99 thoughts on “Daily Blog for June 2020

  1. I Spent 2 Years Cleaning Houses. What I Saw Makes Me Never Want to Be Rich.

    There’s always a dirtier side to a luxurious lifestyle and they get more predictable the more you see.

    Photo by: Shutterstock
    Let me tell you something you already know: Your housekeeper spies on you.

    We work alone. We get bored. What do you expect?

    I worked for a company cleaning houses for two years. It was flexible. It paid well enough. I didn’t think of it as a career, or identify with it; it was just what I did to get myself through college as a single mom.

    At first I didn’t snoop. When they set me off on my own with a white binder containing directions for each house, I just dropped my daughter off at day care and went.

    I found the houses on little winding roads, the hidden keys tucked under gnomes or rugs. I parked my car where it wouldn’t drip oil on their driveway, lugged my tray of supplies inside, and called to clock in, standing by picture windows overlooking the ocean, looking at the perfectly manicured lawn, the chairs around the deck, the path down to the dock, and the boat that glittered even in the rain. I cleaned, and I moved on. I had 20 clients and two or three houses a day to get to, anyway.

    But after a few months, my boss told me to clean slower. (We didn’t call it that, of course. We called it “more detailed.”) The company had a high turnover rate, she explained, and we billed by the hour. If I cleaned houses quicker than the girl who’d replace me, clients would want to continue paying the lower rate.

    So I started looking through the piles of papers instead of straightening them. I looked for secrets in the nightstands, for the story below the American dream. I searched for the stashes of empty wine bottles and peeked into medicine cabinets. I checked how many pills they’d taken in two weeks and learned which prescriptions had turned into recreations. I found pills for everything: pain, anxiety, sleeplessness, depression, impotence, allergies, high blood pressure, diabetes. There were other medications, too. My personal favorite: a topical testosterone cream.

    (I had to look that one up. It offsets a lack of libido in women. You apply the cream anywhere on your body except the genitals.)

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  2. The recklessness of Tucker Carlson

    Karen McDougal (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Playboy)
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    June 26, 2020 at 11:48 a.m. EDT
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    On his highly rated prime-time program, Fox News host Tucker Carlson commonly faults others for not properly loving America — for not sufficiently adoring its freedoms, opportunities and promise. He even goes as far as to say that Democrats “hate” the place.

    Among the reasons Carlson should indeed appreciate this country: His brand of tendentious broadcasting enjoys generous protection under the First Amendment. A case now making its way through federal courts, though, may test that proposition.

    In a complaint filed in December, former Playboy model Karen McDougal sued Fox News over a “Tucker Carlson Tonight” segment in which the host accused her of “extortion” in her dealings with Donald Trump. “Two women approach Donald Trump and threaten to ruin his career and humiliate his family if he doesn’t give them money,” argued Carlson in a December 2018 segment. “Now that sounds like a classic case of extortion. Yet for whatever reason, Trump caves to it, and he directs Michael Cohen to pay the ransom. Now, more than two years later, Trump is a felon for doing this. It doesn’t seem to make any sense.”

    One of the reasons that the sequence outlined by Carlson doesn’t make any sense is that it’s false. Those “two women” are Stephanie Clifford (a.k.a. Stormy Daniels) and McDougal, both of whom received hush money for keeping quiet about alleged affairs with Trump. In McDougal’s case, she didn’t “approach Donald Trump”; through an attorney, she approached American Media Inc., whose holdings included the National Enquirer; AMI paid McDougal $150,000 for the rights to the story as well as columns on fitness. Then the company essentially buried the story. Trump and his then-attorney, Michael Cohen, were coordinating the whole “catch and kill” operation with AMI executive David Pecker.

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  3. ‘Not All of Us Are Dying’ Fox Host Says of Trump’s COVID-19 Response

    Fox News’ Neil Cavuto set the bar pretty low while discussing the life-and-death consequence essential workers face every day

    Talk about a low bar.

    Fox News’ Neil Cavuto not only equated himself with essential workers who are exposed to the coronavirus at a much higher rate than television news hosts but, by doing so, he also minimized the recent surge in cases nationally as he wrapped up his interview with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on Thursday.

    Trumka had just finished a lengthy rant about how President Trump and his administration have heartlessly bungled the response to the pandemic when Cavuto wrapped the segment by telling the labor leader to slow his roll because: “Not all of us are dying.”

    But as the labor leader said, “We have an OSHA [Occupational Safety and Health Administration] right now that is the worst in the history of America. Workers are getting slaughtered on the front lines and dying because OSHA is absent. We have the most anti-worker, anti-labor National Labor Relations Board in the history of the country right now.”

    Trumka, who endorsed Joe Biden for president last month, said the choice for workers in the coming presidential election is a simple one.

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  4. Swedes rapidly losing trust in Covid-19 strategy, poll finds

    Political parties demand Sweden’s strategy be reviewed before next election in 2022

    Sweden’s chief epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, has said the Covid-19 plan was not herd immunity but slowing the spread of the virus. Photograph: Tt News Agency/Reuters

    Swedes are losing trust in authorities’ handling of the coronavirus, as the man behind the country’s light-touch approach called lockdowns a form of madness and political parties demanded the Swedish strategy be reviewed before the next election in 2022.

    An Ipsos survey this week for the Dagens Nyheter newspaper showed confidence in the country’s management of Covid-19 had fallen 11 points to 45% since April, with backing for the national public health agency down 12 points.

    The proportion of respondents satisfied with the centre-left government’s actions in the pandemic also fell to 38% in June from 50% the previous month, while the personal approval rating of the prime minister, Stefan Löfven, also slid 10 points.

    “The differences are big enough that we can say with certainty that there has been a real change,” an Ipsos analyst, Nicklas Källebring, told the paper. “The view of authorities’ capabilities has taken a clear negative turn.”

    The poll confirms a study earlier this month by the pollster Novus which found that only 45% of voters reported a very or quite high degree of confidence in the government’s capacity to handle the crisis, against 63% in April.

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  5. Trump’s brother fails in bid to block niece’s tell-all book

    * Robert Trump’s lawsuit dismissed by court in New York
    * Judge suggests family may try to sue in state supreme court

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    An attempt to block publication of a book claiming to tell the inside story of the Trump family by the US president’s niece has been dismissed by a court in New York.
    The Room Where It Happened review: John Bolton fires broadside that could sink Trump
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    Queens county surrogate court judge Peter Kelly said on Thursday “several improprieties” in the filing by Robert Trump, the president’s younger brother, meant the bid to stop the book was “fatally defective”.

    The suit concerned a non-disclosure agreement Mary Trump signed in 2001, relating to litigation over family patriarch Fred Trump’s will. Kelly said that matter was closed, and thus the attempt to block the book could not be pursued in his court.

    Ted Boutros, an attorney for Mary Trump, said in a statement: “The court has promptly and correctly held that it lacks jurisdiction to grant the Trump family’s baseless request to suppress a book of utmost public importance and concern.

    “We hope this decision will end the matter. Democracy thrives on the free exchange of ideas, and neither this court nor any other has authority to violate the constitution by imposing a prior restraint on core political speech.”

    But there seems little doubt it will not end the matter as Kelly suggested the Trump family might try to block the book in New York supreme court.

    Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man is due out on 28 July.

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  6. Jamaal Bowman and the Democratic Insurgency That Could Help Save the Planet

    Many establishment Democrats have failed to recognize the urgency of the climate crisis, but their challengers do.

    Jamaal Bowman campaigns at a housing project in the Bronx on June 22. Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

    Jamaal Bowman is going to Washington. The 44-year-old former public school principal with a Ph.D. in education—who ran to “complete the work of Reconstruction,” enact national rent control, and bring about a Green New Deal—has apparently defeated U.S. Representative Eliot Engel in the Democratic primary for New York’s 16th congressional district. (The Republicans did not field a candidate in the deep-blue district, which spans parts of the Bronx and Westchester.) A 16-term incumbent and the head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Engel had received the full-throated backing of not just big-money donors but a party establishment—including New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator Chuck Schumer, and Hillary Clinton—that feared a repeat of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s upset victory over longtime Representative Joe Crowley in 2018. Though ballots are still being counted, those endorsements seemed not to count for much, as Bowman is currently ahead by 25 points.

    Last night was one in a long line of embarrassments for the party’s cautious and beleaguered old guard, whose mantra has been that a poll-tested and slow-moving centrism is the key to winning elections. For decades, Democratic leaders have avoided any proposals that smack of actual leftism, instead preferring to present anodyne policies to supposedly change-weary voters. With Donald Trump in the White House; an obscene corporate bailout of a congressional response to the coronavirus-induced recession; and persistent, systemic racism that’s sparked a nationwide uprising, that theory of politics has less and less to show for itself. It’s also a recipe for climate disaster, having produced precisely zero enduring wins at the federal level to scale back emissions.

    Insurgent candidacies like Bowman’s and Ocasio-Cortez’s, in other words, may well be among the best hopes to start healing our sick planet. These politicians bring a working-class perspective to a climate crisis that was for decades defined by largely white and Beltway-centric Big Green groups, and their theory of politics doesn’t involve surrendering to a right that’s deeply hostile to decarbonization. Bowman’s victory will be the fourth for Justice Democrats, a group that grew out of Bernie Sanders’s 2016 campaign to primary conservative Democrats. A kind of Tea Party of the left, Justice Democrats has sought to use volunteer armies and grassroots fundraising to remake the Democratic Party in the image of progressive social movements by promoting candidates who challenge the established wisdom—that is, to raise hell from inside and outside the halls of power. Though Justice Democrats–endorsed underdogs have lost more than they have won, Bowman’s victory is a sign that establishment types like Engel can no longer ignore challenges from their left.

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  7. Democrats block ’empty’ Republican police reform bill

    * Democrats say bill is a toothless response to police brutality
    * Rival reform bill expected to pass in the House this week

    Cory Booker and Senate Democrats are voicing opposition to a Republican-crafted police reform bill. Photograph: Michael Reynolds/EPA

    Congress was at a standstill on police reform on Wednesday after Senate Democrats successfully blocked a Republican bill they have criticized as a toothless response to police brutality.

    The vote was 55-45, failing to reach the 60-vote threshold needed to advance. Two Democrats, the Alabama Senator Doug Jones and the West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, along with Senator Angus King of Maine, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, voted with Republicans to open the debate.

    A rival police reform bill put forward by Democrats is expected to pass in the House this week, but the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, a Republican, has already said it would be a non-starter in the Senate.

    That leaves Congress at an apparent impasse over an issue that has prompted mass protests in dozens of cities across the US since the 25 May police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

    In a press conference after the vote on Wednesday, Senate Democrats urged their supporters to keep up the fight for change.

    “This does not mark the end of the road,” the Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, told reporters.

    Senator Cory Booker, who helped craft the Democratic police reform bill, specifically addressed supporters, saying, “Stay at it. … Let’s keep pushing.”

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  8. Don’t Get Too Cocky About Donald Trump’s Flop in Tulsa Last Weekend.

    Donald Trump’s satisfyingly disastrous rally in Tulsa last weekend has further cemented the consensus that Trump is toast in November. But liberal complacency allowed Trump to win in 2016 — and it could still do the same in 2020.

    The Trump era has afforded few moments of genuine catharsis. Utterly lacking in shame and unafraid of uttering the most egregious falsehoods, the president has an undeniable knack for bloviating his way through the most embarrassing situations or scandals. Among those anticipating Trump’s defeat in the fall, his disastrous rally in Tulsa last weekend therefore carried a certain poetic justice.

    Billing the event as a comeback and clearly aiming to showcase grassroots strength in a city he carried in a landslide four years ago, the president played the hits and delivered a lengthy speech that featured all the usual bluster, but fell far short of its intended impact. Even the most zealous Republican partisans have since struggled to spin the evening as a success: the BOK Center, a 19,000-seat stadium where the rally took place, remained half empty, and plans for the president to make a second speech outside were hastily scrapped as sparse attendance failed to deliver a necessary cheering section.

    Despite initial boasts from the campaign that it had received a million ticket requests, the crowd that materialized was scarcely worthy of a Boomtown Rats reunion tour — a reality Trump himself appeared to grasp when he disembarked at Andrews Air Force Base a few hours later.

    The Tulsa event was the disastrous capstone of a catastrophic few months that have seen the president’s approval ratings sink to levels not witnessed since the days of George H. W. Bush and Jimmy Carter (both lost re-election). Amid an impending depression, sagging poll numbers, and a historic pandemic, a new consensus is quickly crystalizing that Joe Biden is the favorite in November.

    Given the obvious signs, this is in a sense a perfectly rational development. An embattled president running for re-election against a backdrop of catastrophic unemployment and well over a hundred thousand pandemic-related deaths, after all, hardly seems like auspicious ground for a political comeback. Trump’s victory four years ago, moreover, saw him win a smaller share of the vote than Mitt Romney and was enabled more by Democratic incompetence than genuine popular groundswell. Things being what they are, it’s difficult to imagine Trump adding many new votes to what was already a less than spectacular tally.

    Nevertheless, the chosen Democratic strategy coupled with the inevitable uncertainty of the coming months make it uncomfortably easy to envision a scenario where the election’s outcome suddenly looks like less of a foregone conclusion. This is admittedly, in part, an intuitive supposition, born of the debacle of 2016 when virtually all the so-called experts told us Hillary Clinton would easily romp to victory.

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  9. Jamaal Bowman Set to Oust Rep. Eliot Engel in Major Progressive Power Grab

    Former middle school principal Jamaal Bowman greets people outside a subway station on June 17, 2020 in the Bronx. Bowman is challenging incumbent U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel. Photo: Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

    In what looks to be a major victory for the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, Jamaal Bowman, a middle school principal from the Bronx, is set to oust Rep. Eliot Engel — the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee — in the New York primary.

    “Eliot Engel — and I’ll say his name once — used to say that he was a thorn in the side of Donald Trump,” Bowman said in a de facto victory speech on Tuesday night. “But you know what Donald Trump is more afraid of than anything else? A black man with power.”

    Despite a last-ditch effort to save the hawkish Democrat, including an endorsement by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Bowman came away with a 24-point lead early Wednesday in the primary in New York’s 16th Congressional District — which includes portions of the Bronx and Westchester County, and the town of New Rochelle — pending mail-in ballots. Pro-Israel groups also scrambled to save the 16-term incumbent, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on his re-election, including a TV ad that attacked Bowman for failing to pay some of his state taxes over the years. This was Engel’s first competitive primary challenge since 2000.

    Bowman’s primary challenge really began picking up steam when protests against police brutality erupted nationwide. The 44-year-old insurgent ran primarily on Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, and other policies addressing issues of racial and economic justice. Though his focus was on domestic issues, he did criticize Engel over his deference to military contractors and certain foreign policy positions, including his support for the Iraq War. Bowman, who supports defunding the police and repealing the 1994 crime bill (which Engel backed), drew on his own experiences with police violence as a black man and teenager in the Bronx.

    The protests lent momentum to a number of progressive candidates in New York on Tuesday. Though full results won’t come in until mail-in ballots are counted, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez handily defeated her Wall Street-backed opponent, Mondaire Jones appears to be the Democratic favorite in another House race, and left-wing challengers in state legislative races are all ahead as of early Wednesday morning. It’s also a big primary night for Justice Democrats, the group that recruited Ocasio-Cortez to run in 2018, and which heavily backed Bowman.

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  10. Global report: seven US states report record Covid-19 hospitalisations

    Dr Anthony Fauci warns of ‘disturbing surge’ in cases; China gets approval for human trial of vaccine; first death in Australia for a month

    *Record Covid-19 hospital admissions have been reported in Arizona, Arkansas, California, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Tennessee Photograph: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images *

    Seven US states have reported their highest coronavirus patient admissions in the pandemic so far, as cases surge in the US following the easing of restrictions.

    Arizona, Arkansas, California, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas –which also confirmed a record daily case increase on Tuesday – each admitted record numbers of infected people to hospital, the Washington Post reported.

    California saw record infections, too, with more than 5,000 in a single day for the first time, as Arizona, Nevada and Missouri also reported record case increases.

    In Florida, Homestead hospital warned that its intensive care unit was at capacity, NBC reported. Florida confirmed 3,200 new cases on Tuesday, which marked the sixth day of more than 25,000 cases.

    As Trump spoke of his success in managing the pandemic – and accused Democrats of wanting to keep the economy closed so that “numbers would be bad” at a student rally in Arizona, Dr Anthony Fauci pleaded with people to wear masks in busy public spaces. “Plan A, don’t go in a crowd. Plan B, if you do, make sure you wear a mask,” Fauci said at a Congress hearing.

    The next few weeks would be critical to tamping down a disturbing coronavirus surge, he said.

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  11. Coronavirus apps show governments can no longer do without Apple or Google

    Google and Apple forced governments to follow tighter privacy standards for coronavirus contact-tracing apps. This sounds like good news, but it also reveals our dependency on Big Tech.

    North Dakota is one of the most sparsely populated US states,
    an expanse of small towns and plains populated by wandering prairie moose, traversed by long straight highways. Despite the rural backdrop, Governor Doug Burgum, a former Microsoft executive, saw digital contact-tracing
    as key to the state’s coronavirus recovery.

    With help from an old colleague, Tim Brookins, the state launched Care19, the United States’ first official contact-tracing app.

    Just three days later, Google and Apple announced they would develop their own technology “to assist in enabling contact-tracing”.

    But there was a catch.

    To benefit from Google’s and Apple’s operating systems and global reach, all official apps must adhere to the companies’ specifications. If governments wanted to develop an app according to their own rules, they were subject to restrictions.

    Speaking over the phone from Fargo,

    Brookins said he was “annoyed” because the announcement had serious ramifications for Care19. His team always envisioned intertwining two types of technology – GPS and Bluetooth – into one app. But Google and Apple restricted apps that collected GPS or other location data.

    When governments clash with Silicon Valley’s vision, most have little option but to comply

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  12. Isn’t “Right-Wing Populism” Just Fascism?

    It’s a bad idea to listen to right-wingers who claim to be on the side of “the people.” Usually it turns out they want to crush the people by force.

    Let us ask a question: who are some famous “right-wing populists”? Well, let’s see, historically, Hitler and Mussolini can be categorized as “right-wing populists.” Today, there’s Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, a militaristic, sexist homophobe who said if he saw two men kissing in the street he would beat them. There’s Marine Le Pen in France: (“the progressive Islamisation of our country and the increase in political-religious demands are calling into question the survival of our civilisation.”) There’s Geert Wilders in the Netherlands: (“Islam is not a religion, it’s an ideology, the ideology of a r*tarded culture.”) Plus Viktor Orban in Hungary. And in the United States, there is Donald Trump, whose administration has engaged in ceaseless cruelty toward immigrants and who is currently trying to deploy the military against protesters.

    All of which is to say: Right-wing populism seems like a terrible ideology that needs to be rejected. I disagree with nearly everything these people believe in. The kind of world they believe in is not one I wish to inhabit. They are in favor of reactionary cultural traditions, militarized borders, bigotry, and rabid nationalism. I am a leftist, meaning that I favor free movement of people and multiculturalism. I am anti-nationalist and anti-militarist. Donald Trump’s ideology seems to me to be monstrous.

    I find it peculiar, then, to hear “right populism” and “left populism” discussed as part of the same tendency. Usually when this is done, it is by centrists, who subscribe to the “horseshoe theory” that fascism and socialism have a lot in common. (The idea is that the political spectrum, instead of a line, is horseshoe-shaped, meaning that the ends come together.) This is what led the Center for American Progress and the American Enterprise Institute (a “progressive” and “free market” think tank, respectively) to collaborate on a project about combating “authoritarian populism” from both the “right and left.” Their idea is that Donald Trump, Hugo Chavez, Bernie Sanders, Jair Bolsonaro, etc. can all be understood as part of the same tendency, because they all seek to overthrow “elites” and “the establishment” in the name of “the people” and use the power of the state to create justice.

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  13. Conservatives Might Want to Reconsider Their Love for Winston Churchill

    The former British prime minister’s support for progressive economic ideas has been largely unappreciated by history.

    H.F. Davis/Getty Images

    In recent days, protests against racism in the United States have spread to the United Kingdom, where activists are advocating the removal of statues honoring Prime Minister Winston Churchill because of his racist views. Conservatives such as current Prime Minister Boris Johnson have come to Churchill’s defense, but they might not be so quick to do so if they were familiar with Churchill’s largely unknown progressive past.

    There is no dispute about Churchill being a racist by today’s sensibilities. For example, in his book, The River War, Churchill wrote: “How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity.”

    In 2005, South African President Thabo Mbeki quoted this passage in a speech attacking colonialism. Said Mbeki, it “tells the whole story about what our colonial masters thought of us.”

    In fairness, at the time, Churchill’s support for British imperialism was very widely held among the masses and aristocrats alike. Conservatives such as the British historian Andrew Roberts still defend it today: “Africa has never known better times than during British rule where beforehand there was anarchy and all too often afterwards tyranny.” Tellingly, the quoted passage appears only in the first edition of Churchill’s book, published in 1899, and was expunged in the 1902 and later editions. This suggests that he knew he had gone too far, even by the era’s standards.

    The moderation of Churchill’s racist writings coincided with his estrangement from the Tories. As he later put it, “I said a lot of stupid things when I worked with the Conservative Party, and I left because I did not want to go on saying stupid things.”

    Churchill joined the House of Commons as a Conservative in 1901 but soon found himself at odds with the party leadership on a number of issues, leading him to join the Liberal Party in 1904. He remained a Liberal for 20 years before rejoining the Conservatives.

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  14. William Barr Has Turned the Justice Department Into a Law Firm With One Client: Donald Trump

    The Department of Justice headquarters stands on Feb. 19, 2020, in Washington, D.C. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

    The corruption and politicization of the Department of Justice under William Barr is now complete. It will take a generation to reestablish its credibility and independence.

    Under Barr, the Department of Justice has two objectives: to suppress any investigation of President Trump and his associates, and to aggressively pursue investigations of his political rivals. The attorney general has turned the Justice Department into a law firm with one client: Donald Trump. Barr doesn’t even hide his intentions any longer.

    In May, after Barr moved to drop the charges against Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser — even after Flynn had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI — Barr defended his actions in the case by saying that “history is written by the winners.” That is the kind of statement that might be expected from an amoral bureaucrat in a police state rather than the chief law enforcement officer of the United States.

    Barr’s latest move to protect Trump came over the weekend, when he fired Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. One of the nation’s most important federal prosecutors, Berman has been conducting a series of sensitive investigations into Trump associates. Berman prosecuted Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer, and has prosecuted two associates of Rudy Giuliani, who is another Trump personal lawyer. Berman also brought charges against a Turkish state-owned bank in a case in which Turkey’s autocratic president has personally sought Trump’s help.

    Barr clearly thought that Berman was causing too much trouble for Trump — so he decided to fire Berman and install Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Jay Clayton, a Trump golfing buddy with no experience as a prosecutor, into the position. Barr tried to push Berman out late Friday night, no doubt thinking that a nation distracted by a pandemic and protests would barely notice.

    But Berman refused to go quietly. He quickly saw Barr’s move for exactly what it was: a raw attempt to shut down ongoing Trump-related investigations. Berman announced that he was refusing to leave, leading to a dramatic standoff.

    [Read more ][1]
    [1]: “Read more at the source”

  15. Facebook faces advertiser revolt over failure to address hate speech

    The North Face, REI and other brands pause advertising on the platform in ‘Stop Hate for Profit’ campaign

    *Facebook makes $70bn in annual advertising revenue while ‘amplifying the messages of white supremacists’, according to the campaign. Photograph: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images *

    Several companies have suspended advertising on Facebook over the company’s failure to address hate speech on the platform.

    The outdoor apparel and product retailers the North Face, REI, and Patagonia have pledged not to pay for advertising on Facebook platforms as part of the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign, launched Wednesday by advocacy groups including the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, and the Color Of Change. The freelance job listing site Upwork and the internet company Mozilla have also joined the pledge.

    The movement asks advertisers to pressure the tech giant to adopt stricter policies against racist and hateful content on its platforms by pausing all spending on advertising with the company for the month of July.

    Facebook makes $70bn in annual advertising revenue while “amplifying the messages of white supremacists” and “permitting incitement to violence”, according to the campaign.

    “We have long seen how Facebook has allowed some of the worst elements of society into our homes and our lives,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive officer of the Anti-Defamation League, in a statement. “Our organizations have tried individually and collectively to push Facebook to make their platforms safer, but they have repeatedly failed to take meaningful action. We hope this campaign finally shows Facebook how much their users and their advertisers want them to make serious changes for the better.”

    Facebook plans voter turnout push – but will not bar false claims from Trump
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    James Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense, a partner in the campaign, said he expected more companies to join in coming weeks. “Companies clearly have heightened awareness around issues of racial justice in the US right now,” he said. “We are heartened by the progress and we think it is the right time for this.”

    The campaign cites a number of examples to argue Facebook has failed to address misinformation and hate speech: it made Breitbart News a “trusted news source” despite its history of working with white nationalists and neo-Nazis, was accused of allowing housing discrimination against communities of color, and failed to remove Holocaust denial posts.

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  16. John Bolton Tells on Trump — and on Himself

    Bolton said his attitude was to “print and be damned.” Mission accomplished

    *Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/Shutterstock *

    I didn’t enjoy my weekend with John Bolton. His new book, The Room Where It Happened, is blunt, partisan, thorough, and unpleasant — much like the man. Bolton’s righteous arrogance oozes in nearly ever sentence. His contempt for anyone who doesn’t share his reactionary world view is profound and on full display.

    Though the average reader’s eyes will glaze over at his exact and, at times, excruciatingly detailed recounting of this or that summit, historians and foreign policy wonks will certainly welcome the pulling back of the White House drapes. Bolton memorably reveals not so much a team of rivals, but a nest of snakes, with, news flash, a completely unfit president who is bumbling, dangerously erratic and willfully ignorant.

    Bolton’s scorn for Trump is so intense and visceral, that it’s hard to understand how he lasted even 17 months in the administration. The former National Security Advisor writes that Trump’s mind followed “no constant trajectory” and was like “an archipelago of dots.” This epiphany came to Bolton in 2018, but you didn’t have to work in the White House to have such a blazing insight. When Bolton joined the team, Trump’s lack of focus and erratic behavior were no mystery, anyone on the outside had ample opportunity to see all his flaws. So why did Bolton sign up?

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  17. Trump Is Terrorizing America

    His reelection campaign is going to be all about one thing: fear. The Tulsa rally was just the beginning.

    Another fear-filled campaign

    It is one of the oldest divisions of labor in politics. The presidential candidate points with pride at the past and waxes inspirational about the future. The running mate, in contrast, plays partisan attack dog, depicting the rival candidate as the moral equivalent of Vlad the Impaler.

    Richard Nixon in 1952 served as the model for this style of VP guttersnipe politics, describing Democratic nominee Adlai Stevenson as a graduate of the “cowardly college of Communist containment.” In 1976, Bob Dole, playing second banana to Jerry Ford, decried “the Democrat wars” of the twentieth century. And then, of course, along came Sarah Palin in 2008.

    For all his lapdog loyalty and religiously inspired right-wing beliefs, Mike Pence was the speaker who took the higher road at the campaign launch on Saturday night. Pence, in a warm-up speech that even Fox News didn’t carry, at least said to the almost totally white Oklahoma audience, “There is no excuse for what happened to George Floyd.” Pence promptly added, “But there is also no excuse for the rioting, looting, and destruction of property that followed.”

    The lasting message from Donald Trump’s Saturday night death-defying, empty-seated Tulsa talkathon is that somebody else will have to keep hope alive. Trump has only one reelection theme: fear. Or what Franklin Roosevelt, in the depths of another economic Depression, called “nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror.”

    This will be a reelection campaign scripted by Roy Cohn from on high.

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  18. Brad Parscale faces Trump ‘fury’ after Tulsa comeback rally flops

    * Campaign chief said millions would attend: a few thousand did
    * Rick Wilson: survival at risk as Ivanka and Kushner seethe

    Brad Parscale watches as people enter the BOK Center in Tulsa. Photograph: Win McNamee/Getty Images

    Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, was under pressure on Sunday after claiming hundreds of thousands of people had applied for tickets to the president’s return to the campaign trail in Tulsa, only for the rally to attract a sparse crowd.
    Trump ‘played’ by K-pop fans and TikTok users who disrupted Tulsa rally
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    At the BOK Center in the Oklahoma city on Saturday night, as the president took the stage to give his first campaign speech since the Covid-19 pandemic put large parts of America under lockdown, vast banks of empty seats could be seen.

    The Tulsa fire department said 6,200 people attended. The Trump campaign claimed 12,000. The arena holds 19,000.

    The campaign had built an “overflow” stage outside the BOK Center, to host brief remarks by Trump and Mike Pence. Those speeches were cancelled.

    Trump’s demeanour on returning to Washington was widely scrutinised. He was initially quiet on Twitter on Sunday but the president was reported to be “furious” at the “underwhelming” event, which followed a week of controversy about whether it should even be held. According to NBC, Trump was “particularly angry that before he even left DC, aides made public that six members of team in Tulsa tested positive for Covid-19”.

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  19. Trump Threatens Bolton With ‘Bombs Dropped on Him!’ After Judge Rejects Block of Book

    Bolton “likes dropping bombs on people, and killing them. Now he will have bombs dropped on him!” the president said

    In an unhinged Twitter rant, President Donald Trump went after his former national security adviser John Bolton, threatening him and using violent language following a judge’s decision to allow publication of Bolton’s upcoming book.

    On Saturday, U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the District of Columbia rejected Trump’s request to block publication of the book. But Trump pounced on Lamberth’s criticism of Bolton in the decision by raging on Twitter that the former national security adviser liked “killing people” and that he would pay “a really big price” and “will have bombs dropped on him!”

    “Bolton broke the law and has been called out and rebuked for so doing, with a really big price to pay. He likes dropping bombs on people, and killing them. Now he will have bombs dropped on him!” the president wrote.

    Lamberth wrote that Bolton’s memoir “likely jeopardized national security” but with more than 200,000 copies already distributed, “the damage is done.”

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