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Paul Krugman drops the mic on Trump and his pals for profiting from the atrocities he creates

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In an uncompromising column for the New York Times, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman accused Donald Trump and his enablers of personally profiting from the “atrocities” that are the end result of the president’s own policies.

Posing the question, “Is it cruelty, or is it corruption?” Krugman explained that all evidence points to a mixture of both.

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Starting with the president himself, Krugman writes, “Why is the administration providing cover for Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, who almost surely ordered the murder of The Washington Post’s Jamal Khashoggi? Part of the answer, probably, is that Donald Trump basically approves of the idea of killing critical journalists. But the money the Saudi monarchy spends at Trump properties is relevant, too.”

Calling the administration’s handling of immigrants seeking safety in the U.S. an “atrocity,” — and admonishing critics of the term by writing ” save the fake outrage. Yes, they are atrocities, and yes, the detention centers meet the historical definition of concentration camps” — Krugman called out the associates of Trump who are cashing in.

“A majority of detained migrants are being held in camps run by corporations with close ties to the Republican Party,” he charged. “And when I say close ties, we’re talking about personal rewards as well as campaign contributions. A couple of months ago John Kelly, Trump’s former chief of staff, joined the board of Caliburn International, which runs the infamous Homestead detention center for migrant children.”

Noting a trend towards the privatization of public services that began in the 1980’s, Krugman claimed the move opened the door for political corruption that has k reached its nadir on Trump.

“There’s no reason to presume that private firms will do a better job when there isn’t any competition, because the government itself is the sole customer. In fact, studies of privatization often find that it ends up costing more than having government employees do the work,” he explained. “Between campaign contributions and the revolving door, plus more outright bribery than we’d like to think, private contractors can engineer overpayment on a scale beyond the wildest dreams of public-sector unions.”

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“Many people have, I think, forgotten about the disastrous Bush administration occupation of Iraq, but the incompetence and abuses of politically connected private contractors, like Erik Prince’s security company Blackwater, played a major role in the debacle. Did I mention that Betsy DeVos, Trump’s secretary of education and a key defender of for-profit education, is Prince’s sister?” he wrote.

“It would, I think, be going too far to claim that the private-prison industry — merchants of detention? — has been a driving force behind the viciousness of Trump’s border policy,” he conceded. “But the fact that crony capitalists close to the administration profit from the viciousness surely greases the path.”

He then concluded, “As I suggested at the beginning, cruelty and corruption are intertwined in Trump administration policy. Every betrayal of American principles also seems, somehow, to produce financial benefits for Trump and his friends.”

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You can read the whole piece here.


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Protesters give Donald Trump a one-finger salute as Marine One flies over DC protests

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President Donald Trump returned to Washington, DC on Saturday as large crowds of protesters fill the city's streets.

Trump had flown to Florida to see the launch of the SpaceX Starship and returned as the sun was going down.

BuzzFeed News reporter Ellie Hall captured a picture of Marine One approaching the White House -- and being welcomed back to town with raised middle fingers.

Trump, in Marine One, just did a flyover of the protest area outside the White House.

Protesters flipped off the president’s helicopter.#dcprotest #MAGANIGHT #GeorgeFloydProtests pic.twitter.com/EMgCaOof1J

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Trump announces he has unilaterally decided to let Putin back into the G7 Summit: report

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President Donald Trump announced on Saturday that he intends to let Russia attend the next Group of Seven summit.

Since 2014, Russia's membership in the organization has been suspending in response to Vladimir Putin's annexation of Crimea. That changed the name from the G8 Summit to the G7 Summit.

The announcement came from pool reporter Gabby Orr of Politico, who said Trump will also invite South Korea, Australia and India to the next summit, which he is postponing until September.

More via pooler: “‘I don’t feel that as a G7 it properly represents what’s going on in the world. It’s a very outdated group of countries,’ he said. Alyssa Farah said this is bringing together our traditional allies to talk about how to deal with the future of China.”

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Seattle mayor imposes emergency curfew — set to begin only 14 minutes after her announcement

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The mayor of Seattle announced on Twitter that she would be signing an executive order imposing a curfew.

"I will soon be signing an emergency order and the city of Seattle will be imposing a 5 pm curfew soon," Durkin tweeted at 4:46 p.m. -- only 14 minutes before the order was set to go into effect.

"Crowds need to disburse from downtown immediately," she ordered.

"While many individuals gathered peaceful, some individuals have started fires and are destroying buildings. There are multiple fires downtown and it is an extremely dangerous situation. @Seattelfire (sic) does not have access to buildings," she continued.

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