Video: Obscure far-right group becomes global name (Sky News)

Obscure far-right group becomes global name

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Impending death, as the saying goes, has a way of focusing the mind. There’s no reason to believe President Trump faces imminent death as a result of his recently testing positive for the coronavirus.



a person sitting in a car: Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Reuters


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Reuters

But the brief video he released before he went into hospital showed a Trump we’ve rarely seen before: sombre, scared and, perhaps for the first time, truly shaken by the pandemic’s threat to both the nation and himself. It’s conceivable that this momentous new development in the US presidential race, just a month from election day, could restore a seriousness to our politics that it has lacked for quite a while.

Exhibit A in the unseriousness of American political life has, of course, been our tragically inept response to the pandemic. Not all of the blame can be pinned on the Trump administration. The coronavirus has demonstrated a widespread breakdown in national competence that has become increasingly evident since the end of the cold war, which likely will receive further confirmation when we prove ourselves incapable of conducting a successful election next month.



a man wearing a suit and tie: President Trump arrives at a hospital in Bethesda, Maryland.


© Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Reuters
President Trump arrives at a hospital in Bethesda, Maryland.

Trump’s opponents have some justification for considering his contracting the coronavirus to be karmic retribution

But Trump’s distinctive contribution to our cack-handed response to this pandemic has been to politicise the public health measures to combat it. His irresponsible pursuit of partisan advantage over the national interest led him to downplay the threat of the virus, to demand a premature return to business as usual, to ignore social distancing at his public rallies and to mock wearing a mask as somehow weak

Impending death, as the saying goes, has a way of focusing the mind. There’s no reason to believe President Trump faces imminent death as a result of his recently testing positive for the coronavirus.

But the brief video he released before he went into hospital showed a Trump we’ve rarely seen before: sombre, scared and, perhaps for the first time, truly shaken by the pandemic’s threat to both the nation and himself. It’s conceivable that this momentous new development in the US presidential race, just a month from election day, could restore a seriousness to our politics that it has lacked for quite a while.

Exhibit A in the unseriousness of American political life has, of course, been our tragically inept response to the pandemic. Not all of the blame can be pinned on the Trump administration. The coronavirus has demonstrated a widespread breakdown in national competence that has become increasingly evident since the end of the cold war, which likely will receive further confirmation when we prove ourselves incapable of conducting a successful election next month.

But Trump’s distinctive contribution to our cack-handed response to this pandemic has been to politicise the public health measures to combat it. His irresponsible pursuit of partisan advantage over the national interest led him to downplay the threat of the virus, to demand a premature return to business as usual, to ignore social distancing at his public rallies and to mock wearing a mask as somehow weak and un-American.

Trump’s opponents have some justification for considering his contracting the coronavirus to be a kind of karmic retribution. Bu fortunately, most prominent Democrats and Never Trumpers understand that the presidency as an institution, as opposed to any particular

PAUL BRANDUS



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Trump


© Getty Images
President Trump

When it comes to the Trump presidency, every day is Groundhog Day. We keep hearing the same things over and over again.

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We’ve always known that Donald Trump is a billionaire. Forbes magazine puts his net worth at $2.5 billion, making him the 339th-wealthiest person in the U.S.

Yet we’ve also known that Trump has a prodigious knack for destroying value. His business career is littered with bankruptcies and failures, most famously his bad timing on Atlantic City casinos as Las Vegas ascended. It’s a fascinating contrast and makes you wonder how much wealthier the president, now 74, would be if he had been as smart of a businessman.

Read: Some wealthy Americans are already prepping their finances for a Joe Biden presidency — here’s how

Such failures help explain Sunday’s New York Times report showing “deep, chronic losses and years of tax avoidance” by Trump. The report, from leaked documents, say that in 2016, Trump paid only $750 in federal taxes, which is $750 more than he paid in 10 of the 15 years before that. His federal income tax bill from 2000 to 2017 was an annual average of $1.4 million, the Times said.

So Trump sometimes doesn’t have to pay taxes? Haven’t we always known this? The Times, after all, reported just last year that in 1987 — when his “The Art of the Deal” hit bookstores — that Trump “was already in deep financial distress, losing tens of millions of dollars on troubled business deals, according to previously unreleased figures from his federal income tax returns.”

And it was the very same Times reporters who also wrote that much of the money Trump came into earlier in life came via “dubious tax schemes,” including “instances of outright