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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from DCReport

In his latest bids to override our Constitution, would-be dictator Donald Trump issued an executive order Thursday attacking First Amendment rights on social media. Then he called for state violence against people suspected of committing property crimes.

In doing so, Trump diverted news coverage from the significant news of the day — his incompetent handling of the coronavirus pandemic and his encouragement of violence against people of color and Muslims.


So, let's get to the real news and then his diversionary tactics: more than 103,000 confirmed American coronavirus deaths as of noon on May 29. That's 28 percent of global deaths even though America has only about 4 percent of the planet's nearly 7.8 billion human beings.

Don't dismiss this as just another crazy-making Trump action. It reveals his real intent – to muzzle criticism, which is as anti-American as it gets.

The American death count in just a few months is more than our yearslong undeclared wars in Korea (about 37,000) and Vietnam (about 58,000).

Of course, the American death count is a significant understatement. Total deaths are up significantly from the average of the last five years. Many of the unexplained deaths – reported as heart attack, stroke, unknown cause – are almost certainly from untested coronavirus infections.

Deaths Surge Beyond Official Figures

In seven states with large numbers of reported coronavirus infections, total deaths rose 50 percent above long-term averages in the 34 days from March 8 to April 11.

Meanwhile, Trump issued an idiotic executive order. He has no power to change the law, known as Section 230, that shields social media companies from liability for most of the crazy stuff he and others post. Only Congress can make law – at least so long as our Constitution remains in place.

And then there's the absurdity of Trump using Twitter to complain that Twitter is unfair for simply flagging some of his tweets as false, questionable or inciting violence.

Don't dismiss this as just another crazy-making Trump action. It reveals his real intent – to muzzle criticism, which is as anti-American as it gets.

Hong Kong Autonomy Scrapped

And while Trump is flaming angry about Twitter, Beijing is breaking its agreement to treat Hong Kong as a largely autonomous zone. The Chinese dictatorship is emboldened by the ineffectual Trump administration and Trump's personal embrace, sometimes literally, of many dictators, including President Xi.

A competent president who understands diplomacy and the levels of international pressure, say, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, would be applying maximum nonlethal pressure on Beijing to back off Hong Kong. But all we get from this administration is empty words on Twitter and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo notifying Congress that Hong Kong no longer is semi-independent.

Also significant is our Great Depression job market with almost 41 million people having applied for jobless benefits since mid-March, many of whom have yet to see a dollar. And in turn, the loss of jobs means landlords not collecting rents they need to pay their mortgages, utilities not collecting money for electricity, natural gas and water. The damage list goes on and on, but so long as Trump can gin up Twitter troubles, he lessens the focus on his failure to cope with the virus or its economic toll.

Now let's look at the tweets from both Trump and the official White House twitter account:

More disturbing, Trump's looting and shooting tweet channeled a statement by the racist police chief of Miami, who called for the police to kill suspected looters who were black.

Miami Herald, Dec. 27, 1967.

Presidents take an oath to uphold the law and defend our Constitution. Trump clearly doesn't know what's in our Constitution and doesn't care, either. Extrajudicial killings happen, they may on rare occasions even be necessary, but White House calls for violence, either by the police or mobs, are impeachable offenses.

Let's stay focused and not let Trump, already impeached, distract us from his failings and his dictatorial ambitions.

Gage Skidmore licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Although President Donald Trump still has his hardcore MAGA base, he is not universally loved on the right by any means. Never Trump conservatives believe that he has been detrimental to the Republican Party and the conservative movement, and some who voted for Trump in 2016 aren't planning to vote for him again this year. Voters who have changed their minds about Trump are the focus of a New York Times article published Wednesday by reporters Claire Cain Miller, Kevin Quealy and Nate Cohn.

In their article, the Times journalists aren't talking about Never Trumpers who opposed Trump from the beginning — and they note that most of the voters who supported Trump in 2016 are still supporting him now. But they delve into some reasons why onetime supporters have turned against Trump and can't bring themselves to vote for him again.

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