In an uncharacteristically blunt column for the New York Times, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman declared President Trump “Mad King Donald” and said his refusal to take the coronavirus pandemic seriously will only lead to more needless deaths for at least the next six months.
Admitting that he feels like Americans, including himself, are trapped on the Titanic he described the president as “a madman who insists on steering straight for the iceberg” and those around him as being too fearful to take the wheel and avert disaster.
According to Krugman, what is happening, with “daily new cases of Covid-19 are running two and a half times as high as in early June” was entirely predictable and that a “normal president and a normal political party would be horrified by this turn of events.”
“Trump, who began his presidency with a lurid, fact-challenged rant about ‘American carnage,’ seems completely untroubled by the toll from a pandemic that seems certain to kill more Americans than were murdered over the whole of the past decade,” Krugman wrote before expressing dismay that now the president want to force schools to open over the advice of his own CDC.
According to the economist, there can be only one reason why the president is encouraging behavior and policies that are not only putting people at risk, but are also resulting in furthering the spread of COVID-19.
“Clearly, Trump and those around him don’t care very much how many Americans die or suffer lasting damage from Covid-19, as long as the politics work in their favor. But this cynicism is wrapped in multiple layers of delusion,” he wrote before adding, “Until early 2020, Trump led a charmed political life”‘ where he was never faced with a crisis.
“Then came Covid-19,” he explained. “Another president might have seen the pandemic as a crisis to be dealt with. But that thought never seems to have crossed Trump’s mind. Instead, he has spent the past five months trying to will us back to where we were in February, when he was sitting on top of a moving train and pretending that he was driving it.”
According to Krugman, the president is highly unlikely to admit that he made, and has continued to make mistakes, in responding to the health crisis and, because of that, the death total is going to soar.
Writing, “Incredibly, even as hospitalizations climb he’s still insisting that the rise in reported cases is just an illusion created by more testing,” Krugman asked what can be done in the face of the Trump-led disaster.
“Trump has another six months in office (if he’s still there after Jan. 20, God help us all). And it’s now clear that he won’t change course, no matter how bad the pandemic gets. As I said, we’re all passengers at the mercy of a mad captain determined to wreck his ship,” he wrote before concluding, “But a lot more Americans are going to die. And if Joe Biden becomes president, he, like Obama 12 years ago, is going to take the helm of a nation in a deep crisis.”
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‘Truly grotesque’: On way out the door, Trump prioritizes bringing back executions by firing squad and electrocution
Among the slew of potentially destructive policy changes the Trump administration is rushing to implement on its way out of power is a rule that would authorize the return of electrocutions and firing squads for federal executions, an effort critics slammed as a twisted priority amid deadly public health and economic crises.
ProPublica reported Wednesday that the rule, first published in the Federal Register by the U.S. Justice Department in August, "has raced through the process with little notice but unusual speed—and deadly consequences."
"This rule could reintroduce firing squads and electrocutions for federal executions, giving the government more options for administering capital punishment as drugs used in lethal injections become unavailable," ProPublica noted. "The Justice Department surfaced the proposal in August and accepted public comments for only 30 days, instead of the usual 60. The rule cleared White House review on Nov. 6, meaning it could be finalized any day."
Americans ‘won’t stand’ for election results not being honored: Biden
US President-elect Joe Biden said Wednesday that Americans "won't stand" for the results of the November 3 election not being honored.
"Our democracy was tested this year," Biden said in a Thanksgiving Day address in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware. "And what we learned is this: The people of this nation are up to the task.
"In America, we have full and fair and free elections, and then we honor the results," he said. "The people of this nation and the laws of the land won't stand for anything else."
Biden did not mention Donald Trump by name but he was clearly referring to the president's refusal to accept the results of the election.
The strange truth about our Trump addiction
Are we addicted to Donald Trump? It's a question that's haunting journalists and political commentators, most of whom hate Trump but cannot deny that his name drives traffic and ratings. Even though Trump lost the election and Joe Biden will be the next president, Trump continues to be the big attention draw for political websites and cable news networks.
Part of that is completely understandable. Trump is still big news. He literally spent the past few weeks attempting a coup. While he failed, that doesn't change the history-making fact that he even tried, or that he got so much support. Certainly Biden, whose main activity is finding boring-but-competent people to staff his administration, can't compete with that, and there's no real indication that he wants to. (Unlike Trump, Biden views governing as a job and not just an opportunity to get attention.)