Opinion | Trump Uses the Military to Prove His Manhood – By Nicholas Kristof – The New York Times

By 

Opinion Columnist

Credit…Roberto Schmidt/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

“For two decades, the United States has repeatedly made the mistake of over-relying on the military toolbox to try to solve intractable problems — particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq — without adequately relying on diplomacy. Now President Trump wants to repeat the mistake at home.

The United States military is, according to Gallup polling, the most trusted institution in the country. But Trump’s call to dispatch armed forces to crush protests so that he can look tough betrays the military’s nonpartisan tradition and should trigger all our alarm bells.

It was exactly 31 years ago that I covered the Chinese military’s assault on pro-democracy protesters at Tiananmen Square. There was outrage worldwide, with virtually the only praise in the West coming from … Donald Trump.

“When the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government almost blew it,” Trump told Playboy Magazine months later. “Then they were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength.” “

“. . . Rioting and looting are deplorable of course, and it’s great that protesters have tried to stop the looters. Police forces are available, so it’s baffling to hear Senator Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas, suggest sending in the 101st Airborne Division. We need not turn American cities into Falluja.

When you’ve seen the ugliness of war, you don’t lightly summon tanks, helicopters or heavily armed troops to deal with civil disturbances; that’s a dangerous and damaging tactic of an insecure old man who claimed heel spurs to dodge the Vietnam draft and now needs to prove his own manhood.”

An ‘Avalanche of Evictions’ Could Be Bearing Down on America’s Renters – By Sarah Mervosh – The New York Times

 

“EUCLID, Ohio — The United States, already wrestling with an economic collapse not seen in a generation, is facing a wave of evictions as government relief payments and legal protections run out for millions of out-of-work Americans who have little financial cushion and few choices when looking for new housing.

The hardest hit are tenants who had low incomes and little savings even before the pandemic, and whose housing costs ate up more of their paychecks. They were also more likely to work in industries where job losses have been particularly severe.

Temporary government assistance has helped, as have government orders that put evictions on hold in many cities. But evictions will soon be allowed in about half of the states, according to Emily A. Benfer, a housing expert and associate professor at Columbia Law School who is tracking eviction policies.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT Commen:
I’m worried today about the people described in this NYT article this morning, renters who will get evicted without many more months of extended Federal help to laid off workers. Is it too late to use the European trick, and have them all get paid by their former employers, funded by the government? If so, isn’t it time for a big call to extend unemployment support and rent subsidies for people who are not able to work? Do we really want millions of new homeless, during a pandemic?
David blogs at InconvenientNews.Net

Opinion | How Elon Musk Won the Fight to Reopen His Tesla Factory – By Kara Swisher – The New York Times

By 

Contributing Opinion Writer

Credit…Brendan Smialowski/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

“How do you solve a problem like a tweet-storming Elon Musk?

Memo to the officials of Alameda County in Northern California: You don’t.

Of course, hindsight is 20-20, as the county officials have found in a high-profile tussle this week with Mr. Musk, the famous, and occasionally infamous, entrepreneur known for electric cars, space rockets, tunnel digging and creative baby-naming.

And, most of all, for tweet-baiting, which Mr. Musk used to great effect while clashing with local officials over the timing and terms of reopening of his Tesla factory in the San Francisco Bay Area suburb of Fremont. Mr. Musk closed the plant after shelter-in-place rules were put in place in March (after initially defying orders).

But now Mr. Musk has apparently had enough. He filed a lawsuit and threatened to move operations and 10,000 jobs out of state, even as several reports indicated that he had restarted production at the plant over the weekend, flouting the rules and attracting the ire of the local government.”

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Opinion | Crumbs for the Hungry but Windfalls for the Rich – By Nicholas Kristof – The New York Times

By 

Opinion Columnist

Credit…Cristobal Herrera/EPA, via Shutterstock

“While President Trump and his allies in Congress seek to tighten access to food stamps, they are showing compassion for one group: zillionaires. Their economic rescue package quietly allocated $135 billion — yes, that’s “billion” with a “b” — for the likes of wealthy real estate developers.

My Times colleague Jesse Drucker notes that Trump himself, along with his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, may benefit financially from this provision. The fine print was mysteriously slipped into the March economic relief package, even though it has nothing to do with the coronavirus and offers retroactive tax breaks for periods long before Covid-19 arrived.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Representative Lloyd Doggett of Texas, both Democrats, have asked the Trump administration for any communications that illuminate how this provision sneaked into the 880-page bill. (Officially, the provision is called “Modification of Limitation on Losses for Taxpayers Other Than Corporations,” but that’s camouflage; I prefer to call it the “Zillionaire Giveaway.”)

About 82 percent of the Zillionaire Giveaway goes to those earning more than $1 million a year, according to Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation. Of those beneficiaries earning more than $1 million annually, the average benefit is $1.6 million.

In other words, a single mom juggling two jobs gets a maximum $1,200 stimulus check — and then pays taxes so that a real estate mogul can receive $1.6 million. This is dog-eat-dog capitalism for struggling workers, and socialism for the rich.”

Opinion | Covid Dreams, Trump Nightmares – by Maureen Dowd – The New York Times

“. . . The mask should be a medical signal, not a political one. But Trump rejects the mask because of a misbegotten image of masculinity and power. In denying the mask, he denies reality, science and the fact that the country is in a crouch. Trump has proved that people wearing a mask can present more truth than people not wearing a mask.

His latest con, something that he stupidly refers to as “Obamagate,” a scandal about unmasking, is also misbegotten. You can’t create a scandal about Obama out of nothing just because you hate the fact that he went by the book while you dwell in a murky world of transgressions, that he glides while you lurch.

Even as Trump tries to paint Joe Biden as gaga, he is doing something truly gaga: He is running the government that is responding to the worst pandemic in a century at the same time he is the leader of the resistance to his own government, urging people and states to open up whenever they see fit, recommending Clorox injections, stifling Dr. Fauci, refusing to wear the mask.

The fact is that Donald Trump has been wearing a mask for a long time, like Eleanor Rigby “wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door.” He studied larger-than-life titans like George Steinbrenner and Lee Iacocca and invented a swaggering character called Donald Trump with a career marked by evasions, deceptions and disguises.

The young builder was intent, as T.S. Eliot wrote, to take the time “to prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet.” Early on, Donald locked in his costume for the masquerade, the look of a C.E.O. in the ’80s. His body armor was a dark suit, white shirt and monochromatic silk tie. His hair was a blond helmet, his war paint was orange.

“He is the most vaudevillian performance artist who ever inhabited the White House,” says his biographer Tim O’Brien. “He has a consuming desire to always be center stage, yet he never wants to reveal who he really is. He masks his finances, his taxes, his friendships, his ongoing family conflicts of interest, his ignorance and his inadequacies. He’s constantly making up areas of expertise he doesn’t have.

“He doesn’t read the Bible and he doesn’t live as a Christian and love thy neighbor. But he is demanding that the churches be reopened because his evangelical base will love that. Everything he’s doing right now is to stave off a loss in November.”  . . .  “

Idlib Was Their Last Refuge. They Couldn’t Hide From the Bombs.The New York Times video

Idlib Was Their Last Refuge. They Couldn’t Hide From the Bombs.

Millions of Syrians have fled to Idlib Province seeking safety. During a rare reporting trip, The Times found that President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian allies are still bombing them.

NYPD Officer Seen Beating Man In Social Distancing Arrest Has A History Of Alleged Brutality – Gothamist

The NYPD officer who violently arrested a man in the East Village during a social distancing stop this weekend has a lengthy history of alleged brutality — garnering more than half a dozen misconduct lawsuits in five years, and costing city taxpayers nearly $200,000, according to the Legal Aid Society.In a video recorded on Saturday, a plainclothes officer can be seen punching and tackling Donni Wright, a groundskeeper with NYCHA, while shouting the n-word, brandishing a taser, and subsequently kneeling on Wright’s head. The confrontation began after officers, some of whom were not wearing face coverings, spotted “a number of people not wearing masks” at the corner of Avenue D and 9th Street, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said on Monday.The officer’s shield number, recorded by observers, matches that of Francisco Garcia, a housing patrol officer who’s been named in at least seven civil lawsuits since 2015.

Source: NYPD Officer Seen Beating Man In Social Distancing Arrest Has A History Of Alleged Brutality – Gothamist

Woman who accused Dr. Anthony Fauci of sexual assault now claims Trump supporters paid her to lie | Salon.com

This article originally appeared on Raw Story

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“A woman who had accused Dr. Anthony Fauci of sexual assault now claims she was paid to lie about the public health expert by a pair of President Donald Trump’s supporters.

The woman says right-wing provocateur Jacob Wohl and his frequent accomplice Jack Burkman persuaded her to cast Fauci as the assailant using details from an actual sexual assault she survived just after high school, and they paid her to do it, reported Reason.

“The reality is that I’ve known Jacob since 2018 and that he charmed me into taking money to do this (see attached picture of us together),” said Diana Andrade in an email to the website. “[They also] had me do something like this . . . back in January.”

Andrade said she decided to abandon her claims and try to record incriminating evidence against the pair after Wohl asked her to find another woman to accuse Fauci of sexual assault — as they’ve done to former special counsel Robert Mueller and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

“Let me tell you something, Diana,” says Burkman on the nine-minute, 35-second call. “This guy shut the country down. He put 40 million people out of work. In a situation like that, you have to make up whatever you have to make up to stop that train and that’s the way life works, OK? That’s the way it goes.” ”

Source: Woman who accused Dr. Anthony Fauci of sexual assault now claims Trump supporters paid her to lie | Salon.com

Inside the conservative network backing the anti-quarantine protests – The Washington Post

April 22, 2020 at 6:00 a.m. EDT

The ads on Facebook sounded populist and passionate: “The people are rising up against these insane shutdowns,” they said. “We’re fighting back to demand that our elected officials reopen America.”

But the posts, funded by an initiative called Convention of States, were not the product of a grass-roots uprising alone. Instead, they represented one salvo in a wide-ranging and well-
financed conservative campaign to undermine restrictions that medical experts say are necessary to contain the coronavirus — but that protesters call overkill and whose economic fallout could damage President Trump’s political prospects.

A network of right-leaning individuals and groups, aided by nimble online outfits, has helped incubate the fervor erupting in state capitals across the country. The activism is often organic and the frustration deeply felt, but it is also being amplified, and in some cases coordinated, by longtime conservative activists, whose robust operations were initially set up with help from Republican megadonors.

Source: Inside the conservative network backing the anti-quarantine protests – The Washington Post

Police investigate shooting over a face mask in Michigan store – The Washington Post

May 5, 2020 at 6:22 p.m. EDT

A Family Dollar store security guard who was killed in Flint, Mich., on Friday was shot after telling a customer that her child had to wear a face mask to enter the store, the county prosecutor’s office said Monday.

The argument began when the security guard, Calvin Munerlyn, 43, told Sharmel Lashe Teague, 45, that customers needed to wear face masks in the store, Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said at a news conference Monday. She yelled at him, spit on him and drove off, Leyton said. About 20 minutes later, her car returned to the store, and her husband, Larry Edward Teague, 44, and son, Ramonyea Travon Bishop, 23, stepped out and confronted Munerlyn, according to investigators who spoke to witnesses in the store and reviewed surveillance video. Bishop pulled out a gun and shot Munerlyn, Leyton said.

Leyton said Munerlyn was doing his job, protecting others and enforcing a statewide executive order. In Michigan, people are required to wear face coverings in grocery stores. Stores can refuse service to anyone who is not wearing a mask.

Source: Police investigate shooting over a face mask in Michigan store – The Washington Post

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