Juneteenth 2020

Speaker at rally
Juneteenth celebration in Malcolm X Park, Philadelphia

The city of Tulsa OK was the main story of these last few days. The President chose Tulsa for his first rally since March.
The Trump campaign suffered a very serious set-back with their rally in Tulsa. Two singing groups, TikToc and K-Pop, decided to play a prank on them. They and their followers decided to pretend to be loyal Trump people and to say they were going to attend the rally. If you attend a campaign rally, campaign people want your contact data so they can get money from you, get you to knock on doors for the candidate, etc. Not only did the campaign spend over half a million dollars to reserve an outside stage for the anticipated overflow crowd (which was never used and so was a complete waste of money), but all of the voter contact data for the past 10 days is useless as the great majority of it came from pranksters. Can it be separated from the real Trump loyalists? Probably, but it would likely cost more to do so than to just junk the last 10 days of data and to start over.

crowd at park

Representative AOC cheered on the pranksters, earning her a "Tsk, tsk" from Fox News.
The press was primed to write a "comeback" story for the President, so they fell for the optimistic projection just as the President did. How was Trump's messaging?

… Trump had no message of sympathy for those who lost friends and family to the virus, complaining instead that extensive testing was making the pandemic look worse.
“I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down, please,’” he said, in what appeared to be a striking admission that he’s prioritized politics over accurately tracking the spread of the virus. A White House official said later the president “was clearly speaking in jest.”
Despite the protests against racism and police brutality that have swept the nation in recent weeks, the president made scant reference to the issues raised by demonstrators. Trump did, however, lace his speech with racist comments, at one point calling the coronavirus, which originated in China, the “kung flu.”…
The link above is to a collection of tweets and stories detailing how the President's day was just a complete disaster. More on the disaster of a rally and the blame-shifting of the people in charge.

The pandemic has lifted enough that restaurants are serving meals outdoors.

Talk of a "second wave" of the pandemic was scoffed at by the Vice-President. He's right, but not because COVID-19 has been defeated. He's right because the first wave never ended. There was an infection peak in the New York Tri-State area and in other cities, but the coronavirus has started making serious inroads in the South and West.

Scientists generally agree the nation is still in its first wave of coronavirus infections, albeit one that’s dipping in some parts of the country while rising in others.
It would be nice if Americans could trust their health care experts, but they've been collectively giving the American people such mixed and inconsistent messages, that's quite difficult. One of the problems is that it was discovered pretty early on that the virus doesn't spread that easily outdoors. It's an absolute killer in crowded, confined areas, but parks and beaches were closed, even though they could provide people with relatively safe recreational activities. The public needs to use social distancing and/or masks at parks and beaches, but being there is much healthier than being in crowded indoor spaces.

Lots of people brought picnics.
Video of hip-hop singer,

Attorney General William Barr tried to do an after-hours, sort-of secret, at the very least, a quiet firing of the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey Berman. As a liberal, I'm willing to hear the Trump Administration come up with an explanation for this that doesn't make them sound like a group of mobbed-up gangsters. What have they got? Well, first Barr tried to simply announce that Berman had volunteered to quit. Berman made it very clear he had done no such thing. Barr then tried to say that the President had fired Berman. Trump denied that he had done this. As the blogger puts it

No matter how you parse out that series of events, it's so far impossible to come up with an explanation that is not, on Barr's part, brazenly corrupt.
Berman has now quit, with the understanding that he'd be replaced by his direct subordinate, so it's far from clear that Barr and Trump have really won much of anything. The fact that Barr at first declared that he wanted the office filled by a crony, Jay Clayton, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, makes it clear that his motivation was, at best, a highly suspicious one.
New York Rep. Jerry Nadler tweeted an invitation for Berman to come testify before the House Judiciary Committee, which he chairs.
The Trump Administration is now claiming that they wanted to do Clayton the favor of giving him a job where he could live in New York City.

relaxing and enjoying

On the fifth video clip here, the President complains that his administration doesn't get enough credit for what its done to fight the coronavirus. Yes, he and his people have done more than to just sit around and to stare at the ceiling, but that hardly means the job they've done is even halfway adequate. Governor Cuomo of New York has stopped giving daily briefings on the pandemic. According to Cuomo, "New York is on the other side of the mountain." They did the hard work that was needed to make the difference. New Zealand has also done quite well. Again, because they walked the walk, not just talked the talk of defeating the coronavirus. On the other hand, infections are surging in Texas, Florida and Arizona. Worldwide, there are huge differences in how countries are handling it.

singer at rally