemic makes the need for such action especially acute.

That is not, however, what the DOJ’s actions were about. Instead, the department is acting in a transparently political manner. Throughout the pandemic, the DOJ has failed to take key steps to use CRIPA to protect residents of congregate facilities. Last week’s letters, aimed at governors who have vocally criticized President Donald Trump’s response to the pandemic, and timed amid the Republican National Convention, will do nothing meaningful to protect those residents. ............(more)


Trump Is a Coward

Trump Is a Coward
Biden calls the president weak on crime, Russia, and the coronavirus. Trump proves him right.


(Slate) One of Donald Trump’s biggest frauds is that he’s a strong leader. He says he’s tough on China, tough on borders, and tough on looters and anarchists. But when toughness really counts, he’s craven. He sucks up to Vladimir Putin, writes love letters to Kim Jong-un, begs Xi Jinping for help in getting reelected, and causes thousands of deaths by refusing to face a catastrophic virus. On Monday, Joe Biden launched a frontal assault on Trump’s cowardice. And Trump, in a press conference afterward, validated Biden’s indictment.

Trump thinks the recent wave of violence in certain cities—some of it related to protests against shootings by police—can help him change the subject from COVID to law and order. Biden, speaking in Pittsburgh, directly addressed that issue. “If Donald Trump wants to ask the question, ‘Who will keep you safer as president?’, let’s answer that question,” said Biden. “When I was vice president, violent crime fell 15 percent … The murder rate is up 26 percent across the nation this year under Donald Trump.”

Biden argued that in street clashes between left- and right-wing extremists, real political courage consists of standing up to the miscreants on your own side. Trump hasn’t just failed that test, Biden said; he’s ducked it. “He’s got no problem with right-wing militia, white supremacists, and vigilantes with assault weapons, often better armed than the police,” said Biden. Trump’s “failure to call on his own supporters to stop acting as an armed militia in this country shows how weak he is.”

Biden coupled this attack with a scathing assessment of Trump’s appeasement of Russia. “The Kremlin has put bounties on the heads of American soldiers,” said Biden. But “instead of telling Vladimir Putin … that there’d be a heavy price to pay if they dare touch an American soldier, this president doesn’t even bring up the subject in his multiple phone calls with Putin.” Biden also pointed to reports that “Russian forces just attacked American troops in Syria, injuring our service members. Did you hear the president say a single word? Did he lift one finger? Never before has an American president played such a subservient role to a Russian leader. It’s not only dangerous. It’s humiliating.” ................(more)


Arizona Stands Out From a Mostly Static Presidential Race in Battleground States

Despite two weeks of party conventions and amid civil unrest prompted by the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis., the state of the race between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden stands largely unchanged from its pre-convention numbers in some of the country’s most-contested states — with the notable exception of Arizona.

While Biden was trailing the president in the Southwestern battleground by 2 percentage points in an Aug. 7-16 Morning Consult poll conducted before the Aug. 17 start of the Democratic National Convention, the former vice president has improved his margin over Trump by 12 points.

According to the Aug. 21-30 survey of 943 likely Arizona voters, which has a 3-point margin of error, Biden leads Trump, 52 percent to 42 percent, driven by a 10-point increase in support among Arizona men, statistically tying him with Trump (49 percent to 45 percent), and a 7-point increase in support with suburban Arizonans, who now favor Biden by 9 points, 51 percent to 42 percent. He also leads among women (55 percent to 40 percent) and independents (51 percent to 37 percent) in the state. ............(more)


Second Wave of Layoffs Is Here, Now Hitting Well-Paid Jobs

THE WOLF STREET REPORT: Second Wave of Layoffs Is Here, Now Hitting Well-Paid Jobs
by Wolf Richter • Aug 30, 2020 •

A sort of sector rotation of layoffs. And it’s not a good sign. Even as millions of lower-wage workers are being hired back.


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