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QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I was there for a tiny, short little period of time.” —Trump telling Fox News Radio he was inspecting the White House bunker, not hiding in it, during the protests
BLODGET & PLOTZ
How do democracies slide into dictatorship? The Lafayette Park photo op is how
The president wanted to look strong after he saw himself being mocked for hiding in his bunker. Daughter Ivanka Trump concocted the idea of a church photo op. AG Bill Barr personally ordered protesters pushed back from the church. A park police commander gave the actual command to deploy gas and other weapons. The top echelon of the military — Defense Secretary Esper and Joint Chiefs Chair Milley — accompanied the entourage with a phalanx of Secret Service guards.
Then, afterward, the president congratulated himself for being tough and dominating the protesters. In other words, Trump is no longer just talking like a fascist. He’s acting like one. This is how democracies slide into dictatorships.
Thankfully, military leaders are resisting Trump’s call to use active-duty military on the streets
Just a day after telling governors that the military could control protests by dominating “the battlespace,” Defense Secretary Esper seems to be getting cold feet about putting troops on the streets. Trump has been talking about tanks, but Esper now says the president shouldn’t invoke the Insurrection Act, which would allow the Pentagon to deploy active military against Americans.
This is a relief. The image of masked National Guard troops guarding the Lincoln Memorial was disturbing enough. The prospect of American soldiers fighting American citizens exercising their constitutional right to assemble is too terrible to imagine. —DP
Blackout Tuesday and the relative pointlessness of digital activism
Yesterday was Blackout Tuesday, when people were encouraged to express solidarity with the protest movement by not posting on social media or by limiting their posts to sober messages supporting the cause. A small furor erupted when some activists said that streams of empty black images were clogging social channels where they needed to communicate about gatherings and police activity.
The intent of Blackout Tuesday was admirable enough, but it ended up highlighting the lameness of digital activism in an age of actual activism. If you wanted to express your solidarity with the George Floyd protests yesterday, participate in a way that goes beyond simply posting a black box, like, say, donating to a racial-justice cause or discussing these issues with people close to you.
Using digital tools to organize and communicate during these protests is fantastically productive. Using digital tools to virtue-signal solidarity seems pointless. —DP
Trump won’t deliver his nomination speech in Charlotte. The GOP isn’t officially moving the convention because of a contractual obligation, but they’re seeking to relocate important convention business to a city that might be willing to allow an unmasked mass gathering. Republican officials are furious that North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, wouldn’t relax social distancing and gathering rules as much as they wanted.
What to do when you’re hit with tear gas. Find fresh air. Rinse your eyes. Wash off your clothes.
The world’s largest freestanding American flag was torn to shreds. Just in case you need a metaphor for this terrible week. A thunderstorm ripped apart the Acuity Insurance flag, which stands outside the company’s headquarters, in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The flag is 70 feet by 140 feet.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Amazon ended its $2-an-hour hazard-pay bonus for warehouse workers. Warehouse employees, whose starting wage is $15 an hour, had been earning the bonus since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. Amazon’s warehouses have been a high-profile source of viral anxiety, with infections at more than 100 of them, and at least eight deaths among warehouse employees. That said, Amazon employs 250,000 people in its warehouses, so that death rate is far lower than among the general public. Amazon seems to have decided it no longer needs the emergency incentives to persuade people to come to work. But workers are not happy, with one telling Insider, “We want the pay until the masks go away.” —DP
Teens on Tik Tok are showing the generational rift over #BlackLivesMatter. They’re flooding the platform with content about Floyd’s killing and the protests — and with criticism of their parents’ attitudes.
Authorities are investigating the YouTube influencers who “rehomed” her autistic son. Ohio sheriffs are looking into the case of Myka and James Stauffer, and the welfare of their son, Huxley, who featured in Myka’s parenting videos.
Pregnant during the pandemic: The lounge pants, comforter, and more that kept Insider’s Emily Hochberg comfortable while isolated and sheltering in place.
THE BIG 3*
Identical twins compared a vegan and an omnivorous diet. The vegan twin had more energy and lost fat. The meat-eater gained muscle.
Britain has offered residency visas to more than 3 million Hong Kong citizens. Boris Johnson’s offer, a response to China’s recent crackdown, enraged Beijing, which warned the UK to “step back from the brink.”
The worst thing you can do with your air fryer. Also, sneaky tips for cooking better with it, liking sticking a slice of bread in the bottom to collect grease.
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