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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 5/5/20

Trump's Personal Gain Trumps All

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From LA Progressive

Donald Trump
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Donald Trump has spent a lifetime exploiting chaos for personal gain and blaming others for his losses. The pure madness in America's response to the coronavirus pandemic shortages of equipment to protect hospital workers, dwindling supplies of ventilators and critical medications, jaw-dropping confusion over how $2.2 trillion of aid in the recent coronavirus law will be distributed has given him the perfect cover to hoard power and boost his chances of reelection.

He's told governors to find life-saving equipment on their own, claiming the federal government is "not a shipping clerk" and subsequently forcing states and cities into a ruthless bidding war.

Governors have been reduced to begging FEMA for supplies from the dwindling national stockpile, with vastly different results. While we haven't seen what "formula" FEMA supposedly has for determining who gets what, reports suggest that Trump's been promising things to governors who can get him on the phone.

Our narcissist-in-chief has ordered FEMA to circumvent their own process and send supplies to states that are "appreciative".

Michigan and Colorado have received fractions of what they need while Oklahoma and Kentucky have gotten more than what they asked for. Colorado and Massachusetts have confirmed shipments only to have them held back by FEMA. Ron DeSantis, the Trump-aligned governor of Florida, refused to order a shelter-in-place mandate for weeks, but then received 100% of requested supplies within three days. New Jersey waited for two weeks. New York now has more cases than any other single country, but Trump barely lifted a finger for his hometown because Governor Andrew Cuomo is "complaining" about the catastrophic lack of ventilators in the city.

A back-channel to the president is a shoe-in way to secure life-saving supplies. Personal flattery seems to be the most effective currency with Trump; the chain of command runs straight through his ego, and that's what the response has been coordinated around.

He claims that as president he has "total authority" over when to lift quarantine and social distancing guidelines, and threatens to adjourn Congress himself so as to push through political appointees without Senate confirmation.

And throughout all of this, Trump has been determined to reject any attempt of independent oversight into his administration's disastrous response.

When he signed the $2 trillion emergency relief package into law, he said he wouldn't agree to provisions in the bill for congressional oversight meaning the wheeling-and-dealing will be done in secret.

He has removed the inspector general leading the independent committee tasked with overseeing the implementation of the massive bill.

He appointed one of his own White House lawyers, who helped defend him in his impeachment trial, to oversee the distribution of the $500 billion slush fund for corporations. That same day, he fired Inspector General Michael Atkinson, the inspector general who handed the whistleblower complaint to Congress that ultimately led to Trump's impeachment.

There should never have been any doubt that Trump would try to use this crisis to improve his odds of re-election.

Stimulus checks going to the lowest-income earners were delayed because Trump demanded each one of them bear his name. As millions of the hardest-hit Americans scrambled to put food on the table and worried about the stack of bills piling up, Trump's chief concern was himself.

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Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, has a new film, "Inequality for All," to be released September 27. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.

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Private Citizen

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Donald Trump's Church of Greatness is a belief system (B.S.) Star Trek fans had The Borg. We got The Donald. Trump fears germs, yet his family comes from GERMany, where many Germans want to make great cars and drink great beer. Only Trump's pharmacist knows what makes him do what he does.

Corporations resemble The Donald. They're in business to make the most money for shareholders. Old pensioners are liabilities. Putting everyone in prison and to work is why Executive Orders are so great. Rent-to-Own judges always protect wealthy clients.

The Donald is at war with reality. Electile dysfunction is present. The Constitution needs competent legal counsel to whoop his a$$. Money is the root of all evil. Ask poor Catholic voters why.

Submitted on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 at 1:28:05 AM

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molly cruz

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Without a doubt, we have a deranged narcissist at our helm. But I have noticed from day one of the primary a lack of seriousness, a schizophrenia about his run and his administration. He never meant to win, and he doesn't have a clue how to lead, and in my opinion he's been "sucking around for a fat lip", since the start, to be excommunicated, to leave the nightmare of the barrage of insults, the sense of solitude that prompted him to bring his family into the White House, to be "yessed" to death for all his noble efforts to please every racist, beer swilling, gun toting born-again; those people to whom he promised the world but hasn't the nearest idea how to avoid abandoning for the sake of the "economy", whatever that is; because clearly, his whole life has been an illustration of his fathomless ignorance on that note.

In short, I don't believe he wants to be President, or ever did. He's taking his cues from whoever has been running this show since before he was elected. And by the way, THEY aren't going anywhere!

Submitted on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 at 6:00:54 PM

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