Friday, August 28, 2020

For the Record: Land of Greatness

Because it took a certain amount of greatness to watch some of the four-night extravaganza, which was even more boring than many had feared, with its relentless repetition of the four or five talking points and its deadly limitation on formats (person at the center of a stage rants to empty auditorium; person at the center of a tastefully curated background rants to camera; with the double climax Wednesday and Thursday of person at the center of a stage ranting to an audience uttering faint cries of approbation). So I did do a bunch of live tweeting last night, some of which contains some possibly useful information, and I'll try to lay some of that out.

On speaker Ann Dorn, widow of the 77-year-old African American retired St. Louis police captain David Dorn, who was murdered on 2 June, during the looting that occurred in the first couple of nights of protest over the killing of George Floyd, as he was watching out for a pawnshop owned by a friend, to express her support for Trump for offering "federal help to restore order in our communities" and for his recognition that "we need more Davids in our communities, not fewer" and that "we need to come together".

There's a wrinkle I've come to understand since then: that Ann is the daughters' stepmother, and is white, not that there's anything wrong with that. Also they've made some clearer statements of what they mean, like

Debra White, one of David Dorn’s daughters, told St. Louis American, “We know his wife is a Trump supporter, but he was not. He frequently said they were not able to talk about politics, because they were at the opposite ends of the spectrum. I know he would not want his legacy to be for his death to be used to further Trump’s law-and-order agenda.”

Lisa Dorn, another daughter, told the outlet, “Our father did not agree with many policies and actions of this president that are aimed at disenfranchising many Black and Brown people. Our father was a registered Democrat. He thought Trump is doing many things to ruin our country.” (via Heavy)

Dr. Ben Carson, secretary of Housing and Urban Development:

Former New York City mayor, occasional presidential candidate, and Rufus T. Firefly to Donald Trump's Gloria Teasdale, Rodolfo Giuliani, who was put on to denounce Bill de Blasio as an exemplar of the chaos we have to expect from a Biden presidency:

Via Understood that Bloomberg became a Republican to run for mayor in 2001, and an independent in 2007, and returned to the Democratic party only last year, in the interest of his own presidential run.

“Please remember that all the lawlessness is happening in Democrat cities run by Democrats sometimes for 40, 50 and 100 years,” Giuliani, a personal attorney for President Donald Trump, said in comments to reporters from the White House driveway on July 1. “There hasn’t been a Republican mayor there in forever, except for New York, and it was me, and I brought crime down 65%, and Bloomberg got it up to 75%. And right now, murder is up 58% under the ‘regressive’ Democrat mayor, who’s typical of Democrat mayors all over the country. They are a disaster. They’re a danger to their people.”

Giuliani is mixing two different statistics — comparing his statistics on overall “crime” with the number of murders under de Blasio’s watch. And his claim is misleading by both measures.

There has been a serious increase in shootings this year, as in a lot of large US cities, concomitant with the pandemic, and therefore in the murder rate. But it's not clear whether it's a trend or just a spike, and in any case, as FactCheck points out, it can't be the result of any de Blasio policies (ending the stop-and-frisk program and reemphasizing community policing), since more or less continued lowering crime rates for the past six years.

Arkansas senator Tom Cotton, lamenting the "cancel culture" which led him to cease to exist after The New York Times attached an editor's note to his fascist op-ed (advocating military occupation of our imaginary burning cities) regretting "that the essay fell short of our standards and should not have been published" but had not "undergone the highest level of scrutiny."

Alice Johnson, the African American cocaine trafficker (she only did it once, they say) Trump pardoned after the intercession of Ms. Kim Kardashian, proving he was the best friend of the Black community:

Trump also lightened up the convention by pardoning a guy on TV, live on tape, bank robber Jon Ponder, who founded the organization Hope For Prisoners Om Inc. (Charity Navigator Encompass rating of 75 or Pass—lost points because it hasn't had an independent audit) after his release, which I thought was the first time he'd pardoned a Black man who hadn't been dead since 1940.

Assistant to the President Ivanka Trump, introducing the boss, speaking from her deep personal awareness of what a friend he is to the working man:

He has admired and befriended construction workers on countless job sites, but it has been a new and profound experience for him and for me to see these stoic machinists and steelworkers come to him with a tear in their eye and thank him for being the only person willing to go to the mat for them, for their jobs, for their families and for their futures.

WNYC Radio's Andrea Bernstein, author of American Oligarchs: The Kushners, the Trumps, and the Marriage of Money and Power, of which the paperback edition is about to descend, caught her making a more elaborate fiction:

This spring, our president saw that American crops were going to waste because food supply chains were disrupted by the virus. He directed Secretary Perdue and me to find a way to get this nutritious food, fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy, to families most in need. Within a matter of days, we launched the Farmers to Family Food Box Program, which has now delivered over 100 million meals into the hands of American families.

And of course Donald himself:

Couldn't believe this bizarre locution:

This was more predictable:

Last month, I took on big pharma. You think that’s easy? It’s not. And signed orders that would massively lower the cost of your prescription drugs and give critically ill patients access to lifesaving cures. We passed the decades-long-awaited right to try, right to try.

We have conducted 40 million more tests then the next closest nation, which is India. We developed a wide array of effective treatments, including a powerful antibody treatment known as convalescent plasma. You saw that? On Sunday night when we announced it. That will save thousands and thousands of lives. Thanks to advancements, we have pioneered the fatality rates, and you look at it, and you look at the numbers, it has been reduced by 80 percent since April — 80 percent.

The United States has among the lowest case fatality rates of any major country anywhere in the world. The European Union’s case fatality rate is nearly three times higher than ours, but you don’t hear that. They do not write about that.

But I didn't last much longer than that: For entertainment purposes, it was too much Miller and not enough Donald.

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