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AMERICA IN CRISIS

Trump’s ‘Nonstop’ Drive for Self-Destruction Is ‘Habitual and Incurable’: Presidential Scholar

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President Donald Trump’s polling numbers have continued falling as the novel coronavirus has surged throughout the United States.

The Associated Press has written a lengthy story about how Trump’s chaotic response to the pandemic has led to uncontrolled outbreaks and 130,000 dead Americans in just four months, and it notes that Trump has essentially stopped trying to contain the disease and has instead moved to wage culture wars against monument vandals.

Cal Jillson, a presidential scholar at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, tells the AP that the president’s focus on protecting statues at a time when a deadly pandemic is killing thousands of people every week is an act of self-destruction.

“If he could change, he would,” he said. “It’s not helping him now. It’s just nonstop. It is habitual and incurable. He is who he is.”

Jillson also said that Trump’s habit of making a constant spectacle, which helped his presidential campaign in 2016, has become a massive liability during a time of national crisis.

“People would watch Trump and see the instability… the emergencies of his own making he would then claim to have taken care of, and be mildly entertained or at least not deeply worried,” he said. “A lot of that ‘Am I still amused?’ quickly gets to a ‘No’ answer.”

 

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AMERICA IN CRISIS

Experts Gamed Out a Contested 2020 Election — All Scenarios Resulted in ‘Street-Level Violence’ in America

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Experts are warning of a dark winter if the 2020 presidential election results are contested.

“On the second Friday in June, a group of political operatives, former government and military officials, and academics quietly convened online for what became a disturbing exercise in the fragility of American democracy,” the Boston Globe reported Saturday. “The group, which included Democrats and Republicans, gathered to game out possible results of the November election, grappling with questions that seem less far-fetched by the day: What if President Trump refuses to concede a loss, as he publicly hinted recently he might do? How far could he go to preserve his power? And what if Democrats refuse to give in?”

While former Vice President Joe Biden currently has large leads in public polling on the race, Trump has refused to say he will accept the results if he loses.

A Georgetown law professor and former Defense Department official who helped organize the Transition Integrity Project explained the situation to the newspaper.

“All of our scenarios ended in both street-level violence and political impasse,” Prof. Rosa Brooks explained. “The law is essentially … it’s almost helpless against a president who’s willing to ignore it.”

The scenarios are dark.

“Using a role-playing game that is a fixture of military and national security planning, the group envisioned a dark 11 weeks between Election Day and Inauguration Day, one in which Trump and his Republican allies used every apparatus of government — the Postal Service, state lawmakers, the Justice Department, federal agents, and the military — to hold onto power, and Democrats took to the courts and the streets to try to stop it,” the Globe explained.

“If it sounds paranoid or outlandish — a war room of seasoned politicos and constitutional experts playing a Washington version of Dungeons and Dragons in which the future of the republic hangs in the balance — they get it,” the newspaper reported. “But, as they finalize a report on what they learned and begin briefing elected officials and others, they insist their warning is serious: A close election this fall is likely to be contested, and there are few guardrails to stop a constitutional crisis, particularly if Trump flexes the considerable tools at his disposal to give himself an advantage.”

Historian Nils Gilman explained the leverage Trump has in a contested election.

“He doesn’t have to win the election,” said Gilman. “He just has to create a plausible narrative that he didn’t lose.”

Read the full report.

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AMERICA IN CRISIS

‘Very Concerned’ Fauci Issues Stern Warning: ‘Would Not Be Surprised if We Go Up to 100,000’ New COVID-19 Cases a Day

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Dr. Anthony Fauci made a rare appearance Tuesday, speaking on Capitol Hill to issue a stern warning about the coronavirus crisis.

“We are now having 40-plus thousand new cases a day,” Fauci, the top infectious diseases expert at the National Institutes of Health, told Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). “I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around.”

Right now nearly 2.7 million people in the U.S., at minimum, have been infected with the coronavirus. Deaths are just under 130,000. CDC Chief Dr. Robert Redfield last week said he believes the actual number of cases could be ten times higher.

Watch Dr. Fauci:

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AMERICA IN CRISIS

A Day in Tweets: What Trump Was Actually Focused on the Day His Briefing Reportedly Included the Russia Bounty Plot

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More information is coming out on the timeline of when President Donald Trump was reportedly briefed on a Russian plot to offer bounties for the killing of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

“American officials provided a written briefing in late February to President Trump laying out their conclusion that a Russian military intelligence unit offered and paid bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan,” The New York Times reported Monday evening, citing “two officials familiar with the matter.”

“The new information emerged as the White House tried on Monday to play down the intelligence assessment that Russia sought to encourage and reward killings — including reiterating a claim that Mr. Trump was never briefed about the matter and portraying the conclusion as disputed and dubious,” the newspaper reported. “But that stance clashed with the disclosure by two officials that the intelligence was included months ago in Mr. Trump’s President’s Daily Brief document — a compilation of the government’s latest secrets and best insights about foreign policy and national security that is prepared for him to read. One of the officials said the item appeared in Mr. Trump’s brief in late February; the other cited Feb. 27, specifically.”

Due to the president’s fixation with sharing his thoughts on Twitter, we can see what he was focused on on February 27th.

Trump started February 27th on Twitter by hyping an upcoming campaign rally in North Carolina, which the president was hosting despite the pandemic.

He then retweeted a quote from Fox News anchor Trish Regan, blasting CNN for their coverage of the pandemic.

Trump then praised his Coronavirus Task Force for a “great job” and said cases of COVID-19 “look to be going down.”

Trump then attacked former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

He then accused CNN of being “fake news” in a second tweet quoting Trish Regan.

He also praised a clip of Diamond and Silk, saying it was “so nice!”

Then came complaints he was being blamed for America’s coronavirus response.

He then again praised his administration’s response to coronavirus.

And he finished his day on Twitter with threats to withhold federal funding from U.S. cities.

The next day, Trump traveled to South Carolina, where he was holding a 2020 reelection rally despite the pandemic.

 

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