Covid-19 isn’t the only democide Trump has in store for us


Donald Trump is culpable in the preventable deaths of tens of thousands of Americans due to the evisceration of environmental protections. His deregulatory attack against the standards on mercury, soot and carbon dioxide alone will lead to 245,500 preventable deaths over a ten-year period—a calculation based on EPA staff estimates.
The Trump administration—not state governors, not Congress, and not past presidents—is directly responsible for these preventable deaths. These deaths are in addition to the preventable deaths of tens of thousands of other Americans due to Trump’s incompetent and disastrous  response to the COVID-19 pandemic

The Trump administration has initiated a broad offensive against regulatory protections. The Brookings Institute keeps an up-to-date compendium of Trump’s deregulatory efforts entitled “Tracking Deregulation in the Trump Era” including those involving the environment, COVID-19, labor, health, finance, housing, agriculture, education and more. The administration has initiated more than 230 deregulatory actions so far. The New York Times keeps another list focusing on environmental deregulation entitled “The Trump Administration Is Reversing One Hundred Environmental Rules.”

Looking at just four major attacks on environmental protections initiated by the Trump Administration. Three of the attacks have significantly weakened the standards for soot, mercury, and carbon dioxide. I chose these three because EPA staff has actually estimated the number of deaths that will occur due to the rollback of each of these protections. In addition, I will examine the administration’s unprecedented suspension of all environmental regulations/enforcement under cover of the COVID-19 pandemic. This suspension gives corporations control over major environmental decisions.
The administration’s deregulatory offensive reflects a value system that literally prioritizes corporate profits over American lives.

Here’s how Trump is going to do it:

Weakening Mercury & Air Toxics Standards: 110,000 Preventable Deaths over a Ten-Year Period

Mercury & Air Toxics Standards (MATS) save 11,000 lives a year

Corporate cronyism – EPA administrator is a former coal industry lobbyist. Devaluing lives, valuing profits.

Refusal to Strengthen Soot Standard: 121,500 Preventable Deaths over a Ten-Year Period

Replacement of Limits on CO2 Emissions: 14,000 Preventable Deaths Over a Ten-Year Period

Using the Pandemic as an Excuse for Wholesale Deregulation

unprecedented suspension of environmental monitory, testing, and penalties citing pandemic.

Key EPA staffing positions held by corporate officials, lobbyists, and lawyers.

Allowing corporations to dictate EPA policies.

 

from https://www.alternet.org/2020/05/trumps-gutting-of-environmental-rules-will-lead-to-hundreds-of-thousands-of-deaths/

Donald Trump the Macho “Machoman” or Spoiled Whiny Cry Baby

So many mysteries surround Donald Trump: the contents of his tax returns, the apparent miracle of his graduation from college. Some of them are merely curiosities; others are of national importance, such as whether he understood the nuclear-weapons briefing given to every leader. I prefer not to dwell on this question.

But since his first day as a Republican candidate, I have been baffled by one mystery in particular: Why do working-class white men—the most reliable component of Donald Trump’s base—support someone who is, by their own standards, the least masculine man ever to hold the modern presidency? The question is not whether Trump fails to meet some archaic or idealized version of masculinity. Trump’s inability to measure up to Marcus Aurelius or Omar Bradley is not the issue. Rather, the question is why so many of Trump’s working-class white male voters refuse to hold Trump to their own standards of masculinity—why they support a man who behaves more like a little boy.

I am a son of the working class, and I know these cultural standards. The men I grew up with think of themselves as pretty tough guys and most of them are. They are not the products of elite universities and cosmopolitan living. These are men whose fathers and grandfathers came from a culture that looks down upon lying, cheating, and bragging, especially about sex or courage. (My father’s best friend got the Silver Star for wiping out a German machine-gun nest in Europe, and I never heard a word about it until after the man’s funeral.) They admire and value the understated swagger, the rock-solid confidence, and the quiet reserve of such cultural heroes as John Wayne’s Green Beret Colonel Mike Kirby and Sylvester Stallone’s John Rambo (also, as it turns out, a former Green Beret.)

They are, as an American Psychological Association feature describes them, men who adhere to norms such as “toughness, dominance, self-reliance, heterosexual behaviors, restriction of emotional expression and the avoidance of traditionally feminine attitudes and behaviors.” But I didn’t need an expert study to tell me this; they are men like my late father and his friends, who understood that a man’s word is his bond and that a handshake means something. They are men who still believe in a day’s work for a day’s wages. They feel that you should never thank another man when he hands you a paycheck that you earned. They shoulder most burdens in silence—perhaps to an unhealthy degree—and know that there is honor in making an honest living and raising a family.

Not every working-class male voted for Trump, and not all of them have these traits, of course. And I do not present these beliefs and attitudes as uniformly virtuous in themselves. Some of these traditional masculine virtues have a dark side: Toughness and dominance become bullying and abuse; self-reliance becomes isolation; silence becomes internalized rage. Rather, I am noting that courage, honesty, respect, an economy of words, a bit of modesty, and a willingness to take responsibility are all virtues prized by the self-identified class of hard-working men, the stand-up guys, among whom I was raised.

And yet, many of these same men expect none of those characteristics from Trump, who is a vain, cowardly, lying, vulgar, jabbering blowhard. Put another way, as a question I have asked many of the men I know: Is Trump a man your father and grandfather would have respected?

I should point out here that I am not criticizing Trump’s manifest lack of masculinity solely because he offends my personal sense of maleness. He does, of course. But then again, a lot about the Trump offends me, as a man, as a Christian, and as an American. Nor do I make these observations as a role model of male virtue. I was, in every way, an immature cad as a younger man. In late middle age, I still struggle with the eternal issues of manhood, including what it means to be a good father and husband—especially the second time around after failing at marriage once already.

And truth be told, I am not particularly “manly.” I wear Italian shoes with little buckles. I schedule my haircuts on Boston’s Newbury Street weeks in advance. My shower is full of soaps and shampoos claiming scents like “tobacco and caramel,” and my shaving cream has bergamot in it, whatever that is. And I talk too much.

I freely accept that I do not pass muster by the standards of most Trump supporters. Again, what intrigues me is that neither should Trump. As the writer Windsor Mann has noted, Trump behaves in ways that many working-class men would ridicule: “He wears bronzer, loves gold and gossip, is obsessed with his physical appearance, whines constantly, can’t control his emotions, watches daytime television, enjoys parades and interior decorating, and used to sell perfume.”

I am not a psychologist, and I cannot adjudicate the theories of male behavior that might explain some of this. Others have tried. Two researchers who looked back at the 2016 election suggested that support for Trump was higher in areas where there were more internet searches for topics such as “erectile dysfunction,” “how to get girls,” and “penis enlargement” than in pro-Hillary areas of the country. (One can only hope that correlation is not causation.) The idea that insecure men support bullies and authoritarians is hardly new; recall that one of George Orwell’s characters in 1984 dismissed all the “marching up and down and cheering and waving flags” as “simply sex gone sour.” To reduce all of this to sexual inadequacy, however, is too facile. It cannot explain why millions of men look the other way when Trump acts in ways they would typically find shameful. Nor is arguing that Trump is a bad person and therefore that the people who support him are either brainwashed or also bad people helpful. He is, and some of them are. But that doesn’t explain why men who would normally ostracize someone like Trump continue to embrace him.

In order to think about why these men, support Trump, one must first to grasp how deeply they are betraying their own definition of masculinity by looking more closely at the flaws they should, in principle, find revolting.

Is Trump honorable? This is a man who routinely refused to pay working people their due wages, and then lawyered them into the ground when they objected to being exploited. Trump is a rich downtown bully; the sort most working men usually hate.

General George Patton

Is Trump courageous? Courtiers like Victor Davis Hanson have compared Trump to the great heroes of the past, including George Patton, Ajax, and the Western gunslingers of the American cinema. Trump himself has mused about how he would have been a good general. He even fantasized about how he would have charged into the middle of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, without a weapon. “You don’t know until you test it,” he said at a meeting with state governors just a couple of weeks after the massacre, “but I really believe I’d run in there, even if I didn’t have a weapon, and I think most of the people in this room would have done that too.” Truly brave people never tell you how brave they are. I have known many combat veterans, and none of them extols his or her own courage. What saved them, they will tell you, was their training and their teamwork. Some—perhaps the bravest—lament that they were not able to do more for their comrades.

But even if we excuse Trump for the occasional hyperbole, the fact of the matter is that Trump is an obvious coward. He has two particular phobias: powerful men and intelligent women.

Whenever he is in the company of Russian President Vladimir Putin, to take the most cringe-inducing example, he visibly cowers. His attempts to ingratiate himself with Putin are embarrassing, especially given how effortlessly Putin can bend Trump to his will. When the Russian leader got Trump alone at a summit in Helsinki, he scared him so badly that at the subsequent joint press conference, Putin smiled pleasantly while the leader of the United States publicly took the word of a former KGB officer over his own intelligence agencies.

Likewise, as Trump has shown repeatedly in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, he is eager to criticize China, until he is asked about Chinese President Xi Jinping. In the course of the same few minutes, Trump will attack China—his preferred method for escaping responsibility for America’s disastrous response to the coronavirus pandemic—and then he will babble about how much he likes President Xi, desperately seeking to avoid giving offense to the Chinese Communist Party boss.

This is related to one of Trump’s most noticeable problems, which is that he can never stop talking. The old-school standard of masculinity is the strong and silent type, like Gary Cooper back in the day or Tom Hardy today. Trump, by comparison, is neither strong nor capable of silence.

And when Trump talks too much, he ends up saying things that more stereotypically masculine men wouldn’t, like that he fell in love with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. “He wrote me beautiful letters, and they’re great letters,” Trump told a rally in West Virginia. “We fell in love.” One can only imagine the reaction among working-class white men if Barack Obama, or any other U.S. leader, had talked about falling in love with a foreign leader. (George W. Bush once said he saw into Putin’s soul, and he has never lived it down among his critics.)

Is Trump a man who respects women? This is what secure and masculine men would expect, especially from a husband and a father of two daughters.

Leave aside for the moment that the working-class white men in “the Donald’s” base don’t seem to care that Trump had an affair with a porn star while his wife was home with a new baby, something for which many of them would probably beat their own brother-in-law senseless if he did it to their sister. Trump’s voters, male and female, have already decided to excuse this and other sordid episodes.

Women clearly scare Trump. You don’t have to take my word for it. “Donald doesn’t like strong women,” Senator Ted Cruz said back in 2016 of the candidate who attacked Cruz’s wife as ugly, but who is now his hero. “Strong women scare Donald. Real men don’t try to bully women.”

Trump never seems more fearful and insecure than when women question him. His anxiety at such moments—for example, when he calls on female reporters in the White House press room—is palpable. He begins his usual flurry of defensive hand gestures, from the playing of an imaginary accordion to a hand held up with a curled pinky finger like some parody of a Queens mobster, while he stammers out verbal chaff bursts of “excuse me” and “are you ready?”

Does Trump accept responsibility and look out for his team? Not in the least. In this category, he exhibits one of the most unmanly of behaviors: He’s a blamer. Nothing is ever his fault. In the midst of disaster, he praises himself while turning on even his most loyal supporters without a moment’s hesitation. Men across America who were socialized by team sports, whose lives are predicated on the principle of showing up and doing the job, continually excuse a man who continually excuses himself. This presidency is defined not by Ed Harris’s grim intonation in Apollo 13 that “failure is not an option,” but by one of the most shameful utterances of a chief executive in modern American history: “I take no responsibility at all.”

Trump’s defenders could argue that he is just another male celebrity whose raw authenticity offends snooty elitists but appeals to the average Joe. The analogy here is someone like Howard Stern, who has known Trump for years and has been idolized by young men across America. Stern cavorted with porn stars, said shocking and racist things, and was, in his way, the living id of every maladjusted teenager.

Whatever you think of Stern, however, he’s much more of a man, by any definition, than Trump. For one thing, Stern is often self-effacing in the extreme, which is both part of his act and a source of the charm he possesses. Stern routinely jokes about the inadequacy of his male endowment. Trump, however, went to pains to reassure the country—in the middle of a presidential primary debate—that his equipment has “no problem.” Stern knows how to take his lumps in public, while Trump is a wailing siren of complaints.

More important, Stern is capable of introspection and has a certain amount of self-awareness, a quality important for any mature and healthy person. Stern, who once encouraged Trump’s antics, now seems concerned. He has suggested that Trump was traumatized by his childhood and his father. “He has trouble with empathy,” Stern told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “We know that. And I wish he’d go into psychotherapy. I’d be so proud of him if he did, and he would flourish.” (Stern endorsed Joe Biden in April.)

Trump is never going to get therapy. But Stern’s observation opens the door to a better explanation of why—despite all of his whiny complaints, his pouty demeanor, and his mean-girl tweets—Trump’s working-class voters forgive him.

Trump’s lack of masculinity is about maturity. He is not “manly” because he is not a man. He is a boy.

To be a man is to be an adult, to willingly decide, as St. Paul wrote, to “put away childish things.” There’s a reason that Peter Pan is a story about a boy, and the syndrome named after it is about men. Not everyone grows up as they age.

It should not be a surprise then, that Trump is a hero to a culture in which so many men are already trapped in perpetual adolescence. And especially for men who feel like life might have passed them by, whose fondest memories are rooted somewhere in their own personal Wonder Years from elementary school until high-school graduation, Trump is a walking permission slip to shrug off the responsibilities of manhood.

The appeal to indulge in such hypocrisy must be enormous. Cheat on your wife? No problem. You can trade her in for a hot foreign model 20 years younger. Is being a father to your children too onerous a burden on your schedule? Let the mothers raise them. Money troubles? Everyone has them; just tell your father to write you another check. Upset that your town or your workplace has become more diverse? Get it off your chest: Rail about women and Mexicans and African Americans at will and dare anyone to contradict you.

Trump’s media enablers do their best to shore up the fiction that Trump and the men who follow him are the most macho of men. The former White House aide Sebastian Gorka, one of Trump’s most dedicated sycophants, has described Trump as a “man’s man,” despite the fact that Trump has no hobbies or interests common to many American men other than sex. In this gang of Sweathogs, Gorka is the Arnold Horshack to Trump’s Vinnie Barbarino, always admiring him as the most alpha of the alphas. To listen to Gorka and others in Trumpworld, Donald can turn his enemies to ash through sheer testosterone overload. Some Trump voters have even airbrushed the his face onto the bodies of both Rambo and Rocky Balboa. (Donald himself approvingly retweeted the Trump-as-Rocky meme.)

Gorka tries to cosplay the same role himself. The photographs of him carrying guns, wearing a suede vest, and posing next to his underpowered suburban Mustang are now internet legends, precisely because they are so ridiculous. But he is a good example of how so many of the men who support Trump have morphed into childish caricatures of themselves. They, too, are little boys, playing at being tough but crying about their victimization at the hands of liberal elites if they are subjected to criticism of any kind.

I do not know how much of this can explain Trump’s base of support among working-class white women. (Those numbers are now declining.) But perhaps these women, too, regard Trump as just one more difficult and mischievous man-child in their lives to be accommodated and forgiven.

The best example of women giving him a pass was after the Access Hollywood tape came to light in the fall of 2016. Trump had been caught on audio bragging about being able to grope women because he was famous. Republican leaders panicked; surely this level of vulgarity, they reasoned, would kill Trump’s chances with female voters.

Instead, women showed up at rallies with shirts featuring arrows pointing right to where Trump could grab them.

Melania Trump, for her part, dutifully defended the boyishness of it all. “Sometimes I say I have two boys at home,” she said at the time. “I have my young son and I have my husband. But I know how some men talk, and that’s how I saw it.” Female Trump supporters were interviewed on national television and—in a tragic admission about the state of American families—seemed confused about why Trump would be considered any worse than the men around them.

I recall one woman telling a reporter that her son talked that way in front of her all the time. Part of how I was socialized into adult manhood was knowing that if I spoke like that in front of my late mother—an Irish American woman from an impoverished background—she would have made my ears ring with the slap she’d have given me.

In the end, Trump will continue to act like a little boy, and his base, the voters who will stay with him to the end, will excuse him. When a grown man brags about being brave, it is unmanly and distasteful; when a little boy pulls out a cardboard sword and ties a towel around his neck like a cape, it’s endearing. When a rich and powerful old man whines about how unfairly he is being treated, we scowl and judge; when a little boy snuffles in his tears and says that he was bullied—treated worse than Abraham Lincoln, even—we comfort.

Donald Trump is unmanly because he has never chosen to become a man. He has weathered few trials that create an adult of any kind. He is, instead, working-class America’s dysfunctional son, and his supporters, male and female alike, have become the worried parent explaining what a good boy he is to terrorized teachers even while he continues to set fires in the hallway right outside.

I think that working men, the kind raised as I was, know what kind of “man” Trump is. And still, the gratification they get from seeing Trump enrage the rest of the country is enough to earn their indulgence. I doubt, however, that Trump gives them the same consideration. Perhaps Howard Stern, of all people, said it best: “The oddity in all of this is the people Trump despises most, love him the most. The people who are voting for Trump for the most part … He’d be disgusted by them.” The tragedy is that they are not disgusted by him in return.

 

Edited from a TOM NICHOLS article in the Atlantic

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/05/donald-trump-the-most-unmanly-president/612031/

Conservative Thomas M. Nichols is an academic specialist on international affairs, currently a professor at the U.S. Naval War College and at the Harvard Extension School. His work deals with issues involving Russia, nuclear weapons, and national security affairs. TOM NICHOLS is the author of The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against

 

What you don’t know will get you sick or even dead, thanks Donnie

As of 05-17-20 reported cases in USA 1,523,703 reported Deaths 90,893 and Trump has been very concerned with the actual numbers attached to coronavirus cases and has made clear he wanted to keep the numbers low to help his re-election campaign. We all know that the truth is that Deaths are under-reported and cases are way under-reported because the evil Trump has kept us from testing.

Trump has said, “we don’t want everybody taking this test,” referring to coronavirus testing. “It’s totally unnecessary. This will pass through and we’re going to be even stronger for it.” Last Thursday Trump said testing for coronavirus is “overrated,” and complained that the more tests are conducted, the more cases there are. “When you test, you have a case,”  “When you test, you find something is wrong with people. If we didn’t do any testing, we would have very few cases.”

So with that in mind, the despicable Trump administration has ordered an “innovative” and “first of its kind” at home coronavirus testing program, that has the support of public health experts, to cease.

The program is based in Seattle, Washington, and allowed residents to easily test for coronavirus. One of the program’s benefits is 43 percent of its more than 12,000 participants so far were asymptomatic. To date, the program has identified many previously-undetected COVID-19 cases.

The Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network (SCAN), operated by researchers from the Seattle Flu Study and Public Health – Seattle & King County, and had an “in-person technical adviser” from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was authorized by the State of Washington.

The FDA ordered SCAN to:“……discontinue patient testing and return of diagnostic results to patients until proper authorization is obtained,”  saying it had “concerns about safety and accuracy.”

SCAN’s researchers say they had, “submitted data validating both the safety and reliability of the swabs in the home-based collection.”

One researcher not affiliated with the program called halting it “bizarre.” We call it typical blatant Trump-style suppression of the truth.

 

 

Trump is blaming the black guy as the bodies pile up and the food lines grow

Nope this is all on you Trump

On Monday afternoon, Narcissist Trump tried once again to declare victory in the fight against what he calls “the invisible enemy” by holding one of his so-called briefings in the Rose Garden to celebrate America’s floundering and allegedly successful testing program. As one would expect, trying to sell the assembled press on such a blatant lie did not go well. At best, the testing program has been “anemic and spotty,” as former President Obama has put it, and the long delays and dithering in the response have led to the deaths of 83,000 people, and counting, within just a couple of months.

It was a sad and perfunctory performance, ending with a racist attack on an Asian-American reporter, after which Trump flounced off the stage like a disappointed second runner-up at one of his sleazy pageants.

He is clearly very upset that the medical community hasn’t devised a magic cure and that the virus isn’t succumbing to his repeated exhortations to “just go away.” Trump’s grand reopening of the economy is a chaotic mess and the “numbers” he’s so obsessed with keep going in the wrong direction. But his friends in the media and his top henchman at the Department of Justice, Attorney General Bill Barr, have come up with something thrilling to distract him from his troubles and make the pain go away.

They’re calling it “Obamagate,” and on Mother’s Day Trump spent nearly the entire day tweeting about it in a hysterical frenzy. When asked at the press conference by the Washington Post’s Philip Rucker to explain what he had meant when he tweeted that Obama had committed “the biggest political crime in American history, by far,” Trump replied, “You know what the crime is. The crime is very obvious to everybody. All you have to do is read the newspapers, except yours.”

Of course, he doesn’t understand it, but then neither does anyone else. Salon’s Igor Derysh wrote up an excellent rundown on the main points of this so-called scandal and it’s the same old bizarro-world version of events in which the FBI didn’t sabotage Hillary Clinton’s campaign with the 11th-hour resurrection of the idiotic email scandal while keeping mum about Russian interference on Trump’s behalf. In the Trumpified version, the “deep state” was actually working on behalf of Clinton to take down Trump. Then, when he heroically thwarted their efforts they conspired to destroy him once he was in office by colluding with a long list of foreign actors, the entire intelligence community, the Democratic National Committee and the media to frame him with the Russia investigation in a slow-moving attempt at a coup. (One that was highly ineffective, you’d have to say.)

The alleged new wrinkle is that the Michael Flynn case supposedly offers proof that Obama and Joe Biden were directing the conspiracy because they knew about Flynn’s “perfectly innocent activities” during the transition and trapped him into lying to the FBI.

None of it makes any sense whatsoever. As the Atlantic’s David Frum explained: “The “Obamagate” that Trump tweets about — like the comic-book universes on which it seems to be modeled — is a tangle of backstories. The main characters do things for reasons that make no objective sense, things that can be decoded only by obsessive superfans on long Reddit threads.”

Needless to say, that doesn’t matter to the Trump supporters. They are as excited as five-year-olds on Christmas Eve, so overstimulated they are on the verge of wetting their pants. The full focus of right-wing media is on this now, both echoing Trump’s manic tweeting and feeding him more material.

On Fox News, the supposed straight-news anchors are as breathless as the Trump TV hosts in the evening. They can hardly find time to fit in their usual hydroxychloroquine features or loving paeans to armed protesters demanding haircuts. The coronavirus itself is now a secondary story at best.

On an episode of Fox News’s “The Five” “Obama” has been mentioned 17 times. The entire first segment of the show was devoted to “Obamagate.” “Coronavirus” has been mentioned twice.

Barr has clearly been whispering sweet somethings in Trump’s ear about the “investigation of the investigation” being run by special counsel John Durham bearing some kind of fruit. Barr has already shown he’s willing to use the Department of Justice to pursue this ridiculous pseudo-scandal on Trump’s behalf with his crude interference in the Roger Stone and Michael Flynn cases. Although it’s highly unlikely that the attorney general has the guts to go after Obama or Biden themselves, he may find a way to indict some of Trump’s personal bête noires, such as former CIA director John Brennan, former FBI director James Comey or former FBI agent Peter Strzok.

Trump’s ecstatic followers are aquiver with anticipation, but none so much as Trump himself. He is self-soothing with fever dreams of vengeance and exoneration, which allows him to ignore the reality he is facing as tens of thousands of Americans die on his watch and millions lose their jobs while he flounders about in public and fulminates against his political enemies.

But no matter how much Trump tweets about Obama, this pesky pandemic won’t go away. What he fatuously insisted was the “greatest economy the world has ever known” is quickly becoming the worst economy since the Great Depression. There might even be cracks emerging in the Republican establishment. Politico reported recently that Senate Republicans are actually balking at pursuing “Obamagate,” apparently unconvinced that staging a show trial in the middle of a global catastrophe is a winning electoral strategy.

According to Gabriel Sherman in Vanity Fair, Trump World is very nervous about this. Sherman quotes a former West Wing official saying “The numbers are fucking terrible. There’s massive anxiety in the GOP that he’s gonna take them all down with him.”

Trump’s dismal performance in this crisis should certainly make them anxious. Senate Republicans had the chance just four months ago to take a stand against his clear incompetence and corruption. Instead, they chose to back him to the hilt. By contrast, Governors around the country who have shown leadership and independence, of both parties, are seeing massive popularity while those who’ve acted as Trump sycophants are not doing so well.

Trump is polling worst of all. The new Washington Post-Ipsos and CNN polls show large majorities disapproving of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis. His reaction? Embarrassing, childish jealousy:

Trump knows he has failed. But he doesn’t know what to do. So he’s gone back to nursing his grievances and stoking the resentments of his base. There still seem to be people who are happy to follow him down that rabbit hole. But as the bodies pile up and the food lines grow longer, the old Trump sideshows like “Obamagate” may not seem quite so amusing to the American people. As the rising reputations of numerous state governors show, in a crisis people look for competence and leadership. Trump’s antics can’t hide the fact that he is entirely lacking either of those qualities.

 

from alternet

 

Are you ready to line up and die for the greedy incompetent Trump crime family

 

 

The Washington Post, columnist Karen Tumulty ripped Donald Trump a new one for entrusting life or death policy matters to his inept son-in-law.

“Whenever a member of the Trump family gets involved with a project, it is always smart to keep an eye out for the grift,” wrote Tumulty. “We might have hoped that a pandemic that has already cost more than 70,000 Americans their lives would be an exception to this rule. But no. Trump’s decision to again put his unqualified son-in-law, Jared Kushner, in charge of a team charged with a vital national security interest — this time, procuring crucial supplies and protective equipment for hospitals and others on the front lines of fighting the coronavirus — is producing the usual results: incompetence and cronyism.”

“Both The New York Times and NY Post report that Kushner and a small team of inexperienced volunteers from the private sector have overridden career officials at the Federal Emergency Management Agency and are making a deadly crisis even deadlier with their amateur-hour bungling,” wrote Tumulty. “The storyline, which sounds as though it might have been lifted from the reality show ‘Shark Tank,’ had been that these whiz kids from consulting, venture capital and private equity firms were better equipped than federal officials who have spent years planning for a disaster like the one we are going through to sift through leads on where to find badly needed personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies and cut deals to acquire them.”

“That the volunteers would want to lend a hand is admirable, but finding and procuring the proper equipment require a high degree of technical knowledge,” wrote Tumulty. “And as you might expect in any operation run by a member of the Trump family, some leads and requests got better treatment than others,” with a spreadsheet listing the “VIP” recipients, like Republicans in Congress, Fox News hosts, and a former contestant on “The Apprentice.”

“In one case, Kushner’s volunteers forwarded a tip (that they claimed to have checked out) to New York state, which awarded a $69 million contract to a supposed supplier of ventilators,” wrote Tumulty. “Not one was delivered. Meanwhile, more credible leads were being ignored.”

“All of this has been going on as the government’s warehouses of supplies have been emptying out and medical personnel have been trying to cobble together their own gear,” continued Tumulty. “Faced with complaints by governors and local officials that they were not getting what they needed from the Strategic National Stockpile, Kushner declared: ‘The notion of the federal stockpile was it’s supposed to be our stockpile. It’s not supposed to be state stockpiles that they then use.’”

“Trump seems to have a bottomless faith that his son-in-law can solve any problem that lands on the Resolute desk,” wrote Tumulty. “In addition to the coronavirus-response shop that Kushner has set up at FEMA, his ‘senior adviser’ portfolio includes brokering peace in the Middle East, building a border wall, reforming the criminal justice system, and of course, the highest priority of all, getting Trump reelected. All of this is quite a load for a 39-year-old whose previous experience consisted of investments, real estate development, and publishing a high-society newspaper.”

“We are seeing now why government cannot, and should not, be run like a family business,” concluded Tumulty. “In normal times, nepotism is merely corrupt. But at a moment such as the nightmare that we are all living through, it can be fatal.”

 

 

From Raw Story

 

 

Trump is engaging in “democidal behavior”

Democide is the murder of any person or people by their government, including genocide, politicide, and mass murder. …

The coronavirus pandemic has killed at over 50,000 people in the United States so far and that number is almost certainly an undercount.

Trump doesn’t give a shit about anybody but himself

At almost every juncture, Donald Trump has made decisions about the coronavirus pandemic that have led to more death. His behavior is that of a person who has no care or concern for the health, safety, and welfare of the American people. Nothing could epitomize that more perfectly than his grotesque suggestion this week that “injecting” disinfectants or household cleaning products might kill the coronavirus. This would seem comical, and entirely unbelievable if it had not actually happened.

In 2016 the Obama administration told Trump and his advisers of the high likelihood that a pandemic would strike the nation and advised the incoming administration to take appropriate steps to reduce its impact. Obama officials also left their Trump counterparts a step-by-step guide on how to respond to a pandemic. Trump and his inner circle ignored that guidance. Importantly last November, the U.S. military warned Donald Trump that the country was likely to be afflicted with a devastating pandemic originating in China. In January 2020, the Trump administration was told by its own experts that the coronavirus would spread beyond China and become a global pandemic. Again, Trump intentionally chose inaction, lies, and distraction.

Trump has deprived Democratic-led states and county of receiving needed medical supplies. He also waited months to begin talking about using the Defense Appropriation Act to compel American companies to produce more ventilators, masks, and other emergency equipment, and for all that talk really hasn’t used it.

In late 2019, Americans working with the World Health Organization began to warn Trump and his administration about the coronavirus pandemic. These doctors and other medical professionals were completely ignored. Trump and his inner circle ignored and even purged experts and other truth-tellers, and lied about, misrepresented, deflected or denied the dire threat to the American people posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Considered in total, Trump and his regime have shown themselves to be incompetent, callous, malevolent and deeply cruel in their response to the coronavirus crisis (as well as to a plethora of other issues). But to merely document the Trump regime’s deadly failures in response to the coronavirus pandemic is to ignore the most important question:
What were Trump and his advisers’ underlying motivations?

This forensic question must be answered if we are ever to have a full accounting of the coronavirus, and see justice done for the sick, the dead and the dying as well as the damage done to the broader American community.

Media critic Eric Boehlert who we frequently quote here in the Examiner summarizes the importance of determining Donald Trump’s motives this way:

As I stressed last week, the media’s preferred storyline that suggests Trump is simply incompetent doesn’t add up because Trump has made the wrong decision every single time in terms of how crises like this are supposed to be dealt with. (i.e. Be consistent, transparent, factual, and credible.) It’s increasingly not believable for the press to suggest Trump has been distracted or inept during this crisis, in part because of the level of White House uselessness has become so staggering.

Maybe Trump’s vengeful. Maybe he wants to wreck the economy to create investment opportunities? He’s under the thumb of a foreign entity? He wants to cause panic and cancel the November elections? He’s a fatalist? Who knows? And honestly, the specific “why” isn’t what matters now. What matters is asking the difficult questions and pondering what the Trump regime is truly about, no matter what lurks in the shadows….

Now the press needs to shift some of its focus and ask the truly alarming questions about Trump and his motives. Because we still don’t know why he essentially ordered the federal government to stand down for the virus invasion.

The REAL bottom line is Donald Trump doesn’t give a fuck whether you die or not, just as long as he can boost himself and make a buck.

Psychologist and psychotherapist John Gartner who taught for many years at the Johns Hopkins University Medical School, and has private therapeutic practices in Baltimore and New York, specializing in the treatment of borderline personality disorders, explains that sadism and violence are central to Trump’s malignant narcissism and his decision-making about the coronavirus pandemic. Gartner also warns that Donald Trump is an abuser locked into a deeply dysfunctional relationship with the American people and that, like other sadists, Trump enjoys causing harm and suffering.

Ultimately, Gartner concludes that Donald Trump is engaging in “democidal behavior” and cautions that the tens of thousands of dead (so far) from the coronavirus pandemic are not simply collateral damage from Trump’s policies, but rather the logical outcome of Trump’s apparent mental pathologies and the poor decisions that flow from them.

 

Edited from a piece in Salon & Raw Story