Stuff to Read on Memorial Day

First, something to watch — tonight the History Channel begins a three-part series on Ulysses Grant, co-produced by biographer Ron Chernow (who also wrote “Hamilton”) and Leonardo DiCaprio. Ta-Nehisi Coates is one of the commenters. I’m looking forward to this.

Paul Waldman, Can we stop pretending Trump is fit to be president?

If you gave many Republicans in Washington truth serum, they’d say, “Of course he’s unfit to be president. Of course he’s corrupt, of course he’s incompetent, of course he’s the most dishonest person ever to step into the Oval Office. But I can live with that, because him being reelected means Republicans keep power, we get more conservative judges and we get all the policies we favor.”

That is the choice they’re making. We all know it, even if they’ll never say it out loud.

Josh Marshall, Hydroxychloroquine Isn’t a Joke It’s a Scandal

I want to flag your attention to this new study published in The Lancet, which has dire findings about the impact of hydroxychloroquine and the hydroxychloroquine in combination with the class of antibiotics the President has repeatedly endorsed. Here’s the study and here’s a write-up of the study in The Washington Post. Let me start with an arresting quote: “for those receiving hydroxychloroquine and an antibiotic — the cocktail endorsed by Trump — there was a 45 percent increased risk of death … ”

Washington Post, Migrant children are still confined and vulnerable. It’s a gratuitous act of cruelty.

As the pandemic gathered speed In March, a federal judge called the government’s immigrant detention centers “hotbeds of contagion” and ordered that migrant children be released from them without delay. Some have been. But the Trump administration has dragged its feet in freeing many migrant children detained with their families, offering parents the formal “option” of letting their children go — to be separated from their mothers and fathers.

That Hobson’s choice was presented in mid-May to several hundred asylum-seeking parents at the three migrant family detention centers, in Texas and Pennsylvania, run by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Many Americans may have assumed that the administration, scalded by its last experiment with separating migrant children from their families, would not again broach that subject. But it did.

Kate Riga, TPM, Protesters Hang Beshear In Effigy Outside Governor’s Mansion. But they’re such fine people, Trump says …

Todd S. Purdum, The Price of Trump Loyalty

“The party is now more a cult than a party,” says Norman Ornstein, a veteran congressional scholar at the American Enterprise institute and an Atlantic contributor. “The imperative not to be shunned or excommunicated is overwhelming—and it’s not just fear of Trump or Fox News. All their friends would treat them like apostates too.” GOP incumbents face a pragmatic choice, Ornstein told me: lose their base or risk losing swing voters. “They have all decided to double down on the base, and in Colorado that is an especially problematic choice, given the sizable number of suburban, college-educated voters repelled by Trump.”

Anne Kim, Trump Sabotaged America’s Recovery Even Before COVID-19 Began

Thanks to his administration’s early and ongoing failures to address the coronavirus outbreak, much of the nation still lacks the testing and contact tracing infrastructure necessary to control the virus’s inevitable resurgence. Mixed messaging from federal and state officials and patchwork guidance from location to location have also heightened the anxiety for Americans, most of whom remain reluctant to leave their homes.

Another handicap will be the fragility of the American economy, brought upon by the Trump’s pre-pandemic fiscal recklessness. When the president assumed office in an emerging recovery from the Great Recession, he had a golden opportunity to shore up the nation’s fiscal reserves and invest in its economic resilience. Instead, he pushed through one of the largest corporate tax cuts in history, padding the bank balances of billionaires while miring the rest of the nation in eye-watering levels of debt. As a consequence, America entered the Covid-19 pandemic already financially crippled. Now, in the face of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, it is ill-positioned to aid its citizens, let alone rebuild for the future.

Enjoy your socially distanced cookout, folks. Stay safe.

2 thoughts on “Stuff to Read on Memorial Day

  1. Trump found out 4 years ago that the structure of the electoral college gave conservatives an edge.  The Russians honed that edge by micro-targeting both parties with hot-button lies exactly where the addition or subtraction of a few votes could make a crucial difference. And it did.

    Eighteen month ago, the Senate and governors races in Florida went to the GOP by half-percent margins. Since then, two things have gone to hell for the GOP in FL. The Unemployment Insurance system came unglued under the weight of huge layoffs – it might have been justified had it been old, but it was Rick Scott's creation, designed to fail. This fiasco has been married to the new gov who is a Trump mini-me. Loss of jobs and the connected financial insecurity affects 1.5 million voting age citizens and probably an equal number of connected family members.

    I think the convention is coming down to Florida from NC because if Trump can't carry FL, there is no configuration of states Trump can win with. BTW, there's indications that the FL guv has been playing games with the body count. If it's big and it's deliberate and the facts roll out in October, it could be cataclysmic.  

  2. I just finished watching the movie, "Joker."

    What a disturbing film.  It has one of the absolute finest – and most disturbing – performances I have ever seen by an actor, Joaquin Phoenix, as the Joker. 

    For some reason, this movie I finished watching just minutes before reading maha's post, above, won't leave my head 

    The Joker, like tRUMP, is an evil, unfunny clown.  But to me, the Joker actually comes across as more sympathetic than tRUMP.

    The Joker ends up being kind of a folk hero for a triple homicide he committed on the subway.  The victims were 3 seemingly wealthy, young, drunk, Wall Street types, who beat-up on him up before he goes all Bernie Goetz on their pampered asses.

    The NY City in the movie is portrayed either as the city POTUS Gerald Ford told to basically go f*ck itself  back in the 70's, or the one in the early-mid 80's, when Goetz did his shooting on the subway.

    The people in the city start wearing clown masks when they do their civil disobedience.

    DAMN!  I'm losing the thread here that I thought would tie tRUMP and the Joker together as anti-hero heroes, but again, but the thread's gone, except to say thatthe Joker jumps out as being more sympathetic to me than the presiDUNCE!

    Maybe the point is escaping me, but tie-ins between the movie and reality aren't:  Both are very bleak, the city's circumstances are bleak, as are the characters.

    We live in bleak times.  No joke(r)!

    I'm tired!  G'night!

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