Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member


Zorro's Journal
Zorro's Journal
August 31, 2020

Trump's vile tweetstorm reveals the ugly core of his 'law and order' campaign

Opinion by Greg Sargent

“Law and order” without the rule of law is neither “law” nor “order.” And any news organization that uncritically describes President Trump’s reelection campaign as premised on “law and order” appeals, without placing his concerted efforts to destroy the rule of law in America front and center alongside them, is helping to drain those words of all meaning.

Over the weekend, Trump unleashed a vile and frenzied tweetstorm about ongoing violence in Oregon and Wisconsin. His barrage of Twitter activity, which included deliberate efforts to incite civil conflict and support for vigilante activity and jailing political opponents, combined both those elements — superficial law-and-order appeals with open contempt for the rule of law.

Trump’s just-finished convention also juxtaposed law-and-order appeals alongside undisguised contempt for the rule of law. It employed endless lies and absurdities to portray a nation tipped into chaos by a “radical left” that has supposedly taken Joe Biden captive, combined with the extensive, unlawful use of government resources to serve Trump’s reelection hopes.

These two things — Trump’s law-and-order messaging as a reelection candidate, and his destruction of the rule of law as president — are often treated as two distinct things. But they are actually part of the same story.

August 31, 2020

United Airlines drops ticket-change fees -- for good

Good news for airline passengers. United Airlines announced Sunday that it would no longer charge fliers $200 to change their tickets on flights within the U.S. The airline said in a statement that it was “permanently getting rid of change fees ... effective immediately.”

Under the new rules, fliers can change their domestic flights as many times as they like without penalty.

CEO Scott Kirby said in a video statement the changes come in response to the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak. “You may remember that as we emerged from previous tough times, we made difficult decisions to survive financially, sometimes at the expense of customer service, either by adding new fees or cutting the things that made the flying experience better, simply because they were too expensive,” he said. “United Airlines won’t be following that same playbook as we come out of this crisis.”

The airline also is waiving change fees for passengers holding domestic or international tickets for new tickets through the end of the year. The same goes for tickets issued after March 3.


Well, that's a start. What they don't tell you is that you'll have to pay the difference in price between the original ticket and the new one.

August 31, 2020

Uhhhh: Herman Cain's Twitter Claims COVID Is 'Not As Deadly' As 'Mainstream Media' Portrayed

The Twitter account belonging to the late Herman Cain, who died after being infected with COVID-19 in July, issued an eyebrow-raising proclamation on Sunday night.

“It looks like the virus is not as deadly as the mainstream media first made it out to be,” the account tweeted with an article by the Western Journal, a right-wing media outlet.

The tweet was subsequently deleted.


Wow. Who knew?

August 31, 2020

Mike Pompeo is the worst secretary of state in history

Opinion by Jackson Diehl
Deputy Editorial Page Editor

As secretary of state, Mike Pompeo has presided over the collapse of negotiations with North Korea, the failure of a pressure campaign against Iran and an abortive attempt to oust Venezuela’s authoritarian regime. On his watch, China has carried out genocide in its Xinjiang region and the suppression of Hong Kong’s freedoms without resistance from Washington until it was too late.

Pompeo has failed to fill dozens of senior positions at the State Department, and hundreds of career diplomats have left or been driven out in political purges. Morale is at a historic low: In staff surveys, there has been a 34 percent increase between 2016 and 2019 in those who say the State Department’s senior leaders “did not maintain high levels of honesty and integrity.” Maybe that’s because Pompeo himself has defied legal mandates from Congress, skirted a law restricting arms sales to Saudi Arabia, tasked staffers with carrying out errands for himself and his wife, and fired the inspector general who was investigating his violations.

Last week, Pompeo crossed yet another ethical line by speaking before the Republican National Convention, thereby disregarding the State Department’s explicit legal guidance against such appearances. The speech he delivered was weak and littered with false or simply ludicrous claims, such as that the recent diplomatic accord between Israel and the United Arab Emirates is “a deal that our grandchildren will read about in their history books.” Maybe if they major in Middle Eastern affairs.

With his ambitions likely fixed on a presidential candidacy in 2024, Pompeo is undoubtedly hoping most of the diplomatic disasters will ultimately be blamed on President Trump, especially if Trump loses the November election. But the former Kansas congressman should not get off so easy. Yes, it’s Trump’s foreign policy. But Pompeo’s steering of it has led to some of the worst diplomatic damage the United States has suffered in decades — especially in relations with its closest allies.

August 31, 2020

Trump cannot be allowed to incite his way to reelection

Opinion by Max Boot

President Trump and his cronies are like the cartoon villains in movies who not only unleash dastardly plots but then helpfully explain them to the audience. Thus on Thursday, the president’s outgoing counselor, Kellyanne Conway, told Fox News: “The more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns, the better it is for the very clear choice on who’s best on public safety and law and order.”

Seldom has a more cynical or sordid thought been publicly expressed by such a senior White House aide. As Democratic nominee Joe Biden said, Trump is “rooting for more violence, not less,” because he views it as politically beneficial in his quest to scare White America into voting for him.

You can see this horrifying spectacle unfolding over the past few days. On Thursday, in his acceptance speech, Trump castigated all of the “rioting, looting, arson and violence we have seen in Democrat-run cities.” On Friday, at a campaign rally in New Hampshire, Trump again calumniated protesters as “anarchists,” “rioters” and “looters.” On Saturday, a caravan of Trump supporters gathered outside Portland, Ore., and drove through the city, firing paintballs and pepper spray at bystanders.

Before long, a battle broke out between the Trump supporters and Black Lives Matters supporters, with punches thrown and debris hurled. The Post reported: “Trump supporters in trucks were at one point blocked in by the Black Lives Matter activists and began exiting their vehicles, precipitating the violence.” Eventually one person — wearing the hat of a far-right group called Patriot Prayer — was shot dead.

August 31, 2020

Don't let Trump's distractions bury his record

Opinion by E.J. Dionne Jr.

As President Trump droned through his 70-minute acceptance speech — while desecrating the White House as a television backdrop, which was probably illegal — the words that kept coming to mind were two he has applied with relish to his opponents: “low-energy” and “sleepy.”

Find footage of his 2016 acceptance speech and watch it back to back with Thursday’s. If that’s too painful, just watch parts of both. Even a speech instructor at the late Trump University would notice the contrasting levels of vitality.

The 2020 Trump looks like a man who knows his show is about to be canceled. He has to make a herculean effort to turn things around — and he is just too sick and tired of the whole thing to give it a real try. Perhaps he hoped the quantity of his words would offset the lack of forcefulness in his presentation. It backfired. A man whom even critics concede is “interesting” became ponderous and ­boring.

Seeing things this way is not, as far as I can tell, the prevailing view going into the final months of this election. Spooked by what happened in 2016, many analysts — especially Democrats — seem to assume that things will go very wrong for Biden.

The post-2016 language about liberals, Democrats, “elites” and the media “not understanding” the “values” of White working- and middle-class class Americans in the Midwest is back in force. The disorder in Kenosha after the police shooting of Jacob Blake and now the killing in Portland over the weekend are assumed to be helpful to Trump, even though Biden pointed out, rather logically, that this mayhem is happening on Trump’s watch.

August 31, 2020

Big Oil Is in Trouble. Its Plan: Flood Africa With Plastic.

Faced with plunging profits and a climate crisis that threatens fossil fuels, the industry is demanding a trade deal that weakens Kenya’s rules on plastics and on imports of American trash.

Confronting a climate crisis that threatens the fossil fuel industry, oil companies are racing to make more plastic. But they face two problems: Many markets are already awash with plastic, and few countries are willing to be dumping grounds for the world’s plastic waste.

The industry thinks it has found a solution to both problems in Africa.

According to documents reviewed by The New York Times, an industry group representing the world’s largest chemical makers and fossil fuel companies is lobbying to influence United States trade negotiations with Kenya, one of Africa’s biggest economies, to reverse its strict limits on plastics — including a tough plastic-bag ban. It is also pressing for Kenya to continue importing foreign plastic garbage, a practice it has pledged to limit.

Plastics makers are looking well beyond Kenya’s borders. “We anticipate that Kenya could serve in the future as a hub for supplying U.S.-made chemicals and plastics to other markets in Africa through this trade agreement,” Ed Brzytwa, the director of international trade for the American Chemistry Council, wrote in an April 28 letter to the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

The United States and Kenya are in the midst of trade negotiations and the Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta, has made clear he is eager to strike a deal. But the behind-the-scenes lobbying by the petroleum companies has spread concern among environmental groups in Kenya and beyond that have been working to reduce both plastic use and waste.

August 31, 2020

Trump, Vicar of Fear and Violence

He continues the old practice of stoking white victimhood for votes.

By Charles M. Blow

The use of white fear and white victimhood as potent political weapons is as old as the country itself. Donald Trump is just the latest practitioner of this trade.

As Robert G. Parkinson wrote in “The Common Cause,” his book about patriot leaders during the American Revolution, politicians used fears of insurrectionist enslaved people, Indian “massacres” and foreign mercenaries to unite the disparate colonies in a common fight.

Does this sound similar to Trump’s rhetoric on Mexicans, Muslims, immigrants, Black Lives Matter and supposed anarchists?

Even the founding fathers used white fear of the “other” for political benefit. And when they didn’t have the facts, they were not above fabrication.

August 30, 2020

Postal chief DeJoy has long leveraged connections, dollars

He has been a prolific donor to organizations and GOP candidates, including $1.2 million to Trump.

During its search for a new postmaster general, the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors was presented with 53 candidates screened by an outside company. Not on the list: Louis DeJoy, who ultimately got the job.

Instead, in what Democrats call a breach of protocol and blatant cronyism, DeJoy’s name was added as a contender by the board member leading the search, John Barger. He was acting on behalf of the board’s chairman, Robert “Mike” Duncan, a former Republican National Committee chairman who knew DeJoy and his wife through work on a White House advisory group. DeJoy, Barger and Duncan were prominent donors to President Donald Trump and other Republicans.

How exactly DeJoy was hired is among the questions Congress is trying to unravel as lawmakers scrutinize a series of operational changes at the Postal Service that have resulted in widespread mail delays and fears that the agency will not be able to handle an expected surge in mail-in ballots this fall as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Democrats say they also want to learn more about the role of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who met with Duncan and other Republicans on the agency’s board while the selection of the new postmaster general was underway.

August 30, 2020

Foster Farms to temporarily close poultry plant after 8 workers die of COVID-19

Source: LA Times

Foster Farms announced Saturday that it will comply with a Merced County health department order and temporarily close one of its poultry plants in Livingston, Calif., the site of a coronavirus outbreak that has left eight workers dead.

The outbreak at the Central Valley facility has persisted for at least two months, according to the county health department. Officials said the company did not complete the widespread testing of employees that the county first recommended and then ordered.

The company said in a statement that it will close the plant Tuesday evening and will not resume operations until the evening of Sept. 7, following a deep cleaning of the facility and new rounds of testing for all 1,400 employees. In addition to the eight workers who have died of complications from COVID-19, at least 392 plant employees have tested positive, health officials said, making the outbreak one of the worst in the state.

Outbreaks are ongoing and widespread throughout multiple separate buildings at the Livingston facility, Merced County officials said. Of about 2,600 workers at the Livingston facility, 13.7% of workers have received a positive test result based on worker self-reporting. Authorities expressed concerns that the outbreak could be much worse, since universal testing of workers has not been completed.

Read more: https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-08-29/foster-farms-to-temporarily-close-poultry-plant-where-eight-workers-have-died

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 48
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 15,680

Journal Entries

Latest Discussions»Zorro's Journal