Fear Itself

Paul Krugman’s column on August 24th really, really hit the proverbial nail on the head.  It was titled “QAnon is Trump’s Last, Best Chance,” and it homed in on the nature of the snake oil that Trump and the GOP are peddling.

Last week’s Democratic National Convention was mainly about decency — about portraying Joe Biden and his party as good people who will do their best to heal a nation afflicted by a pandemic and a depression. There were plenty of dire warnings about the threat of Trumpism; there was frank acknowledgment of the toll taken by disease and unemployment; but on the whole the message was surprisingly upbeat.

This week’s Republican National Convention, by contrast, however positive its official theme, is going to be QAnon all the way.

I don’t mean that there will be featured speeches claiming that Donald Trump is protecting us from an imaginary cabal of liberal pedophiles, although anything is possible. But it’s safe to predict that the next few days will be filled with QAnon-type warnings about terrible events that aren’t actually happening and evil conspiracies that don’t actually exist.

Think about that last line: terrible events that aren’t actually happening and evil conspiracies that don’t actually exist. Inculcating fear–of Black people, Jews, immigrants, socialists–has been a Republican staple since Nixon’s “Southern Strategy,” but until recently, it was only a portion of that strategy.

Now, the once-Grand-old-Party has nothing else.

As Krugman points out, the messaging employed by this administration has focused on efforts to panic Americans over nonexistent threats.

If you get your information from administration officials or Fox News, you probably believe that millions of undocumented immigrants cast fraudulent votes, even though actual voter fraud hardly ever happens; that Black Lives Matter protests, which with some exceptions have been remarkably nonviolent, have turned major cities into smoking ruins; and more.

It has been a constant barrage of Kellyanne Conway’s “alternative facts.”

Krugman says that much of this focus on imaginary threats is a defense mechanism from people who have no clue how to do policy, or to cope with real threats.

Covid-19, of course, has been the. all-too-visible example of that inability. In the face of massive American deaths, Trump has offered quack remedies (drink bleach!), and little else other than blaming China. and denying the severity and extent of the pandemic.

Trump, in other words, can’t devise policies that respond to the nation’s actual needs, nor is he willing to listen to those who can. He won’t even try. And at some level both he and those around him seem aware of his basic inadequacy for the job of being president.

What he and they can do, however, is conjure up imaginary threats that play into his supporters’ prejudices, coupled with conspiracy theories that resonate with their fear and envy of know-it-all “elites.” QAnon is only the most ludicrous example of this genre, all of which portrays Trump as the hero defending us from invisible evil.

If all of this sounds crazy, that’s because it is. And it’s almost certainly not a political tactic that can win over a majority of American voters.

Trump’s base is terrified. They are afraid most of all of demographic change, of losing their white, Christian, masculine privilege, but they are also deeply uncomfortable with the increasing ambiguities of modern life. They  want desperately to “return” to a world that never was.

Real-world policies–the kind that would appear in a party platform, or be embraced by competent grownups–can’t soothe those fears. The Republican Party has retreated to the only thing it has left: fantasy.

So they are ramping up the fear and telling us “those people” are to blame.

39 thoughts on “Fear Itself

  1. Thanks Prof K. I want to send todays blog to High School “friends” who send out the Trump crazy shit. BUT I really do not think it would do me any good to engage with crazy people. THAT seems part of this problem. What to do when people you know seem to have gone bat shit crazy. There seems to be nothing that I can do. Except VOTE and send money to the good guys who are running to restore our government back to normal.

  2. “And it’s almost certainly not a political tactic that can win over a majority of American voters.”
    It doesn’t have to. As 2016 showed, the tactic only needs to win over enough voters in key states, especially if it’s coupled with foreign assistance in the form of a coordinated cyber and massive social engineering attacks.

  3. We are living in the dangerous world Trump keeps telling people “will happen” if Joe Biden is elected and he will prevent it from happening when he is reelected. How can they be unaware of what is going on in this country; they don’t even need to watch any news reports, just look around. Closed businesses, empty store shelves, escalating costs of everything, all those “other people” wearing masks wherever they go. Let us not forget the peaceful protests which become rioting, looting and burning. If they need medical care they cannot see their doctor but must rely on a phone call or do a video appointment. If they go to an Emergency Room at any hospital they will find it a door-drop situation, and no visitors if they become in-patients.

    When Americans cannot simply go into their favorite McDonald’s for burger and fries or pick up the phone and order a pizza delivered to pay for at their door…those unaware of the cause of all of this appear to be suffering symptoms of brain death to me. Our…THEIR…entire way of life is disrupted NOW but they buy into Trump’s threats of fear of what is to come if Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are elected. Trump’s supporting base are “those people” and they are here now.

    Those 27 psychiatrists and mental health experts need to publish a sequel to “The Dangerous Case Of Donald Trump” to put forth their observations of diagnoses of those who continue to support the greatly increased dangers of Donald Trump today.

  4. Thank you, Sheila. The General Election November 3rd will be a profound litmus of the character of our nation. God have mercy upon our children’s children.

  5. patmcc, I agree 💯% but I think it’s important to let friends, neighbors and family know, under no uncertain terms, that we do not agree with them on their choice of leaders, and especially not the lies, rhetoric and policies. And just leave it at that. I call it “planting seeds”.

  6. I watched the D’s convention, and as much of the R’s convention that I could stomach, and what seems clear to me is that the R’s only playbook is that of fear, while the D’s seem to think that reason and logic will carry the day. The problem with that argument is that, when in a state of fear, logic and reason are shunted to the background and are not useful. The more fear that the R’s can generate, the greater their chances of winning.

  7. This points out the importance of Emotionally – reaching the Not Crazies- who may sit out the election if not motivated to vote including both the Bernieites and the “middle of the road” folks – who aren’t scared of abortion becoming illegal or nearly completely unavailable in much of the U.S., nor many of the other “obvious issues” we see. It’s not easy, but vitally important!

  8. We’re too divided. Our only “last” chance would be to create a DOMESTIC “Desert Shield” LIKE COALITION, one that even included Israel and a few Arab states against Sadam Hussein.

  9. Patmcc and Patrick Wiltshire, it IS important to share our truth with friends and family who have religiously climbed onboard the Trump train of thought. If I remain silent, am I complicit? My approach is to send each one a private email message that simply asks questions such as
    Does a political party that claims to cherish the Constitution align with a politician who threatenS to disregard the election results?

    Should our Commander-in-Chief strongly respond to foreign countries that pay bounties for the deaths of our soldiers?

    Does “we the people” refer to only those who look like us and those who worship like us, or does it include all Americans?

    Questions may very well jumpstart anger but also thinking; silence does nothing.

  10. Patmcc and Patrick Wiltshire, it IS important to share our truth with friends and family who have religiously climbed onboard the Trump train of thought. If I remain silent, am I complicit? My approach is to send each one a private email message that simply asks questions such as

    Does a political party that claims to cherish the Constitution align with a politician who threatens to disregard the election results?

    Should our Commander-in-Chief strongly respond to foreign countries that pay bounties for the deaths of our soldiers?

    Does “we the people” refer to only those who look like us and those who worship like us, or does it include all Americans?

    Questions may very well jumpstart anger but also thinking; silence does nothing.

  11. “I skate to where the puck is gonna be, not where it has been.” ~Wayne Gretzky, NHL Hockey great

    Paul Krugman is a terrible hockey player, he couldn’t even make the team.

  12. After watching the massive Hatch Act violation that was the RNC, I’m thinking we need to put some muscle behind our ethics rules and laws. Maybe we need a year in jail and/or a $50,ooo fine?

  13. Thanks for your post….We have seen how fragile this Democratic Experiment truly is….A lesson learned the absolute hard way…how quickly the deranged power hungry and evil can overwhelm. If this administration succeeds it will be interesting to see how well QANON, White Supremacists, and all the rest work together won’t it?

  14. Peggy, when it’s Bill Barr’s Justice Department enforcing the Hatch Act, it doesn’t matter how you write the law.

  15. Peggy; for the past few years, and never more than at this time, Mitch McConnell IS the sole ruling muscle in this nation ignoring all ethics, rules and laws. Unless and until he is removed from the Senate, it matters not who is president or what bills are proposed or who proposes them, nothing gets past him to even be heard. A primary REQUIREMENT in the Constitution which he swore an Oath of Office to uphold. Who is in office to provide the muscle to force him to follow all ethics, rules and laws? Without McConnell in his position of power in the Senate; Trump would never have reached the heights of White Nationalist dictatorship he is now in.

  16. In Nazi Germany, Hitler’s base had been “bombarded” with anti-Semitism and racism for 15 years, whereas here in the U.S. Trump’s base has had triple that amount of time to create hatred thru coded messages that have been coming out of a majority of the evangelical churches, especially those in the Southern Baptist Convention.

    The only change that can come about, in this final stage, is if Trump’s base can be persuaded that they will be hurt [economically, physically, etc.] by their actions. Forget about goodwill toward men, or anything of that nature. It’s long been too late for that kind of “foolishness.”

  17. Sheila writes, “And at some level both he and those around him seem aware of his basic inadequacy for the job of being president.”

    The only people who can continue working for this POTUS are in denial. They are also stuck in that lizard brain we all possess, but most humans evolve beyond using it exclusively. Those who are stuck in it are always in fear.

    Denial is their primary coping skill.

    It explains why Evangelicals support Trump since many of them are stuck in lizard brain mode via the “fear of god.” They never evolve into their higher brain functions so that they can feel love. If you tell them that Jesus operated on pure love and that his God must be perfect, unconditional love, you get a blank stare.

    I’m back from my stint in the North Carolina mountains, and they must lead the nation with the number of physical churches. Churches are abundant. However, love is not.

    One preacher told me that they stay away from Asheville because there are too many “liberal hippies” there. It’s also full of homeless people. None of them will drive into Asheville and volunteer at the soup kitchens because they are afraid of the homeless. That would interfere with their comfort zone.

    They are hypocrites and don’t even see it, yet they preach to others about religion. Thank goodness for the “hippies” because they do volunteer to feed the poor and downtrodden and the “hippies” who own restaurants donate food and drink to the local soup kitchens.

  18. wow, a full tilt blog this AM.. were all aware and we are all aware of,mcconnell? who gets little talk, what is he doing at home? and his efforts? as with the many senators who are running for their scared little lives? i will hope, we all go beyond just trump, the senate has to be taken back..dont allow the flack override the means.. in relation to Mr Krugmans article, im out and about talking shit with the trumpers,everyday.. lone Bernie,blue target on his back in NoDak!
    ill be having my annual hog roast, 250lbs worth a whole lamb,brikets,whole racks of ribs,and beef ribs,with corn on the cob,and veggies and it will be served with masks and gloves,and social distance tables for the family,BYOB. all free! my neighbors, all trumpers,and ive had some lively conversations with em all..all with due resepct. but, the temper is coming on lately, its been ramped up and some wont engage me..im tight on facts,my i pad is filed in subjects and the last one,the latest, to override some of that flack..ive seen a few Q s hanging in passing farm sites front yards. i guess talking stupid, ya might as well have a welcome sign?
    the talk im hearing is loud, amped up, and its getting vicious.. i stand some tough ground up here being i think, i have the only Biden bumper sticker,t shirt,face mask, 46 for pres, and what will be my yards welcome sign,,BIDEN in blue to welcome the,,well ill let ya fill that one in.. the best part, no,politics will be spoken…they all are, aware of my stand.. there will be afew minorties who said they will come, arab,arab christian,and practicing,, black, hispanic,and native american, they all work with the same people, and will attend..i do,this out of my pocket,as a kid, back in Jersey,every labor day had a feed at a park, with families, and it was free, some had union money to supply the fair..im questioned why i’m doing this in conservitive NoDak, no one here ever heard of such a thing,free foood,on labor day? its shows what this state gives in return to its workers..having a diverse small gathering with thier famlies will show solidarity to those who see solidarity,(though they practice it everyday) as a gang issue or,doesnt matter,,(yea,those farm welfare checks) im hoping for some elbow bumbing and smiles at the tables,set for social distance,and a small crew of my wife and close friend,to make a atmosphere to spread the word, were all labor,were all, human,we all care..
    the amped up at atmosphere in discussing trump is getting nasty, and hostile, i wont mince words,becareful, that web site,social media and such,( i do not belong to any,and this one blog is the only one i read, no appps in my pad) as such, its getting more in my face..

    this past week kristi nome gov, of sodak defended her opening the sturgis MC rally and only made reference to those who attented,would do so anyway,beside,she said its sodak second biggest economy! spread the covid gov! when questioned further about trump and the recent haggalings, she quote, said this country needs to be governed by the people again..well fine, if shes defending the amped up trumpers, sounds like we will have 330million law makers in november if trump wins, and ya better get use to it…nothing like a fractured goverment, and then? imagine full tilt to the stratosphere with new rules,demanded by those who voted for trump.. and that is what im hearing from the trumpers,they all want to rule us,their way,
    best wishes,help someone to vote!!!

    everyone here is invited to my hog roast,, 9/6/20 near center,n,d, 58530 noon til 6 PM..
    ask for directions, ive invited all the local buisness owners, except the bars…

  19. The appeal of The Trumpet and Pastor Pence is to the gated white communities, and rural America, that all that stands between them and hordes of Blacks, Latins and the white radicals bringing socialism and godless communism is Team Trump.

    The GOP has nothing else these days except FEAR. Ohh, and slip in a Tax Cut for the 1%.

    Biden was not my first choice still a Bernie Bot, these are desperate times. The Biden Yard Sign is on order.

  20. There is one advantage to brandishing non-existent fantastic evils to defeat: when you are ready to claim victory, no one can prove you didn’t win.

  21. Trump’s chances of winning?????

    Put yourselves in his shoes for a contemplative moment. Imagine the election is coming down to the results of four states having a total of 100 free and/or faithless electors in the Electoral College. Imagine you’re pretty sure the Trump side will win half of those, but half will not be enough, but 3/4 would be enough to pull off the win. What would it take to reach that seventy-five percent of electors? Well, it means getting at least 25 more of them to vote for Trump.

    What do you think that would cost Trump’s billionaires? How about $25 million, a measly 1 million peanuts for each elector. But what if five of the electors refuse the money? First, there are 50 to 75 other electors to approach, and if they all refuse, simply raise the ante: say, $5 million per vote.

    And if a couple of those electors refuse even $5 million, there’s always the option of blackmail or force or torture or murder.

    In reality, far less than 100 electors I suggested would represent the critical difference between winning and losing; it would be closer to 25, which makes it a much cheaper investment for billionaires to buy.

    If I were one of those billionaires supporting Trump, I would put out the directive that not even $100 million per vote would be too much to pay. I would make it clear that if we had to buy every one of the 270 electors needed to win, I would put up $270 million (a million bucks for each vote), and I know of five other billionaires who will provide matching funds.

    I would also push for a diversion, such as making a row about mail-in ballots and the USPS to provide a cover for dealing with the electors.

    This is an argument against having an Electoral College; it presents too small a pool to discourage wholesale bribery, thuggery, intimidation, blackmail. The Electoral College is an easy target for political crooks.

    This is also the analysis behind the very strong possibility that Trump will win the electoral college again, inspite of a massive landslide loss in the popular vote.

  22. To an emerging butterfly: your tactic of asking questions is, I think, the only thing that might work. I am attempting this as well, in my encounters with Trumpsters and those who have professed they will sit out this time. Lecturing will not work.

  23. Marv to Peggy: “Forget that, we’re ANTI-MUSCLE.”

    Marv is right. The anti-muscle element of the Democratic Party is shameful, dangerous, suicidal, and locked and loaded with the powerful explosive called naivety, otherwise known as love, as in make love not war. Otherwise known as fear of conflict. Ooooo, there’s that fear word, but coming from our side this time, fear, like in chickenshit and coward.

  24. What’s becoming loud and clear is why we’ve never had a President before who boisterously encourages division and derision.

    It wrecks the country

  25. Jack, I don’t like quotes as supportive material to my arguments and don’t use them. I have a massive grudge against those who do use quoted material to prop their argument. I consider quotes to be an insult to reason and logic. I much prefer wording that generates organically from logic. In fact, I feel insulted when someone suggests I borrow other people’s words.

    Regarding your Labor Day roast: I like that idea…of bringing very different people together for a meal and social interaction. My son does that. His wife is from Russia, and their parties bring local isolationists and Xenophobes into intimate contact with Eastern Europeans for a few hours. Another friend has similar parties that bring rural folks into proximity of urbanites.

    Guess which get-together is the most awkward…it’s the urban n rural one; neither side seems willing or able to reconcile their differences. Has nothing to do with race, religion, or country of origin. The point of irritation is simply culture. Neither side can imagine how someone growing up in the same country as they did can be so different.

  26. Copied and pasted from Wikipedia:

    “The Electoral College is a body of electors established by the United States Constitution, which forms every four years for the sole purpose of electing the president and vice president of the United States. The Electoral College consists of 538 electors, and an absolute majority of at least 270 electoral votes is required to win the election. According to Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the Constitution, each state legislature determines the manner by which its state’s electors are chosen. The number of each state’s electors is equal to the sum of the state’s membership in the Senate and House of Representatives; currently there are 100 senators and 435 representatives.[1][2][3] Additionally, the Twenty-third Amendment, ratified in 1961, provides that the district constituting the seat of the federal government (currently, the District of Columbia) is entitled to the number it would have if it were a state, but in no case more than that of the least populous state.[4] U.S. territories are not entitled to any electors.”

    This is where our fears should be concentrated; that is where the presidential election muscle will be found. McConnell and Barr with their ill gotten levels of power cannot control or ignore the Electoral College. They can however wield their power over who is chosen to serve as their home state’s Electoral College members. The Republican control at state level is how Rudy Giuliani could sit before the cameras 2 weeks prior to the election, grinning as he told us in 2016, “The Republicans have something up their sleeves; they have control over the Electoral Colleges. Donald Trump will win the election.” Surely the state level Democrats have smarter people than Rudy watching the Electoral College situation in their home states. If not, shame on them.

  27. In 1862, my great-grandfather joined the Union Army. He served for three years. When asked why he joined up, he said, “To preserve the union.” Think about it.

  28. We who complain that Trump and his minions are using fear to win this election should take a step back and think long and hard about Trump’s use of such a suppression technique, and when we do we will realize that he is projecting his own fears and that with a some 51 – 40 disadvantage it is they who are fearful. Fear works both ways, and they have far more reason to be fearful than the rest of us. FDR was right, and as a member of the majority I fear no tinhorn. My only concern is that the minority will once again steal the election with suppression tactics and help from overseas, so if we erase such concerns and muster an historic turnout, we wiil win, and win bigly. Let’s not allow fear to frame this election; let’s instead focus on TURNOUT.

  29. Gerald, you can get your turnout, and you can win the popular vote in a landslide, but Trump only has to buy or blackmail the votes of 25 Electoral College members (at most) to win election. See my post on the math of it above.
    What do you propose to do about that? Impose the traditional Democratic naivety? Trust the electors to do the right thing? lol
    I say the action the Democrats must take is to do anything necessary, including guns and boots on the ground, to guard all the electoral members, their families and their mistresses, from contact with Trump cronies, starting now. The Electors should be locked up as is a jury in a critical case. Failing that, the billionaires of the Democratic Party should break open their wallet and get into the bribing game, drive up the cost of buying electoral votes. This is war, not love. Make war not love.

  30. Great blog Sheila, thank you for your work for your blog community. I don’t think that gets said enough. It’s more normal for us biped carbon life forms to focus on what I/we/us have done wrong than what we get right. Human nature? Reptilian brain? Anyways, again, thank you!!!

    I am not a Paul Krugman fan, although he is as close to a Keynesian as we can expect to get these days. Hopefully he will see more light in his waning years.

    Nonetheless, he is very accurate in his prediction and other observations of the Trump cult behaviors from the Don all the way down to the shit-kick’n QAnon jacket wearing biker from small town USA. And they all proudly worship the perverted present understanding of the 2nd Amendment. We have seen it in full display in Kenosha. It is real, VERY REAL, and I suspect it will get FAR WORSE through the next two months and, if The Don were to lose, all hell will most likely break out. Not a good picture, but we have MORE than enough proofs (hence this article) to project these plausible outcomes moving forward.

    Jack…once again my dude…you totally rock my brother. Your free feeds on the celebration of Labor (Labour, take your pick) is outstanding. Would love to be there. I will try to be there in spirit! I spent a year in North Dakota (McHenry in Griggs County if I remember right) as a hired intern Lutheran pastor back in 1986-87. A four church parish, 3 in small town and the other out in moose country. As is the saying, “great people of the land.”

    I remember visiting a woman who was 101 years old at a nursing home (in Coopersville I think) who acted and thought like a 40 year old!!! Sharp, witty, interesting to say the least. Didn’t use a walker, pretty amazing woman. I loved visiting her as she would share stories of moving from Chicago to”The Dakota Territories” and passing many a Indian teepee villages along their journey inn a covered wagon!!! Her two walls above her bed were covered with pictures starting with tintypes of her parents and seven siblings (all girls) all dressed beautifully ready to board ship from Scandinavia to America.

    THIS is the foundational culture of North and South Dakota. Pioneers who made something of themselves (with a lot of government gifts and help of course) and who were able to bring their winter wheat seeds from the old country and make it work in the new.

    Those original pioneers, of course, are all gone. Their prodigy have taken for granted (unfortunately) the huge farming corporations they now run that have their origins in the hard work of their GG-Grand fathers and mothers. Elite anyone? Even the poorest among those folks learn from day one of this heritage and they will shoot first if it is ever questioned, much less theoretically taken from them. The Indian story is well known and beyond heartbreaking in that land. Never once, in my year there, did the locals talk or bring up the subject of the Indians or reservations. They wanted them as invisible as possible.

    I really do fear these “loco locals.” They are thick here in white supremacy lands of Missouri. They pack their 2nd Amendment wherever they go. They make sure we city people take notice of them here in “crazy” Kansas City!

    Yes, folks, there is, indeed, a dark horizon up ahead. I do fear them, but it is based on what I have seen personally, not some conspiracy made for TV bullshit drama.

    When I hear the phrase, “Vote like your life depends on it,” I take that quite literally here in KKK mid-America.

    I wish this were all hyperbole or, better yet, a bad dream I can wake from. It’s not.

  31. OK… I will no longer wonder how Adolf Hitler rose to power. I can understand why people get sucked in to total ies.

    I wrote my two Indiana Senators (R) about the government response to the corona virus. I got a response so disconnected from reality, I have to wonder what planet they live on, but the planet they live on is the one where they want to be re-elected, so with the lies from President backed up by what you would expect to be reasonable people, you have to start wondering who is lying? I can see why somebody might believe that every Democrat and every main stream news outlet might be lying, which just reinforces the belief and further sucks them into the vortex of alternate realities.

    Here is part of the letter I got back from Senator Mike Braun: “ In response to the global COVID-19 outbreak, President Trump has led a whole-of-government approach in order to best leverage the government’s vast resources. Since the outbreak was first detected and declared a public health emergency in the U.S., President Trump has implemented a multifaceted, interagency response which includes efforts to develop new medical treatments, increase diagnostic testing capability, and extend Medicare coverage for testing and telehealth services.”

    This kind of reinforcement along with social media is going to kill democracy. Here is a NY Times Article that tells how good the right wing propaganda machine is at creating fear. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/27/technology/what-if-facebook-is-the-real-silent-majority.html

    Here are a few quotes from the article:
    “But what sticks out, when you dig in to the data, is just how dominant the Facebook right truly is. Pro-Trump political influencers have spent years building a well-oiled media machine that swarms around every major news story, creating a torrent of viral commentary that reliably drowns out both the mainstream media and the liberal opposition.”

    “The result is a kind of parallel media universe that left-of-center Facebook users may never encounter, but that has been stunningly effective in shaping its own version of reality. Inside the right-wing Facebook bubble, President Trump’s response to Covid-19 has been strong and effective, Joe Biden is barely capable of forming sentences, and Black Lives Matter is a dangerous group of violent looters.”

    “The reason right-wing content performs so well on Facebook is no mystery. The platform is designed to amplify emotionally resonant posts, and conservative commentators are skilled at turning passionate grievances into powerful algorithm fodder.”

    We need to fear the fear mongers. Again, I will never again wonder how Adolf Hitler rose to power.

  32. Dan Mullendore: below I copied and pasted an article from The Verge, not familiar with it but the Washington Post site wanted me to subscribe to read their article and the New York Post had no information since Trump’s initial announcement about the deal with Kodak. Wonder if Mike Braun is aware of any of this. Sorry about the length but I have tried to find updates about that Kodak deal, this is the first information I found regarding Trump’s “whole-of-government approach” to the Covid-19 Pandemic.

    Copied and pasted from The Verge; dated August 8, 2020: “An agreement between the US government and Kodak to develop generic drug ingredients appears to be on hold, after the US International Development Finance Corporation tweeted that “recent allegations of wrongdoing raise serious concerns.”

    “We will not proceed any further unless these allegations are cleared,” the agency tweeted, without specifying what the allegations were.

    Kodak said Friday it was conducting an internal review of recent activity by the company in connection with a $765 million loan it would receive under the Defense Production Act to produce pharmaceuticals. The company’s stock price surged in the days before the deal was announced, CBS News reported, leading Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to call for the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate whether there were any instances of insider trading.

    Kodak, best known for its camera and film equipment, said it planned to create a new business arm called Kodak Pharmaceuticals to make ingredients that have “lapsed into chronic national shortage.” Kodak CEO Jim Continenza told The Wall Street Journal that he expected pharmaceuticals to become 30 to 40 percent of the company’s business. The company’s plans included production of ingredients for drugs such as hydroxychloroquine, according to The Wall Street Journal. President Trump has touted hydroxychloroquine as a possible treatment for COVID-19, despite evidence that the anti-malaria drug has been ineffective against the virus.

    Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), chair of the House Financial Services Committee and other Democrats sent a letter to DFC head Adam Boehler August 4th asking why the agency was supporting a loan for Kodak, “an organization that was on the brink of failure in 2012 and was unsuccessful in its previous foray into pharmaceutical manufacturing, in its efforts to develop the capacity to produce up to 25 percent of domestic pharmaceutical components.” The committee is asking to see all communications concerning the loan.

    A Kodak spokesperson declined to comment Saturday.”

  33. We live in a stew of entertainment and social media advertising that ranges from outright lies to the truth but often not the whole truth. It works on us, not for us, because it’s bias confirmation, it flatters us by telling us what we suspect might be true. Sometimes that is that we are special in some way and sometimes it’s that our feelings of anger or fear are justified.

    That is the basis for consumerism as well as entertainment and now Trumpicans have extended it to politics and governance as well. That blending of things that must be separate creates a hybrid that can favor those in control of it but enslaves those who are victims of it.

    It’s strictly a business to them. Capture voters to put those in control of media into position to sell influence to the highest bidder.

    We have a test coming up to see if free people or misled people are the majority here and now, to see if it’s “1984” already or if we can escape that dystopia at least until the control of we the people gets further developed.

    Is there any chance for more permanent freedom through liberal democracy?

    We don’t know, do we.

Comments are closed.