Rage by Bob Woodard

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Re: Rage by Bob Woodard

Post by vnatale » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:33 am

auci and Birx returned a few days later, right at the end of the 15 days. They needed to extend the time of the shutdown and advocated for another 30 days to “slow the spread.”

“Mr. President, that’s a nonstarter,” Fauci said of reopening the country for Easter. “You can’t do that.” After 15 days, they couldn’t know if they’d had any impact. It was premature. “We’ve got to go to 30 more days.”

Trump turned to Fauci and Birx. You guys feel really strongly about this?

Mr. President, they said, we really do need to do it. Because we may start to see a flattening of the curve, and then you’ll come back and say, you know, it was a really good thing for us to do this.

Okay, we’ll go with it, Trump said. I hope you guys are right.

Okay, Fauci said. I think we are.
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Re: Rage by Bob Woodard

Post by vnatale » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:47 am

Trump announced the 30-day extension on March 29. Fauci said modeling showed the U.S. could be in excess of a million cases and deaths could exceed 100,000 without mitigation efforts. “I mean, you could make a big sound bite about it, but the fact is it’s possible,” Fauci said. “What we’re trying to do is not let that happen.”

Trump added, “If we can hold that down, as we’re saying, to 100,000—that’s a horrible number—and maybe even less, but to 100,000, so we have between 100- and 200,000—we all, together, have done a very good job.”

At the next day’s briefing, Trump said, “Stay calm. It will go away. You know it—you know it is going away, and it will go away. And we’re going to have a great victory.”
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Re: Rage by Bob Woodard

Post by vnatale » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:53 am

April began with dire headlines about the latest White House task force models, released March 31, predicting 100,000 to 240,000 deaths nationwide even with mitigation measures like social distancing, and 1.5 million to 2.2 million without mitigation.

Trump seemed to be on a war against rules. On April 3, when the CDC issued new guidance recommending that Americans wear masks, Trump said at the Coronavirus Task Force briefing that day, “This is voluntary. I don’t think I’m going to be doing it.”

The death toll in the United States had reached 7,000 and the number of new cases was rising by a staggering 30,000 each day.

“I’m feeling good,” Trump added later in the briefing. “I just don’t want to be doing—I don’t know, somehow sitting in the Oval Office behind that beautiful Resolute Desk—the great Resolute Desk—I think wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens, I don’t know. Somehow, I don’t see it for myself.”

Away from the cameras, however, the president’s mood was grim.
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Re: Rage by Bob Woodard

Post by vnatale » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:56 am

“The plague,” President Trump said when I reached him by phone late in the afternoon of April 5, 2020, Palm Sunday.

The president had given up on his plan to open the country by Easter. He sounded resigned, almost chastened, with a solemn tone unlike any I had heard in our previous nine interviews.

“It’s a horrible thing. It’s unbelievable. Can you believe it? It moves rapidly and viciously. If you’re the wrong person and if it gets you, your life is pretty much over if you’re in the wrong group. It’s our age group.”

He was 73, and I had recently turned 77.

I had prepared a list of 14 critical areas where my sources said major action was needed. My goal was to cover all 14 in our interview and find out what Trump thought and might have planned. Given the risks and hazards, I believed this could not be a standard interview. I wanted to lay it out as starkly and candidly as I could. Was he organized? Was there a plan?

“Are we going to go to full mobilization?” I asked. “People I talk to say they want that feeling of full mobilization. No one is going to say Trump did too much. There’s never too much.”

“I agree,” he said.

Testing was the first of the 14 areas I wanted to cover. My reporting showed that Dr. Anthony Fauci, in private briefings, had been saying of the federal government’s response to the coronavirus that “we aren’t there yet.” Officials were saying we need a “Manhattan-like project,” something reminiscent of the scale and scope of the 1940s project to successfully develop an atomic bomb.

Trump has a habit of ignoring questions and attempting to redirect the conversation. At times, talking with him meant being talked at. Now Trump veered off, citing the 3,000-bed facility the U.S. military had built in the Javits Center in New York City. “That was for regular surgeries, etc. That was for regular patients, not Covid patients,” he said. “I don’t know if you know that. Do you know that?”

“Yeah. Certainly. The question is—”

“But you know that’s a big deal, Bob. I mean, that’s a big deal.” They were trying to make sure there was enough room in the hospitals for coronavirus patients.

Given the magnitude of the crisis, the Javits Center was important but did not address the national crisis. I pushed again on testing. All the health professionals said testing was key because people, particularly those without symptoms, could be isolated to prevent infecting others. Tens of millions of tests would be required, if not hundreds of millions.

“The question is, are you happy?” I asked about the scope of the federal government’s response. On testing, “Is it enough?”

He did not answer. The Democratic governors, he said, would not give him enough credit in public.

“Is this full mobilization?” I pressed. “A Manhattan Project? Are we going—pardon the expression—balls to the wall? That’s what people want. And people want to feel that.”

He said he’d been “speaking to people all day” and indicated he was trying to get that message out through his daily news conferences. “Maybe then I’m doing a bad job of, not saying it.”

That was an almost unheard-of concession, but he immediately began talking about New York governor Andrew Cuomo. “Hey look,” the president said. “Cuomo asked us for 40,000 ventilators. Okay? Think of it.” The most severely ill patients needed the ventilator machines to help them breathe.

“Okay,” I said, “but Cuomo is not the issue.”

“No, no, I know. But 40,000. I told him, you don’t need anywhere near that amount. Now it’s turning out that we’re right.” Trump was correct. When the White House individually polled the New York hospitals, far fewer were needed.

The responsibility was his, I said. “You are the one. This is a question about your leadership. And you know, I just want to know how you feel about it.”

“I feel good,” he said. “I think we’re doing a great job.” He launched into a familiar grievance. “I think we’ll never get credit from the fake news media no matter how good a job we do. No matter how good a job I do, I will never get credit from the media, and I’ll never get credit from Democrats who want to beat me desperately in seven months.”

“If you go out and say this is full mobilization—” I said.

“I’ve done it. I have done it. Well look—” he said.

“Manhattan Project—”

“Well, yeah,” he said.

We were speaking past each other, almost from different universes.

I turned to the second large issue on my list, the struggle to supply personal protective equipment to hospital
employees and other workers. “The medical supply chain. People I talk to say they still aren’t satisfied with it.”

The president let out a loud sigh that can be heard on the recording.
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Re: Rage by Bob Woodard

Post by vnatale » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:57 am

“We’re getting very few complaints,” he said. “Now, I am a big fan of the hydroxychloroquine.” The antimalarial drug was touted by some, including Trump, as a game-changing cure for Covid-19. “It may not work, by the way, and it may work. If it does work, I will get no credit for it, and if it doesn’t work, they’ll blame the hell out of me. Okay? But that’s okay. I don’t mind that. But we are—we have millions of—we’ve ordered millions of doses of the hydroxy. We’ve ordered millions—we have millions—we’re stocked.”

Later, on May 18, Trump would reveal he had been taking the drug.

“The third area, sir, is the unemployment benefits and the cash payments.” Was there really a system in place that would work? Nearly 10 million had applied for unemployment benefits—a stunning number. Congress had passed a $2 trillion stimulus package in late March that provided those on unemployment an extra $600 per week.

“I was totally opposed to the distribution of the money the way the Democrats wanted it,” the president said. “They wanted it to go through unemployment insurance—you know, centers. But many of them have 40-year-old computers. I said, it’ll take a long time to get there if you do that. And we have already—the money is sent. It’s up to the states to deliver it.”

“Okay,” I said. “The fourth area is the small business loans” being given out through the Paycheck Protection Program.

“That’s going really well, Bob. I mean, that—I don’t know if you saw. It was opened on Friday.”

“I understand. But some of the banks are not participating because they say that—”

“Well, if they don’t participate we’re not going to be happy with them. But Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, they had to get straightened out. It had nothing to do with us.” He had a strong point that $13 billion had been loaned in the first day, though the total allocated in the stimulus and rescue package was $350 billion and would have to be increased.

“Fifth area,” I said. “Shelter in place.”

“It’s been very successful,” he said.

“Does it need a national order? I know you’re reluctant to do this.”

The effort to get people to stay at home was going well, he correctly noted. “There are a lot of constitutional reasons, there are a lot of federalist reasons” not to issue a national order.

“Sixth is the food supply,” I said. “Are you confident that the food supply is going to get out to people?”

“Yeah,” he said. “You haven’t even heard a complaint about that, Bob. I mean, it’s going great. I had a big meeting with all the big suppliers on Thursday. The biggest in the world, all of them. We also had meetings with all the big department store types and all of them—from Amazon to Walmart to all of them. And they’re all doing well. And they also, they have long lines going to stores because we’re keeping them six feet away in the line.” A month later, spiking infection rates in meatpacking plants would jeopardize the nation’s meat supply.

“Seventh area, international coordination.” I asked Trump if he had seen Henry Kissinger’s recent op-ed in The Wall Street Journal headlined, “The Coronavirus Pandemic Will Forever Alter the World Order.”

“I did not, no. What did he say?”

Kissinger had stressed the international nature of the crisis. “Failure,” he’d written, “could set the world on fire.”

“Do you have somebody who will be the focal point of coordinating with all the other countries involved in this?” I asked.

“And he’s focused on this?” I asked.

“Oh yeah. He’s very focused on it. We have more than him. We have, the entire State Department is focused on it. But honestly Bob, it’s more of a local problem from that standpoint.”

It was not at all clear what he meant by “a local problem,” but before I could ask he cited his invocation of the Defense Production Act to get 3M to agree to ship 166.5 million N95 masks from China over three months, which Kushner had successfully pushed. Trump had faced criticism for being slow to use the DPA to force domestic manufacturers to focus on U.S. government needs, and the country was still well short of the 500 to 600 million face masks sought by the administration.

“Okay,” I said. “How about the next area? What’s the definition of an essential worker? People feel it’s—everyone’s defining it the way they want to define it. Do you have a definition or does the federal government—”

“We had a specific definition,” he said. “I can give it to you if you want. But we do have a very specific definition.” The Department of Homeland Security had released a 19-page advisory memo with suggested ways to identify essential workers in March, but individual states and counties differed in their definitions.

“Well, it seems loose and vague to people.”

“Okay, well, I’ll put it out. Maybe I’ll talk about that today.” He did not bring the subject up in his press briefing that night. “You know, we had a case where the churches are saying it’s essential. It’s a very interesting question. The churches are saying they’re essential.”

Some states had classified churches among the essential businesses in order to allow them the option to stay open and conduct services.

“How about air travel?” I asked. “Some people say you’re just sending planes with four people on it from one city to the next and that is jeopardizing people. Is there a national policy?”

“They’re mostly closed down. We have to keep some flights open for emergency purposes, but they’re mostly closed down. The airlines are doing checks. We’re doing checks. But they’re mostly closed down, Bob. But they do have some routes. If you do what some people—you need to have at least a semblance of, a little bit—now, we check people going on, getting off. And it has not been a problem.”

In March 2020 U.S. airlines carried 36.6 million passengers on scheduled flights, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, about half of the 77.5 million passengers in March 2019.

In a press briefing on April 1, Trump had said he was considering taking action to regulate flights. “You have them going, in some cases, from hot spot to hot spot,” he said. But ultimately, no federal government action was taken to limit domestic air travel.

“Do Fauci and Dr. Birx, do they say this is enough?” I asked if they considered air travel “leakage.”

“Well, they haven’t complained,” Trump said. “I mean, you know—maybe I’ll ask them that question, but they have not complained either.”

“Okay,” I said. I tried again to ask the basic unanswered question: Who is in charge of key areas? “Now who’s in charge of the effort—I’ve talked to some people”—again the president let out a deep sigh—“who are doing very aggressive, imaginative work on vaccines and antibodies. Who’s in charge of that?”

“NIH,” he said. “National Institute, which is phenomenal. And they are doing it. They’re in charge of it. We have a lot of potential vaccines, especially probably Johnson & Johnson. You know, NIH is doing the work but we also farm it out to many, many companies.”

He was correct about Vaccine Development Services at NIH, but there was no one person clearly and publicly leading this vital government effort.
“I do. I do. We have a secretary of state named Mike Pompeo.”
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Re: Rage by Bob Woodard

Post by vnatale » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:59 am

“Have you talked to Bill Gates at all?” I asked. Gates, the cofounder of Microsoft and more recently one of the world’s leading experts on managing mammoth public health crises, had with his wife, Melinda, invested billions of dollars through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation into global development and public health initiatives. Gates had been warning about a pandemic for years. In a recent Washington Post op-ed, he’d written that the only way out of the crisis would be a vaccine.

“No, I have not. He—But I think I’m going to be meeting him very shortly, yeah.”

The two had met several times before. In December 2016, Gates came to Trump Tower to warn the president-elect about the risks of a pandemic and encouraged him to prioritize preparing for one. In 2017, Trump told Gates he was thinking about establishing a commission to examine the “bad effects” of vaccines. “No, that’s a dead end, that would be a bad thing, don’t do that,” Gates had told Trump.

“He’s the expert,” I said. “He spent billions of dollars of his own money. He says we only get out of this when we have vaccines.”

Trump later announced that he was going to discontinue funding for the World Health Organization because he felt the organization had protected China during the crisis. In a tweet on April 15, Gates blasted the decision, writing, “Halting funding for the World Health Organization during a world health crisis is as dangerous as it sounds.… The world needs WHO now more than ever.” After the tweet, Gates and the president never met, according to a Gates senior aide.

“Well, we’re doing great on vaccines,” Trump said. “The problem with a vaccine is a vaccine will take 13 to 14 months once you have it. Because you have to test a vaccine. As opposed to the hydroxy, you have to test it. Because the hydroxy’s been out there for 25 years.” Hydroxychloroquine had long been available as a treatment for malaria and arthritis, but it was still being studied as a theoretical treatment for Covid-19 when we spoke.

“Next area is China on the wet markets. Some people—I think Fauci is saying privately in briefings we’ve got to get China to close down their wet markets” where the virus originated in Wuhan.

“Yeah, some people are saying that,” Trump acknowledged. “And that one I have not done yet. You have to understand, I just signed a massive trade deal turning everything—because China’s been ripping us off for years. Like ripping us like you’ve never seen, economically.” He did not want to jeopardize the China trade deal.

“No, I—listen, Mr. President, I understand all of that. The question is, you’ve got some experts like Fauci—”

“Well, I don’t know,” Trump said. “Fauci also said that this wouldn’t be a problem, so—this disease was not going to be a problem. I was in the room when he said it, okay? So you know—”

In public, Fauci did play down the severity of the virus in late February.

Trump continued, “And some of the people that you mentioned. And you know, they turned out to be wrong on that. So you know, they can be wrong too, Bob. Right?”

“Absolutely. I think—I’m telling you as a reporter, I’ll emphasize this again. They’re saying they want a sense of World War II mobilization.”

“All right, I got you. I understand. I got you. I think we’re doing a very good job, but I’ve got exactly what you’re saying. Now in New York the deaths have fallen for the first time. That’s a big step.” The day before, New York State had reported 630 coronavirus deaths. That morning it had reported 594.

“How about the small-government Republicans who, you know, are real leery of all this spending of trillions of dollars?” I asked. “Are they obstacles?”

“If I listened to them, I wouldn’t have closed the country.”

“Okay. How about the intelligence agencies? How’s CIA director Gina Haspel doing?” I asked, trying to ascertain the role intelligence was playing in the fight against the virus. “And do you feel that you know what’s going on in the world?”

“Better than any president’s known in 30 years,” he said, only answering the last part of the question. But he added, “I’m listening to every word you’re saying.”

My reporting, I repeated, showed that people wanted “full mobilization, we’re at Manhattan Project level here and we’re not going to stop—and I’m reporting to you what people are saying—”

“No matter what I do,” he replied, “they’ll always tell you bad.”

“Even people who don’t like you,” I said, “people who are opposed to you—want this country to succeed on this.”

“Well, no,” he said. “I think there are some people that would rather have it not succeed. Okay? That’s a big statement. There are some people that would rather have it not succeed so that they could possibly beat me in the election. All right?

“I will tell you that with straightness. There are people on the radical fringes and the left that would rather have us not succeed.”

“God will never forgive them, then,” I said.

“Well, maybe that’s true,” Trump said. “I will never forgive them.”

He tried to steer the conversation back to the ventilator dispute his administration had resolved.

“But if you go to full mobilization—” I said.

“I am,” he said.

“—and you tell the world and the country that’s it, these are the people who are in charge of testing, of unemployment benefits, loans, the food supply, international coordination, air travel, the vaccines, China, the intelligence world—if you, if that’s clear to people—”

“Right,” Trump said.

“During the Nixon case,” I said, “Nixon did not understand the goodwill that people feel toward a president. Now, you—that is a problem now in this country, the polarization, no question. But—”

“Yeah, but the ones that like me, like me a lot, okay?” Trump said.

“But people know this is a survival issue,” I said. “People are talking about their kids, and they’re saying, what kind of world are we going to give to our kids?”

“They’re right. But when you talk about that—Nixon was an unpopular guy. I have great support out there. You don’t see it, probably. All you have to do is take a look at the polls. I’m getting—I just got a 69 percent or 68 percent for the approval rating for this.”

A Gallup poll in March showed that 60 percent approved of his handling of the crisis while 38 percent did not. Presidents often get bumps in their approval ratings during times of national crisis.

“I’m asking you a series of questions,” I said, “based on my reporting.”

“Give me a list of the things you said. Did you write them down, or not?”

“Yes, I wrote them all down.”

“Just read them out. Go ahead, read them.”

I read back over the list, reemphasizing all the critical areas. Trump pushed me impatiently along, item by item.

I added a final point: “People really need a sustainable income stream”—or at least a reliable way to say, “okay, at some point I’m going to get this money—whether it’s unemployment benefits, cash payments, some sort of loan.”

When I reached the end of the list he said, “That’s good. I’m glad you told me. Many of these things are done or in great shape. But I’m glad you told me.”

He was blowing off both me and the list.

Elsa, my wife, was in the room during the call. At times I raised my voice in order to be able to complete a question or press the president to answer. At one point, she told me to stop yelling. She felt my list of 14 points sounded too much like I was telling him what to do. Others, I am sure, would agree. The list represented what I had found from my reporting, as I told him several times. If I was going to write about the list—and I was sure I would—I thought it only fair to ask him about it.

I hung up, feeling distressed. Trump never did seem willing to fully mobilize the federal government and continually seemed to push problems off on the states. There was no real management theory of the case or how to organize a massive enterprise to deal with one of the most complex emergencies the United States had ever faced. Beyond being a reporter, I was worried for the country.
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Re: Rage by Bob Woodard

Post by vnatale » Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:00 am

That same evening, Lindsey Graham spoke with Trump in a phone conversation of about 25 minutes. Graham had talked repeatedly with the president during the crisis and worried that Trump didn’t want to own the coronavirus problem.

“He’s got one foot in and one foot out,” Graham said, describing the call afterward. “He wants to be a wartime president, but he doesn’t want to own any more than he has to own.”

Graham told Trump complaints from people about unemployment benefits were a state problem and not his fault, but said, “I think it’s your job to fix problems, even if it’s not your fault.”

The real flaw, Graham said, is testing. He had talked to Fauci. “Dr. Fauci said there’s 25 to 50 percent of the population with it that don’t even know they have it,” he said—referring to the percentage of infected people who don’t have symptoms but can spread the virus to others, not the overall U.S. population. “The only way you’re ever going to find out is to test. If you don’t, you’ll reignite the virus.”

Graham said he told the president, “You need a plan. You need to explain to the country, we’re not helpless against the virus. Here’s the game plan to beat the virus.

“You need theater commanders like you’ve got in Iraq or in Afghanistan. Somebody in charge of testing. Somebody in charge of vaccines. You need a Petraeus to regain your footing. You’ve lost the momentum. You need a surge. Testing is the biggest flaw we have.”

While Trump’s job approval rating had reached the highest level of his presidency the week of this interview—about 47 percent in an average of national polls—it was beginning a downward slide as the weeks of the crisis drew on. “You need to peak in October,” Graham told Trump. “You need to have the economy showing signs of life. A vaccine on the horizon. Drug therapies that work.”

Graham said Biden would be “a rough opponent, but your opponent’s the coronavirus.”

“That’s probably true,” Trump answered.

“It is, Mr. President. If you fuck it up, there’s nothing you can do to get reelected. If you seem to, you know, manage it well, you’re pretty much unbeatable. You keep the body count down, people will see you as somebody that was successful.”

As close as he was to the president, Graham felt it was hard to penetrate Trump World and find out who had influence with him. But Graham knew Trump’s nature. “His biggest political threat is for people to go without a paycheck for weeks and get disgruntled, and he overreacts and tries to open up the economy too soon. That will be the end of him, because you’ll have another round of the virus.”

People needed their paycheck, Graham was sure. “He’ll say, I’m tired of this, let’s open up the economy as the answer, instead of trying to fix the state unemployment systems. If they’re out of work for six weeks with no check, they’re going to hold him accountable.”
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Re: Rage by Bob Woodard

Post by vnatale » Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:00 am

On April 6, the day after I spoke with Trump, the president began the day on a cheery note. “LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL!” he tweeted around 8:00 a.m. Later that day, American deaths rose to 10,746. One of Trump’s allies, U.K. prime minister Boris Johnson, came down with the virus and was moved into intensive care.

It was also becoming clear the virus was disproportionately affecting minority communities. Counties that are majority-Black “have three times the rate of infections and almost six times the rate of deaths as counties where white residents are the majority,” The Washington Post reported on April 7.

In the four-week period ending April 9, more than 17 million Americans had filed for unemployment, Labor Department figures showed.

On April 10, Trump predicted the U.S. death count would be lower than the minimum predicted by the task force’s models. “The minimum number was 100,000 lives, and I think we’ll be substantially under that number,” he said.
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Re: Rage by Bob Woodard

Post by vnatale » Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:01 am

On April 11, the death toll from the coronavirus in the United States climbed above 20,000. The United States surpassed Italy as the country with the most coronavirus fatalities in the world.

On Sunday, April 12, Fauci was asked about a story that Trump had been too slow to act on the virus during an interview on CNN. “If you had a process that was ongoing and started mitigation earlier, you could have saved lives,” Fauci said. He added: “If we had, right from the very beginning shut everything down, it may have been different. But there was a lot of pushback for shutting everything down back then.”

Several hours later, on Sunday evening, Trump retweeted a tweet that suggested Fauci should be fired, sparking widespread speculation and worry about Fauci’s fate. Trump later told me he had a good relationship with Fauci.

Monday afternoon, the president fought back against the criticism in a freewheeling, two-hour press briefing that began with a campaign-ad-style video touting his “decisive action” on the virus. Answering questions from reporters, Trump declined to acknowledge any mistakes and said his administration was “way ahead of schedule” in its response. When asked what he had done to prepare hospitals and ramp up testing with the extra time Trump said he bought by being ahead of schedule, the president called the reporter “disgraceful.” He alternated between blaming Democratic governors for failures and claiming he had total authority over the national response. “When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total,” Trump said. “And that’s the way it’s got to be. It’s total.”

The next day, Trump said decisions about when to reopen would be largely in the hands of the governors. The federal government would “be there to help,” he said, but “the governors are going to be opening up their states. They’re going to declare when.”
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Re: Rage by Bob Woodard

Post by Kriegsspiel » Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:03 am

If Vinny keeps it up, this thread will be longer than the coronavirus thread in no time.
I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. Who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish? Yet they will have control over all the fruit of my toil into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. . . Nothing is better for a man than to eat and drink and enjoy his work.
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Re: Rage by Bob Woodard

Post by vnatale » Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:46 am

Kriegsspiel wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:03 am
If Vinny keeps it up, this thread will be longer than the coronavirus thread in no time.
I've already been wisely counseled by Xan so there will be drastically less activity in this topic. Plus, I'm 72% through the book.

Vinny
Last edited by vnatale on Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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vnatale
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Re: Rage by Bob Woodard

Post by vnatale » Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:46 am

Trump had initially resisted criminal justice reform, known as the First Step Act, reforming prisons and sentencing passed by Congress and signed into law in 2018, but Kushner had pushed it hard and it passed with large bipartisan majorities. It was working politically so Trump now clung to it. Graham realized Trump rewrote the history on that and said he had always been for it.
"I only regret that I have but one lap to give to my cats."
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