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Articles on the USA published after 2020
Sinophobia & Covid-19
Trump's Virus
Sinophobia & Covid-19 in US Media
Was covid-19 made in the USA?
The Clown & the Virus - Part 2
The greatest Fox News hoaxes
The Clown & the Virus
Updated: the Trump presidency in pictures
Amy Klobuchar for President
Open letter to senator Ben Sasse
Trump's Foreign Policy in a Nutshell - Part 3
Trump's Foreign Policy in a Nutshell - Part 2
Should California Declare Independence?
The Anti-Trump Party is not a Liberal Party
The Trump Scandals
Where we stand with the Trump-Russia investigation
What's in "Vladimir" Trump's tax returns?
Articles on the USA published before 2020


  • (april 2020) Was covid-19 made in the USA?.

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  • (march 2020) The Clown & the Virus - Part 2.
    (continued from The Clown & the Virus: A Timeline of Trump & Covid-19)
    • In order to give a tax cut to rich corporations and to build a wall to keep illegal immigrants out, Trump in March 2018 disbanded the global health security team, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had to slash by 80% its program to prevent global disease outbreaks. In February 2020 Trump proposed cuts to CDC: cutting Health and Human Services funding by $9.5 billion, including a 15% cut of $1.2 billion to the CDC and a $35 million reduction of the Infectious Diseases Rapid Response Reserve Fund's annual contribution. In 2010 the CDC budget was $12.7bn in current dollars; today it is $8bn. In 2018 Trump defunded and therefore killed a program by the CDC for epidemic prevention activities in 39 countries, including China a program started by Obama in 2014 to prevent ebola from spreading. The CDC director, Tom Frieden, complained publicly that this "would significantly increase the chance an epidemic will spread without our knowledge and endanger lives in our country and around the world." When in 2017 the Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust and several countries established the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) Trump decided that the USA would not be among the participants: CEPI's goal is to speed up the process of vaccine development. Trump also killed the Complex Crises Fund, a fund created by then secretary of state Hillary Clinton to deploy disease experts and others in the event of a crisis. In September 2019 Trump terminates Predict, an international program started in 2009 by Obama designed to alert the USA to potential pandemics caused by viruses that jump from wildlife to humans. Predict, in collaboration with 60 foreign laboratories including the Wuhan Institute of Virology, had identified 1,200 viruses that had the potential to erupt into pandemics, including more than 160 coronaviruses, including the closest known relative of the covid-19 coronavirus. This stopped the work of scores of US scientists who were working to prevent pandemics in countries around the world, including China. (See A Timeline of Trump & Covid-19 for links to these events).

      No wonder that initially only three of the USA's 100 public-health labs were able to test for covid-19 (despite all the warnings that the virus would inevitably spread also in the USA) and that the USA has tested so few people, second only to Iran (Update of March 11: 26 people per million people, compared with South Korea's 4,000 per million and Italy's 1,000 per million - read this report by the Atlantic). By de-funding what the two previous administrations (Bush's and Obama's) had created, the Trump administration failed miserably to stock enough masks, gloves, gowns and ventilators (and even toilet paper!) for an emergency.

    • The anxiety in the stock market is perfectly justified. Not because of the gravity of the covid-19 but because the US government has made all the possible mistakes. The US government seems to have learned absolutely nothing from China and Italy and is repeating exactly the same mistakes that China and Italy made at the beginning of the epidemic. Donald Trump is behaving precisely like the governor of Hubei did in December, contradicting and even ridiculing the scientists (just like he does on climate change). That's why the stock market is panicking: because the USA is repeating the same mistakes that China made at the beginning. And, in general, nobody trusts Trump in a crisis. So far Trump has only faced crises that he himself created, and then he defused them with a lot of chest-thumping and blaming everybody else, but chest-thumping and blaming everybody else is hardly a way to reassure the markets in the face of an epidemic, especially an epidemic that his misleading tweets have contributed to accelerate.

    • Update of March 11: when Trump finally addressed the nation and admitted a national emergency, he spent most of the time congratulating himself for the wonderful job he has done, a fact eerily reminiscent of the Bush administration during the Katrina catastrophe, but the only action that he mentioned was a ban on Europeans, most of whom were not coming anyway, while he said nothing about the 300,000 US citizens who were still in Europe and were much more likely to return to the USA, and initially exempted Britain (perhaps because he owns a golf course there). He also referred to covid-19 as the "China virus", a way to deflect responsibility. Just to be very clear: the covid-19 is spreading in the USA from within. It started with returning US citizens who were infected abroad, e.g. on a cruise ship, and now it is spreading internally (from US resident to US resident). Forget where it originated: this is not a foreign virus anymore, it's a domestic virus spread by US residents to other US residents.
    • Then Trump has continued to disseminate fake news. For example, that a vaccine will be ready soon, that anybody can be tested, and that the antimalarial drug chloroquine can cure covid19 (an Arizona man died and his wife had to be hospitalized after they both followed his suggestion).
    • Trump didn't show any leadership, but mostly blamed everybody else, pushed conspiracy theories, smeared his political opponents and meanwhile, just like other dictators, he took advantage of the chaos to pursue his personal vendettas.
    • Besides government disinformation and inaction, the USA has its own structural problems. To start with, health care is not free for all. It costs money to get tested for covid-19, so of course most of us would wait until we are very (very) sick before we ask to be tested. The US health care system is a retarded system, and that's the reason why all sorts of diseases spread faster in the USA than in other countries where health care is run by the government. So far the US government has done absolutely nothing to provide free testing and treatment for covid-19, which leaves 27 million uninsured people with zero coverage and the other 270 million at the mercy of their health insurance. Meanwhile, the virus has been spreading undetected in pretty much every state. Then, again, according to Trump to Fox News, this covid-19 is less dangerous than the flu. Without universal health care, each hospital and doctor can charge what they want, and this becomes a huge cost for both uninsured and insured people. Some big cities are even reluctant to close public schools, because many poor households rely on the schools for meals to their children and for child care: European and East Asian countries don't have the large number of destitute families that US cities have (if a Chinese family is poor, most likely it is located in the countryside and grows its own food). The public infrastructure of China, Italy, South Korea, etc does not exist in the USA. This is the result of three decades of "class warfare" against the middle class and the working class. Therefore the USA may already have tens of thousands of infected people, who are spreading the disease in their communities while not being detected. The USA ends up in the exact same situation as most third-world countries: they think that they don't have the virus because they are not testing their citizens.
    • Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is correct when he keeps repeating that "we're losing up to 60,000 people who die every year because they don't get to a doctor on time". But, as cruel as it sounds, the USA has to thank that millions of people don't have health insurance and therefore are reluctant to show up at the hospital: the USA doesn't have enough hospitals and doesn't have enough doctors/nurses. The USA gives billions of dollars to the military-industrial complex and doesn't have money to build public hospitals. And restrictive immigration laws make it difficult to hire doctors and nurses from abroad (and the current xenophobic atmosphere discourages them from even wanting to emigrate to the USA).

    See also: The Clown & the Virus: A Timeline of Trump & Covid-19,
    Covid-19: How it may change the World
    A Timeline of Covid-19
    A Summary of Covid-19
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2020 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (march 2020) The Clown & the Virus.
    This article has moved here.
  • (february 2020) Amy Klobuchar for President

    The logic is simple:

    1. I have no major issue with the programs of any of the Democratic candidates. In any event, we know that, once they become president, the most daring ideas disappear and they have to bend to the reality of the world. So better judge them based on character than on promises.
    2. As far as i can tell, she's the most competent of those still running, and she is at least as honest as the most honest of them.
    3. The greatest accomplishment of the Obama administration was the TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a masterpiece trade deal to integrate the economies of East Asia and North America. The TPP would have created the largest free-trade region in the world and a new bicontinental alliance for the USA. Trump killed the TPP following orders from bis boss Putin. Klobuchar is the last hope that the TPP could be resurrected.
    4. No more billionaires. There should also have a "wealth" limit. Rich people, no matter how smart they are, don't know much about the world. I traveled in "chicken buses" all over Africa, Latin America, South Asia and the Middle East. I hitchhiked in all continents. I slept in the cheapest hostels and sometimes in the bus. I know how ordinary people live their lives. If you are rich, you don't, and misjudge both the people of your country and the people of the world in general. Period.
    5. It is time to have a female president of the USA.
    6. It is also time, after four years, to have a president who pays her taxes, does not run fake foundations and universities, does not surround herself with crooks, releases her tax returns, is not a sex maniac, and is not paid by Russia.
    7. When i was young, i thought that it was ridiculous that people over 65 have the right to vote. I am now 65 and i haven't changed my mind, especially seeing what most people over 65 are doing. Old people shouldn't have the right to vote just like people under 18 don't have the right to vote. They can certainly discuss, write, advise. But voting for something that will affect the world after they are gone is not fair. And the intellectual abilities of most people over 65 is not any better than the intellectual abilities of people under 18. If only people under 65 and over 18 voted, the world would be very different, and, i believe, better. Make it 70 at best.
    8. That said, i am also annoyed by political leaders who are over 65. They indirectly tell us "Yes, there are a lot more people in the age group 18-65, but the best qualified person to run the country actually belongs to the tiny minority of people over 65 who are still in good mental and physical health". I'd rather pick one from the much larger population of mentally and physically healthy people between 18 and 65.
    That Klobuchar is a serious threat to the fascist establishment is demonstrated by the fact that the fascist media (Fox News and the likes) started demonizing her after ignoring her for months.

    Best quote: "I am a mother, so I'm used to balancing things."

    Second best: "Courage means standing next to someone you don't always agree with".

    Best quote about her: "If you're a woman, whatever your voice or appearance, you qualify for special forms of intolerance" (Caroline Fraser)

    Ratings:
    Amy Klobuchar (D) 8/10
    Elizabeth Warren (D) 7.5/10
    Bernie Sanders (D) 7/10
    Pete Buttigieg (D) 6.5/10
    Joe Biden (D) 6.5/10
    Michael Bloomberg (D) 6/10
    Bill Weld (R) 6/10
    Sedinam Moyowasifza-Curry (G) 6/10
    Joe Walsh (R) 5/10
    Tom Steyer (D) 5/10
    Jo Jorgensen (L) 5/10
    Howie Hawkins (G) 4/10
    Roque De La Fuente (R) 3/10
    Vermin Supreme (L) 2/10
    Donald Trump (R) 1/10

    Not my fault if there are very few Republicans in the top 10: the best Republicans are not running. Who would be the best?
    Mia Love 7.5/10
    Elise Stefanik 7/10
    Joni Ernst 7/10
    Susana Martinez 7/10
    Susan Collins 7/10
    Lisa Murkowski 7/10
    John Kasich 7/10
    Pete King 7/10
    Mitt Romney 7/10
    Kristi Noem 7/10
    Charlie Baker 7/10
    Ana Navarro 6.5/10
    Alex Smith 6.5/10
    Kevin Faulconer 6.5/10
    Larry Hogan 6.5/10
    Carly Fiorina 6/10
    Nikki Haley 6/10
    Condy Rice 6/10
    Chris Sununu 6/10
    Francis Rooney 6/10
    Liz Cheney 6/10

    By the way, there are many Democratic politicians that i would prefer to some who are currently running. For example:
    Mazie Hirono 8/10
    Nancy Pelosi 8/10
    Susan Rice 8/10
    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez 7.5/10
    Adam Schiff 7.5/10
    Kamala Harris 7.5/10
    Tammy Duckworth 7.5/10
    Charles Schumer 7.5/10
    Rashida Tlaib 7.5/10
    Gretchen Whitmer 7.5/10
    Keisha Lance Bottoms 7.5/10
    Gina Raimondo 7.5/10
    Michelle Lujan Grisham 7.5/10
    Nan Whaley 7.5/10
    Kate Brown 7.5/10
    Gretchen Whitmer 7.5/10
    Greg Fischer 7.5/10
    Michael Hancock 7.5/10
    John Barrasso 7.5/10
    Eric Garcetti 7.5/10
    Jennifer Roberts 7.5/10
    Aja Brown 7.5/10
    Patty Murray 7.5/10
    Debbie Stabenow 7.5/10
    Jeanne Shaheen 7.5/10
    Kirsten Gillibrand 7.5/10
    Hillary Schieve 7/10
    Sharice Davids 7/10
    Ilhan Omar 7/10
    Gavin Newsom 7/10
    John Bel Edwards 7/10
    Marty Walsh 7/10
    Ayanna Pressley 7/10
    Dianne Feinstein 7/10

    TM, ®, Copyright © 2020 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (january 2020)

    Open letter to senator Ben Sasse
    Ben Sasse, Republican senator from Nebraska, wrote an article in the Atlantic about China's threat to the free world ("The Responsibility to Counter China's Ambitions Falls to Us" https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/01/china-sasse/605074/ )

    Dear senator,

    Everything you wrote about China's repressive system is true, but how can you criticize China's Communist Party when you are defending a fascist, crook, racist, sex offender, traitor... an utterly immoral person like Trump? and when you obey your senate leader Mitch McConnell in all of his anti-democratic schemes?
    Your's party vision of the USA is much scarier to me than Xi's vision of China. It's a vision of a world under the constant threat of a corrupt dishonest madman armed with nuclear weapons.
    If the future of the USA is the one that your party defends daily, may indeed China prevail.
    In fact, very soon the world's hope may well be that China prevails before the Mitch McConnells and the Donald Trumps of this country destroy the world.
    You depict the USA as "a nation founded on the idea of human dignity" but you are supporting the methodical dismantling of that idea.
    p.s.
    I think you missed the irony of something you wrote, where you present this achievement by the Chinese Communist Party as an evil deed: "a stunning process through which 850 million people have emerged from poverty since the early 1980s-the largest and fastest poverty reduction in human history, to accompany the largest and fastest economic expansion ever recorded".
    I wish your party could claim similar achievements over the same period of time instead of endless warfare and skyrocketing government debt.

    TM, ®, Copyright © 2020 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (january 2020)

    Trump's Foreign Policy in a Nutshell - Part 3
    Russia just announced the world's first hypersonic missile, the Avangard, capable of avoiding any missile defense of the USA. And China just deployed its first home-built aircraft carrier, the Shandong. Trump's response: pick a fight with a small country in the Middle East. Most of the US public has not heard or quickly forgot the names "Avangard" and "Shandong", but is now very familiar with the name "Qasem Soleimani", a general of Iran who meddled in the affairs of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen (none of these countries border on the USA, last time we checked).
    North Korea just announced that it will resume nuclear tests and missile tests, including a new strategic weapon. Trump's response: pick a fight with Iran, that years ago suspended nuclear tests and signed a treaty with the USA, Europe, Russia and China allowing international inspectors into its country. Most of the US public didn't have time to absorb the news that North Korea will soon be able to strike the USA with nuclear-armed missiles, but is now very familiar with the fact that this Qasem Soleimani was a "bad man" of Iran (a far-away country that has no way to strike the USA).
    First of all, Trump has a unique ability to elevate a regional trouble-maker to great-power status. North Korea and Iran are suddenly treated like world powers by US media thanks to the attention that Trump devoted to them and to the fact that they routinely outsmart him.
    Secondly, it's useful to remember who started the fight. It was Trump who threatened North Korea with "fire and fury like the world has never seen". North Korea's dictator understood that part well and prepared the country so that it could in turn unleash on the USA "fire and fury like the world has never seen". He may not be the smartest fat boy in the world, but he is not stupid. And it was Trump, in May 2018, who unilaterally decided to withdraw the USA from the nuclear treaty signed by Obama (and Russia, China and the Europeans) with Iran that halted Iran's nuclear program. Every international and US observer agrees that, at that time, Iran was in full compliance with the treaty. Iran's initial reaction was surprisingly responsible: instead of threatening retaliation against the USA, Iran simply tried to keep good relations with the Europeans, i.e. to create a wedge between the USA and the US allies that Trump routinely insults (in other words, a wedge that Trump himself has created). But then, in April 2019, Trump also imposed an international embargo on Iran's exports of its own oil, sanctions that are truly crippling for the Iranian economy. Trump himself called them "maximum pressure". If you exert maximum pressure on someone, you can't expect that someone to simply suffer in silence. Iran began to retaliate against US allies in the region the only way it can: with small-scale attacks (note the word "small") launched by its proxy militias against Saudi Arabia and with rockets that killed a grand total of 1 (one) US citizen in Iraq and maybe (maybe) a total of 20 people across the region. Any mass shooter in the USA has killed more US citizens than all of Qasem Soleimani's militias combined.
    For what it's worth, Qasem Soleimani's Quds Force helped the USA to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001, and certainly rejoiced when the USA in 2003 ousted Saddam Hussein, the madman who had tried to invade Iran in 1980 and who was oppressing the Shiite majority of Iraq. Suleimani became an enemy of the USA when the USA decided to protect the Mujahedeen Khalq, a group funded by Saddam Hussein considered a terrorist group by Iran. Nonetheless, until recently Qasem Soleimani's Quds Force was working in coordination with the USA in fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria. (Note: ISIS, just like the Taliban and Al Qaeda, was born with support from Saudi Arabia, which has never been punished for the 2001 attacks in the USA by Al Qaeda and for all the terrorist attacks carried out by ISIS in the world, let alone for many murdered dissident including a US journalist).
    The issue is not whether this Qasem Soleimani was a bad person or not. There are many bad people in the world. It doesn't mean the USA should assassinate all of them. Incidentally, most of the world (including me) thinks that Donald Trump is a bad man, and a very dangerous one. The issue is that this assassination simply continues the US policy of creating more and more conflict with Iran, and this only seems to serve the interests of the Islamic dictatorship of Saudi Arabia and of the rogue prime minister of Israel, not the interests of the people of the USA (See The biggest scam in the Middle East: Israel's war on Iran and Bombing Saudi Arabia: an Act of War or a Moral Duty?).
    The following day, Trump said "We took action last night to stop a war... not to start a war." That statement may become as famous as Bush's "Mission accomplished".
    Putin is certainly happy to see the USA mired (yet again) in a Middle East conflict while he expands Russia's influence in every corner of the world, from Venezuela (where he has strengthened Maduro's regime with no opposition from Trump) to Syria (where Trump has abandoned the US allies to be slaughtered by joint Russian and Turkish aggression). Now that Trump is president, Putin is basically taking an endless victory lap. For mysterious reasons (i'm being sarcastic), Trump's actions always seem to help Russia and hurt the USA. Trump is either incredibly stupid or incredibly corrupt. Or, more likely, both.
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2020 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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  • (january 2020)

    Trump's Foreign Policy in a Nutshell - Part 2
    Two months ago i wrote Trump's Foreign Policy in a Nutshell. It didn't take long for some of those predictions to come true. A few days ago Putin announced that Russia now has the first hypersonic missile. It was probably coming anyway, but it is a direct consequence of Trump's withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. It is now perfectly legitimate for Russia and anyone else to develop such missiles. Given that both China and the Europeans are more technologically advanced than Russia, it is just a matter of time before they too will develop the same hypersonic missiles. These are rockets that can hit anywhere in the USA and cannot be stopped by any missile defense system.
    We don't really know why "Vladimir" Trump withdrew from the ABMT. It could be just Mussolini-style bravado. It could be that he followed orders from Putin (as usual). It could be that someone convinced such a gullible incompetent president that the USA needed to test new defense systems without realizing that this simply encouraged the "enemy" to develop better offensive systems. Whatever missile defense the Pentagon was trying to develop, it is now useless against Russian missiles.
    A few days later an Iran-backed Shiite militia organized a mass demonstration against the USA in Baghdad that culminated with the partial occupation of the US embassy. Nobody got killed but the message was clear: "if we want, we can kill the entire staff of the US embassy in Iraq". Since Trump rescinded Obama's treaty with Iran, Iran has been posting one victory after the other, openly challenging the USA anywhere in the Middle East, even shooting down a US spy drone. Now it is flexing its muscles inside Iraq, a country that the USA "liberated" from Saddam Hussein at the cost of one trillion dollars and thousands of lives. Iraq is currently with no government after the resignation of the prime minister, following widespread riots against corruption. It's the ideal time for Iran to influence Iraq's domestic politics. Trump ordered the bombing of this Iran-backed militia which resulted in the death of 24 people. And this offered the perfect pretext for Iran to stir up nationalistic pride among the Iraqi population. Now the USA has a much bigger problem: not only Iran is stirring up trouble all over the Middle East, but now there is a good chance that Iraq will become more aligned with Iran than it ever was in its 5,000-year history.
    A few days later the other pillar of Trump's foreign policy collapsed. Jong-un Kim, the dictator of tiny and poor North Korea, announced live on television that North Korea will "mass-produce nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles". He reiterated that North Korea will resume nuclear and missile tests. It is likely that this year North Korea will test a missile capable of hitting California. Trump was duped by Kim into believing that there was a path to denuclearize North Korea. He is so dumb he might still believe it. North Korea's plan has always been clear and actually widely publicized by North Korea's leaders themselves: become a nuclear power and annex South Korea with its formidable economy (See What North Korea really wants). Then the unified Korea under the Kim dictatorship will be one of the world's most powerful nations. It sounded like a madman's dream when Kim's grandfather was talking about it. Under Trump's watch, this madman's dream has now become a very realistic scenario. North Korea's plan has always been to build nuclear weapons and missiles capable of striking the USA, and lots of both.
    Finally, the crown in "Vladimir" Trump's foreign policy has been the dismantling of the Atlantic alliance. Trump supported Brexit and weakened NATO to the point that the latest NATO meeting, held in Britain itself, was mainly a declaration of "each man for his own". It ended with world leaders making fun of Trump and Trump insulting everybody as usual, convinced that he is a "very stable genius" gifted with "immense wisdom" when everybody treats him like a fool. A video that went viral shows British prime minister Boris Johnson, French president Emmanuel Macron, Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau and Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte making fun of Trump's childish behavior during the summit. The one who was certainly amused was his master Putin: Russia has never looked so powerful now that NATO is disintegrating.
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