Trump’s Lost Months Are Killing Us. Here’s How to Make Them Politically Fatal for Him.

Win McNamee/Getty

Will President Trump escape accountability in November for the worst crisis leadership in American history? It depends on how strongly and cogently the rest of us frame the true historical record.

In his February 5 State of the Union Address, Trump said of the spreading coronavirus, “My administration will take all necessary steps to safeguard our citizens from this threat.” This did not happen. 

“Necessary steps” were not taken; “safeguards” were neglected. Tens if not hundreds of thousand of Americans will die unnecessarily as a direct result of the president’s negligence. 

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Trump Rages at Critics at Coronavirus Press Conference

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty

President Donald Trump on Saturday spent much of his daily press briefing on the coronavirus raging against perceived enemies, from the media, to the Ukraine whistleblower, to the recently ousted commander of a Navy aircraft carrier. 

On the same day the U.S. death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic surpassed 8,000, Trump opened the briefing with a slam at the media, which he accused of “spreading false rumors.” 

“Get this over with, then go back to your fake news,” Trump said. 

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‘My Everything’: Husband of Robert F. Kennedy’s Granddaughter Recounts Tragic Drowning

Facebook/David McKean

Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean’s husband has posted a heartbreaking tribute to his wife—the granddaughter of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy—and the couple’s child, who went missing in the Chesapeake Bay Thursday afternoon.

The family announced Friday that the Coast Guard suspended the rescue effort for McKean, 40, and son Gideon, 8, who disappeared after paddling a canoe out into the bay. The effort to recover their remains is ongoing.

“The search that began yesterday afternoon went on throughout the night and continued all day today,” McKean’s husband, David McKean, wrote in a Facebook post late Friday. “It is now dark again. It has been more than 24 hours, and the chances they have survived are impossibly small. It is clear that Maeve and Gideon have passed away.”

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Trump’s Firing of Michael Atkinson Reveals His Real Priorities—and They’re Not Coronavirus

Tom Brenner/Reuters

The idea that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks—especially one who’s been rewarded for bad behavior—is particularly poignant when we consider President Trump’s firing Friday of Michael Atkinson, the inspector general of the Intelligence Community. Trump has a track record of firing and retaliating against officials who don’t blindly follow his orders and mimic his mood swings, no matter how unethical, illegal, dangerous, or irresponsible.

At the same time, Trump has a track record of decimating our intelligence agencies. His history of insulting the intelligence community, cherry-picking intelligence to suit his personal narratives, prioritizing loyalty over experience, and rooting out anyone who speaks truth (a core mission of the intelligence community) that he doesn’t like have been the key themes underlining his relationship with the intelligence community.

Plus, Trump has never supported oversight, unless of course it’s focused on Democrats. The impetus for Atkinson’s firing—namely his work to fulfill his statutory obligations to pass on what he judged to be an urgent and credible whistleblower complaint about the president’s call with Ukrainian President Zelensky—didn’t jibe with Trump’s personal desire to avoid oversight.

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Rita Moreno Is Giving the Best Performance on TV Right Now

Michael Yarish

This is a preview of our pop culture newsletter The Daily Beast’s Obsessed, written by senior entertainment reporter Kevin Fallon. To receive the full newsletter in your inbox each week, sign up for it here.

This week: 

These past few weeks have been a hell of a time to discover that I never developed a hobby. I got so bored last weekend that I filled out my census. I wish it took longer. 

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This CBD Muscle Rub Helps Get the Aches Out After Leg Day. And Every Other Day.

Let’s get this out of the way fast: CBD muscle rubs are not cheap. They are, on the contrary, expensive. But if you can’t put a value on pain relief, I don’t know what’s worth anything anymore. And with a left shoulder currently hurting less than it did an hour ago before my wife slathered on a glob of Quanta CBD Muscle Rub Plus, I tell you this: worth it.

Story time. A week and two days ago, I pulled a muscle that, from my internet medical schooling, I believe to be the teres minor. Now listen, I go to Orange Theory Fitness classes two or three times a week, I run a few miles on the other days, I do calisthenics, I lift some, and so on, so don’t go too hard on me when you hear how it happened but… I was writing. Just sitting here at my desk working when I made some casual movement, felt (and almost heard) a pop, and suddenly had a searing pain rippling along my left shoulder blade. 

I knew I was in for a good long period of suck because the exact same thing happened to my right shoulder in 2016. Yes, another seated writing injury. The only good news? Back in ’16, I had never heard of CBD muscle rub. And pretty much no one else had, either. This time around I already had a tin of the stuff in the hall closet because I use it now and then after intense workouts or extra-long hikes.

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Can Keir Starmer Persuade Britain to Dump Its Wartime Prime Minister Like Churchill?

REUTERS

It’s one of history’s greatest illustrations of ingratitude. In July 1945, fresh from his near-superhuman triumph in World War Two, Winston Churchill led Britain’s Conservative party to one of its worst ever defeats. Voters decided that a wartime prime minister was no longer needed, thanks, and they tossed him aside for a man they believed would do a better job of rebuilding a country that had been left smouldering from Nazi bombs and with an almost unfathomable amount of debt owed to the United States.

Seven and a half decades on, Churchill’s proudest fanboy is prime minister and finds himself in his hero’s shoes—leading the country through a crisis so terrifying and so all-consuming its only real comparison is that war. Who knows what fresh hell the next months will bring but, right now, Boris Johnson’s popularity is surging as he drags Britain through the coronavirus pandemic after having already delivered on his promise to “Get Brexit Done.” Johnson has been handed the kind of historic crisis he’s spent his lifetime studying but, fancying himself as something of a Churchill scholar, he’ll know that steering a nation through its darkest hour comes with no guarantee of gratitude when voters return to the ballot box.

The next U.K. election, scheduled quite unthinkably far in the future in 2024, started to take shape Saturday morning when the opposition Labour party named ex top prosecutor Sir Keir Starmer as its new leader. Like in 1945, when Labour’s deified leader Clement Atlee pushed Churchill out of Downing Street, Starmer will be tasked with defeating a virtual wartime prime minister by persuading the country that he’s more able to pick up the pieces of a country ravaged by death and debt than the man who made the big calls during the crisis.

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Trump Decided a Global Pandemic Was a Good Time to Be a Neighborhood Bully

REUTERS

POPAYÁN, Colombia—The ravages of the pandemic have begun here now, and as it worsens millions of Venezuelan migrants pose a tremendous challenge to fragile infrastructure throughout Central and South America, where poor living conditions and a lack of resources mean they are largely defenseless against the novel coronavirus. 

That would be bad enough. But recent moves by the Trump administration could make the situation incalculably worse.

In the middle of the enormous health crisis sweeping the United States and devastating the world economy, President Donald Trump has decided to double down on his efforts to drive Venezuelan head of state Nicolás Maduro from power.

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Inside the Male-Dominated Meme Hijacked by Lib-Bashing Trumpsters

SXSW

It’s a cliché to say that increased connectivity has actually driven us further apart, but there’s more than a kernel of truth to it. In a way, we are better prepared than ever through the invention of the computer and the internet to wade out the storm of social isolation. We have practice. It’s still not easy though, and for a lot of people, including young men who have spent their formative years on forums where they feel more comfortable and more accepted than in society, it’s a way of life that is at once freeing and also full of misery. Alex Lee Moyer’s documentary film TFW NO GF (“That Face When No Girlfriend”) observes five young men who grew up on internet boards like 4chan and social media sites like Twitter and became inextricably connected by the use of a meme known as “Wojak.”

Moyer’s film, which was supposed to premiere at SXSW, isn’t particularly introspective or detailed and works mostly as a primer for people who are generally unfamiliar with online subcultures, cutting in cable news segments on an epidemic of male loneliness and giving definitions of various online terms and acronyms like NEET, blackpill, /r9k/ and NPC, among others. Most of the homework must be done on one’s own, because this is a rabbit hole that goes deep and gets very weird. Moyer is a woman in her mid-thirties, someone who’s an outside observer to this realm of culture, but she isn’t looking to be an “interpreter.”

“I feel like there may be an inescapable and distinctly female empathic energy to the film—which is why I did not find it necessary to insert myself into the narrative or make too big a deal of it,” she says of the film, which includes almost no narration. “I just tried to present things earnestly, as I found them.”

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Why Art Thieves Love This Beautiful Irish Mansion

Courtesy of Russborough House

Some might attribute Russborough House’s history to bad luck, and maybe that’s how it started. But the real problem was one of exposure.

After a gang of IRA supporters led by the former British socialite Rose Dugdale violently forced their way into the home and absconded with some of its finest works of art in 1974, it was as if a spotlight had been directed at the mansion, calling all criminals to try their luck and exercise their sticky fingers. Despite security upgrades and the recovery work of the Irish police, the home would be robbed an additional three times over the next 28 years.

“Russborough House seems to be a proving ground for Dublin criminals,” Brian Lavery wrote in The New York Times in 2002 on the occasion of the fourth theft, which occurred less than a month after the paintings had been recovered from the third.

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