How a republic dies in the empty eyes of an empty man

From Charles Pierce, in Esquire:

“In my life, I have watched John Kennedy talk on television about missiles in Cuba. I saw Lyndon Johnson look Richard Russell squarely in the eye and and say, “And we shall overcome.” I saw Richard Nixon resign and Gerald Ford tell the Congress that our long national nightmare was over. I saw Jimmy Carter talk about malaise and Ronald Reagan talk about a shining city on a hill. I saw George H.W. Bush deliver the eulogy for the Soviet bloc, and Bill Clinton comfort the survivors of Timothy McVeigh’s madness in Oklahoma City. I saw George W. Bush struggle to make sense of it all on September 11, 2001, and I saw Barack Obama sing ‘Amazing Grace’ in the wounded sanctuary of Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

“These were the presidents of my lifetime. These were not perfect men. They were not perfect presidents, god knows. Not one of them was that. But they approached the job, and they took to the podium, with all the gravitas they could muster as appropriate to the job. They tried, at least, to reach for something in the presidency that was beyond their grasp as ordinary human beings. They were not all ennobled by the attempt, but they tried nonetheless.

“And comes now this hopeless, vicious buffoon, and the audience of equally hopeless and vicious buffoons who laughed and cheered when he made sport of a woman whose lasting memory of the trauma she suffered is the laughter of the perpetrators. Now he comes, a man swathed in scandal, with no interest beyond what he can put in his pocket and what he can put over on a universe of suckers, and he does something like this while occupying an office that we gave him, and while endowed with a public trust that he dishonors every day he wakes up in the White House.

“The scion of a multigenerational criminal enterprise, the parameters of which we are only now beginning to comprehend. A vessel for all the worst elements of the American condition. And a cheap, soulless bully besides. We never have had such a cheap counterfeit of a president* as currently occupies the office. We never have had a president* so completely deserving of scorn and yet so small in the office that it almost seems a waste of time and energy to summon up the requisite contempt.

“Watch how a republic dies in the empty eyes of an empty man who feels nothing but his own imaginary greatness, and who cannot find in himself the decency simply to shut up even when it is in his best interest to do so. Presidents don’t have to be heroes to be good presidents. They just have to realize that their humanity is our common humanity, and that their political commonwealth is our political commonwealth, too.

Watch him behind the seal of the President of the United States. Isn’t he a funny man? Isn’t what happened to that lady hilarious? Watch the assembled morons cheer. This is the only story now.”

Revealed: leader of group peddling bleach as coronavirus ‘cure’ wrote to Trump this week

The leader of the most prominent group in the US peddling potentially lethal industrial bleach as a “miracle cure” for coronavirus wrote to Donald Trump at the White House this week.

Trump eating Kentucky Fried Chicken … without any bleach

THE GUARDIAN

The leader of the most prominent group in the US peddling potentially lethal industrial bleach as a “miracle cure” for coronavirus wrote to Donald Trump at the White House this week.

In his letter, Mark Grenon told Trump that chlorine dioxide – a powerful bleach used in industrial processes such as textile manufacturing that can have fatal side-effects when drunk – is “a wonderful detox that can kill 99% of the pathogens in the body”. He added that it “can rid the body of Covid-19”.

A few days after Grenon dispatched his letter, Trump went on national TV at his daily coronavirus briefing at the White House on Thursday and promoted the idea that disinfectant could be used as a treatment for the virus. To the astonishment of medical experts, the US president said that disinfectant “knocks it out in a minute. One minute!”

He went on to say: “Is there a way we can do something, by an injection inside or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it’d be interesting to check that.”

Trump did not specify where the idea of using disinfectant as a possible remedy for Covid-19 came from, and the source for his notion remains obscure. But the Guardian has learned that peddlers of chlorine dioxide – industrial bleach – have been making direct approaches to the White House in recent days.

Grenon styles himself as “archbishop” of Genesis II – a Florida-based outfit that claims to be a church but which in fact is the largest producer and distributor of chlorine dioxide bleach as a “miracle cure” in the US. He brands the chemical as MMS, “miracle mineral solution”, and claims fraudulently that it can cure 99% of all illnesses including cancer, malaria, HIV/Aids as well as autism.

Since the start of the pandemic, Genesis II has been marketing MMS as a cure to coronavirus. It advises users, including children, to mix three to six drops of bleach in water and drink it.

In his weekly televised radio show, posted online on Sunday, Grenon read out the letter he wrote to Trump. He said it began: “Dear Mr President, I am praying you read this letter and intervene.”

Grenon said that 30 of his supporters have also written in the past few days to Trump at the White House urging him to take action to protect Genesis II in its bleach-peddling activities which they claim can cure coronavirus.

On Friday, hours after Trump talked about disinfectant on live TV, Grenon went further in a post on his Facebook page. He claimed that MMS had actually been sent to the White House. He wrote: “Trump has got the MMS and all the info!!! Things are happening folks! Lord help others to see the Truth!”

Paradoxically, Trump’s outburst about the possible value of an “injection” of disinfectant into the lungs of Covid-19 sufferers came just days after a leading agency within the president’s own administration took action to shut down the peddling of bleach as a coronavirus cure around the US.

Continue reading “Revealed: leader of group peddling bleach as coronavirus ‘cure’ wrote to Trump this week”

US agrees to hold off tariffs on French wine

The US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron have agreed to hold the tariffs on French wine until the end of this year.

Wine cellar

Last December, the US government announced that it is planning to implement 100% tariffs on $2.4bn worth of French goods as a response to France’s digital services tax.

The tariff will be implemented on wine and other French products, such as Le Creuset Dutch ovens, Hermès handbags and Roquefort cheese, announced Trump.

US-based wine importers protest that Trump’s tariff decision on French wine will impact their livelihoods.

The digital service tax is aimed at American companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon (GAFA).

The French government also previously announced it will be imposing a 3% tax on the annual revenues of the US-based technological companies.

However, recent discussions between the Presidents have reportedly calmed the situation to some extent.

According to French diplomatic personnel, who addressed various media agencies, Macron and Trump have agreed to hold the tariff implementation plans and focus on continuing negotiations on digital tax at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

President Macron tweeted saying he had a ‘great discussion’ with President Trump and that the two countries would ‘work together on a good agreement to avoid tariff escalation.’

Currently, a 25% tariff has been implemented by the US government on French wine due to Airbus trade dispute.

Source: US agrees to hold off tariffs on French wine

NATO Summit: Trump slams Macron over NATO criticism

Trump used his first meeting at the summit to slam French President Emmanuel Macron.

LONDON — President Trump on Tuesday slammed as “very, very nasty” and “very disrespectful” recent comments by his French counterpart about the diminished state of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization alliance.

Referring to comments President Emmanuel Macron made last month in an interview with the Economist magazine — in which Macron described the “brain death” of NATO due to lack of American support — Trump attacked Macron during his first remarks on the first day of the NATO 70th anniversary summit in London, calling the comments “very insulting.” [ . . . ]

Continue at WASHINGTON POST: NATO Summit: Trump slams Macron over NATO criticism – The Washington Post