More generals came forward yesterday to criticize Trump photo-op stunt last Monday that involved attacking peaceful protesters. Critics also lambasted the emergence of unmarked “troops” in DC who stand guard around the White House, conjuring notions of secret police. Rumors circulated yesterday that the officers reported to AG Barr and were both prison guards and members of ICE. Speaker Pelosi wrote a letter to Trump yesterday expressing concern over the “militarization” of DC and asking for for a list of federal agencies who were involved in policing the nation’s capital, and last night the mayor of DC announced that the troops could no longer stay in private hotels in the city as that would violate the Constitution.
Along with Esper, Mattis and Mullen, the latest military officers to speak out against Trump’s use of the military include General Dempsey, General Hayden, General Thomas, General Silveria and General Goldfein. Here’s an excellent article and summary by Fred Kaplan in Slate:
Trump has long assumed the military was “with him” and often referred to “my Generals” but the current situation casts grave doubt on that assumption. Military officers take their oaths seriously and can only rise through the ranks if they have respect for civilian authority and some measure of humility. To be used by the president in such a blatantly political and unsavory way is clearly creating a lot of anger and alarm among our military, as it should.
Meanwhile, large protests continued across the nation yesterday, and while the vast majority were peaceful and without incident, social media was full of videos of police brutalizing seemingly harmless and peaceful protesters. The looting and destruction of property seems to have ebbed, but anger at the police has not, and the actions of some cops are not helping. It’s almost as if the script has gone like this:
- Protesters: “Police abuse black citizens, as the death of George Floyd confirms.”
- Police: “It’s only a few bad apples.”
- Protesters: “That’s not true, and we’re protesting to force a systemic change.”
- Police: “We will prove our point by beating you with our batons.”
Protest leaders have done an increasingly good job of keeping protesters calm and peaceful–although peaceful doesn’t mean timid, and a person can be peaceful and angry at the same time, which is perfectly legal. But certain police seem intent on beating up and brutalizing protesters, which adds fuel to calls for policing reforms like those being drafted by Senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris. You can read the framework for their proposed changes here:
Many lawmakers have been publicly discussing measures to de-militarize our local police forces, and some have been drafting legislation to require all law enforcement agents, including those in the ‘District of Columbia to wear agency insignia and ID, which it seems clear we need in light of Barr’s secret goon squad.
Trump’s sabre rattling, abusive photo-ops, and fear-mongering about the virtually non-existent “Antifa” are merely distractions from his catastrophically failed presidency. Covid continues to spread, with 110,000 now dead and close to 2M infected, and new areas are becoming hotspots. Another 1.8M jobless claims were announced yesterday for the preceding week, making a total of 43M losing work (though a few have been re-employed) since the lockdown began. In the past few weeks Trump and his regime have done NOTHING to address these historic calamities, and things will only get worse before they get better. Fortunately, Trump’s abysmal performance is finally showing up in the polls. As reported in WaPo, a new poll from Public Religion Research Institute shows only 41% view Trump favorably, and among Republicans, his favorability has slipped from 90% in April to 83% now. He’s lost big ground among white voters with a college degree, too. Here’s the article by Greg Sargent:
On the subject of the pandemic, here’s a fascinating article suggesting that some medical experts now think Covid-19 is not a respiratory virus but actually a vascular virus that enters primarily through your lungs. This would explain why people most at risk of dying are those with cardiovascular issues and immune deficiencies. The article references a research paper published in the Lancet that is also a fascinating, though technical, read.
Have a safe and peaceful weekend.
Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”