Opinion: Trump tries to quash two hugely damaging stories

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That quip is the rationale senior White Home adviser Jared Kushner recommended "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" to writer Bob Woodward as one of many essential texts for understanding his father-in-law, President Donald Trump. However keep in mind that when Alice says, "I do not need to go amongst mad individuals," the Cat replies, "Oh, you possibly can't assist that. We're all mad right here." Or, within the phrases of the Jefferson Airplane music "White Rabbit" -- "logic and proportion have fallen sloppy lifeless."

People might be forgiven for questioning what sort of rabbit gap they've fallen into, after taped interviews for Woodward's new ebook confirmed that the President knew final February how contagious and harmful Covid-19 was, despite the fact that he publicly downplayed the menace for weeks -- at a time when concerted motion might have saved untold numbers of American lives.

Trump informed Woodward in March: "I needed to all the time play it down. I nonetheless like enjoying it down, as a result of I do not need to create a panic." SE Cupp wrote, "It is exhausting, if not inconceivable, to wrap your mind around this callous and self-serving calculation, whereby the President admits to a journalist -- one with deep credentials, and who has already written a best-selling, behind-the-scenes take a look at Trump's White Home -- that he is actively mendacity to the American individuals a few lethal pandemic that may ultimately kill, as of this writing, greater than 190,000 People and counting."

Within the language of Watergate, the scandal Woodward helped uncover almost 50 years in the past, it is a "What did the President know and when did he comprehend it" second, and as Cupp wrote, "The damning phrases are recorded, not secondhand, and you may hear them coming from Trump's personal mouth."

Reviewing Woodward's guide, Peter Bergen wrote, "The standard White Home playbook to disclaim and denounce unflattering Trump tales cannot be used towards 'Rage,' as a result of Trump himself, in his personal voice, is the book's main source."
Why did the President give 18 interviews to Woodward for the ebook? A Trump biographer, Timothy L. O'Brien, wrote for Bloomberg Opinion: "Trump is a media junkie who has a fixation on the exact same reporters he likes to castigate, and he has a limitless perception in his personal powers of persuasion. He has spent many years jousting with the media, efficiently and unsuccessfully, to form his public picture whereas snaring his ultimate prize along the way: the spotlight."
Within the wake of the Woodward tapes, Trump met with reporters Wednesday to rebut the cost that he misled the American individuals. Michael D'Antonio, additionally a Trump biographer, wrote that the President "handled the nation to a spin around his fantasyland, the place he is a superb chief besieged by meanies, and the useless dying and struggling on account of his failed response to the coronavirus pandemic usually are not value acknowledging."
In The Washington Submit, Marc Thiessen pushed again towards the accusation that Trump "knew how harmful the virus was, however deliberately misled People and did not take motion." Citing statements that Dr. Anthony Fauci made via early March suggesting that People confronted a low danger, Thiessen argued, "till mid-March, nobody knew we have been dealing with a once-in-a-generation pathogen." He added, "Fauci and all the authorities's smartest medical minds ... anticipated this outbreak to be ... a serious public health crisis, but one they could handle ... Once they lastly realized they have been improper, and suggested the president to implement mitigation measures, he did so -- shutting down a booming financial system to guard public well being."
Joe Lockhart did not purchase Trump's protection, writing, "The President has repeatedly lied to the American individuals concerning the coronavirus and the federal government's dealing with of the pandemic. He's now mendacity about mendacity." And Lockhart, who was White Home press secretary for a part of President Invoice Clinton's second time period, put particular blame on the present press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany. When requested, "McEnany had the gall to say, 'The President has by no means lied to the American public on Covid.' That's patently false ... McEnany reneged on the promise she made to reporters on her first day as press secretary when she stated she would by no means mislead them."

The opposite controversy

In some other White Home, the Woodward ebook controversy can be the most important problem of the month -- or probably, yr. However the administration was in truth making an attempt to quash two massively damaging tales prior to now week -- the opposite ensuing from Jeffrey Goldberg's Atlantic article describing derisive feedback Trump allegedly made in personal about members of the US army who died or have been wounded on obligation.

The President denied making such statements. However they rang true for a lot of observers who've seen Trump's interactions with prime army leaders and veterans such because the late Sen. John McCain, who was badly injured and endured greater than 5 years as a prisoner of warfare -- and but was mocked by Trump for having been captured.

"Whereas President Trump thrills to the ceremonial features of his position as commander in chief," wrote Peter Bergen, "he finds it very exhausting to empathize with or comprehend the ethic of self-sacrifice that is at the core of military service."
Frida Ghitis wrote, "He might like the large, highly effective machines, and the army parades (however reportedly with out amputees, since 'No one needs to see that.') However in relation to defending, respecting, and understanding the individuals who make the selection to serve the nation, Trump is AWOL."

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Make haste slowly

President Trump stated Monday that an "unimaginable vaccine" towards the virus that causes Covid-19 goes to be prepared quickly -- and probably by the top of October. Medical specialists have cautioned that it'll virtually definitely take longer. And this week AstraZeneca briefly paused its medical trials of the Oxford vaccine whereas it seemed into the sickness of a volunteer participant.

"The rationale for all this warning is just not political," wrote infectious illness specialist Dr. Kent Sepkowitz. "It isn't as a result of scientists are a bunch of feeble worrywarts. Quite, it's as a result of the historical past of vaccines is filled with alarming missteps." Citing numerous critical points with vaccine rollouts up to now, he added, "If rushed, the likeliest results of October vaccinations of no matter product is used will probably be November fevers and sore arms and complications -- and maybe even lawsuits and precise hurt. Any politically motivated seize for a fast repair as soon as once more will be stymied by reality."
In Canada, the variety of confirmed Covid-19 instances per capita is lower than a fifth of the extent within the US, and Michael Bociurkiw wrote that one principle to elucidate the distinction is that Canadians, who "entered confederation with the motto 'peace, order and good authorities' are far more compliant than our southern neighbors with their attachment to 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness' -- even when it means potentially killing others by refusing to wear masks in the name of freedom."

The solar by no means rose

"Daybreak was murky, and by eight a.m., it appeared to get darker," wrote Tess Taylor, on Wednesday from the Bay Space. "It was as if the solar by no means rose." Dwelling by way of her fourth consecutive "hearth and smoke season" in California, Taylor and her household are like hundreds of thousands of others navigating a worrisome actuality.

"In case you are questioning, the choice tree when the sky resembles Mordor throughout a fireplace and smoke storm that additionally occurs to be throughout a pandemic seems to be like this," she reported. "Examine the air, ship the youngsters to rigorously chosen pods the place rotating masked mother and father commerce off watching masked youngsters study outside. Go residence. Attempt to get some work finished. If the air high quality will get too dangerous, get the youngsters. Juggle once more. Really feel fortunate even to have these choices. Be grateful that everyone is still safe enough."
One other author from Northern California, Matthew Albracht, is mourning what's been misplaced within the fires. "This yr, at the very least for me, the stark actuality is lastly settling in: this isn't going away. A lot of what I really like about this magnificent space, each bodily and emotionally, is already gone or significantly broken ... So many magnificent creatures gone. The pristine land itself scorched and scarred, tens of millions of acres with numerous timber, together with redwoods greater than a thousand years previous."

9/11 and unity

The 19th anniversary of the fear assaults of September 11, 2001 arrived as People coped with the widespread sickness and lack of life ensuing from the Covid-19 pandemic. "Although the current state of affairs is totally different in some ways, the struggle on terror provides a helpful mannequin for the years forward," wrote Jonah Bader. "Aware of the various pitfalls of that effort, we should always however study from its instance and gird ourselves for an additional long-term battle, fortifying our authorities businesses and bringing the worldwide group collectively in a concerted campaign against this shared global threat."
Farah Pandith and Jacob Ware, who research extremism, wrote that "the menace towards America in the present day is not any much less critical than it was in 2001. A gentle drumbeat of violence continues -- simply sufficient to make sure that our society by no means fairly feels utterly protected. Now, it has metastasized to incorporate an alarming quantity of evil actors inside." The US wants "a comprehensive strategy to fight hate, with the trouble specializing in countering Us vs. Them ideologies" and "marginalizing those that interact in hate speech, with higher intervention efforts to guard younger web customers and other people with psychological issues."

Mansoor T. Shams was an lively obligation US Marine when hijackers crashed planes into New York's Twin Towers, the Pentagon and the Pennsylvania countryside. "I, like some other American, sat horrified, confused and annoyed." It was "coronary heart wrenching" to study that the terrorists wrongly claimed to be appearing within the identify of his Muslim religion.

Within the months following the assaults, Shams stated he noticed indicators of bigotry and suspicion directed towards him by some fellow Marines.

"Let's honor these harmless lives misplaced, collectively, hand in hand, in solidarity as People. However no matter you do, please don't bring our Muslim faith into it. As a result of in case you do, you aren't solely disrespecting my honorable service to this nation however each Muslim American dwelling or lifeless who has given their all (whether or not in uniform or with out) to this America."

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Harmful fact

Miles Taylor served within the Trump administration as chief of employees of the Division of Homeland Safety. Now he's revealing what went on behind the scenes.

When the division's prime intelligence official advised Congress that "Moscow had sought to sow discord in america in 2016 and had proven a choice for Trump," phrase reached the President and he demanded the official's firing, Taylor wrote.

"We have been astounded. All the person had achieved was inform the reality. However seemingly consumed with worry concerning the 'collusion' narrative and the Russia investigation, the President was dead set on burying the truth by trying to purge those that embraced it. After a late-night scramble of telephone calls -- and with the assistance of senior aides on the White Home -- we stored the President from tweet-firing the top of DHS intelligence."
In 2020, US intelligence officers have stated, Russia is mounting an anti-Biden disinformation operation. However in doing so, is the Vladimir Putin regime making a clever transfer, requested Peter B. Zwack, a retired Brigadier Basic who was the US protection attache to Russia from 2012-2014. Sure, Russia has derived advantages from Trump's presidency, but when Biden wins, it might face rather more decided opposition from the US.
"Putin might stay in energy by way of 2036, however tenuously so," famous Zwack. "May he start to see benefits to improving its relationship with the West? Might Russia's more and more restive and demographically challenged inhabitants, shaky financial system and huge, hard-to-defend borders encourage the Kremlin to go for higher relations and a much less aggravating dynamic each internationally and domestically?"

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RIP Diana Rigg

Viewers who solely knew Diana Rigg as Olenna Tyrell in "Recreation of Thrones" have plenty of binge watching to do. As David Bianculli identified, the actress who died this week at 82 turned well-known in 1966 as Mrs. Emma Peel in "The Avengers," "a tongue in cheek Sixties spy spoof."

"Rigg performed her as a really liberated trendy lady, decked out in wildly coloured catsuits and preventing villains handily, together with her personal palms, as a martial arts skilled at a time when only a few feminine protagonists on TV did something however cower when the preventing began." She went on to star on stage in Shakespeare, on display in James Bond and in meaty roles in tv miniseries.

In 1989, when she turned the host of the PBS "Thriller!" collection, Bianculli met Rigg on the TV critics' press tour and has an extraordinary tale to tell about what happened next. Learn his appreciation of Rigg to seek out out.