More high level criticism of Trump

President Donald Trump had a bit of a surge of support in approval polls when Covid-19 struck, but as his poor handling and bizarre behaviour increased the polls swung against him.

Then Trump handled the death of George Floyd poorly.

The only things Trump seems to be consistent with is praising himself, blaming others, and dumping on anyone who criticises him. He is getting more opportunities to do the latter as high level criticism of him is coming out more now.

NBC: General Mattis’ statement on Trump reveals America’s constitutional crisis

In a series of striking critiques this week, senior retired military officers including former Secretary of Defense and retired Gen. James Mattis spoke out forcefully and unequivocally against the president. This is not a disagreement over policy, but rather an indictment of the commander in chief’s leadership and competency at a critical moment for the nation. For senior retired military officers to level such criticism against a serving president is unprecedented and signals a true constitutional crisis over American civil-military relations.

In a stunning critique published in the Atlantic, Mattis argued that citizens’ rights “peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances,” as outlined in the Bill of Rights, have been violated across America. He urged “those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution” be held accountable. Such strong political condemnation from a former general is extraordinary for many reasons — but Mattis went even further. He excoriated Trump for dividing the nation and declared the country is “witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership.”

Trump dumped on Mattis for this, but as this was predictable the carping bark lacked bite.

Mattis is widely respected in the military and his criticism of trump is unlikely to affect that.

Business Insider – ‘The president did not fire him’: Trump’s former chief of staff John Kelly defends Mattis after Twitter attacks

President Donald Trump’s former White House chief of staff John Kelly defended former Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis on Thursday, calling him an “honorable man” and rejecting the president’s claim that he fired the retired Marine Corps general.

“The president has clearly forgotten how it actually happened or is confused,” he added. “The president tweeted a very positive tweet about Jim until he started to see on Fox News their interpretation of his letter. Then he got nasty.”

“Jim Mattis is a honorable man,” Kelly said.

So Trump dumped on Kelly. Same old.

NBC News – Colin Powell calls Trump a liar, says he skirts the Constitution, will vote Biden

Several other former military leaders condemned the president during appearances on the Sunday shows.

Powell, who served as Secretary of State under former President George W. Bush and was previously chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told CNN’s “State of the Union” that Trump is “drifting” away from the Constitution and said he’s a habitual liar.

“We have a Constitution. We have to follow that Constitution. And the president’s drifted away from it,” Powell said, offering praise for military leaders who have spoken out against the president in recent days.

Echoing Trump’s former Defense Secretary James Mattis, Powell said he agreed that Trump is the first president in his lifetime who is not trying to unite the country. Powell said the protests have shown him the country is at “a turning point.”

“The one word I have to use with respect to what he’s been doing for the last several years is the word I would never have used before, never would have used with any of the four presidents I worked for, he lies,” Powell added. “He lies about things. And he gets away with it because people will not hold him accountable.”

Trump annoyed military people and others with his threat to turn the military against protesters.

On ABC’s “This Week,” retired Army. Gen. Martin Dempsey, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Trump’s “inflammatory language” could significantly strain post-Vietnam War efforts to regain citizen trust in the military.

“It seems to me (the protests) are all about…trying to allow people to actually fulfill their potential, one of the great promises of living in this country,” Dempsey said. “So we absolutely have to be very careful about how the military is used in that circumstance.”

On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” retired Navy Adm. James Stavridis said the protests aren’t “a battlespace to be dominated,'” pointing to comments from Trump and his administration. And on “Fox News Sunday,” retired Navy Adm. Michael Mullen, also a former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, said the military “should never be called to fight our own people as enemies of the state,” adding, “We have a military to fight our enemies, not our own people.”

Elsewhere, Attorney General William Barr told CBS’s “Face the Nation,” that he, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, agreed that active duty military should only be used “as a last resort and that we didn’t think we would need them.”

Also on “Face the Nation,” Condoleeza Rice, who served as secretary of state and national security adviser under Bush, said she would “absolutely advise against” using active duty military in response to the protests, saying the National Guard is trained for such instances.

“Our military isn’t trained to do this,” she said. “Our military is trained for the battlefield. And this isn’t a battlefield, in that sense.”

Republicans seeking re-election are not standing up against Trump, but that’s in part at least to avoid him dumping on their campaigns.

Cad Pergram (Fox News): GOPers on Capitol Hill aren’t wavering in support of Trump despite criticism

It’s about inertia. And with few exceptions, President Trump has inertia on his side when it comes to the support of congressional Republicans.

Now congressional Republicans stare at a cratered economy – despite significantly better than expected jobs numbers Friday. There’s a global pandemic. Protests in the streets. Also lurking are the geometric repercussions over threats to use the military to quash the demonstrations. Questions swirl about what happened in Lafayette Square, potentially leading to one of the most ignominious photo-ops in presidential history.

Most Republicans continued to support the president. Most Republicans would defend his actions. Most Republicans wouldn’t go out of their way to lash out at Trump if they thought he strayed too far from the Constitution or attempted to institute a controversial policy. Most Republicans barely waver.

It’s not about wavering, it’s about saving their political skins.

Trump’s Twitter feed practically radiates political isotopes. Republicans fear his wrath if they duck out of line.

Trump’s memory is elephantine, especially for those who cross him. Murkowski’s dare to deviate from Republican doctrine prompted the president to tweet about her a few hours later – even if he didn’t precisely portray her roll call votes.

Trump tweeted he would be “campaigning against Senator Lisa Murkowski” when she faces reelection in 2022. “Get any candidate, good or bad, I don’t care. I’m endorsing. If you have a pulse, I’m with you!”

In other words, Murkowski’s vote against conviction in the impeachment trial doesn’t count for anything. Murkowski’s yea vote on tax reform doesn’t matter. The president’s message is that anyone “with a pulse” is better than anyone who speaks out against him.

So, it’s better for GOPers to just keep their head down and not say anything at all. That may protect their political status for now. And, if the resident loses this fall and it’s a Republican bloodbath at the polls as some models are starting to predict, perhaps some of those individual members live to fight another day. They are neither on the record for or against President Trump.

The president governs by Twitter and cable news. Yet some Republican leaders long ago decided that their best defense was to either ignore Trump’s latest tweet or who he scorched verbally in the Rose Garden. Or at least they feigned such ignorance.

“I’m not going to critique somebody’s else’s performances,” said McConnell when asked about the photo op.

Perhaps there was more than meets the ear in McConnell’s answer. After all, the president was trying to stage a photo op – an inherently theatrical diorama in politics – in front of St. John’s Church. So a second parsing of McConnell’s choice of the word “performances” could reveal an observation ignored by the press corps.

This is how congressional Republicans often finesse challenging questions from reporters in the age of President Trump. And some just uncomfortably dodge them, as they did last week.

“I haven’t seen it,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., when asked about criticism from Mattis.

“I have a phone call,” said Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., when asked the same.

“I’m late for lunch,” said Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio.

It’s a long way to the November election. But the increasing amount of high level criticism of Trump may take it’s toll, and not just on Trump’s re-election chances.

There seem to be some who will defend and excuse Trump no matter what he does or says, but he needs a lot more votes than from them.

US Attorney General: Divide Between African Americans, Police ‘Must Change’

A shift to attempting to address the unrest in the US precipitated by the killing of George Floyd, and acknowledging problems with the US police forces and black Americans in particular.

RCP – Barr: Divide Between African Americans, Police ‘Must Change’

Attorney General William Barr sought on Thursday to quell tensions over the death of George Floyd in police custody, acknowledging a divide between many black Americans and the police and promising to spare no resource as the Justice Department investigates whether a federal civil rights crime was committed.

“While the vast majority of police officers do their job bravely and righteously, it is undeniable that many African Americans lack confidence in our American criminal justice system,” Barr said at a news conference. “This must change. Our constitution mandates equal protection of the laws and nothing less is acceptable.”

Barr’s comments appeared to contrast with prior statements he’s made condemning protests against the police and what he’s described as a “disturbing pattern of cynicism and disrespect shown toward law enforcement.” But he insisted Thursday that his views have been consistent and that the overwhelming majority of police officers “try conscientiously to use appropriate and reasonable force.”

“I believe that police chiefs and law enforcement officials and leaders around the country are committed to ensuring that racism plays no part in law enforcement, and that everyone receives equal protection of the laws,” Barr said.

I don’t think it is anywhere near a universal commitment.

Most of the protesters have been peaceful and tried to discourage violence.

The most attention is given to the worst examples and excesses, that’s just how media coverage works and there’s no easy solution to that – they would be condemned for not showing the worst. Media have also shown examples of cooperation and empathy between police and protesters.

Trump, Barr and others lay some of the blame for the unrest on left-wing extremist groups, including antifa, and other “anarchists.” Short for anti-fascists, antifa is an umbrella term for far-left-leaning militant groups that resist neo-Nazis and white supremacists at demonstrations. He also said “foreign actors” appeared to be trying to “play all sides” to further incite violence in the U.S.

“We have seen evidence that antifa and other similar extremist groups as well as actors of a variety of different political persuasions have been involving in instigating and participating in violent activity,” Barr said.

A senior Justice Department official said there have been “multiple instances” where people who have been arrested at demonstrations around the U.S. have identified themselves to law enforcement as members of antifa, the official said.

Federal prosecutors announced Wednesday that three Nevada men with ties to a loose movement of right-wing extremists advocating the overthrow of the U.S. government had been arrested on terrorism-related charges in what authorities described as a conspiracy to spark violence during recent protests in Las Vegas.

Anarchists and extremists and those who like to incite and cause trouble will inevitably try to take advantage of protests and unrest.

Trump has claimed he has done more for black America since Abraham Lincoln, but that is just typical self-inflating nonsense.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany earlier had sidestepped questions about whether Trump believes there’s a systemic bias in American law enforcement against African Americans.

But pressed about whether Trump believes there is a larger problem of racial bias in law enforcement, McEnany only acknowledged that Trump “believes there are some examples of injustices.”

Trump has performed poorly over the Floyd death and Black Lives matters protests. RCP polling averages show he has not just reversed gains in approval he got over Covid but has quickly lost support over the last two weeks.

.More trying to divert blame to others. I don’t know how he thinks he will “bring in a different group” in a democracy.

 

Business Insider: Trump suggests George Floyd is ‘looking down’ from heaven and appreciating the ‘great day in terms of equality’ after an unexpectedly strong jobs report was announced

In a freewheeling Friday-morning press conference in the Rose Garden, President Donald Trump touted a strong May jobs report and said he hoped George Floyd, who was killed by the Minneapolis police 10 days ago, was “looking down” from heaven and saying this “is a great thing that’s happening for our country.”

The economy added 2.5 million jobs in May, bringing the unemployment rate down to 13.3% from 14.7% in April.

That’s a surprising turnaround, but the economy has a lot to weather yet.

“Hopefully George is looking down right now and saying this is a great thing that’s happening for our country. It’s a great day for him. It’s a great day for everybody. It is a great, great day in terms of equality,” Trump said.

It is premature to be claiming economic victory after Covid – 25,000 new cases in the US so far today and another thousand deaths.

I don’t think that if George Floyd could see what has happened since his death he would see anything great happening.

A major problem in the US (apart from Trump) is that there are many different police forces managed and employed by various cities and states, with top police officials elected. It will be very difficult to improve police behaviour across the country.

Challenge to Trump’s threat to deploy troops against protests

President Donald Trump has urged the greater use of force to combat the ongoing protests in the United States, and on Monday suggested deploying US troops on the streets, but the US defence secretary has come out in opposition to using troops.

CNN:  Can Trump legally deploy US troops to US cities?

President Donald Trump threatened Monday night to invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807 law and take the unusual step of deploying active duty US soldiers to police US streets.

While Trump claims the move would break up anti-fascists, or Antifa, who he says are organizing violent riots that have led to looting, it would also effectively squelch peaceful protests for racial justice after the death last week of a black man, George Floyd, after a police officer used lethal force during a stop.

That would be a remarkable turn on the law, which was most notably used in the 1950s to enforce desegregation. And later, in the 1960s, to address riots in Detroit.

According to the Congressional Research Service, it hasn’t been invoked since 1992 during the riots in Los Angeles that followed the acquittal of four white police officers in the beating of Rodney King. Now-Attorney General William Barr was actually attorney general back then, too, under former President George H.W. Bush.

Financial Times:  Pentagon chief breaks with Trump over using troops for protests

The US defence secretary opened a rift with Donald Trump, saying he did not agree with the president about sending the army on to the streets to clamp down on protests that have erupted across the country since the death of George Floyd.

“I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act,” Mark Esper said on Wednesday, in a reference to the 1807 law, which allows a president to overrule governors and deploy active-duty soldiers in their states.

Speaking at a press conference, Mr Esper, a West Point graduate and former soldier, said the National Guard was “best suited” to help local law enforcement tackle protests.

“The option to use active duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort, and only in the most urgent and dire of situations,” he said. “We are not in one of those situations.”

Mr Esper and General Mark Milley, chairman of the joint chiefs, have come under intense fire since Monday when they accompanied Mr Trump to a church near the White House where Mr Trump held a photo opportunity with a Bible. Law enforcement officers used pepper spray on peaceful protesters to clear a path for the president.

This could signal a change of mind by Trump on the use of troops, but if not then Esper’s job must be at risk. Trump has a habit of not tolerating people who disagree with him or hold him to account.

Meanwhile the police officer who sparked the latest uprising of anger and frustration and police brutality, especially against blacks, has had now has charges upped to 2nd degree murder, and officers who did nothing while he killed George Floyd have also been charged.

Reuters: Minnesota raises charge against Chauvin in Floyd case, charges three others

Minnesota’s attorney general will increase the murder charge against a fired Minneapolis police officer in the death of an unarmed black man that has triggered nationwide protests and will level charges against three other sacked officers, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar said on Wednesday.

George Floyd, 46, died after Derek Chauvin, a white policeman, knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes on May 25, reigniting the explosive issue of police brutality against African Americans five months before a presidential election.

Klobuchar, who is from Minnesota and a potential running mate for presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the Nov. 3 election, said Attorney General Keith Ellison would increase to second-degree murder the charge against Chauvin, 44.

It’s a pity that a politician made the announcement, that won’t help the partisan divide over this.

Chauvin had been charged last week with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The new charge can carry a sentence of up to 40 years, 15 years longer than the maximum sentence for third-degree murder.

In a tweet, Klobuchar said the three other former officers who were involved in the incident will be charged also. “This is another important step for justice,” she said.

The Minnesota-based Star Tribune, citing sources, said the other officers – Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao – would face charges of aiding and abetting murder.

It has taken over a week for this. Investigations and justice can take time, but time taken over the officers being charged has contributed significantly to the ongoing unrest in the US.

 

Trump pushes for more force, military, as protests continue in US

Protests against the killing of George Floyd by a police officer continue across the not very united States. It quickly widened to being protests against police brutality, against white vigilantes, and against a culture of racism that has plagued the US for centuries.

Meanwhile President Donald Trump is encouraging authorities to deal with the protests with more force. He is trying to sound tough from an apparent position of impotence.

Stuff: Donald Trump berates US state governors, urges them to use force to ‘dominate’ protesters

After pockets of the United States descended into chaos – after another day of protests over the death of yet another black man in police custody led to another night of fire and fury – President Donald Trump urged the nation’s governors to use force and take back the streets.

During a conference call Monday (Tuesday NZ time), Trump berated the state leaders, calling them “weak,” and urged them to “dominate” protesters, according to officials familiar with the president’s remarks. The conference call followed another turbulent night across the nation, as protests that began peacefully exploded into mayhem.

Some conservative commentators are urging the president to address the nation, but the White House press secretary said Trump is focused on the far-left “antifa” movement that he believes is behind the violence. “A national Oval Office address is not going to stop antifa,” Kayleigh McEnany said.

Trump typically likes to focus on a culprit, but the situation is far more widespread and complex than being the fault of Antifa.

Trump berated the nation’s governors on a conference call, telling them to take back the streets and use force to confront protesters and said if they did not, they would look like “fools,” alarming several governors on the call as they communicated privately, according to the officials.

“If you don’t dominate, you’re wasting your time,” Trump said, according to a person on the call. A second person on the call said Trump praised Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, D, and thanked Defense Secretary Mark Esper for his assistance.

The president told the governors that “you have to use the military” and “we have a wonderful military,” said the person on the call.

The president said that people arrested at the protests should serve a 10-year prison sentence, according to another person familiar with the call.

More force and using the military is likely to further inflame a volatile situation. Trump has been criticised for inflaming things with his language.

Difficult times for the US, and they seem to be far from over.

Even Fox News has mixed coverage that isn’t particularly pro-Trump:

This won’t help calm things: Family releases independent autopsy results indicating cause of death

Attorneys for George Floyd‘s family released the results of an independent autopsy report Monday showing that Floyd’s death was caused by asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain.

Fox News contributor and forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden was one of two doctors hired by the Floyd family to conduct an independent review after prosecutors said a preliminary finding from the official autopsy concluded the combined effects of being restrained, potential intoxicants in Floyd’s system and his underlying health issues, including heart disease, likely contributed to his death.

A video showing a white officer was kneeling on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes before his death has sparked national riots in major cities from San Francisco to Boston.

Baden has conducted other independent reviews in similar cases of police brutality including that of Eric Garner, a black man who was placed in a chokehold by New York police who were attempting to arrest him for selling loose cigarettes and would not relent even as he pleaded that he could not breathe.

Floyd fell to the ground as police were attempting to put him in the squad car, saying he was claustrophobic, according to the complaint.

Floyd can be heard on video saying “I can’t breathe,” numerous times.

Video taken of Floyd’s arrest over a suspected counterfeit $20 bill shows former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, 44, kneeling on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes, 46 seconds, including nearly three minutes after Floyd stopped moving and talking.

It sounds and like a casual callous killing.

Chauvin was arrested on Friday and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Three other officers who stood by and watched the incident unfold without intervening have not been arrested or charged in the case despite cries from the community for swift legal action.

It’s going the very difficult for the US to repair the damage caused by this.

 

USA – burning from the bottom, flaming from the top

As the smouldering from the bottom of US society erupts into riots and burning, again, about all they get from the top is blaming and flaming on Twitter from a flaming idiot.

Evidence that there’s a fine line between a civil society and anarchy is apparent in the United States of America who show society there is far from united. Another police killing of a black man has precipitated days of riots across the country, again. Nothing much seems to have changed since the last time, and the time before.

One of the most divisive presidents ever has talked tough but is largely impotent. People with long standing grievances and opportunist anarchists and if some claims are correct countries trying to incite mayhem couldn’t care less what a twit on Twitter says.

Order from anarchy?

The circle-A is almost certainly the best-known present-day symbol for anarchy. It is a monogram that consists of the capital letter “A” surrounded by the capital letter “O”.

The letter “A” is derived from the first letter of “anarchy” or “anarchism” in most European languages and is the same in both Latin and Cyrillic scripts. The “O” stands for order and together they stand for “society seeks order in anarchy” (French: la société cherche l’ordre dans l’anarchie), a phrase written by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon in his 1840 book What Is Property?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchist_symbolism

I haven’t seen any sort of order emerge from riots and anarchical outbursts, and Donald trump certainly doesn’t seem capable of doing anything to repair the damage he has done in three and a half years let alone centuries of racism and oppression.

Of course there’s no justification in opportunist looting and destruction of property, but it’s what happens when authority is challenged and put under severe pressure.

As usual blame has been spread across the political spectrum. It’s a complex situation with many emotions and motivations involved, but it’s normal for humans to blame people or groups they don’t like for problems and ignore or make excuses for those they are sympathetic to.

The greatest blamer and divider ever is as bad as ever.

Blaming everything on ‘the media’ is getting lamer, and calling oneself GREAT on Twitter doesn’t make oneself so, especially when his country is in chaos.

Perhaps trump thinks that media shouldn’t have reported on another killing by cop. the media didn’t kneel on a handcuffed defenceless man’s neck for up to eight minutes, until he died.

“The World is watching and laughing at you…” is typical flaming and blaming, but at this time I don’t think the world is laughing even at Trump, more like shaking their collective head in despair at how poorly a supposedly strong nation deals with this crap.

In the short term force of law will prevail, but it is unlikely that anything much will be resolved, especially with the moral vacuum at the top.

Trump versus Twitter and the Floyd killing

Donald Trump reacted very quickly when Twitter tagged two of his tweets as potentially inaccurate.

Perhaps all of Trump’s tweets could be tagged as potentially inaccurate given his high rating on the Bullshitometer:

Breaking down Trump’s 654 false claims over 14 weeks during the coronavirus pandemic

Over the 14 weeks from the Monday his coronavirus task force started meeting, January 27, through Sunday, May 3, he made 654 false claims — 215 of them specifically about the pandemic. (Lots of the others were about related subjects, like the economy and China.)

Even his accusations of censorship were bull, his tweets were still published in full.

Trump has no tolerance of anything he construes as criticism. So much so that he quickly issued an Executive Order which was basically just a threat with little legal weight.

Trump signs executive order targeting Twitter after fact-checking row

Under a 1996 law, website operators, unlike traditional publishers, cannot generally be held responsible for content posted by users.

The sites are also protected from lawsuits if they block posts deemed obscene, violent “or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected”.

The executive order argues that this immunity should no longer apply if a social network edits posts, such as by adding a warning or a label.

It also says “deceptive” blocking, including removing a post for reasons other than those described in a website’s terms of service, should not be protected.

The executive order also calls for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to spell out what type of content blocking will be considered deceptive or inconsistent with a service provider’s terms and conditions.

So he basically wants the FCC to enforce what he sees as his right to say whatever nonsense he wants to say.

But Twitter has now actually gone further in blocking a trump tweet.

While the second tweet shows fully here, on Twitter it looks like this:

“A total lack of leadership” is fairly ironic from Trump.

His response this time was more defensive…

…for now at least.

But this is not the sort of leadership the US needs right now – Trump reacts quickly when he thinks his own rights have been restricted, but when there are racial riots he fans the flames.

Trump threatens to close down social media

Donald Trump has relied a lot on Twitter and social media to promote his voice, allowing him to bypass the traditional media.

Twitter has started to highlight false claims by Trump, and now Trump is threatening ” We will strongly regulate, or close them down”.

RNZ: Twitter fact-checks Trump tweet for the first time

Twitter, for the first time, prompted readers to check the facts in tweets sent by US President Donald Trump, warning that his claims about mail-in ballots were false and had been debunked by fact checkers.

The move marked a dramatic shift for the social network, Trump’s primary tool for getting an unfiltered version of his message out to his political base, after years of permissive policies around content on its platform.

The company has been tightening those policies in recent years amid criticism that its hands-off approach had allowed abuse, fake accounts and misinformation to thrive.

No caption.

Trump lashed out at the company in response, accusing it – in a tweet – of interfering in the 2020 presidential election. “Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!” he said.

It doesn’t look like it’s stifling free speech at all. Trump’s tweets are still up, unedited. They now just have an additional link to actual facts to counter his false claims.

But Trump, with his usual bullying and bluster, has threatened to regulate or shut down anyone who challenges his bullshit.

And:

It’s Trump’s free choice whether he uses Twitter or not. It would be ridiculous and dangerous for a president to force media to publish whatever he wants to say without any restriction or without challenging his false claims.

It looks like pressure is building on Trump. He is not handling it well.

US pass 100,000 Covid deaths

The United States has now passed 100,000 recorded deaths from Covid-19, and now have had over 1.7 million cases.

While the total number of deaths in the US is well over twice the next highest, the United Kingdom, they are only 9th highest in deaths per million population (of countries with  population greater than a hundred thousand).  Belgium is the highest but that may be in part to do with how they record Covid deaths compared to other countries.

Current models estimate deaths in a month’s time in the US to be somewhere between 111k and 173k, so it is far from over with risks of a resurgence as states relax their lockdowns.

President Trump thinks he has done his job very well dealing with Covid, or at least wants other people to think he has done very well.

Containing the virus in the US was always going to be difficult with the amount of international travel to and through the country.

States continue to make most of their own decisions despite Trump urging them to get things back to normal.

Covid seems to be out of control in Brazil with a climbing death rate, which looks to be under reported going by their number of cases.

The death total in Russia is surprisingly low and could be questionable.

Ways of counting cases and deaths varies in different countries so are indicative only.

5 million cases of Covid-19

The world count of confirmed Covid-19 cases has now passed five million. A big chunk (one and a half million) of those cases are in the US.

The number of cases has risen by 80-90,000 a day for  a month or more.

The death rate has slowed a little, but is still increasing by over four thousand a day, and now totals 327,000 (attributed deaths).

The Russian death total of 2,972 still looks extraordinarily low compared to the number of cases, which is the second highest in the work at over three hundred thousand.

Current totals for countries with the most cases;

An as usual Donald Trump is in the Covid news making weird claims, now suggesting that having the most cases is a ‘lead’  – Trump calls high number of cases in US a ‘badge of honour’

“By the way, you know, when you say that we lead in cases, that’s because we have more testing than anybody else. When we have a lot of cases, I don’t look at that as a bad thing. I look at that in a certain respect as being a good thing, because it means our testing is much better.

So, if we were testing a million people instead of 14 million people, it would have far few cases, right?

Of course they wouldn’t have fewer actual cases, but the would have fewer recorded cases.

“So, I view it as a badge of honour. Really, it’s a badge of honour”.

While the US has tested more people than any other country – actually 12,807,260 according to Worldometer, but they also have nearly three times as many deaths (94,181) as the next highest country – the UK currently has 35,074.

And the US testing rate per million population is 39th highest at 38k, with some countries much higher – Iceland has a test rate of 169k, and New Zealand is ranked 28th with 49k.

The Covid problems are far from over as the latest charts from Worldometer show:

 

 

The United States Space Force

They are really promoting a bit of space around Earth as ‘the final frontier’?

I’m not sure whom they are going to be forceful against, but I guess it allows Trump to claim to be the best leader ever of the inner Solar System, if not the Universe.

As powerful as Trump and the US want to be, they are currently struggling to fight off with the tiniest of threats (particles ranging from 0.06 to 0.14 microns), a virus from Earth.