Sunday, May 31, 2020

The Manly Man Who Said He'd Run Into A School, Unarmed, To Stop A Shooter Is Now ... Hiding In A Secret Bunker, While The Lights At The White House Are Off Like It's Halloween And They Ran Out Of Candy

This Week's Surprise: Actual Police Officers Are Denouncing George Floyd's Murderers

Heather Digby Parton asks: "What would you think if you saw this in another country?"
I have watched dozens of videos of the protests and police response over the past couple of days. These days of rage are being documented in ways we've never seen before. There are scenes of tremendous violence at the hands of police and intense frustration among the protesters.

That video above is one of the most chilling to me.

Those people weren't rioting. They weren't looting. They weren't even protesting. There wasn't a manhunt going on or some other kind of deadly threat.

Those people were on their own front porches in a residential neighborhood simply watching the authorities go by on the street.

That's authoritarianism, people.
One thread I did not expect to see this past week is the comments from other cops denouncing the murder of George Floyd. Usually, when the police kill unarmed civilians, there is a deafening silence (or a defense of the killers) from the men and women in blue.

Not this time. Perhaps it's because of the starkness and length of the video, the absolute absence of doubt that what happened to George Floyd was deliberate, cold-blooded murder.

There are not enough words of solidarity to effect actual change and reform, and some of the outspoken officers are already retired, but even the mere existence of these words on tape and in print is a departure.

David Roddy, Police Chief, Chattanooga, Tennessee:
There is no need to see more video. There no need to wait to see how "it plays out". There is no need to put a knee on someone's neck for NINE minutes. There IS a need to DO something. If you wear a badge and you don't have an issue with this … turn it in.
Johnny Moats, Sheriff, Polk County, Georgia:
I am deeply disturbed by the video of Mr. Floyd being murdered in the street with other officers there letting it go on. I can assure everyone, me or any of my deputies will never treat anyone like that as long as I'm Sheriff. This kind of brutality is terrible and it needs to stop. All Officers involved need to be arrested and charged immediately. Praying for the family.
Eddie Garcia. Police Chief, San Jose, California:
Not going hide behind "not being there". I'd be one of the first to condemn anyone had I seen similar happen to one of my brother/sister officers. What I saw happen to George Floyd disturbed me and is not consistent with the goal of our mission. The act of one, impacts us all.
Ed Gonzalez, Sheriff, Harris County, Texas:
When bad things happen in our profession, we need to be able to call it like it is. We keep thinking that the last one will be the last one, and then another one surfaces.
Jorge Colina, Police Chief, Miami, Florida:
Do not defend the undefendable, attempt to justify the unjustifiable or excuse the inexcusable. George Floyd should be alive today.
Los Angeles Police Protective League (representing nearly 10,000 sworn personnel):
What we saw on that video was inconsistent and contrary to everything we have been taught, not just as an academy recruit or a police officer, but as human beings. Reverence for life in every incident a police officer encounters must be the floor and not the ceiling.
Police unions in San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland, as well as the Peace Officers Research Association of California (the statewide law enforcement lobbying group), put out similar statements.

Tom Saggau, spokesman for police unions in San Jose and San Francisco, said he and some "seasoned veterans" of law enforcement said they were struck by "the look on that officer's face, the complete indifference". Saggau said he recalled thinking:
Certainly somebody is going to tap someone on the shoulder, someone is going to jump in …[but] they did nothing. … There can't be reconciliation, there can't be healing unless each side recognizes the wrong, and it's been far too long that law enforcement has not recognized the wrong.
Melina Abdullah, co-founder of Black Lives Matter (Los Angeles), said she was not "particularly moved" by the cops who voiced outrage. "It was not just Officer Chauvin who was sitting on George Floyd's neck."

Gloria Browne-Marshall, civil rights attorney and professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice:
Any minute progress is seen as miraculous because so little has been done for so long. It's nothing close to progress or what outrage would be taking place if it was a white man as the victim of this assault.
Both women are right, but I think it's significant that active police officers are speaking out. Or maybe that's just where the new dividing line is now. Strong words of opposition, but then business as usual. We'll see.

Dermot Shea, Commissioner, New York Police Department:
What we saw in Minnesota was deeply disturbing. It was wrong. We must take a stand and address it. We must come together, condemn these actions and reinforce who we are as members of the NYPD. This is not acceptable ANYWHERE.
Police under the command of Commissioner Shea drove two SUVs into a crowd of protesters in Brooklyn, accelerated, and then lied afterwards, claiming their cars had been "surrounded".

We will see soon if that is "acceptable" behaviour in Commissioner Shea's opinion.

Some officials, like New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio defended the police.

De Blasio also blamed "anarchists" for the violence, but (surprise!) he offered no evidence for his extremely vague charge.

Elsewhere, the tired old phrase "outside agitators" seems like it's getting a revival. (Even if many protestors in Minnesota are actually from out-of-state, so what? People are livid and pissed and angry in all 50 fucking states!)

Trump Finally Admits He Is Anti-Anti-Fascist

How Would Western Media Cover Minneapolis If It Happened In Another Country?

Karen Attiah, Global Opinions Editor, Washington Post, May 29, 2020:
If we talked about what is happening in Minneapolis the same way we talk about events in a foreign country, here's how the Western media would cover it. The quotes and those "quoted" in the piece below are fictional.

In recent years, the international community has sounded the alarm on the deteriorating political and human rights situation in the United States under the regime of Donald Trump. Now, as the country marks 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic, the former British colony finds itself in a downward spiral of ethnic violence. The fatigue and paralysis of the international community are evident in its silence, America experts say.

The country has been rocked by several viral videos depicting extrajudicial executions of black ethnic minorities by state security forces. Uprisings erupted in the northern city of Minneapolis after a video circulated online of the killing of a black man, George Floyd, after being attacked by a security force agent. Trump took to Twitter, calling black protesters "THUGS" and threatening to send in military force. "When the looting starts, the shooting starts!" he declared.

"Sure, we get it that black people are angry about decades of abuse and impunity," said G. Scott Fitz, a Minnesotan and member of the white ethnic majority. "But going after a Target crosses the line. Can't they find a more peaceful way, like kneeling in silence?"

Ethnic violence has plagued the country for generations, and decades ago it captured the attention of the world, but recently the news coverage and concern are waning as there seems to be no end in sight to the oppression. "These are ancient, inexplicable hatreds fueling these ethnic conflicts and inequality," said Andreja Dulic, a foreign correspondent whose knowledge of American English consists of a semester course in college and the occasional session on the Duolingo app. When told the United States is only several hundred years old, he shrugged and said, "In my country, we have structures still from the Roman empire. In their culture, Americans think that a 150-year-old building is ancient history."

Britain usually takes an acute interest in the affairs of its former colony, but it has also been affected by the novel coronavirus. "We've seen some setbacks with the virus, but some Brits see the rising disease, staggering unemployment and violence in the States and feel as if America was never ready to govern itself properly, that it would resort to tribal politics," said Andrew Darcy Morthington, a London-based America expert. During the interview, a news alert informed that out of the nearly 40,000 coronavirus deaths in the United Kingdom, 61 percent of the health-care workers who have died were black and or have Middle Eastern backgrounds. Morthington didn't seem to notice. "Like I was saying, we don't have those American racism issues here."

Trump, a former reality-TV host, beauty pageant organizer and businessman, once called African nations "shithole countries." But he is now taking a page from African dictators who spread bogus health remedies, like Yahya Jammeh of Gambia, who claimed he could cure AIDS with bananas and herbal potions and pushed his treatments onto the population, resulting in deaths. Trump appeared to suggest injecting bleach and using sunlight to kill the coronavirus. He has also said he has taken hydroxycholoroquine, a drug derived from quinine, a long-known jungle remedy for malaria. Doctors have advised against using the treatment to prevent or treat the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, Americans desperate to flee will face steep challenges to cross borders, as mismanagement of the coronavirus and ethnic tensions in the country have made them undesirable visitors. But some struggling American retailers, like Neiman Marcus, are hoping to lure shoppers with traditional 19th-century colonial travel fantasies through neutral khakis and cargo shorts as part of a "Modern Safari" collection. "Utilitarian details & muted tones meet classic femininity," reads a caption under the photograph of a white woman. Pith helmets were not included in the accessory lineup.

Some nations are considering offering black Americans special asylum. "Members of the white ethnic majority are forming armed militia groups, demanding their freedom to go back to work for the wealthy class who refer to workers as 'human capital stock,' despite the huge risk to workers," said Mustapha Okango, a Nairobi-based anthropologist. "This is a throwback to the days when slavery was the backbone of the American economy. Black slaves were the original essential workers, and they were treated as non-human stock."

Africa could be an ideal asylum destination, as several African countries have managed to contain the coronavirus outbreak through aggressive early measures and innovations in testing kits. Senegal, a nation of 16 million, has only seen 41 deaths. "Everyone predicted Africa would fall into chaos," Okango said. "It is proof that being a black person in this world doesn't kill you, but being a black person in America clearly can." The African Union did not respond to requests for comment, but it released a statement that said "we believe in American solutions for American problems."

Around the world, grass-roots organizations, celebrities, human rights activists and even students are doing what they can to raise money and awareness about the dire situation in America.

"It's sad that the Americans don't have a government that can get them coronavirus tests or even monthly checks to be able to feed their families," said Charlotte Johnson, a 18-year-old Liberian student activist, who survived the Ebola pandemic. "100,000 people are dead, cities are burning, and the country hasn't had a day of mourning? Lives don't matter, especially not black lives. It's like they're living in a failing state."

Trump's Condolence Call To George Floyd's Family: He Didn't Let Floyd's Brother Speak And Was In A Hurry To Hang Up

Donald Trump made a condolence call to the family of George Floyd, who was killed by police last Monday. According to George's brother, Philonise Floyd, the call did not last long because Trump was trying to get off the phone as quickly as possible.
He didn't give me the opportunity to even speak. It was hard. I was trying to talk to him, but he just kept, like, pushing me off, like: "I don't want to hear what you're talking about." I just told him I want justice. I said that I couldn't believe that they committed a modern-day lynching in broad daylight. I can't stand for that. I can't. And it hurt me.
Floyd was interviewed on MSNBC's "Politics Nation".
They all need to be convicted of first-degree murder and given the death penalty. They didn't care about what they wanted to do with my brother. He wasn't a person to them. He was scum, he was nothing [to them]. I can imagine how many people they did like that. ... I just don't understand, man. Why we gotta go through this? Why we gotta have all this pain, man? I love my brother. I'm never going to see him again.
Is there even one person on the planet more unsuited to make a condolence call than Donald Trump? Of course he'll be dismissive and insensitive. The call concerns something other than himself and his tremendous greatness, so he can't even pretend to be mildly interested.

In October 2017, Trump told Myeshia Johnson that her husband (Sergeant La David Johnson) "knew what he was signing up for" after he was killed in action in Niger.

On Sunday, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms suggested Trump should simply shut the fuck up already.
He speaks and he makes it worse. There are times when you should just be quiet and I wish that he would just be quiet. Or if he can't be silent, if there is somebody of good sense and good conscience in the White House, put him in front of a Teleprompter and pray he reads it and at least says the right things, because he is making it worse. ... This is not about using military force. This is about where we are in America. We are beyond a tipping point in this country, and his rhetoric only inflames that, and he should sometimes just stop talking.
[Non-Spoiler Alert: There is no one possessed of either good sense or good conscience in the White House.]

Elemental: "Coronavirus May Be A Blood Vessel Disease, Which Explains Everything"

Coronavirus May Be A Blood Vessel Disease, Which Explains Everything
Many of the infection's bizarre symptoms have one thing in common
Dana G. Smith, Senior Writer for Elemental @ Medium, May 28, 2020
In April, blood clots emerged as one of the many mysterious symptoms attributed to Covid-19, a disease that had initially been thought to largely affect the lungs in the form of pneumonia. Quickly after came reports of young people dying due to coronavirus-related strokes. Next it was Covid toes — painful red or purple digits.

What do all of these symptoms have in common? An impairment in blood circulation. Add in the fact that 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.

Months into the pandemic, there is now a growing body of evidence to support the theory that the novel coronavirus can infect blood vessels, which could explain not only the high prevalence of blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks, but also provide an answer for the diverse set of head-to-toe symptoms that have emerged.

"All these Covid-associated complications were a mystery. We see blood clotting, we see kidney damage, we see inflammation of the heart, we see stroke, we see encephalitis [swelling of the brain]," says William Li, MD, president of the Angiogenesis Foundation. "A whole myriad of seemingly unconnected phenomena that you do not normally see with SARS or H1N1 or, frankly, most infectious diseases."

"If you start to put all of the data together that's emerging, it turns out that this virus is probably a vasculotropic virus, meaning that it affects the [blood vessels]," says Mandeep Mehra, MD, medical director of the Brigham and Women's Hospital Heart and Vascular Center.

In a paper published in April in the scientific journal The Lancet, Mehra and a team of scientists discovered that the SARS-CoV-2 virus can infect the endothelial cells that line the inside of blood vessels. Endothelial cells protect the cardiovascular system, and they release proteins that influence everything from blood clotting to the immune response. In the paper, the scientists showed damage to endothelial cells in the lungs, heart, kidneys, liver, and intestines in people with Covid-19.

"The concept that's emerging is that this is not a respiratory illness alone, this is a respiratory illness to start with, but it is actually a vascular illness that kills people through its involvement of the vasculature," says Mehra.

SARS-CoV-2 is thought to enter the body through ACE2 receptors present on the surface of cells that line the respiratory tract in the nose and throat. Once in the lungs, the virus appears to move from the alveoli, the air sacs in the lung, into the blood vessels, which are also rich in ACE2 receptors.

"[The virus] enters the lung, it destroys the lung tissue, and people start coughing. The destruction of the lung tissue breaks open some blood vessels," Mehra explains. "Then it starts to infect endothelial cell after endothelial cell, creates a local immune response, and inflames the endothelium."

A respiratory virus infecting blood cells and circulating through the body is virtually unheard of. Influenza viruses like H1N1 are not known to do this, and the original SARS virus, a sister coronavirus to the current infection, did not spread past the lung. Other types of viruses, such as Ebola or Dengue, can damage endothelial cells, but they are very different from viruses that typically infect the lungs. ...

Blood vessel damage could also explain why people with pre-existing conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease are at a higher risk for severe complications from a virus that's supposed to just infect the lungs. All of those diseases cause endothelial cell dysfunction, and the additional damage and inflammation in the blood vessels caused by the infection could push them over the edge and cause serious problems.

The theory could even solve the mystery of why ventilation often isn't enough to help many Covid-19 patients breathe better.

A Nationwide Police Riot - Cops Escalating Violence In Numerous Cities, Gassing & Beating Peaceful Protesters, Driving Cars Into Crowds, Firing Rubber Bullets At People Handing Out Bottles Of Water, And Vandalizing & Looting (A Minneapolis Cop Was Outed As A Window-Smashing, Fire-Setting Provocateur)

Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday evening that the New York police "must be allowed to do their jobs".

Those jobs include driving vehicles into crowds of protesters, clubbing subdued protesters with batons, and shoving men and women to the ground.
Of course, it wasn't only New York. In numerous other cities, police attempted to provoke additional violence (or prevent their unlawful acts from being recorded or reported).

They fired tear gas and flash grenades at peaceful protesters. They shot a woman with rubber bullets as she was handing out bottles of water. They beat, pepper-sprayed, and fired rubber bullets at several clearly-identified journalists. They also arrested members of the media. They bloodied the face of a woman coming out of a grocery store. They beat protesters who were sitting quietly. They trampled an elderly man walking with a cane. They destroyed supplies left for protesters. They fired their guns at people in their own houses. They smashed all the windows of a gay bar ... just for fun, I guess, though I'm sure they enjoyed the other stuff, too.

This is a nationwide police riot, fueled, sanctioned, and cheered by the president himself.
A man seen smashing the windows of an AutoZone and setting fire to a McDonalds has been identified as Jacob Pederson, a Minneapolis cop. His ex-wife outed him!
The history of "agent provocateurs" is as long as the history of protests.

In 2010, during the G20 in Toronto, several police cars were lit on fire. Images of protesters dancing on and around the burning police cars dominated the news for days, removing any and all talk of legitimate protests. Someone figured out that the numbers painted on the side of the squad cars were of vehicles no longer in use. It turned out to be a complete set-up by the cops, who abandoned the old cars, assuming they would be burned.

Police in Quebec eventually admitted in 2007 to having undercover cops at protests when some of them were identified by their special police-issue boots.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

MAGA Night In DC

They got dressed up.

The German Word For "MAGA Night" Is Kristallnacht

So . . . A Minneapolis Pollster Went Out, Asking Every Protester In The City Where They Lived. Those Protesters Showed The Pollster Their Drivers' Licenses (So The Data Was Accurate). After Covering The Entire City (60 Square Miles), The Pollster Went Home, Crunched The Numbers, And Sent Them To Trump, Who Reported The Results Of This Survey In His Tweet!

There Is Never Not A Tweet! (Or Two)

Friday, May 29, 2020

Louisville Cop Casually Shoots NBC Reporter During Her Live Report

NBC reporter Kaitlin Rust was in the middle of a live report in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, when a policeman casually walked away from a group of officers and towards her on an uncrowded sidewalk, raised his gun, and shot her with either rubber bullets or pepper balls.

He also pointed his gun point blank at the cameraman (and viewer). As one story notes, "it defies belief that the person doing the shooting could not make out Rust's bright yellow vest and the professional camera equipment. And yet the barrage was prolonged, and paused for a reload."

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot's Message To Trump: "Two Words. It Begins With F And It Ends With U." (She Added: "I Make No Apologies Whatsoever For My Word Choice.")

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot:
Last night I watched with great sadness the events that were unfolding in Minneapolis, a great American city. I watched as the Third Precinct Police Station in Minneapolis burned to the ground. I watched the outrageous footage of the excellent CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez and his crew being arrested. And I watched in horror as President Trump tweeted a threat to shoot people in the streets. ...

Moments like this unearth generations of pain that are barely below the surface ... It's impossible for me as a black woman who has been the target of blatant racism over the course of my life not to take the killing of George Floyd personally. Watching that poor man beg for his life - and for the ability to breathe - and then watching the life leave him there on the streets, I felt angry, I felt sickened, and a range of other emotions all at once. Being black in America should not be a death sentence. We should not fear for the lives of our loved ones, and mothers shouldn't fear when their young men and women go out into the world that they're gonna get that fateful call.

Let me say one other thing. Donald Trump's comment last night was profoundly dangerous. We must stand in firm solidarity and say this is totally unacceptable - no matter who is the speaker. We see the game he is playing because it is so transparent and he is not very good at it. He wants to show failures on the part of Democratic local leaders, to throw red meat to his base. His goal is to polarize, to destabilize local government and inflame racist urges. We can absolutely not let him prevail. And I will code what I really want to say to Donald Trump. It's two words. It begins with F and it ends with U.
Later, Lightfoot said:
What I'm concerned about is a president of the United States using his bully pulpit to foment violence, that's what I'm concerned about. There's no other way that you can read that tweet than fomenting, encouraging violence against residents in a city or in cities across the country who are expressing themselves and exercising their First Amendment rights. Nobody is going to sit and condone looting and violence. But to blanketly say, as the president of the United States, that you are encouraging people to be shot in the street, that's what I'm concerned about. And frankly, everyone should be concerned about that. That's not leadership. That's cowardice. That's playing to your base with the biggest dog whistle possible.

I don't take the bait every time, but this time, when we are suffering pain and trauma at the killing of a black man in the street, the fact that he would use this opportunity to try to, for political gain and to blow the dog whistle to his base - I feel an obligation to speak out when something as offensive as that is said by anyone, but particularly the president. And I make no apologies whatsoever for my word choice and the way in which I'm calling him out for what he said. It was wrong. It was offensive. And he should retract it and apologize.
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker:
[I am] outraged by what [Trump] does in response to these situations. From the very moment that I announced my decision to run for governor three plus years ago, I said that this president was a racist, misogynist, homophobe, a xenophobe, and I was right then and I'm right now. His tweets, his reaction, his failure to address the racism that exists in America, his stoking of the flames in sometimes subtle, sometimes not so subtle, ways is completely unacceptable. It's reprehensible, in fact.
Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx:
I'm disgusted by our president's hateful and racist rhetoric in the wake of the uprisings in Minneapolis.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle:
There's a pervasive and tragic history of racism in our country, and a United States president who provokes it. As we grieve Mr. Floyd's death, President Trump is inciting violence against the protesters. We cannot stand idly by as he does this, and must affirm the right to peaceful, open protests of police brutality.

Friday, May 29: Donald Trump's Alternate Universe — Incoherence, Paranoia, Self-Aggrandizement, Diminishing Mental Stability

Donald Trump spoke in the Rose Garden this afternoon. He said nothing about the situation in Minnesota and he refused to answer questions.

Earlier in the day, he did name-drop the city of "Mindianapolis". ... After babbling various lies about China, he literally turned his back on the country and walked away.

Earlier, Trump Paused At Odd Moments Mid-Sentence, Seemed Not To Know George Floyd's Name, And Was Forced To Read Directly From His Notes When He Wanted To Act Sincere
Trump Says He's Been "Certainly" Reading & Studying Police Brutality For Years
All The Best Words
Breathing While Black
"Potential intoxicants". Potential. Jesus Christ.

There is NEVER Not A Tweet!

Trump, The Racist Looter-In-Chief, Defends His Threat To Murder Americans For Looting

Donald Trump is a proud long-time racist.

On Friday morning, he defended his tweet threatening to have the US military massacre Americans who are protesting the murder of an unarmed black man by a Minnesota police officer.
Looting leads to shooting, and that's why a man was shot and killed in Minneapolis on Wednesday night - or look at what just happened in Louisville with 7 people shot. I don't want this to happen, and that's what the expression put out last night means....

....It was spoken as a fact, not as a statement. It's very simple, nobody should have any problem with this other than the haters, and those looking to cause trouble on social media. Honor the memory of George Floyd!
Those tweets are too coherent for Trump to have written. One of his quislings must be the author.

As many people have pointed out, the looting/shooting quote has been used by racists before.

Walter Headley, Miami Police Chief, December 1967 (quoted by UPI):
I've let the word filter down that when the looting starts, the shooting starts.
The Miami Herald also reported that Headley's officers had been assured that "any force, up to and including death, is proper when apprehending a felon".

George Wallace, presidential candidate, October 1968:
When the looting starts, the shooting starts.
Wallace was a strong opponent of desegregation who famously announced in his 1963 inaugural address as Governor of Alabama: "Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever." In 1965, Martin Luther King Jr. called Wallace "perhaps the most dangerous racist in America today".

Meanwhile, the liberal [sic] media is reporting things like "Twitter has marked another of the President's tweets for violating its policy of not glorifying violence". What they should be reporting is: "The President has threatened to murder American citizens".

What has to happen before it becomes obvious to a majority of Americans that Donald Trump is a severely mentally ill man who must be removed from office immediately? Seriously. What atrocities, and how many deaths, will occur beforehand?

Only a few days ago, Trump retweeted a video from a Texas group ("Cowboys For Trump") stating
The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat. ... You get to pick your poison: you either go before a firing squad, or you get the end of the rope.
In Trump's not-so-distant past:

He has described white conservatives threatening state officials with automatic weapons as "very good people". He has called Neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, North Carolina, "very fine people". And he was heartily endorsed by the Klu Klux Klan and its former grand wizard, David Duke, in 2016.

In America, some forms of looting are more acceptable than others.

While 41 million Americans lost their jobs in only the last two months, the wealth of American billionaires grew by 15% ($434 billion) during the same time period. The richest five billionaires -- Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffett, and Larry Ellison -- saw their combined wealth increase by $76 billion.

Elon Musk's net worth increased by 48%, to $36 billion. Zuckerberg's net worth increased by 46%, to $80 billion. Bezos's net worth increased by 31%, to $147 billion. Bezos's ex-wife, MacKenzie Bezos, saw her wealth increase by 33%, to $48 billion.

When Trump announced financial relief, ostensibly for American workers, during the pandemic, he met with a group of oil and gas executives and promised to "make funds available to these very important companies". It's one promise he has kept.

First: Tommy Fisher, a Trump ally, was given a $400 million Army Corps of Engineers contract last year to build a mere 31 miles of border wall in Arizona. Last month, despite being the subject of a Pentagon watchdog investigation into allegations of favoritism, Fisher received another $7 million from the Army.

Big oil corporations have spent nearly $377 million on federal lobbying since the start of the Trump administration and have showered Trump's campaign with $9.7 million in donations. It's already paid off. Seventeen oil and gas corporations reported $25 billion in direct, one-time benefits from Trump's 2017 tax cuts.

Accountable.US Action released updated information on about small business awards under the Small Business Administration's PPP. ... [It] has identified PPP bailouts totaling over $100 million that have gone to big oil, gas, coal, mining, and related industries.

Filings compiled by The Washington Post found that publicly traded corporations have received more than $1 billion in funds meant for small businesses. Nearly 300 public corporations, including 43 with more than 500 workers and several that pay top executives millions in compensation, have reported receiving bailouts through Trump's Small Business Administration.
The Trump administration has been blatantly bailing out the oil and gas industry during the coronavirus pandemic. In just the first two weeks of the Small Business Administration's Payroll Protection Program (PPP), oil, gas and mining companies got a whopping $3.9 billion in PPP funding, even though the program was designed to help small businesses, not publicly traded corporations.

In its bailing out of extractive resource corporations, the administration has given PPP funding to a foreign-owned uranium mining corporation with ties to the Trump administration [and] a Indiana-based coal corporation with a former Trump official as its lobbyist ...
At least two oil and gas firms that boosted investors' portfolios by buying back stock in 2019 received $15.5 million this year from a program designed to rescue small businesses gutted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Corporations with close ties to Trump administration officials are among 10 companies being permitted to delay payments of millions of dollars in fines for pollution they caused, according to The Guardian and government watchdog Accountable.US.

The companies had agreed to pay a collective total of $56 million in civil penalties for contributing to pollution in communities across the country, but they were informed in April by the Department of Justice that they can pause their payments during the pandemic.
Some of the wealthiest hospital groups in the United States have received huge infusions of federal rescue funds even as they sat on billions of dollars in cash reserves and poorer hospitals and clinics struggle to maintain bare-minimum levels of service.

According to the New York Times, a disproportionate amount of the $72 billion approved by Congress to bolster hospitals amid the coronavirus outbreak is flowing "to hospitals that had already built up deep financial reserves to help them withstand an economic storm. Smaller, poorer hospitals are receiving tiny amounts of federal aid by comparison."
In a display of loyalty to what Greenpeace called "the most polluting industry in history," the Trump administration is allowing dozens of oil and gas companies to set their own rates for royalties they're required to pay on revenue generated from drilling on public lands. ...

In addition to suspending lease payments, BLM told states to allow companies to apply for relief from royalties, the mandatory taxes on the revenue the fossil fuel industry earns, which are used to support public schools, higher education, and healthcare in Western states.

According to High Country News, BLM instructed state offices to allow oil and gas companies to decide how much they want to pay in royalties for the duration of the pandemic, suggesting that the standard rate of 12.5% be reduced to as low as 0.5%.
At Least 9 Million US Households With Children Are 'Not At All Confident' They'll Be Able To Afford Food Next Month:
A poll released by the U.S. Census Bureau this week revealed that at least nine million American households that include children are unsure whether they'll be able to access enough food in the next four weeks and millions more are experiencing housing insecurity during the coronavirus pandemic.

The bureau's weekly Household Pulse Survey, taken between May 14 and 19, asked respondents about their loss of employment, food security, overall health, and other issues they are facing during the pandemic.

According to the data, more than nine million households are "not at all confident" that they will be able to afford food in the next month, and more than 18 million are only "somewhat confident" about their food security.

A White Man Kills 9 People: Calmly Arrested By Police, Treated To Hamburgers
A Black Man Is Suspected Of Trying To Spend A Fake $20 Bill: Murdered By Police

Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in the suffocation death of George Floyd.

Video footage showed Chauvin's right knee pressed on Floyd's neck for approximately eight minutes. An investigation into the other three officers at the scene is ongoing.
Chauvin's service record includes two prior shooting incidents, nearly 20 complaints, and two letters of reprimand.


Tom Sullivan, Hullabaloo, May 29, 2020:
This litany on privilege vs. institutional racism is going around on Facebook for some reason:
I have privilege as a white person because I can do all of these things without thinking twice:

I can go birding in the Park (#ChristianCooper)

I can go jogging (#AmaudArbery)

I can relax in the comfort of my own home (#BothemSean and #AtatianaJefferson)

I can ask for help after being in a car crash (#JonathanFerrell and #RenishaMcBride)

I can have a cellphone (#StephonClark)

I can leave a party to get to safety (#JordanEdwards)

I can play loud music (#JordanDavis)

I can sell CDs (#AltonSterling)

I can sleep (#AiyanaJones)

I can walk from the corner store (#MikeBrown)

I can play cops and robbers (#TamirRice)

I can go to church (#Charleston9)

I can walk home with Skittles (#TrayvonMartin)

I can hold a hair brush while leaving my own bachelor party (#SeanBell)

I can party on New Years (#OscarGrant)

I can get a normal traffic ticket (#SandraBland)

I can lawfully carry a weapon (#PhilandoCastile)

I can break down on a public road with car problems (#CoreyJones)

I can shop at Walmart (#JohnCrawford)

I can have a disabled vehicle (#TerrenceCrutcher)

I can read a book in my own car (#KeithScott)

I can be a 10yr old walking with our grandfather (#CliffordGlover)

I can decorate for a party (#ClaudeReese)

I can ask a cop a question (#RandyEvans)

I can cash a check in peace (#YvonneSmallwood)

I can take out my wallet (#AmadouDiallo)

I can run (#WalterScott)

I can breathe (#EricGarner)

I can live (#FreddieGray)


White privilege is real. Take a minute to consider a Black person's experience today.

The list omits Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old EMT killed by police officers in her own home on March 13.

Whatever harms social media and cell phone cameras have done, they have allowed white America a view into the country black neighbors inhabit. In that other America MSNBC's Joy Reid described Wednesday, black people are "being treated as subjects and not as citizens." Whites armed with high-capacity rifles can shout in the faces of police inside a state capitol and police keep their cool. The difference is not lost on "other America."
In 2015, comedian Chris Rock gave an online course in "driving while black" after a series of traffic stops. In his appearance on Jerry Seinfeld's "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," the pair got pulled over in a Lamborghini with Seinfeld at the wheel.

"It'd be such a better episode if he pulled me to the side and beat the shit out of me, don't you think?" Rock said. "Now here's the crazy thing: If you weren't here, I'd be scared. I'm famous, still black. Right now, I'm looking for my license right now."

White mass murderer Dylan Roof, Gowdy said, "can be arrested without incident but Mr. Floyd under suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 bill can't even live through the arrest."

Digby reminded Twitter readers Thursday night that Shelby, NC police even treated Roof to a hamburger on his way to jail.

Minnesota state police arrested a CNN film crew this morning on live TV, detained briefly at a police station, then released. CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota noted that CNN reporter Josh Campbell working a block away was not arrested.

"It's just impossible not to note the difference," Camerota told Campbell.

"You are a white guy. Omar Jimenez identifies as black and Latino. Since the police didn't give us much of an explanation for what they were doing against the backdrop of these fires burning and George Floyd's death, it's impossible not to note the difference here."

That difference is not lost on "other America."