Mattis had a scathing description of Trump’s walk to a historic nearby church Monday to pose with a Bible after law enforcement forcibly cleared Lafayette Square of mostly peaceful protesters.
He said he never dreamed troops “would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens — much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.”
via Ex-Defense Chief Mattis Rips Trump for Dividing Americans – The New York Times
On Monday, an entirely peaceful protest was driven out of a city square in front of the White House with teargas, baton charges and mounted police, so Trump could pose in front of a church with a Bible.A priest and a seminarian, who had been distributing water and hand sanitizer to protesters from the steps of St John’s Episcopal, were driven away by police with helmets and riot shields to create an uncluttered tableau. A Bible was procured for Trump from inside the church for him to hold aloft. Journalists asked if it was his Bible. “It’s a Bible,” he replied.The rate of fresh affronts has often outpaced the capacity to digest – or even describe – them. Peaceful protesters, journalists, a young African American man pleading for mutual understanding, shop owners, residents are being targeted for arbitrary arrest or police beatings or both – especially if they are black.
via ‘How did we get here?’: Trump has normalised mayhem and the US is paying the price | US news | The Guardian
“President Trump incited insurrection Friday against the duly elected governors of the states of Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia,” McCord begins. “Just a day after issuing guidance for re-opening America that clearly deferred decision-making to state officials — as it must under our Constitutional order — the president undercut his own guidance by calling for criminal acts against the governors for not opening fast enough.”
The op-ed’s subtitle notes: “Federal law bans advocating the overthrow of government.”
via Legal expert: Trump’s ‘liberate’ Tweets ‘incite insurrection’ – and that’s ‘illegal’ – Alternet.org
Here in Canada, we can breathe a sigh of relief that our federal political system is, for the most part, rising to the occasion of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
That is not so much the case in the great (and constantly self-aggrandizing) republic to our south.
There, the political dialogue is dominated by a person who not only openly aspires to be an absolute dictator, but who appears, more and more each day, to suffer from an actual, clinically diagnosable personality disorder: infantile narcissism.
via Canada boosts aid for workers; reckless insanity rules in the U.S. | rabble.ca
Donald Trump lost an estimated $1bn of his paper fortune in the past month as the coronavirus lockdown forced the closure of offices, shopping centres, hotels and golf courses he owns.
The US president’s fortune has fallen from an estimated $3.1bn (£2.5bn) on 1 March to $2.1bn on 18 March (at the height of stock market panic caused by the coronavirus pandemic) according to Forbes magazine’s annual billionaires list.
Wonder why he wants to put people at risk by opening up early?
via Donald Trump ‘lost $1bn in a month’ from coronavirus lockdown | Business | The Guardian
As of the end of March, the US had yet to pay its 2020 bill of $115,766,920 for assessed contributions. The country also has approximately $80 million outstanding from other years.
via What you need to know about Trump’s suspension of WHO funding — Quartz
The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) release Report to the President on Reengineering the Influenza Vaccine Production Enterprise to Meet the Challenges of Pandemic Influenza
President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology
Releases Plan to Improve Nation’s Vaccine Response
Executive Office of the President of the United States
Against Pandemic Influenza and Other Outbreaks
Improvements Could Cut Several Weeks Off Vaccine Production,
Save Thousands of Lives
Targeted Federal investments in five key areas could shorten by weeks or months the time needed to produce enough vaccine doses to protect the entire Nation in the event of another outbreak of pandemic flu—an advance that could save thousands of lives—according to a new report by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).
via The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) release Report to the President on Reengineering the Influenza Vaccine Production Enterprise to Meet the Challenges of Pandemic Influenza | whitehouse.gov
Deutsche Bank’s loans to Trump have included money for a Florida golf resort, a Washington D.C. hotel and a Chicago tower. Two of the properties are being hit by the pandemic, the New York Times said. The Doral golf resort near Miami has stopped all operations, while the Washington hotel closed its restaurant and bar, according to the newspaper.
The Trump International Hotel stands in Washington, D.C.Photographer: Alex Edelman/Bloomberg
A process to sell the hotel lease has been halted amid a collapse in the commercial real estate market, the Washington Post reported.
Analysts have flagged commercial real estate as a particularly vulnerable part of the economy as malls and hotels across the country have had to close. But while other companies hit by the crisis may be able to tap into a $500 billion rescue fund, the President and his family are barred from accessing that money, the New York Times said.
via Trump Organization Asks Deutsche Bank for Loan Payment Delay – Bloomberg
Thus far, the Trump Organization, run by the president’s adult sons, Eric and Donald Trump Jr., have closed properties in Doral, Florida, Las Vegas, Ireland, Scotland, Bedminster, New Jersey, and Palm Beach, Florida, the home of Mar-a-Lago. According to the Post, those hotels and clubs represent six of Trump’s top revenue-producing businesses, bringing in about a collective $174 million per year, or $478,000 per day. Additionally, 160 employees have been laid off at the president’s Constitution-violating D.C. hotel, while 51 have been laid off at his New York hotel and an unknown number at his Vegas property. As the Post notes, the hotel business “needs new people walking in the door every day, to eat and stay,” and the current situation is far from swell. “The data is bad. And we haven’t seen the worst of it yet,” said Jan Freitag, a senior vice president with STR, which analyzes hotel-industry data. “What we’re seeing here is a rapid descent that’s going to last. So it’s going to be a little bit of a worst-case combination of post-9/11 and [the financial crisis of] 2009.”
via Surprise: Trump Started Itching to End Social Distancing After His Six Most Profitable Clubs Closed | Vanity Fair
The U.S. facilitated the sending of nearly 17.8 tons of donated medical supplies to China to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus in early 2020.
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via Did the Trump Administration Send 18 Tons of PPE to China in Early 2020?