The virus is from China; the pandemic is homegrown.

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Every government below the U.S. on this graph is handling the pandemic better than the Trump administration

As of the time of this writing, the United States has more than 690,000 cases of COVID-19; more than Italy, Spain, Germany, and France—combined. So far, those cases have resulted in over 35,000 deaths — a greater loss of American life than 9/11, the American Revolution, the War on Terror, and by the time you read this it may have passed the Korean War (36,574).

The COVID-19 virus arose in China in late 2019, but the pandemic that is gripping our country, crushing our economy, and killing our citizens began much earlier.

The following is a timeline, both of the coronavirus and the administration’s failure to anticipate, react to, and take seriously the outbreak that will come to define the Trump Presidency. …

The mail is vital to our society and our democracy

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Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

The Postal Service is in danger. The change in the daily patterns of life brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic has hit USPS revenue especially hard, but Americans depend on the USPS more than ever in these troubled times. As a result, the Postal Service and its more-than-600,000 employees are looking at financial insolvency by September.

The federal government could do something to help, but President Trump refuses to do so. His administration has actually threatened to veto pandemic relief legislation if it helps the Post Office. Let me just say that again in larger type:

The Trump administration has threatened to veto pandemic relief legislation if it supports the Post Office. …

It took 70 days for the White House to take Covid19 seriously; in that time they squandered hundreds of thousands of American lives.

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Photo by Tai's Captures on Unsplash

There’s a story in the Washington Post that describes the failures that have brought the United States to the place we are now — a quarter-million COVID-19 cases and a thousand deaths a day. Those failures lay squarely at the feet of Donald Trump. As a president, as a leader, and as a person, he has failed the American people. His failure will cost more American their lives than our wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Korea, and Vietnam… combined.

Those Americans will be buried beneath the avalanche of Mr Trump’s failures: failure to heed CDC warnings about repatriating sick Americans, failure to properly quarantine repatriated COVID patients, failure to stockpile medical supplies, but most of all failure to act when they saw what was coming. …

The next month will be a bitter one and we must face it together separately.

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Graph from CovidActNow showing reduced hospitalizations in Pennsylvania as a result of #FlattenTheCurve policies.

For somehow this is tyranny’s disease, to trust no friends. — Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound

For a guy that lived more than 2500 years ago, Aeschylus was certainly prescient about our present reality of social distancing. Covid19 is spreading rapidly through the US population and while China has managed to get the disease under control, the United States is foundering in the deficits of our national leadership.

The numbers don’t lie. This is a hockey-stick-shaped curve. The further it rises the steeper it becomes. It is accelerating upwards. Already that fact and the numbers which they imply leave our minds numb with shock. …

No matter the nominee; this is the fight of our lives

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These do seem like dark times. The Senate’s refusal to actually try Trump’s impeachment, while hardly a surprise, confirms the suspicion that our institutions may not save us. McConnell’s announcement that he will hold a vote should another Supreme Court Justice step down heralds the possibility of a generational shift in the Court. Trump’s pardons for a raft of corrupt political grifters and would-be oligarchs hints at an accelerating rot in government and Attorney General Barr festers like a metastasizing cancer at the center of the once-independent justice department.

The Independent warns that the 2020 election may well be the last fair and free election of the American experiment. …

The killing of Soleimani showed us a new side of a criminal president

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Photo by hosein charbaghi on Unsplash

In the immediate aftermath of the drone strike that killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, the White House has argued that the strike was necessary because there was “specific information on an imminent threat, and those threats included attacks on U.S. embassies.” [Emphasis added]

That phrase “imminent threat” matters here. It triggers special rules in both U.S. and international law. In both cases, an imminent threat justifies the use of military force without declaration or authorization. That’s important because the United States didn’t declare war on Iran nor did the U.S. Congress authorize President Trump to use military force against Iran.

If there wasn’t an imminent threat, Trump’s targeting of Qasem Soleimani is in violation of U.S. …

War is a continuation of politics by other means

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Photo by zahra khalili on Unsplash

On Friday the United States military, at the express direction of the President, conducted a drone strike on General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Iranian Quds Force. Here’s what you need to know.

How important was Soleimani?

It’s fair to describe Soleimani as the second most powerful man in Iran. He held the title of “General” but that doesn’t quite cover it. The man at the top of Iran’s government is Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Soleimani reported directly to him and personally controlled the Iranian Quds force, which can be thought of as a hybrid between the Navy Seals and the CIA. …

You didn’t think this would be easy, did you?

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Photo by Joshua Sukoff on Unsplash

With a swing of Speaker Pesoli’s gavel, Donald Trump became the 3rd President to be impeached by the United States’ House of Representatives, a distinction he shares with Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton.

A little house-keeping, since there seems to be some confusion over this matter: impeachment is not removal. It’s like being indicted by a grand jury; it is a formal recognition that there needs to be a trial. …

What did your family fight about this Thanksgiving?

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Not as appropriative as it looks; if you’ve never seen the Addams Family Values you should check it out.

In one of Trump’s absurd rallies, the actual President of the actual United States said the following:

You know, some people want to change the name “Thanksgiving.” They don’t want to use the term “Thanksgiving.” And that was true also with Christmas, but now everybody’s using Christmas again.

As the official robotic hive-mind of the Vast, Liberal, Deep-State Conspiracy™, we here at Resistbot would like to formally note that this is not, and never has been, a thing. Really. …

That’s not real advocacy.

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Robo-phone from SNL

There’s a story you might have missed in The Hill which really lays bare the lengths Republicans are willing to go to in order to discredit the impeachment inquiry against President Trump.

You can read the entire story here but the crux of the matter is as follows

The RNC paid for about 11,000 calls to almost three dozen House Democrats to influence public opinion on the impeachment inquiry and clog the representatives’ phone lines…. Officials signaled the calls were automated and the goal was to jam the Democrats’ phone lines.

Now, here at Resistbot we know a thing or two about encouraging civic activism. Our mission, since the moment of our launch, has been to faithfully and conveniently allow constituents to communicate with their elected officials. Unlike the RNC, which only connected constituents who opposed the impeachment inquiry, Resistbot does not and never has restricted who we’ll connect to elected officials on the basis of politics. …


Chris Thomas

Resistbot chief policy wonk, coder, writer, drinker of coffee and builder of things

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