Mattis chooses America over Trump
Hello, everyone! Welcome to the new edition of
Please take a moment to complete the following three-minute survey so that we can better deliver you Insider in your inbox.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"True, honest, necessary and overdue." — Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, on
BLODGET & PLOTZ
General Mattis makes a choice many Americans may have to make: America...or Trump?
President Trump's former secretary of defense, Marine Corps General James Mattis, finally broke his silence and torched Trump in a statement. "In Union there is strength," Mattis began. He said Trump is the first president in his lifetime who actively tries to divide the country and suggested Trump's actions "make a mockery of our Constitution."
In the wake of Trump's forcefully driving peaceful protesters out of a park and summoning military helicopters and mysterious security forces to DC to harass and "dominate," some American military leaders have finally spoken out.
In doing so, they have made a choice that other Americans may soon have to make — namely, to declare their loyalty to either the United States of America... or Trump.
For most of the past three years, the survival strategy used by many Republicans, administration officials, and military brass who are—or should be—appalled by Trump's words and behavior has been to remain silent, thus preserving their neutrality and keeping their options open.
But as Trump increasingly acts like a fascist, in addition to just talking like one, the "silence" strategy is becoming less tenable. And more US leaders are concluding that it's better to speak up and speak out before the country slides into a dictatorship.
Principles and the Constitution aside, these Americans also have personal interests at stake.
If Trump succeeds in seizing full control of the US government and military, as successful authoritarians have done, people who came out against him will be in a dangerous place.
On the other hand, if America rights itself and saves itself, history may judge those who did NOT speak out as traitorous Trump accomplices.
So Americans whose moral compasses don't make this decision for them can always default to their personal career and life interests. Specifically, they can choose the side they think will win.
A historical caveat for those who think it's smarter to support Trump because of the power and privilege that he will bestow on them if he wins… Would-be authoritarians, including Trump, care most about preserving their own power. And they don't hesitate to purge those in whom they detect even a hint of disloyalty or threat.
History is littered with the corpses of people who picked the winners of these power struggles and then later fell out of favor.
So even those who don't care about the US Constitution and assume they'll be better off under Trump might want to reassess that.
America might not only be the more admirable and inspiring choice. It might be the safer bet. — HB
DC is being patrolled by officers with no uniforms, insignia, and nameplates. That's dangerous.
What's your name and badge number?
This question marks a key difference between a police state and a functioning democracy. In a police state, government authorities can secretly interrogate, detain, and punish citizens under a veil of secrecy, where those being punished never know who's doing the punishing, and can't even ask.
In a democracy, law enforcement officers (with exceptions for undercover work) must show identification when asked, so that citizens can trust they're true agents of the state, and have recourse to complain if they're abused.
But in the past couple of days, unidentified armed enforcement officers have fanned out across Washington, DC. They're not wearing standard uniforms. Their clothes lack insignia. They don't have nameplates. When asked where they're from, they say only "Department of Justice." Digital sleuthing suggests they're Bureau of Prisons riot officers.
But who can say for sure? Perhaps they're not with the government at all. Perhaps they're pro-Trump paramilitaries. How do citizens know they should obey orders from unmarked armed security forces? What will happen if they disobey? Will their rights be protected? And what's to stop some heavily armed civilians from dressing up the same way and ordering citizens around? — DP
Trump's "game-changer" coronavirus drug doesn't help protect you from getting COVID-19. That's the conclusion of a preliminary study that looked specifically at the question of whether hydroxychloroquine can help prevent infection, which became relevant after President Trump claimed he was taking the drug. Insider's Andy Dunn has the details.
But… a study that previously concluded that the same drug, hydroxychloroquine, is dangerous has also now been called into question. The World Health Organization, in fact, is now resuming HCQ trials it stopped after the study came out. So there was something for both sides in the ongoing battle over the effectiveness and risks of HCQ.
The Administration took a while to respond to the coronavirus, but, wow, is it moving fast to build fences around the White House. Pictures of the fences are appearing on Twitter. They're fencing off areas that have long been public.
Los Angeles mayor proposes to cut $150 million from LAPD budget. Just days ago Eric Garcetti had proposed adding $122 million to the police budget, but now he wants the LAPD to take the lion's share of a $250 million city budget cut. This aligns with demands of George Floyd protesters, who've made a top priority of reallocating government spending from cops to communities, schools, and health.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Nearly half of commercial retail rents were unpaid in April and May. Businesses as big as H&M and the Gap paid zero rent in May; even Starbucks is demanding rent concessions, and entertainment venues like movie theaters and concert halls are at their wit's end. The short rents will careen through the
Fewer than half of black Americans were employed in April. The BLS employment numbers, horrible for all groups, are catastrophic for black Americans. Another study found that African Americans are 11.9% of the workforce, but represent 17% of frontline workers more likely to be exposed to COVID-19.
So many celebrities and athletes are speaking out about George Floyd and police violence. Coco Gauff: "If you're choosing silence, you're choosing the side of the oppressor." Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson called out Trump for his protest response. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees said he would never agree with "anybody disrespecting the flag," prompting his teammate Malcolm Jenkins to tell him that "people who share your sentiments are the problem."
You can't travel but...You could recreate an entire trip, complete with TSA agent, ground crew, and inflatable plane, like this woman did.
How common baking mistakes will affect your banana bread. Insider's Rachel Askinasi took the same banana bread recipe, and screwed it up 12 different ways — packed the flour, didn't melt the butter — etc.
Far-right "boogaloo bois" are showing up at George Floyd protests heavily armed and wearing Hawaiian shirts. They're trying to accelerate a civil war and a race war. Three of them were arrested in Las Vegas for trying to incite violence.
8 things that surprised me about moving from the US to the UK. Such as, the grocery store layouts make no sense.
*The most popular stories on Insider today.
- Rishi Sunak says he would rather lose than win on a false promise
- Flood-hit Kerala villages to launch digi-lockers to keep their valuables safe
- UP hospitals to now have dedicated wards for transgenders
- Aviation regulator removes upper and lower limits on airfares
- This startup offers ‘super’ healthy snacks for the price of Lay’s, Kurkure