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Day 132: Dispatches From A Presidential Bunker

USA


  • On Friday, Trump took shelter inside an underground bunker for nearly an hour as protests continued outside the White House and across Washington, D.C. Trump was abruptly taken by Secret Service agents inside the Presidential Emergency Operations Center, an underground bunker that is used to shelter presidents during threatening situations, like terrorist attacks. Trump and his family have reportedly been “shaken” by the experience and the size of the protests. (Associated Press / New York Times / CBS News)
  • After a weekend out of sight, Trump emerged from the White House bunker and called America’s governors “weak” and demanded that they “dominate” the protesters, which he labeled “terrorists.” Trump asked “Why aren’t you prosecuting them?” while demanding “retribution.” He warned governors that they’d look like “a bunch of jerks” if they didn’t send the protesters to “jail for long periods of time.” Otherwise, Trump added, “you’re wasting your time.” Trump, who has not formally addressed the nation since the protests began, continued: “you have to use the military […] we have a wonderful military,” adding that they would look like “fools” if they didn’t take control of the situation. Trump also accused Minnesota of becoming “a laughingstock all over the world.” (New York Times / Washington Post / CNN / Wall Street Journal / CBS News)
  • Trump tweeted that the U.S. would designate a group of anti-fascism activists as a terror organization, despite lacking the legal authority. Trump, his top officials, Attorney General William Barr, and national security adviser Robert O’Brien have all blamed antifa for the violent protests across the country. Antifa, however, is not an organization and does not have a leader, membership roles or any defined, centralized structure. Further, if antifa were a real organization, current law only permits the State Department to designate foreign organizations as terrorist groups. The U.S. does not have domestic terrorism statute. (Politico / New York Times / CNN)
  • Florida’s seen a “statistically significant” uptick in the number of pneumonia and influenza deaths. The CDC said it’s likely COVID-19. (Daily Beast)
  • Public health and government officials warned that the ongoing protests against police brutality could lead to a new wave of coronavirus infections. The new cases could add to the already disproportionate burden the disease has had on African-American and Latino populations. (Washington Post / Wall Street Journal)
  • Coronavirus May Be a Blood Vessel Disease, Which Explains Everything. 40% of deaths from COVID-19 are related to cardiovascular complications, and the disease starts to look like a vascular infection instead of a purely respiratory one. (Elemental)
  • White nationalist group posing as antifa called for violence on Twitter. Other misinformation and misleading claims spread across Twitter on Sunday night and into Monday related to the protests. (ABC News)
  • Barack Obama finally speaks up (Medium)
  • Asshole canceled again… and again… and again…. (The Verge)

Required Viewing:

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Day 131 – The American Fall

Police nationwide responded to protests against police violence by deliberately targeting demonstrators, journalists, and bystanders with pepper spray, tear gas, rubber bullets, and excessive use of force. The ongoing protests following the killing of George Floyd by a white police officer – who knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes – have taken place in at least 75 cities, including at the gates of the White House, in the days since Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. The officer, Derek Chauvin, has since been fired, arrested, and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Since then, police have tear-gassed protesters, drove vehicles through crowds, opened fire with rounds of rubber bullets and pepper balls on journalists and bystanderspushed over an elderly man with a cane who was walking away, shot a woman in the face with a rubber bullet as she left a grocery store, and shot a photojournalist in the eye with a rubber bullet, who is now permanently blind. Curfews have been enacted in more than two dozen cities, and about 5,000 National Guard troops have been activated in 15 states and the District of Columbia. Organizers have tried to keep the protests focused on police accountability and social justice through chanting and marching, but agitators, posing as peaceful protesters, have exploited the situation by looting stores, setting fire to buildings and police cars, and throwing firecrackers, bottles, bleach, and, reportedly, a molotov cocktail at police. Some advisers, meanwhile, have urged Trump to formally address the nation and call for calm, while others have said he should condemn only the looting or risk losing middle-of-the-road voters in November. The White House, however, declared a lid, which means no one should expect to see or hear from Trump for the rest of the day. (Slate / Nick Waters / Vox / Washington Post / New York Times / Washington Post / CNN / The Week)

Trump reacted to the protests and incidents of vandalism by threatening demonstrators with “vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons.” He previously suggested that looters in Minneapolis would be shot, referred to protesters as “thugs,” and prepared the Pentagon to use military force against American citizens. In a series of Saturday tweets, Trump accused demonstrators who gathered at the White House of being “professionally managed so-called ‘protesters’” and suggested that his supporters should confront them, saying: “Tonight, I understand, is MAGA NIGHT AT THE WHITE HOUSE???” When asked if he was stoking racial divisions by calling for a counter-protest, Trump replied: “No, not at all. MAGA is make America great again. These are people that love our country. I have no idea if they’re going to be here. I was just asking. … By the way, they love African-American people. They love black people. MAGA loves the black people.” (NBC News / Politico / Bloomberg / New York Times ABC News / CBS News / Washington Post)

As the president fans the flames, at least 105,000 people have died and over 40 million Americans have no sustainable means by which to support themselves.

Link credits: WTF happened today

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Source: https://www.cagle.com/monte-wolverton/2020/03/social-distancing-your-choice