As the week comes to an end, here’s what you need to know.
Trump spoke at a Ford factory in Michigan yesterday and in the middle of prepared remarks went off-script and said: “The company founded by a man named Henry Ford–good bloodlines, good bloodlines…if you believe in that stuff, you got good blood.” Henry Ford, an open anti-semite, was Hitler’s hero and every neo-Nazi in America knew exactly what Trump was talking about. And Trump knew it too. Each day he finds a new way to drag his presidency deeper into the sewer. Meanwhile, close to 95,000 Americans have died from Covid and counting, yet we still have no national, coordinated response. Just a president whose job is to tweet, whine, watch cable TV and run perpetually for office.
Trump also refused yet again to wear a mask in front of the cameras. There were two obvious reasons for this. One, he has always believed that rules and laws don’t apply to him; they’re for suckers and the little people. Two, he risked smearing his bronzer.
Weekly jobless claims were released yesterday and showed another 2.4 million Americans newly out of work, bringing the total since March 21st to 38.6 million, though a few of those workers have undoubtedly found new jobs since. A Stanford research team released an analysis that predicted as many as 42% of recent layoffs will result in permanent job loss. In other words, their job no longer exists and won’t be coming back. If true, the long term consequences for workers and the economy are dire.
We’re still more than a month away from domestic earnings season and our stock market is trading as if the majority of companies will be reporting decent profits. Investors understand that most publicly traded companies have been hurt by the pandemic, but nobody knows how badly hurt, so the market continues to be propelled by wishful thinking bordering on delusion. When companies start to report second quarter earnings in July, expect the bottom to fall out for a wide range of stocks.
China meanwhile dropped its economic growth target last night after a coronavirus breakout and subsequent lockdown in the northwest province of Jilin. The Chinese stock market responded by quickly dropping 5%.
After months of rumors, it looks like Trump will withdraw the United States from the Open Skies Treaty, which allows countries to launch un-armed reconnaissance missions over each other’s territory to track military and troop movements. It’s meant to build trust between hostile nations but of course Trump hates anything that smells of cooperation, and Trump especially hates any treaty that gives the US an advantage over Russia, which the Open Skies treaty does. General Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA, responded to the news on Twitter, saying, “This is insane.”
Senate Leader McConnell criticized the House of Representatives for being physically absent from Washington even though they’ve been meeting virtually. McConnell received instant pushback from Democratic Senators since he has done nothing lately to address the ongoing national health emergency while Speaker Pelosi and the House have passed a $3-trillion relief package that addresses catastrophic budget shortfalls suffered by the states. McConnell always has an open checkbook for his big-business and CEO pals–often the same ones that bankroll his political campaigns–but treats states differently. When big banks and industries lose billions, it’s the fault of the virus. When states lose billions, it’s the fault of the governors. Truly disgusting hypocrisy.
Lastly, Joe Biden made an appearance last night on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and even though Joe is far from a perfect person or candidate, it was heartening to see a politician who has the capacity for empathy and the humility to laugh at himself and admit there are plenty of things he doesn’t know.
Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”
Have a safe and restful weekend.