Reading Attack | Trump’s Empty Arena | Nursing Home Corruption
June 22, 2020
“[President Lyndon Baines] Johnson came up with his own explanation for what happened in America during his Presidency [race riots]: “I’ve moved the Negro from D+ to C-. He’s still nowhere. He knows it. And that’s why he’s out in the streets. Hell, I’d be there, too.”
“Past efforts have not carried the commitment, will or resources needed to eliminate the attitudes and practices that have maintained racism as a major force in our society. Only the dedication of every citizen can generate a single American identity and a single American community.”
– Jill Lepore, The Riot Report: What government commissions say about protests for racial justice
Daily Pnut’s TIm has finished reading the latest edition of The New Yorker (I so much prefer physical reading than digital reading) that has a great cover and includes the article above. If you want his copy and don’t have the means to pay for one, then please email us at email@example.com along with your address and we’ll mail you the edition. There’s only one copy and unfortunately we can’t turn “five loaves and two fishes” into many copies of the New Yorker magazine.
The Man in the (Empty) Arena
(Win McNamee via Getty Images)
Organizers for President Trump’s first campaign rally in three months claimed that almost one million people had requested tickets to the spectacle set to unfold Saturday evening — despite all medical advice and common sense to the contrary — inside Tulsa’s 19,000-seat Bank of Oklahoma Center. To accommodate his anticipated record-setting rally crowd, Trump crowed about possibly commandeering the 40,000 seat convention hall next door, saying: “We’ve never had an empty seat, and we certainly won’t in Oklahoma.”
An hour-long address was scheduled, but Trump spent almost two hours touting his successes, reprising his usual grievances and fanning the culture war flames currently igniting the nation, including racial justice and law enforcement. His hungry base feasted on the verbal red meat, yet none of the president’s new attack lines against Joe Biden seemed to animate supporters like his 2016 attacks on Hillary Clinton.
Afterward, Trump was said to be furious over the much-smaller-than-hoped turnout, which the Tulsa fire marshal placed at less than 6,200 attendees. It was an embarrassing misstep for a candidate who places such a premium on crowd size.
Adding insult to injury, the family of the late Tom Petty filed a cease and desist notice to the Trump campaign after Petty’s 1989 hit “I Won’t Back Down” was played at the rally. The family tweeted that use of the song was “in no way authorized,” that both the late singer and his family opposed “racism and discrimination of any kind,” and that “Tom Petty would never want a song of his used for a campaign of hate. He liked to bring people together.” The family added that while they stand for America and democracy, they believe Trump does not represent “noble ideals of either.”
- Trump’s ‘kidding’ on testing exposes his negligence as virus spikes (CNN)
- Trump rally highlights vulnerabilities heading into election (AP News)
- TikTok Teens Tank Trump Rally in Tulsa, They Say (NYT, $)
- The President’s Shock at the Rows of Empty Seats in Tulsa (NYT, $)
- In the UK, three people were stabbed to death and three others were seriously wounded on Saturday as they enjoyed a summer evening at Forbury Gardens park in Reading, a town about 40 miles west of London.
- Police, who consider the carnage a terrorist attack, apprehended a single suspect they haven’t yet identified. Britain’s national news agency and other media outlets said the man was 25-year-old Khairi Saadallah, a Libyan asylum-seeker living in Reading. The BBC reported that Saadallah was investigated last year by British services over concerns he planned to travel abroad to join a jihadi group.
- At that time, Saadallah was found not to be a major threat. But a Reading man of the same name and age as the suspect was sentenced in 2019 to two months in prison for assaulting an emergency worker; he was also charged with assaulting the judge who had sentenced him.
- In recent years, Britain has been hit with several terror attacks inspired by both Islamic State groups and far-right extremists. The country’s official terrorism threat level remains at “substantial” — the middle rung on a five-rung scale — meaning an attack is likely. (AP)
- Formerly wealthy Lebanese families that can no longer afford to pay their servants are dumping them outside the Ethiopian Embassy in Beirut. Dozens of penniless Ethiopian maids have been forced to sleep on the pavement because the embassy won’t let them inside.
- A large portion of Lebanon’s 250,000 migrant workers are employed as domestic staff in middle-class households, many of which can no longer pay the workers’ salaries thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and numerous months of anti-government protests.
- Lebanon is facing a severe economic downturn, with its currency losing 70 percent of its value since October. Unemployment is skyrocketing and savings evaporating, yet the price of some essential goods has tripled.
- The first group of 34 women dumped by employers outside the embassy were taken to a shelter last week. But as word has spread around Beirut, dozens more workers have been dropped off since, left to sleep on the pavement outside the embassy. (Business Insider)
Additional World News
- US-Russia nuclear disarmament talks to begin, but no sign of China joining in (Guardian)
- EU and China to seek to cool tensions at video summit (Reuters)
- Will India Side With the West Against China? A Test May Be at Hand. (NYT, $)
- Zimbabwe anti-corruption body starts audit of the rich (BBC)
- Israeli spyware used to target Moroccan journalist, Amnesty claims (Guardian)
- As Annexation Looms, Israeli Experts Warn of Security Risks (NYT, $)
- Yemen crisis: Separatists take over ‘Galapagos of Indian Ocean’ (BBC)
- Hundreds run riot in Stuttgart city centre after drug checks (Guardian)
- Why Japan’s Jobless Rate Is Just 2.6% While the U.S.’s Has Soared (NYT, $)
- Coronavirus: Brazil becomes second country to pass 50,000 deaths (BBC)
- 8 Hospitals in 15 Hours: A Pregnant Woman’s Crisis in the Pandemic (NYT, $) & Are more women dying of Covid-19 in India? (BBC)
- China Suspends Poultry Imports From Tyson Foods Plant In Arkansas (NPR)
- December deaths of California kids could be linked to coronavirus (LA Times)
- W.H.O. Warns of ‘Dangerous Phase’ of Pandemic as Outbreaks Widen (NYT, $)
- As Some Areas Lift Limits, Others Reimpose Them (NYT, $)
- Experts abroad watch US coronavirus case numbers with alarm (WaPo, $)
- Chances are, most of your Pride plans have been canceled this year. But giving back to the LGBTQ+ community? That’s still 100% on.
- With the Bombas Pride Collection, it’s easier than ever to show your Pride and make a difference in the lives of young LGBTQ+ people. That’s because these socks give back to those in need.
- For every pair you purchase, Bombas will donate a pair to someone experiencing homelessness in the LGBTQ+ community through The Ally Coalition.
- A super fun tie-dye pair for you, a super comfortable pair for someone who needs it. Now that’s something to be proud of. At Daily Pnut we love Bombas socks not just because they create comfortable and stylish socks but just as importantly, they really do care about helping others. Shop the Bombas Pride Collection now and use code PNUT for 20% off your first purchase.
Nursing Home Corruption
(Alvaro Calvo via Getty Images)
- Nearly 40 percent of coronavirus-related deaths in America have occurred in nursing homes and long-term care facilities; this number includes both patients and employees. Despite these deaths, the facilities have also taken on COVID-19 patients, not only to ease the burden on overwhelmed hospitals, but sometimes to help their bottom lines.
- Federal rules allow these facilities to involuntarily discharge a patient, provided the institution places the patient in a safe location and gives them at least 30 days notice before forcing them to leave. But according to watchdogs in 16 states, and dozens of elder-care lawyers, social workers and former nursing home executives, that’s not what’s happening — older and disabled Medicaid residents are being kicked out and shunted to homeless shelters, rundown motels and other unsafe locations to free up space for coronavirus stricken patients covered by Medicare or private insurance.
- Long before the pandemic, nursing homes had an incentive to evict poorer Medicaid patients in favor of those who had insurance plans that reimburse the facilities at a higher rate. More than 10,000 residents and their families complained to watchdogs about being discharged in 2018, the last year the data was available. Sadly, and possibly illegally, COVID-19 has exacerbated the situation. (NYT)
- Nursing Homes Struggle To Fill Shifts When Unemployment Checks Exceed Paychecks (NPR). The US healthcare system is horribly flawed when compared with the systems of other countries. Caretakers earning more on unemployment than while working is just one more symptom of the broken medical industry in the US.
- What COVID-19 is teaching us about how to reform Medicare (Reuters)
- A Deal to Save Medicaid, the Unemployed and State Budgets (NYT, $)
NoFundMe: The Complications of Grassroots Funding
- In the wake of nationwide civil unrest, online fundraising campaigns have become an integral tool in the greater Black Lives Matter movement. With millions of concerned citizens eager to partake in some form of activism, the constant sharing of grassroots fundraisers has come to define social media in recent weeks.However, make sure to do your research before sending money to just any organization asking for your money. As recent GoFundMe confusion demonstrates, there are opportunists aplenty looking to capitalize on well-intentioned donations.
- Take the Black Lives Matter Foundation in Santa Clarita, California. While it’s name would suggest an affiliation with the worldwide movement calling to defund the police and bring justice to Black Americans, the foundation is looking to do just the opposite.
- Robert Ray Barnes, the founder of the non-profit, started the foundation in order to establish a sense of unity between disaffected Americans and the police. Barnes claims that he originated the term “Black Lives Matter,” and contends that he has nothing to do with the international movement. While this discrepancy seems trivial, the viral online response to the murder of George Floyd brought in big donations to Barnes’ pro-police initiative. Tech giants like Google, Apple, and Microsoft all promised to match millions of dollars in donations — all under the assumption that the Black Lives Matter Foundation was in cahoots with the greater global network.
- Thousands of unsuspecting individuals also fell prey to the foundation’s deceptive fundraising tactics, causing grassroots sites to freeze donations as they try to sort out the massive confusion surrounding the dubiously named campaign.
- This charitable headache serves as yet another reminder to be conscious of the causes you support, because you never know when a GoFundMe can turn into a NoFundMe. (BuzzFeed News)
Additional US News
- Trump expected to extend limits on foreign workers (Politico)
- Vast Federal Aid Has Capped Rise in Poverty, Studies Find (NYT, $)
- Jail Only Allowed White Staff to Guard Ex-Officer Charged With Killing George Floyd (NYT, $)
- Trump held off China sanctions over Xinjiang to protect trade deal (Guardian)
- Trump Fired Her Boss. Now Low-Profile Deputy Steps Into Spotlight. (NYT, $)
- The pandemic has cities rethinking public transit (Popular Science)
- Trump’s 3-Point Plan to Win in 2020 (Atlantic, $)
- Trump allies see a mounting threat: Biden’s rising evangelical support (Politico)
- Inside the Trump Administration’s Decision to Leave the World Health Organization (ProPublica)
Black Lives Matter
- The Barricades That Let Urban Inequality Fester (Atlantic)
- Remembering ‘Red Summer,’ when white mobs massacred Blacks from Tulsa to DC (National Geographic)
- The Tulsa Race Massacre, Revisited (NYT, $)
- Black Tulsans, With a Defiant Juneteenth Celebration, Send a Message to Trump (NYT, $)
- Virtual Poor People’s Campaign Puts Inequality At The Center (NPR)
- Why Is the G.O.P. Fighting to Preserve Monuments to Traitors in the Capitol? (NYT, $)
- Public Employees Are Accused of Vandalizing Black Lives Matter Sign (NYT, $)
- Asked repeatedly to say ‘Black lives matter,’ Mike Pence says ‘all lives matter’ (CNN)
- Associated Press changes influential style guide to capitalize ‘Black’ (Guardian)
Diamonds Aren’t Forever
- It’s no secret that coronavirus has rocked every seemingly stable industry to its core, but perhaps no business model has been fractured quite like the world’s diamond suppliers at De Beers and Alrosa. The duopolistic world of diamond mining is being truly tested for toughness, as prices remain stubbornly high while consumer demand withers away.
- For years the world leaders in uncut diamonds boasted a firm grasp of the market, with the mining firms exhibiting total control over both customers and sales prices. One must first apply to a waiting-list, and then attend a private, week-long sale in order to purchase the precious gems. You can get away with such exclusive practices when demand is high, but COVID-19 only exacerbates what was already a down-year for the mineral magnates.
- With jewelry stores shuttered nationwide and diamond demand at a standstill, De Beers and Alrosa are desperate to find buyers in a market lacking the liquidity for such luxury investments. One’s natural instinct may be to lower long-standing prices, a tactic employed by some of the big two’s smaller competitors. However, both firms are refusing to budge on any diamond-in-the-rough pricing.
- Their inflexibility comes out of an allegiance to their long-term customers, but it may prove costly as the pandemic persists. As it becomes harder and harder to find buyers, expect both De Beers and Alrosa to consider caving to their competitors. Experts predict that a significant drop in diamond pricing could jeopardize the entire industry, causing an economic implosion for miners, middlemen, and magnates alike.
- Stonehenge: Neolithic monument found near sacred site (BBC)
- European Football Clubs Are Turning to AI for an Assist (Wired, $)
- Happy Father’s Day to All the Fish Dads Underwater (NYT, $)
- Why you should go animal-free: 18 arguments for eating meat debunked (Guardian)
- Poker Taught Me How to Deal With the Hand of Fate (NYT, $)
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