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Jared Kushner and Stephen Miller Wrote Trump’s Coronavirus Speech That’s Tanking Markets and Spreading Falsehoods and Fear

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President Donald Trump addressed the nation in a rare Oval Office speech, in an attempt that immediately failed to calm the American people and the markets. Trump not only did not assuage fears, he expanded them by not sharing the full truth of the coronavirus pandemic, by framing the virus as a “foreign” attack, and by telegraphing falsehoods further damaging his and his administration’s credibility.

Here’s what happened.

The President chose to spend Wednesday with the top executives of the nation’s biggest banks on Wednesday. They “played to the president’s ego – told him the fundamentals of the economy are strong and that he made it that way – but that the psychology of the public needs to change,” according to The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman.

She adds:

That’s why Trump delivered his disastrous prime time Oval Office speech Wednesday night, which did anything but what he had hoped to accomplish.

The markets were actually poised to open Thursday morning up hundreds of points, a small improvement over weeks of near-daily triple and quadruple point drops.

And as Trump began speaking to the American people, the markets heard what he was saying – and not saying – and futures tanked.

DOW futures dropped over 1000 points within minutes of Trump finishing his short speech.

And just minutes into Thursday’s open, the DOW dropped so far it triggered an automatic “circuit breaker,” pausing trading for 15 minutes. As of this writing the DOW is down over 1800 points, on top of Wednesday’s 1400 point drop.

What President Trump was saying – and not saying – was the result of his decision to turn to the two people he often turns to in a crisis: His 39-year old son-in-law who he made Senior Advisor to the President, Jared Kushner, and his 34-year old senior advisor for policy, the white nationalist Stephen Miller.

Calling it “vintage Trump,” The New York Times reports the President “blamed European and Chinese people for bringing the outbreak to the United States, describing it ominously as a ‘foreign virus,’ language that reflected the isolationist views of his chief speechwriter, Stephen Miller, who alongside Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, helped draft the address.”

Trump also “repeated another theme — that he viewed the virus as something that was inflicted upon him from a foreign country. He wanted to discuss ‘our nation’s unprecedented response to the coronavirus outbreak that started in China and is now spreading throughout the world,’ he said.”

It’s no wonder, given the people Trump turned to to write his speech, that it was riddled with errors – important error that have injected fear – more fear – into the hearts of Americans.

For example, Trump said his ban on all travel into the U.S. from Europe, with an exemption to the U.K., where he owns several golf resorts, applied to almost all.

“To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days,” Trump told the American people Wednesday night. “There will be exemptions for Americans who have undergone appropriate screenings, and these prohibitions will not only apply to the tremendous amount of trade and cargo, but various other things as we get approval.  Anything coming from Europe to the United States is what we are discussing. ”

That panicked countless Americans overseas, as this New York Times investigative reporter explains:

Those weren’t the only falsehoods Trump told America in his prime time address.

Here’s another example:

And another:

And this: A Fox News reporter posted this tweet, which Trump retweeted.

It’s false, as several have pointed out:

Meanwhile, back to Jared.

“According to Politico, President Trump is delaying his decision on whether or not to declare a national emergency to combat the spread of coronavirus on the expert public-health opinion of fellow real-estate developer and fortunate son Jared Kushner,” New York Magazine’s Matt Stieb writes. “Trump is holding off on a national emergency decision until Kushner ‘finishes his research and comes to a conclusion himself.'”

As the government continues to botch testing and fail to flatten the outbreak curve, one imagines Kushner’s preparation this time around: working from home in Kalorama, watching Contagion, and Googling “Ken Burns Spanish Flu.”

 

Image via Wikimedia

 

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AMERICAN IDIOTS

‘Nine Kinds of Nonsense’: Florida Blasted for ‘Incredibly Depressing and Stupid’ New Policy of Lying to Kids

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Florida’s government is taking heat for a new policy that reveals the ignorance of those in charge of the Sunshine State.

“Florida has become the latest state to ban critical race theory,continuing the growing charge by Republican lawmakers against schools teaching about systemic racism,” CNN reported. “After hours of debate and public comment Thursday, the Florida State Board of Education unanimously approved the amendment banning critical race theory. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who appointed much of the board, spoke ahead of the meeting, saying critical race theory would teach children ‘the country is rotten and that our institutions are illegitimate.'”

Keith Schnakenberg, an assistant professor of political science at Washington University in St. Louis, posted one key part of the new rule.

The rule says teachers “may not define American history as something other than the creation of a new nation based largely on universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence.”

Well-known historian Kevin Kruse blasted the language.

“Teachers ‘may not define American history as something other than the creation of a new nation based largely on universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence’ is nine kinds of nonsense, starting with the fact that the Declaration, uh, didn’t create a new nation,” Kruse reminded.

The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776. America was not created until the Constitution was ratified by nine of the original thirteen states on June 21, 1788.

“Let’s ignore that howler from these legislators who *really* know their facts. We’re forbidden from defining American history as anything other than the *creation* of the new nation?” Kruse asked. “You’re not allowed to teach anything besides the founding? There’s a lot more, you know!”

“But let’s back up a sec,” he continued. “You’re not allowed to suppress or distort the atrocities of the Holocaust, but if there’s something akin to that in American history — HYPOTHETICALLY SPEAKING, OF COURSE — you *have* to suppress and distort that? Because of reasons?”

“This is all so incredibly depressing and stupid, largely because the people trying to dictate and control the teaching of America history apparently never took a single damn class in the subject themselves,” he noted.

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

 

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AMERICAN IDIOTS

Marjorie Taylor Greene Heading House GOP Revolt Over Masks as a Dozen Republicans Refuse to Wear Them

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U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA)is leading the charge among House Republicans to refuse to follow Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s rule continuing the mask mandate, with at least a dozen far right lawmakers flouting their obligation.

“Masks are oppressive and nothing but a political tool. End the oppression!” Greene tweeted Tuesday.

As with many issues from the far right House members, they are literally the cause of their own issues. The House mask mandate has remained in place because, according to CNN, less than half of the House members say they are vaccinated. One hundred percent of House Democrats are, the unvaccinated are all Republicans.

Forbes’ Andrew Solender reports among those refusing to wear masks on the House floor are “some of the House’s most vocal right-wingers: Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Laure Boebert (R-Colo.), Mary Miller (R-Ill.), Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), Chip Roy (R-Texas), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Beth Van Duyne (R-Texas).”

The hypocrisy isn’t limited to refusing to be vaccinated.

Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD), the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, according to Solender, “says he ‘got into it’ with the GOP lawmakers and joked that they are pro-choice when they told him the mandate is a ‘violation of their right to decide for themselves.'”

They replied ‘absolutely not, it’s a totally different thing,’ he says.”

The U.S. is approaching 34 million cases of COVID-19, and just passed 600,000 coronavirus deaths.

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AMERICAN IDIOTS

‘Governed by the Stupid’: Texas Blasted for GOP’s ‘Typical Yee-Haw Thinking’ After 2 Million Lose Power in Snowstorm

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The GOP leadership of Texas was slammed on Monday after a winter storm knocked out power across the state.

“The state’s electric grid operator lost control of the power supply Monday morning as 2 million Texas households didn’t have heat or other electric appliances working at home as a massive winter storm delivered freezing temperatures across the state,” the Texas Tribune reported Monday.

“When the state’s grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, began implementing rolling blackouts at 1:25 a.m. Monday, the outages were intended to be implemented on a rolling basis — up to 45 minutes per affected area, according to the ERCOT,” the Tribune explained. “Instead, some Texans in Austin, Houston and other cities were without power into Monday afternoon and all morning since even before ERCOT called for the rolling blackouts. And some companies that deliver electricity to households and businesses have told customers to expect to be without power through at least the end of the day as they work to restore power generating units that went offline during the storm.”

Journalist and Texan Kurt Eichenwald ripped Republicans for the crisis.

“If Texas was on the national grid, our homes wouldn’t be as low as 15 degrees. But no, we had typical yeee-haw thinking we’re better than everyone. Or we could have planned ahead, made sure our wind turbines had cold weather packages – companies like Siemens sell them given how much of our power comes from turbines now frozen,” he wrote.

“Instead, these idiots who think they know more than experts go ‘Yee-haw! Hardy-hardy-har! It’s so cold and the libs say global warming!! Har har. Let’s watch The Bachelor now.’ This would not be anywhere near this bad if, 1. The USA invested money in our power grid. 2. If Texas either got on the national grid, bought cold temperature packages for turbines, or both, and 3. Listened to science,” he explained.

“But as always, we are governed by the stupid who think they’re smart, who think preparation is for wimps, who laugh at science and who are more concerned about lowering taxes than public safety. We’re captive to the dumbest among us. And through the people they vote in, we are rapidly turning into a 3rd world country while cheering how exceptional we are,” he charged.

 

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