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Trump and Ben Carson: King and court jester of our new Idiocracy

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Donald Trump is the leader of the American kakistocracy — a term that means rule by the stupid, ignorant, lazy and profoundly incompetent. Sophia A. McClennen predicted this accurately in a Salon essay published a full month before Trump was inaugurated. As business professor André Spicer described it in a Guardian op-ed, a kakistocracy is “the wicked disorder that can result when expertise and ethical judgment are aggressively and systematically pushed aside.”

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On Wednesday, in keeping with his ceremonial duties as king of the kakistocrats, Donald Trump stood at a lectern in the Rose Garden after reportedly throwing a temper tantrum during a (very brief) meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Trump proclaimed, “I don’t do cover-ups” and announced that there would no trillion-dollar infrastructure bill as long as Democrats in Congress dared to investigate him.

Along with the seal of the President of the United States, Trump’s lectern was festooned with a placard that read “no collusion” and “no obstruction,” and included other supposedly favorable details about Robert Mueller’s investigation, at least as massaged and misrepresented by Attorney General William Barr.

The net effect of Trump’s press conference was akin to a scene from Mike Judge’s satire “Idiocracy” but with one key difference: Judge’s fictional President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho is more intelligent than Donald Trump, possesses more charisma and after his own fashion actually cares about the welfare of the United States.

Given his horrible public and private behavior and his gross defects in character and morals, Donald Trump’s “no collusion, no obstruction” is the political equivalent of an attorney asking a defendant in court, “When did you stop beating your wife?” That the president of the United States must repeatedly deny engaging in criminal behavior is a de facto confession to virtually everything Trump has been accused of doing.

On Wednesday, in keeping with his ceremonial duties as king of the kakistocrats, Donald Trump stood at a lectern in the Rose Garden after reportedly throwing a temper tantrum during a (very brief) meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Trump proclaimed, “I don’t do cover-ups” and announced that there would no trillion-dollar infrastructure bill as long as Democrats in Congress dared to investigate him.

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Along with the seal of the President of the United States, Trump’s lectern was festooned with a placard that read “no collusion” and “no obstruction,” and included other supposedly favorable details about Robert Mueller’s investigation, at least as massaged and misrepresented by Attorney General William Barr.

The net effect of Trump’s press conference was akin to a scene from Mike Judge’s satire “Idiocracy” but with one key difference: Judge’s fictional President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho is more intelligent than Donald Trump, possesses more charisma and after his own fashion actually cares about the welfare of the United States.

Given his horrible public and private behavior and his gross defects in character and morals, Donald Trump’s “no collusion, no obstruction” is the political equivalent of an attorney asking a defendant in court, “When did you stop beating your wife?” That the president of the United States must repeatedly deny engaging in criminal behavior is a de facto confession to virtually everything Trump has been accused of doing.

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ABC News had the goods on Jeffrey Epstein years ago — and killed the story

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Multimillionaire predator Jeffrey Epstein died in suspicious circumstances at a Manhattan correctional facility on Aug. 10. The wealthy and powerful New York financier, a convicted sex offender, stands accused by dozens of women and girls of trafficking, rape and sexual abuse. He was an enormously influential and well-connected man who counted as friends billionaire business ownersHollywood starsBritish royals, and even top media figures like Katie Couric and Charlie Rose — with some of his associates falling under suspicion of condoning or even participating in a pedophile ring.

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Child killed as quake strikes southern Philippines

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A powerful earthquake hit the southern Philippine island of Mindanao on Sunday, killing a child, injuring dozens and damaging buildings in an area still recovering from a string of deadly quakes in October.

Police said a rescue operation had been launched at a heavily damaged market building in Padada near the 6.8 magnitude quake's epicentre, which is about 90 kilometres (55 miles) south of the major city of Davao.

Patients were evacuated from hospitals as a precaution and nervous crowds massed outside shopping malls after the jolt and dozens of smaller, but strong aftershocks.

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50 bodies unearthed from Mexican mass grave

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The bodies of at least 50 people have been unearthed from a mass grave at a farm outside Mexico's western city of Guadalajara, local authorities said.

The grim site was discovered just over three weeks ago in Jalisco -- a state hard-hit by violence linked to organized crime.

The local prosecutor's office said Saturday 13 of the dead -- 12 men and a woman -- have been identified and the remains given to their families.

The process of identifying more of the victims and how they died will continue, it added.

A mass grave with 34 bodies was discovered in a suburb of Guadalajara on September 3, while another was found nearby in May with the remains of 30 people.

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