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This op-ed nails why Trump is not the leader we need during a crisis. At the same time, it offers hope that there is a host of Americans like Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson who are willing to set aside their personal interests for the common good.

The coronavirus pandemic will challenge our country in ways we haven’t seen in our lifetimes. And we are culturally unprepared.

It’s not that America hasn’t faced public health crises before. A century ago, America confronted the far more deadly Spanish influenza epidemic, which killed an estimated 50 million people around the world, including members of my family. We confronted the polio epidemic, which crippled hundreds of thousands of people, including, many believe, an American president. And when a cure for polio was found, Dr. Jonas Salk gave away the patent for free to help as many people as fast as possible.

Thankfully our scientific expertise has improved dramatically since those days. But in recent decades, we have lost our muscle memory in terms of something that is just as important in times of crisis: the balance between individualism and community.

We have become accustomed to pursuing our individual self-interest at the expense of the common good. We are unaccustomed to shared sacrifice. During World War II, Americans gave up creature comforts to aid the war effort. After the attacks of 9/11, we were told to go shopping.

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson: What we know

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson: What we know

Donald Trump is a reflection of our culture. He is a symbol of self-interest. He rose in the 1980s as an avatar of greed-is-good excess, finding further fame in the superficial celebrity of reality TV. His narcissistic self-promotional instincts have been the key to his success but they come at the expense of any fidelity to the truth or confronting hard facts.

That’s a killer when it comes to his credibility in times of crisis. The President’s long pattern of misinformation, often contradicting his administration’s health experts, has added to the confusion. And the fact that his instincts lead him to wield fear as a political weapon to corral people in his own party while saying Democrats and “the deep state” hate our country, make him uniquely unsuited to being a uniting father figure to the nation no matter what words comes out of his mouth now.

But while Donald Trump is our president, he does not define our culture completely. And ironically, one of the most high-profile celebrity victims of coronavirus to date is beloved because he represents an older American tradition where character counts above all.

I’m talking about Tom Hanks, who announced Wednesday that he and his wife, Rita Wilson, are infected with the virus. A palpable sense of decency, self-deprecating humor and personal honor suffuse his roles in films from Forrest Gump to Saving Private Ryan. It’s evident whether he’s playing Ben Bradlee in “The Post” or his most recent turn as Mr. Rogers in “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.”

Now, what we see on screen doesn’t always reflect the real person, but by all accounts Tom Hanks is a genuinely good human, kind to people not in positions of power and generous to charity. This is a simple virtue we don’t always celebrate but it’s essential to the creation of a culture of trust. And his popularity speaks to a deeper longing in our country for a time when kindness counted and character was destiny.

America’s historic success depends on striking the right balance between individual ambition and the common good. This is something that even the rugged individualists of the western frontier instructively understood. We aren’t truly safe and secure unless we look out for each other. This isn’t soft or socialistic or communitarian. It’s common sense and enlightened self-interest.

Fear is not our friend. Panic doesn’t solve problems. But we need to find the right balance between individualism and the community again as we aim to overcome this challenge together.


The New York Times has compiled more than two dozen pieces of journalism in “Answers to Your Coronavirus Questions,” which is available to download for free.


How to Prepare for the Next Pandemic

Many federal agencies are responsible for containing Covid-19—which means none are accountable.

America’s coronavirus catastrophe is a function of two separate failures—only one of which, national government incompetence, is getting sufficient attention. The public has been forced to choose between their lives and their livelihoods, and voters will judge President Trump’s handling of the crisis in November. But the second question centers on overall accountability. No single federal official below the president is charged with preparing, mobilizing and deploying the national response to a pandemic.

As we’re seeing in Ohio, where Gov. Mike DeWine was quick to take action, and in Washington state, where Gov. Jay Inslee was similarly aggressive, speed in response corresponds to speed in recovery. No one seems quite sure who is running the White House’s national effort. Is it Mike Pence, or the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner? By contrast, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh hired retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal to run his city’s response. Yet hiring better people is only a first step. Congress needs to institute wide-ranging reforms. This is a classic case of diffuse authority undermining a national priority.

The Education Department oversees school funding and policy. Farm policy sits at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But responsibility for public health is spread across disconnected agencies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, the intelligence agencies. Even the Pentagon plays a role in planning. America has faced the threat of four pandemics over two decades (H1N1, SARS, MERS and Ebola), and it’s sure to face many more. The country needs to make a single official broadly responsible for protecting the health and well-being of the American people in a public-health emergency.

Typically, when the federal government has been outmatched by a crisis, Washington has responded by making structural changes that bring a laserlike focus on the threat. As the Cold War ramped up in 1947, President Truman created what became the National Security Council. When the energy crisis flattened the U.S. economy in the 1970s, President Carter established the Energy Department. After President George H.W. Bush’s administration botched the response to Hurricane Andrew, President Clinton drove enormous new resources into the Federal Emergency Management Agency and elevated it into a cabinet-level department. After 9/11, President George W. Bush established the Department of Homeland Security and a new agency to coordinate the nation’s vast intelligence network.

It’s time to apply that playbook to the recurring challenge of pandemics. Reformers should focus on four initiatives:

Early-warning system . The new agency—call it the Department of Public Health and Emergency Care—would set up a global early-warning system. The government has something similar for tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, missiles and terrorist attacks. On assuming office, the Trump administration “streamlined”—a fancy word for disbanded—a White House office designed to coordinate pandemic response. Maybe more egregious, he abandoned an Obama-era program that had deployed public-health experts to keep watch over developments across the globe—including in Wuhan. The U.S. needs to reconstitute and expand that network.

Strategic stockpile . As the current shortage of ventilators, gloves and masks makes clear, Washington needs to augment the stock of medical supplies. Mr. Clinton established a program along these lines in 1999, and George W. Bush expanded it dramatically in 2005. The reserve was never fully replenished after Washington went to war with previous pandemics. Today, the story of Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker asking the Kraft family to transport medical equipment from China simply to guarantee that the Trump administration wouldn’t commandeer it is indictment enough of the existing system.

I’m accustomed to seething about this president’s mistakes, but as a former mayor I found his notion that states and cities should bid against one another for supplies especially outrageous. In a moment like this, the federal government should be responsible for ensuring the country has what it needs. The strategic oil reserve, for example, is designed to provide the U.S. with six months of energy independence—enough time for the private sector to adjust. The same should be true of the “materiel” needed during a public-health crisis.

Rapid-deployment force . To distribute those reserves, the new department would establish a corps of health-care professionals—something modeled on a cross between FEMA, the National Guard and the military reserves—that would deploy strategically the moment a pandemic hits. Never again should we witness scenes of exhausted and overwhelmed hospital workers like we’re seeing today. Thank God they answered the call, but never again should mayors and governors have to issues pleas for retirees to volunteer their services.

The new department would ensure that there is a system ready to mobilize with a single call.

State and Local Planning . Even if the federal government proves better equipped to lead, state and local governments will have an irreplaceable role. In the wake of 9/11, the Department of Homeland Security began providing funding and expertise to mayors and governors, requiring them to formulate complex contingency plans. Cities began running joint tabletop exercises with their state and federal counterparts. When I was mayor of Chicago, the Rockefeller Foundation helped my administration develop detailed resiliency plans focused on climate events. Washington needs to apply that model to public health.

History will hold Mr. Trump responsible for the federal government’s lack of urgency in the early weeks, and the cavalier response that followed. He cannot claim he was insufficiently warned. During the 2016-17 transition, President Obama insisted on running a single live tabletop drill with the incoming administration, based on what he believed to be a major continuing national vulnerability. “Crimson Contagion,” as it was labeled, simulated a pandemic much like the one we’re facing today. Three years later Washington was caught unprepared in part because the executive branch wasn’t set up correctly.

One crucial lesson of the current catastrophe is that response speed plays an outsize role in determining the extent of devastation. But the diffusion of power slows us down. We should model our response to public-health emergencies on the way we reorganized government to fight the Cold War and various terrorist groups. Even if the buck ultimately stops in the Oval Office, Americans should be able to hold a single official accountable for the nation’s anticipation, preparation and response to future pandemics.

Mr. Emanuel was a senior adviser to President Clinton and chief of staff to President Obama. He represented Illinois’s Fifth Congressional District, 2003-09, and served as mayor of Chicago, 2011-19. He is author of “The Nation City: Why Mayors Are Now Running the World.”


“We’re going to win so much that you’re going to be sick and tired. You’re going to say, ‘Please, please, Mr. President, we’re sick and tired of winning. Please let us have at least one loss. It’s no longer exciting to win.’ And I’m going to say, ‘No way, we’re going to keep winning, and I don’t care if you like it or not.’”

Donald J. Trump, 2016

President Trump was right. We are tired of winning.

Over the weekend, the United States passed Italy as the country with the highest death toll in the world from the novel coronavirus. Soon nobody else’s mortality will be able to come close to competing with ours! USA! USA! USA! The president tells us “we’re winning” the “war” against the virus. He tells us over and over again that “we’re winning it.”

We say: Please, please, Mr. President, we’re tired of winning so much. Our friends are out of work, our parents and grandparents are dying, our medical system is collapsing without tests and vital supplies, our kids can’t go to school, and we can’t buy toilet paper. If this is winning, can we go back to losing the way we used to?

And he says: No way. We’re going to keep winning, and I don’t care if you like it or not.

And so we win some more.

We win the disaster-declaration championship. “For the first time in history there is a fully signed Presidential Disaster Declaration for all 50 States,” the president tells us. “We are winning,” he repeats.

We win new economic titles. “We’ve set every record you can set,” he says. We’ve already set the land speed record for unemployment: Over 16 million in three weeks. Soon we will have greatest economic collapse since the Great Depression.

We’re winning every competition on Wall Street. “We had the biggest Stock Market increase since 1974,” he tells us after a four-day rally. This was possible because we set another record: The Dow Jones industrial average’s worst first quarter in history. Take that, Herbert Hoover!

We say: It’s no longer exciting to win so much. Our retirement savings are exhausted. Please, Mr. President, let us have at least one loss the way Germany does? The Germans used the past several months to prepare extensive testing and contact tracing, and to build up medical stockpiles and hospitals. Only about 3,000 people there have died. The Germans will be able to restart their economy sooner.

But he says: No way. We’re going to keep on winning.

He wins the race to spend more emergency funds than any other president. “I signed the single largest economic relief package in American history,” he tells us.

He prevails over complainers. When a Navy captain pleads for help on his aircraft carrier, where a sailor has since died and at least 585 have become infected, Trump condemns the now-reassigned commander’s “terrible” action.

He triumphs against oversight. When an inspector general reports that hospitals face dire shortages of supplies, Trump dismisses the “fake dossier.” When another inspector general attempts to examine the administration’s secret handouts of relief funds, Trump ousts him.

He defeats the scientists. When the U.S. government’s top infectious-disease specialist says lives could have been saved if the Trump administration acted more quickly, Trump retweets a threat to fire him.

He routs the governors. When governors warn of dire mortality if workplaces open with a “big bang” in a couple of weeks without sufficient testing and contact tracing, Trump tells them “no excuses” and “it is the decision of the president.”

And he beats the doctors, getting U.S. hospitals to experiment widely with a cocktail of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, even as researchers in Brazil warn it causes potentially fatal heart problems.

We say: Please, please, Mr. President, for the sake of the nation, for the sake of humanity, can we please stop winning so much?

And he says: No way.

He boasts about how he has won “the biggest audiences” for his press briefings.

He sends life-saving ventilators to certain states because Republican senators facing difficult reelection campaigns have requested them.

He tells governors to be “appreciative” of his services if they want the federal government’s help with the pandemic.

He signs a coronavirus relief bill that contains a $170 billion tax windfall for real estate investors such as himself and his son-in-law.

He opposes mail-in voting during the pandemic, even though it’s safer, because it would increase “levels of voting” to the point where “you’d never have a Republican elected.”

We say: Please, Mr. President, we are sick and tired of this kind of winning. Could you try winning for the country for once rather than for yourself?

And he says: No way.


The Huge Cost of Waiting to Contain the Pandemic

As the numbers show, the timing of social distancing can have an enormous impact on death tolls.

By Britta L. Jewell and Nicholas P. Jewell

The writers are epidemiologists.

On March 16, the White House issued initial social distancing guidelines, including closing schools and avoiding groups of more than 10. But an estimated 90 percent of the cumulative deaths in the United States from Covid-19, at least from the first wave of the epidemic, might have been prevented by putting social distancing policies into effect two weeks earlier, on March 2, when there were only 11 deaths in the entire country. The effect would have been substantial had the policies been imposed even one week earlier, on March 9, resulting in approximately a 60 percent reduction in deaths.


I love Jane Meyer’s work:

It’s a chunk of time to read it all but worth it. Basically it comes down to the GOP is just fully engulfed in “an obsession of power without purpose.” Also there are a lot of powerful ppl unhappy with McTurtle (apologies to turtles everywhere) and apparently his first wife is writing a tell-all, which I know I should not be so gleeful about but I reeeeeeeally am having trouble with the rage levels :woman_shrugging:t2:

This is so well researched, even McConnell’s biographer didn’t know some of the stories!

If you can’t bring yourself to dive in to psychotic turtle hell and need a more abridged version, that biographer has a nice compact thread of his thoughts on the article that sum it up to a certain extent:



Me too. And Susan Glasser, with her letters from Washington. :gem::gem:


Quoted for Truth.

As I look at the GOP from afar, all I see is the promotion of small government, tax cuts for the wealthy, and austerity for the rest. Oh! I nearly forgot their agenda of stacking your courts system with ultra conservative Justices; with the downstream effect of slowing the democratic process of social development for decades. :frowning:

In the meantime T is allowed to carry out his mindless vandalism on the environment.


Congressional Democrats are governing from the minority

For Democrats, an ideological asymmetry has become a strategic asymmetry. Democrats want to convince the country of the government’s worth. Republicans want to convince the country of the government’s worthlessness. If Washington collapses into dysfunction and paralysis now, when the country needs it most, congressional liberals don’t see that as helping their long-term effort to rebuild trust in public institutions.

“It’s like the old saying that Republicans believe the government is incompetent and then get elected and prove it,” says Schatz. “They don’t want the federal government to work and we do. That’s what’s going on here, and I don’t have a quick, facile solution to it. If we engage in a zero-sum game, we’ll just accelerate the death spiral that is Grover Norquist and Mitch McConnell and the Koch brothers’ dream.”

In my Desperate attempt to catch up on congressional news, I came across this piece which I found to sum it all up. From all I’ve been reading and thinking about, this right. It’s pretty amazing that congressional Democrats have gotten as much as they have but the people need more.


Conservative commentator S. E. Cupp says it is time to invoke the 25th Amendment. T is not well.

The president is not well: The umpteenth reminders of Trump’s mental state and the consequences

Every parent has warily confronted the hypothetical question: What would you do if you suspected your child was unwell?

Not physically, but emotionally unwell, or mentally unstable? Imagine learning your teenager, for example, had been yelling demeaning slurs at the girls in his class, harassing them and calling them names.

And that he’d been secretly using his social media accounts to go on late-night rants against perceived enemies, attacking their looks, and again, calling them names in unending, seething, rambling posts.

Or that he’d been increasingly susceptible to bizarre and otherwise implausible conspiracy theories, and was spreading them unprompted to anyone who would listen.

Presumably, you’d be very, very concerned. These aren’t normal behaviors, nor are they signs of a well-adjusted, healthy and happy person. They are, rather, signs of a person who has lost the ability to manage their emotions.

If this were your child, you’d intervene as quickly as you could, getting them the help they clearly needed.

Likewise, if this were your friend, you might suggest they see a therapist to work through some of their anger issues. If this were your coworker, you’d probably alert someone in human resources.

And what if this were the president of the United States?

Not only are these behaviors the norm for President Trump, but they seem to have worsened at one of the most precarious and critical times for our country, as we face a global pandemic that has killed nearly 70,000 Americans.

Less than two weeks after unimaginably suggesting injecting disinfectants might help kill off the coronavirus, the past few days have seen him spiral out of control, proving utterly incapable of staying focused on the biggest crisis a president can face. Instead, he has:

  • Spread unfounded conspiracy theories about the origins of the coronavirus, about former President Barack Obama and about an MSNBC cable-news host;
  • Made statements that can only be described as delusional, like comparing himself to Abraham Lincoln, inventing a non-existent letter of apology from Joe Biden, and spewing non-science about his favorite drug, hydroxychloroquine;
  • Attacked two female reporters for doing their jobs, lamenting that they didn’t behave like “Donna Reed,” an actress synonymous with the gender role-abiding, kitchen-dwelling 1950s housewife she played on television more than 60 years ago;
  • Attacked another female cable-news host, calling her a “3rd rate lapdog”;
  • And in the middle of the night on Tuesday, at 12:45 a.m., gone on a 234-word rant on Twitter, complaining about an ad released by a Republican anti-Trump group whose leaders include George Conway, husband of his staffer Kellyanne, in which he used words like “deranged loser of a husband,” and “Moonface” to describe him.

It’s a frightening commentary on the slow normalization of this completely abnormal behavior that we can greet the undeniable deterioration of the president of the United States with mere shrugs. And the only concerns from his inner circle seem not to be about the mental instability itself, but the political ramifications of it being exposed in daily press briefings.

“Advisers have argued…they could be alienating some viewers, including senior citizens worried about their health,” an Associated Press report says, and, “Officials at Trump’s reelection campaign have also noted a slip in Trump’s support in some battleground states and have expressed concerns that the briefings, which often contain inaccurate information, may be playing a role.”

The giant orange elephant in the room isn’t that Trump’s impaired judgment might cost him the election; it’s that it may well have already cost American lives.

Waiting until November to get Trump out of harm’s way is the only real option we have. The Constitution’s 25th Amendment, designed to remove a president who is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” is inarguably applicable but politically impossible.

So, like worried parents, we’ll just wait anxiously, hope the worst doesn’t happen and that there’s a light at the end of this very dark tunnel. Until then, who knows what our very sick president will do next?


WSJ is coming out to say that T is off. He should not be tweeting any conspiracy theories says the WSJ Editorial Board.

T has been been put on notice. But we do not expect much change, nor does the WSJ.

Donald Trump sometimes traffics in conspiracy theories—recall his innuendo in 2016 about Ted Cruz’s father and the JFK assassination—but his latest accusation against MSNBC host Joe Scarborough is ugly even for him. Mr. Trump has been tweeting the suggestion that Mr. Scarborough might have had something to do with the death in 2001 of a young woman who worked in his Florida office when Mr. Scarborough was a GOP Congressman.

“A lot of interest in this story about Psycho Joe Scarborough. So a young marathon runner just happened to faint in his office, hit her head on his desk, & die? I would think there is a lot more to this story than that? An affair? What about the so-called investigator? Read story!” Mr. Trump tweeted Saturday while retweeting a dubious account of the case.

He kept it going Tuesday with new tweets: “The opening of a Cold Case against Psycho Joe Scarborough was not a Donald Trump original thought, this has been going on for years, long before I joined the chorus. . . . So many unanswered & obvious questions, but I won’t bring them up now! Law enforcement eventually will?” Nasty stuff, and from the Oval Office to more than 80 million Twitter followers.

There’s no evidence of foul play, or an affair with the woman, and the local coroner ruled that the woman fainted from an undiagnosed heart condition and died of head trauma. Some on the web are positing a conspiracy because the coroner had left a previous job under a cloud, but the parents and husband of the young woman accepted the coroner’s findings and want the case to stay closed.

Mr. Trump always hits back at critics, and Mr. Scarborough has called the President mentally ill, among other things. But suggesting that the talk-show host is implicated in the woman’s death isn’t political hardball. It’s a smear. Mr. Trump rightly denounces the lies spread about him in the Steele dossier, yet here he is trafficking in the same sort of trash.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from Illinois, had it right when he tweeted on the weekend: “Completely unfounded conspiracy. Just stop. Stop spreading it, stop creating paranoia. It will destroy us.”

We don’t write this with any expectation that Mr. Trump will stop. Perhaps he even thinks this helps him politically, though we can’t imagine how. But Mr. Trump is debasing his office, and he’s hurting the country in doing so.


Provocative thoughts…and true.

The police work for white people, and they know it. White people know it too. Deep down, white people know exactly whom the police are supposed to “protect and serve,” and they damn well know it’s not black and brown people. We saw some video of that too, over the weekend. Amy Cooper was walking in Central Park with her dog. Her dog was off its leash, in violation of park rules and city ordinances. A bird-watcher, Chris Cooper, who happens to be black, asked her to follow the rules. Instead of just putting her dog on a leash, Amy decided to use Chris’s race against him. She first threatened to call the cops, and then did just that, claiming that an “African American man” was “threatening” her in the park.

The very instant that Amy Cooper felt she needed the support of institutionalized racism to get her through her morning, she knew exactly where to find it. She knew exactly whom to call. Amy Cooper was the one in violation of the rules. Yet there she was, calling the cops. No doubt, it wouldn’t have even occurred to her to call them to the scene of her lawlessness if not for the way cops tend to harass, jail, and, yes, murder people who look like Chris Cooper. Or George Floyd. Or Eric Garner. Or Terrance Crutcher. Or Alton Sterling. Or Emantic Fitzgerald Bradford Jr. Or Amadou Diallo.

When Amy Cooper threatened to call the cops, she was threatening to take a black man’s life. It’s a threat that only works because cops are so consistently willing to murder black and brown men. Amy Cooper was able to dial up 400 years of racial oppression and violence on her phone more easily than I am able to order a pizza.

It doesn’t have to be this way. It is entirely within the scope of white power in America to rein in its police. White people could elect mayors and prosecutors who are committed to police reform. White judges and juries could hold the police accountable for their crimes. White Republicans could challenge and eventually break the power of police unions just as easily as they break teachers’ unions or any labor union that stands in the way of rapacious capitalism. If a majority of white people decided, today, that racist policing should end, we’d start seeing changes to police forces by the middle of next week.

But white people do not stop their cops. A majority of them clearly want the cops to behave this way. They want the viciousness. They want the horror. Why? It’s not just that a majority of white America probably thinks Amy Cooper did the right thing in her specific situation; it’s that they think they will one day be in a situation where Amy’s actions are justified. One day they might be alone in a park around a strange black man, and what might happen then? Sure, Chris Cooper seems like a “nice” black person, but what if he weren’t? What if he were a “mean” or “aggressive” black person, and you were just alone in the park, illegally walking your dog? Best to keep brutal, dangerous, and racist cops around, because, hey, you never know.


My fellow brothers and sisters in blue, what the hell are you doing?

By Val Demings

May 29, 2020 at 5:00 a.m. PDT

Val Demings, a Democrat, represents Florida’s 10th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

As a former woman in blue, let me begin with my brothers and sisters in blue: What in the hell are you doing?

I joined the Orlando Police Department when I was 26 years old — a young black woman, fresh out of an early career in social work. I am sure you can imagine the mental and physical stress of the police academy. Not only exams and physical training, but the daily thoughts of, “What am I doing here?” as I looked around and did not see many people who looked like me.

But I made it. I was elected class president and received the Board of Trustees’ Award for overall excellence. I proudly took an oath to the Constitution and to protect and serve. I was on my way to fulfill my dream of “saving the world.” Of course, I went straight to the midnight shift, but I loved the job. I truly felt like I was serving my community, responding to calls from people in distress.

When citizens were in trouble (if they had to call the police, they weren’t having a good day), they called really believing that when we arrived, things would get better. That they would be safe. But we are painfully reminded that all too often, things do not get better. Matter of fact, they can get much worse — with deadly results.

When an officer engages in stupid, heartless and reckless behavior, their actions can either take a life or change a life forever. Bad decisions can bring irrevocable harm to the profession and tear down the relationships and trust between the police and the communities they serve. Remember, law enforcement needs that trust just as the public does. Think before you act! Remember, your most powerful weapon is the brain the good Lord gave you. Use it!

We all know that the level of force must meet the level of resistance. We all can see that there was absolutely zero resistance from George Floyd. He posed no threat to anyone, especially law enforcement.

Why do bad things happen? Bad mind, bad heart or bad policy? The painful cries of Eric Garner will be with us forever. Now, George Floyd’s pleas for help will, too. I cannot begin to understand how any officer could ignore the painful pleas we heard from Floyd — or from anyone suffering.

My heart goes out to the families of those who have lost loved ones. But we must also offer justice through full and swift accountability — not just for their loved one, but for the future.

In Minnesota, we have no choice but to hold the officers accountable through the criminal-justice system. But we cannot only be reactive. We must be proactive. We must work with law enforcement agencies to identify problems before they happen.

As a nation, we must conduct a serious review of hiring standards and practices, diversity, training, use-of-force policies, pay and benefits (remember, you get what you pay for), early warning programs, and recruit training programs. Remember, officers who train police recruits are setting the standard for what is acceptable and unacceptable on the street.

Law enforcement officers are granted remarkable power and authority. They are placed in complicated and dangerous situations. They respond to calls from people with their own biases and motives. In New York, we’ve recently seen past pains of the Central Park Five dredged up in a new attemptto misuse law enforcement against an African American man. When you see people differently, you treat them differently. And when power is in the mix, tragedy can result.

As law enforcement officers, we took an oath to protect and serve. And those who forgot — or who never understood that oath in the first place — must go. That includes those who would stand by as they witness misconduct by a fellow officer.

Everyone wants to live in safer communities and to support law enforcement and the tough job they do every day. But this can’t go on. The senseless deaths of America’s sons and daughters — particularly African American men — is a stain on our country. Let’s work to remove it.

We have got to get this one right. Our communities, good police officers and generations yet to come deserve it.

Eugene Robinson: Black lives remain expendable

Michael Gerson: Trump’s refusal to address racism threatens the identity of our country

Michele L. Norris: How Amy Cooper and George Floyd represent two versions of racism that black Americans face every day

Ben Crump: Another unarmed black person has been killed. It’s no wonder we can’t breathe.


This explores the “What ifs…” in anticipation of the November election where if Biden wins, T will surely try to lie, bluster, gaslight his way into staying in office.

In a much-loved children’s story, “The Doughnuts” by Robert McCloskey, a boy, Homer Price, is left alone in his Uncle Ulysses’ luncheonette, where a newfangled doughnut machine has been installed. As he puts the final touches to it, Homer sets the machine in motion and finds he cannot stop doughnuts “comin’, an’ a comin’, an’ a comin’.”

Trump resembles that doughnut machine in the Centerburg, Ohio, luncheonette, unable to stop lies from coming out of his pursed mouth at giddying velocity. There is a hole in the middle of everything the president says.

In their new book, “Donald Trump and His Assault on Truth,” Glenn Kessler, Salvador Rizzo and Meg Kelly of The Washington Post clock the number of false or misleading statements from Trump at 16,241 in his first three years in office, or 15 a day.

There were six such falsehoods a day in 2017, nearly 16 in 2018 and more than 22 in 2019. The mercury in the presidential mendacity meter is rising; so is the extent to which Americans are inured to Trump’s lying. Trump-speak, the fact checkers write, is a “constant stream of exaggerated, invented, boastful, purposely outrageous, spiteful, inconsistent, dubious and false claims.”

This leads us to the most critical question for American democracy: Will President Trump concede if he is defeated by Joe Biden in the November election? Or put another way, can a liar accept a truth incompatible with his devouring ego? The need to pose these questions reflects the depth of the national nightmare.

That Trump will spread disinformation over the coming months on an unprecedented scale is a given. But to some degree, that’s politics. The evidence that he will also encourage voter intimidation and suppression efforts is compelling. His attacks on the integrity of mail voting are relentless. That makes a lot of sense if he is planning to declare a state of emergency in battleground states and ban polling places from opening.

He has amplified baseless claims of voter fraud in the same states. That makes a lot of sense if he is planning to declare the election was rigged and he won’t leave the White House. Hell, he even declared the election he won in 2016 was rigged.

In a piece this week on doomsday-scenario planners mapping out responses to some form of Trump putsch, my colleague Reid J. Epstein suggested one possibility: “A week before the election, Attorney General William P. Barr announces a criminal investigation into the Democratic presidential nominee, Joseph R. Biden Jr.”

Not implausible. Barr is Trump’s hired gun. He is to justice what a hit man is to due process.

Of late, Trump has turned to “horrifying lies.” That’s how the widower of Lori Klausutis, who died almost 20 years ago in the Florida office of Joe Scarborough, then a Republican congressman and now an MSNBC news host, has described Trump’s recent slandering of Scarborough. In tweets, Trump has called Scarborough a “psycho” and asks if he may have gotten “away with murder.”

The facts — that Scarborough was in Washington and that the police found no evidence of foul play — make no difference to the conspiracy theorist in chief.

Now, after his avalanche of lies, Trump has signed an executive order trying to curtail Twitter’s legal protections in retaliation for its appending fact-checking labels to two of his tweets about mail-in ballots. Oh, the audacity of Twitter in suggesting that Trump’s accuracy should be checked! Attempted interference, Trump claims, in the 2020 election! The president’s mantra owes much to Cosa Nostra: Threaten, threaten, threaten, and to heck with legality.

Tell me, are you inclined to trust a president who this week retweeted a video from an account called “Cowboys for Trump” in which the speaker starts by saying, “The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat”? The speaker then says he’s not speaking literally — affording Trump plausible deniability as, with an eye to November, he winks to his gunned-up Second Amendment cohort.

Or the president who, in response to growing protests over the death in police custody in Minneapolis of George Floyd, an African-American, tweets, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”? Trump’s tweet violated company rules on glorifying violence, Twitter said.

Trump is a coward. Perhaps if Biden wins, the president will skulk out of the White House like the little boy he is who never grew into a man. And the nightmare will be over. I don’t think so. The chances are growing that Trump will not concede in the event of a Biden victory, that he may encourage violence and use the fear and division spread by the virus to extend autocratic power.

Trump is a doughnut. There is a hole in the middle of him where honesty, humanity, decency, morality and dignity never formed. He has done incalculable damage. Kessler and his colleagues quote Jonathan Swift: “As the vilest writer hath his readers, so the greatest liar hath his believers: and it often happens, that if a lie be believed only for an hour, it hath done its work.” Three and a half years of Trump lies have done their work.

In “The Doughnuts,” before the machine goes haywire, a wealthy woman loses the diamond bracelet she took off to mix the doughnut batter. Homer has a fine idea! To offer $100 to anyone who finds the bracelet. The excess doughnuts get bought and devoured; the bracelet is found inside one.

Behind this oversized, sticky, misshapen doughnut of a president the hard diamond of recoverable truth lurks. To seize it, and save the Republic, requires the certain knowledge that Trump will stop at nothing between now and Nov. 3.



Los Angeles, like so many American cities, is on edge. Protests over the police killings of unarmed black civilians have been mostly peaceful, but they were marred Friday night by unfortunate acts of vandalism and looting that damaged downtown businesses, many of them owned by immigrants and people of color. The Los Angeles Police Department has acted with restraint, even as protesters destroyed some of its vehicles Saturday. Mayor Eric Garcetti, who ordered a curfew downtown Saturday, has been a voice of calm and reason.

Not so, alas, President Trump, whose depravity seemingly knows no bounds. In truth, we are tired of condemning him. Chronicling his lies is exhausting. We would rather focus on defeating him in November — an essential (though by no means sufficient) step toward restoring our democracy.

Yet condemn him again we must.

Trump’s threats Saturday to unleash “vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons”against protesters at the White House; his crude appeal to his “Make America Great Again” supporters to convene in Washington Saturday night; and his bizarre and offensive statement that “MAGA loves the black people” all threaten to throw fuel on a powder keg. This is no mere dog-whistling; it is an all but open invitation to far-right elements and white supremacists to engage in violence.

Furthermore, Trump continues to politicize law enforcement. Saturday, he threatened “liberal governors and mayors” that if they do not “get MUCH tougher,” “the Federal Government will step in and do what has to be done, and that includes using the unlimited power of our Military and many arrests.”

These are the words of an authoritarian. Threatening the use of military force against one’s own citizens is the last resort of despots and tyrants; such language has no place in a free and open society.

Across America, governors and mayors are working to keep the peace. This is not a matter of Democrats versus Republicans, blue states versus red states or black lives versus blue lives. This is a matter of what our democracy stands for. Simply throwing more force at the protesters would only make the situation more combustible and deepen the scars it leaves behind.

America may be at a tipping point. As a nation, we are mourning the deaths of 100,000 of our people from the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 20% of our work force may be unemployed, the highest rate since the Depression. Tensions are high, with so many Americans having been cooped up in their homes for close to three months. Layered onto that volatile mix is the enduring fact that many people in minority communities do not feel that the police enforce the laws equitably. The shocking death of a black man cruelly restrained by Minneapolis police officers Monday has only worsened the mistrust and anger that have been generations in the making, the bitter fruits of systemic racism.

The protests are being driven by young people — of all ethnic and racial backgrounds — who see a lack of hope and opportunity. They are angry and fearful about the more than four centuries of subjugation that people of African descent have endured in what is now the United States. They were not alive during the 1965 Watts riots or the 1992 disturbances triggered by the acquittal of the LAPD officers who beat Rodney King — and prompted reforms that are still works in progress. They may lack context and perspective, but what they have in abundance is a yearning for a more just and decent society, for a more humane and sustainable economy, and for urgent action to address the climate crisis that threatens all of humanity.

This is a time for America’s leaders to listen to these young people — with compassion, empathy and humility. We condemn violence, but we urge restraint by the authorities and we reject false equivalency. The actions of looters and vandals may grab the attention of TV news crews and embolden Trump, but the misdeeds of a small minority do not justify an excessive or brutal response by the police or the National Guard. Deployment of the active-duty military would be an extraordinary measure, one constrained by federal law; it should be considered only if regular law enforcement has utterly failed. If there are outsiders stoking the disturbances, as Trump and some other leaders have suggested, they should go home — regardless of their political persuasion — and stop exacerbating the situation.

America is on edge. In 1967, a year in which disturbances rocked cities from Detroit to Newark, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. asked, in his fourth and final book: “Where do we go from here? Chaos or community?” His answer, of course, was community — a beloved community grounded in human dignity, nonviolent social change and the defeat of poverty, racism and militarism. We are called again today to answer his question. Trump has already done grievous injury to the idea of the beloved community; the least he can do is be silent, and not accelerate a slide toward chaos.


Point taken…your move, Jack.

And all the criticisms are correct…Take T off of Twitter.


Think Outside the Box, Jack

Trump, Twitter and the society-crushing pursuit of monetized rage.

By Maureen Dowd

WASHINGTON — C’mon, @Jack. You can do it.

Throw on some Kendrick Lamar and get your head in the right space. Pour yourself a big old glass of salt juice. Draw an ice bath and fire up the cryotherapy pod and the infrared sauna. Then just pull the plug on him. You know you want to.

You could answer the existential question of whether @realDonaldTrump even exists if he doesn’t exist on Twitter. I tweet, therefore I am. Dorsey meets Descartes.

All it would take is one sweet click to force the greatest troll in the history of the internet to meet his maker. Maybe he just disappears in an orange cloud of smoke, screaming, “I’m melllllllting.”

Do Trump — and the world — a favor and send him back into the void whence he came. And then go have some fun: Meditate and fast for days on end!

Our country is going through biological, economic and societal convulsions. We can’t trust the powerful forces in this nation to tell us the truth or do the right thing. In fact, not only can we not trust them. We have every reason to believe they’re gunning for us.

In Washington, the Trump administration’s deception about the virus was lethal. On Wall Street and in Silicon Valley, the fat cats who carved up the country, drained us dry and left us with no safety net profiteered off the virus. In Minneapolis, the barbaric death of George Floyd after a police officer knelt on him for almost nine minutes showed yet again that black Americans have everything to fear from some who are charged with protecting them.

As if that weren’t enough, from the slough of our despond, we have to watch Donald Trump duke it out with the lords of the cloud in a contest to see who can destroy our democracy faster.

I wish I could go along with those who say this dark period of American life will ultimately make us nicer and simpler and more contemplative. How can that happen when the whole culture has been re-engineered to put us at each other’s throats?

Trump constantly torques up the tribal friction and cruelty, even as Twitter and Facebook refine their systems to ratchet up rage. It is amazing that a septuagenarian became the greatest exploiter of social media. Trump and Twitter were a match made in hell.

The Wall Street Journal had a chilling report a few days ago that Facebook’s own research in 2018 revealed that “our algorithms exploit the human brain’s attraction to divisiveness. If left unchecked,” Facebook would feed users “more and more divisive content in an effort to gain user attention & increase time on the platform.”

Mark Zuckerberg shelved the research.

Why not just let all the bots trying to undermine our elections and spreading false information about the coronavirus and right-wing conspiracy theories and smear campaigns run amok? Sure, we’re weakening our society, but the weird, infantile maniacs running Silicon Valley must be allowed to rake in more billions and finish their mission of creating a giant cyberorganism of people, one huge and lucrative ball of rage.

“The shareholders of Facebook decided, ‘If you can increase my stock tenfold, we can put up with a lot of rage and hate,’” says Scott Galloway, professor of marketing at New York University’s Stern School of Business.

These platforms have very dangerous profit motives. When you monetize rage at such an exponential rate, it’s bad for the world. These guys don’t look left or right; they just look down. They’re willing to promote white nationalism if there’s money in it. The rise of social media will be seen as directly correlating to the decline of Western civilization.”

Dorsey, who has more leeway because his stock isn’t as valuable as Facebook’s, made some mild moves against the president who has been spewing lies and inciting violence on Twitter for years. He added footnotes clarifying false Trump tweets about mail-in ballots and put a warning label on the president’s tweet about the Minneapolis riots that echo the language of a Miami police chief in 1967 and segregationist George Wallace: “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

“Jack is really sincerely trying to find something to make it better,” said one friend of the Twitter chief’s. “He’s like somebody trapped in a maze, going down every hallway and turning every corner.”

Zuckerberg, on the other hand, went on Fox to report that he was happy to continue enabling the Emperor of Chaos, noting that he did not think Facebook should be “the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online.”

It was a sickening display that made even some loyal Facebook staffers queasy. As The Verge’s Casey Newton reported, some employees objected to the company’s rationale in internal posts.

“I have to say I am finding the contortions we have to go through incredibly hard to stomach,” one wrote. “All this points to a very high risk of a violent escalation and civil unrest in November and if we fail the test case here, history will not judge us kindly.”

Trump, furious that Dorsey would attempt to rein him in on the very platform that catapulted him into the White House, immediately decided to try to rein in Dorsey.

He signed an executive order that might strip liability protection from social media sites, which would mean they would have to more assiduously police false and defamatory posts. Now that social media sites are behemoths, Galloway thinks that the removal of the Communications Decency Act makes a lot of sense even if the president is trying to do it for the wrong reasons.

Trump does not seem to realize, however, that he’s removing his own protection. He huffs and puffs about freedom of speech when he really wants the freedom to be vile. “It’s the mother of all cutting-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face moves,” says Galloway.

The president wants to say things on Twitter that he will not be allowed to say if he exerts this control over Twitter. In a sense, it’s Trump versus his own brain. If Twitter can be sued for what people say on it, how can Trump continue to torment? Wouldn’t thousands of his own tweets have to be deleted?

“He’d be the equivalent of a slippery floor at a store that sells equipment for hip replacements,” says Galloway, who also posits that, in our hyper-politicized world, this will turn Twitter into a Democratic site and Facebook into a Republican one.

Nancy Pelosi, whose district encompasses Twitter, said that it did little good for Dorsey to put up a few fact-checks while letting Trump’s rants about murder and other “misrepresentations” stay up.

Facebook, all of them, they are all about making money,” the speaker said. “Their business model is to make money at the expense of the truth and the facts.” She crisply concluded that “all they want is to not pay taxes; they got their tax break in 2017” and “they don’t want to be regulated, so they pander to the White House.”

C’mon, Jack. Make @realDonaldTrump melt to help end our meltdown.

1 Like


George Floyd protests: People are pushed to the edge - Los Angeles Times

Don’t understand the protests? What you’re seeing is people pushed to the edge

What was your first reaction when you saw the video of the white cop kneeling on George Floyd’s neck while Floyd croaked, “I can’t breathe”?

If you’re white, you probably muttered a horrified, “Oh, my God” while shaking your head at the cruel injustice. If you’re black, you probably leapt to your feet, cursed, maybe threw something (certainly wanted to throw something), while shouting, “Not @#$%! again!” Then you remember the two white vigilantes accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery as he jogged through their neighborhood in February, and how if it wasn’t for that video emerging a few weeks ago, they would have gotten away with it. And how those Minneapolis cops claimed Floyd was resisting arrest but a store’s video showed he wasn’t. And how the cop on Floyd’s neck wasn’t an enraged redneck stereotype, but a sworn officer who looked calm and entitled and devoid of pity: the banality of evil incarnate.

Maybe you also are thinking about the Karen in Central Park who called 911 claiming the black man who asked her to put a leash on her dog was threatening her. Or the black Yale University grad student napping in the common room of her dorm who was reported by a white student. Because you realize it’s not just a supposed “black criminal” who is targeted, it’s the whole spectrum of black faces from Yonkers to Yale.

You start to wonder if it should be all black people who wear body cams, not the cops.

What do you see when you see angry black protesters amassing outside police stations with raised fists? If you’re white, you may be thinking, “They certainly aren’t social distancing.” Then you notice the black faces looting Target and you think, “Well, that just hurts their cause.” Then you see the police station on fire and you wag a finger saying, “That’s putting the cause backward.”

You’re not wrong — but you’re not right, either. The black community is used to the institutional racism inherent in education, the justice system and jobs. And even though we do all the conventional things to raise public and political awareness — write articulate and insightful pieces in the Atlantic, explain the continued devastation on CNN, support candidates who promise change — the needle hardly budges.

But COVID-19 has been slamming the consequences of all that home as we die at a significantly higher rate than whites, are the first to lose our jobs, and watch helplessly as Republicans try to keep us from voting. Just as the slimy underbelly of institutional racism is being exposed, it feels like hunting season is open on blacks. If there was any doubt, President Trump’s recent tweets confirm the national zeitgeist as he calls protesters “thugs” and looters fair game to be shot.

Yes, protests often are used as an excuse for some to take advantage, just as when fans celebrating a hometown sports team championship burn cars and destroy storefronts. I don’t want to see stores looted or even buildings burn. But African Americans have been living in a burning building for many years, choking on the smoke as the flames burn closer and closer. Racism in America is like dust in the air. It seems invisible — even if you’re choking on it — until you let the sun in. Then you see it’s everywhere. As long as we keep shining that light, we have a chance of cleaning it wherever it lands. But we have to stay vigilant, because it’s always still in the air.

But COVID-19 has been slamming the consequences of all that home as we die at a significantly higher rate than whites, are the first to lose our jobs, and watch helplessly as Republicans try to keep us from voting. Just as the slimy underbelly of institutional racism is being exposed, it feels like hunting season is open on blacks. If there was any doubt, President Trump’s recent tweets confirm the national zeitgeist as he calls protesters “thugs” and looters fair game to be shot.

Yes, protests often are used as an excuse for some to take advantage, just as when fans celebrating a hometown sports team championship burn cars and destroy storefronts. I don’t want to see stores looted or even buildings burn. But African Americans have been living in a burning building for many years, choking on the smoke as the flames burn closer and closer. Racism in America is like dust in the air. It seems invisible — even if you’re choking on it — until you let the sun in. Then you see it’s everywhere. As long as we keep shining that light, we have a chance of cleaning it wherever it lands. But we have to stay vigilant, because it’s always still in the air.

So what you see when you see black protesters depends on whether you’re living in that burning building or watching it on TV with a bowl of corn chips in your lap waiting for “NCIS” to start.

What I want to see is not a rush to judgment, but a rush to justice.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, is the author of numerous books, including, most recently, “Becoming Kareem: Growing Up On and Off the Court.”

Can you put this under Op Eds plz @Pet_Proletariat @MissJava. thx.


I had to stop supporting the NYT several years ago in 2016. There are some great journalists there and I genuinely hope they are happy and supported and have stable jobs there.

But not the fuck today satan. I refuse to give a link for clicks. You have told your black reporters and staff you give zero fucks about them, and you’ve given permission to your white readers to feel the same.

Every time you print the words from the mouths of these heaping trash pile excuses for human beings, you say you want debate and discussion, free speech should not be stifled!

AND THEN YOU CLOSE THE COMMENTS SECTION. Feels a little stifley in here when no one is allowed to post in the comment section…WITH ACTUAL FUCKING DISCUSSIONS AND DEBATES. but what do I know, i got The Rona Brain and go to bed at 8 like an old lady who just is too tired and doesn’t have time to tell you how to fix this shit, except maybe if you didn’t close your comments section i probably fucking would! “Put BIPOC in positions of power, or if you won’t do that LISTEN TO THEM AND DO WHAT THEY TELL YOU.”

Can’t wait to see how you’ll continue the heinous 2016 farce of coverage and stoke the same nauseating bullshit fires of both-sidesism (which you never stopped doing) into the 2020 election.

I’m fucking RAGEY tonight, haven’t slept more than 3 hours for way too many days and I can’t stop the words from vomiting out of my mouth. Which means I gotta get off my soapbox , chainsmoke like 6 cigarettes under this beautiful 96% full moon with a glass of tequila and chug out of my bottle of cbd oil.

I want to apologize to my WTFam for the vitriol but honestly i can’t, and won’t cuz guess what, you better believe IM FUCKIN :fu:t3: TRIGGERED.


My wife and I were angry about this also.

The NYT is one of the most divided publications. They do amazing journalism, but their editorial board is a hot mess that loves to give platforms to racists, morons, and MAGA scavengers.


Trump’s praise for China over Tiananmen Square years ago was a preview of his support for military crackdowns on the George Floyd protests

  • In 1990, President Donald Trump (then a real estate magnate and private citizen) praised China for showing the “power of strength” via its notorious, bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square the year prior.
  • Hundreds, possibly thousands, of unarmed protesters were killed in June 1989 when the Chinese military opened fire on them in Tiananmen Square in Beijing.
  • Trump’s praise for China over the Tiananmen Square massacre foreshadowed his support for the use of the military against anti-police brutality protesters in the US in 2020.
  • The president on Monday told governors they were being too “weak” on the protesters and needed to “dominate” them, and he’s repeatedly championed sending in the military to break up the nationwide demonstrations.
  • The demonstrations were catalyzed by George Floyd, a black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for eight minutes.

Thirty years ago, Donald Trump said that China had shown the “power of strength” when its troops massacred pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square the year before. Trump’s words foreshadowed his general disposition toward protesters as president, and offered a preview of his support for military crackdowns on anti-police brutality demonstrations in the present day.

It was March 1990, and Trump was being interviewed by Playboy magazine about his life as a real estate mogul. At one point, Trump was asked about a trip he’d taken to Moscow a few years prior.

Trump said he’d been “very unimpressed” with the Soviet Union.

“Their system is a disaster,” Trump said. “What you will see there soon is a revolution; the signs are all there with the demonstrations and picketing. Russia is out of control and the leadership knows it. That’s my problem with [former Soviet President Mikhail] Gorbachev. Not a firm enough hand.”

Trump was then asked if he meant “firm hand as in China.”

“When the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government almost blew it. Then they were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength,” Trump replied. “That shows you the power of strength. Our country is right now perceived as weak…as being spit on by the rest of the world.”

On June 4, 1989, after several weeks of pro-democracy and pro-reform demonstrations, Chinese troops entered Tiananmen Square in Beijing and fired on unarmed people. Hundreds, possibly thousands, were killed.

In this June 5, 1989 file photo, a Chinese man stands alone to block a line of tanks heading east on Beijing’s Changan Blvd. from Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

Fast-forward to 2020, and Trump has called on US governors to use law enforcement to “dominate” protesters who’ve flooded the streets of cities across America to demonstrate against police brutality. The protests were inspired by George Floyd, a black man who died last week after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for roughly eight minutes. Floyd was unarmed.

While many of the protesters have demonstrated peacefully, there has also been rioting and clashes with police. Law enforcement has been widely accused of exacerbating the situation with the use of force, including employing tear gas, batons, and rubber bullets against protesters, demonstrators, and journalists in some cases.

After nearly a week of unrest, and a weekend in which Trump hid in a secure White House bunker (and saw the lights turned off at the presidential residence), Trump on Monday told governors they were being “weak” in response to the demonstrations. He’s urged governors to deploy the National Guard, though nearly half of the country has already done so.

Over the course of the past week, Trump has routinely expressed support for the use of the military to quell the protests, and at one pointed tweeted “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” The tweet was flagged by Twitter as “glorifying violence.”


The president later walked back on his “shooting” tweet, but has continued to advocate for the use of the military against the demonstrations.

Trump, who as president has repeatedly praised authoritarian leaders, on Saturday threatened to use the “unlimited power” of the US military against protesters, and warned demonstrators at the White House they could be met with the “most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons.”

On Monday, Trump said GOP Sen. Tom Cotton was “100% Correct” after the Arkansas senator advocated for the use of military force to respond to the protests.

Experts on authoritarianism have warned that Trump’s rhetoric has increasingly resembled that of autocratic regimes. Responding to Trump’s tweet on shooting protesters last week, New York University historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat told Insider, “This is what American authoritarianism looks like.”

Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut on Monday implored his Republican colleagues against allowing their “party’s position become pushing for an American Tiananmen Square.”

“Turning the army on protestors is what dictatorships do. It’s literally the antithesis of America,” Murphy tweeted.