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  • Sports
    The Guardian

    Trump may be no good at leading America – but he's really, really good at lying

    US credibility has been contorted to protect the feelings of one man-child. No wonder he finds Anthony Fauci so offensiveIt’s outrageous to say that Donald Trump is good at nothing.He may be no good at leading the country through a pandemic and recession. He may be no good at healing a nation that is deeply scarred by racist power. He may be no good at diplomacy with his allies, or even recognising America’s enemies for what they are.But he is really, really good at lying. An Olympic-standard, Guinness Book of Records fabricator of falsehoods. He regurgitates lies as rapidly and copiously as Joey Chestnut swallows hotdogs.Trump represents the historic high-water mark for verbal cheating, which is surely the only part of his short legacy that will feature in US history exams in 2030.According to the exhausted and exhaustive factchecking team at the Washington Post, Trump’s rate of lying is shaped remarkably like the country’s exponential rise in Covid-19 cases.It took him 827 days to reach his first 10,000 lies, but just 440 days to reach his second 10,000 lies.The team’s forensic book on the subject calls this “his assault on truth”. But it’s really an assault on our ability to understand what truth looks and sounds like.This is nothing new for Trump, but it is something new for a democratic nation that proudly used to call itself the leader of the free world.Credibility was one of the most potent weapons in America’s arsenal of soft power. The kind of potency that allowed Kennedy’s secretary of state to convince Charles de Gaulle to support his case against the Soviet Union in the Cuban missile crisis. Based on Kennedy’s word, not the photographic evidence.Today America’s credibility has been contorted to protect the feelings of one man-child, not the security of a nation. That’s why someone like Anthony Fauci is so deeply offensive to the factory of fraud built inside this White House.Fauci is the most senior expert on Trump’s coronavirus task force, but he says he hasn’t briefed the president in two months. In that time, the daily number of new American cases has tripled to more than 60,000.Rather than deal with the underlying raging wildfire, Trump’s team set about attacking the man best placed to quell the inferno. According to multiple news organisations, the White House sprayed out its oppo research about all the times Fauci supposedly got things wrong.It’s possible that the captain of the Titanic felt equally aggrieved by the quality of the previous week’s shipping forecast. But history has not looked kindly on his care of human souls nonetheless.After three decades in charge of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, Fauci is clearly an expert in at least three things: science, politics and the sophisticated art of not giving a flying flask.Fauci dares to say that America is not, in fact, doing great, even when the red baseball cap claims otherwise. Even when all of the president’s minions tell him he looks awesome in a face mask.This is not a fair fight. In the blue corner is a world-renowned scientist whom 67% of Americans trust for accurate information about the coronavirus. In the red corner is a world-renowned grifter whom 26% of Americans trust for the same information.Only one of them suggested injecting disinfectant as a cure for Covid-19, which would obviously disappear like a miracle, after he protected the nation with a travel ban that was clearly perfect. He’s the one who paid someone to take the SAT exam on his behalf.It’s tempting to blame one sociopathic man for what we’re suffering. But it truly takes a village to allow such a spectacular village idiot to thrive.Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary who promised she would never lie to the press, has spent the past two months, well, lying to the press.“There is no opposition research being dumped to reporters,” she claimed on Monday. “We were asked a very specific question by the Washington Post, and that question was President Trump noted that Dr Fauci had made some mistakes, and we provided a direct answer to what was a direct question.”Kayleigh: here’s the thing. In another six months, you’ll be looking for a new job. One of your predecessors is now trying to sell grills on Instagram. That market is already crowded, and there aren’t many other household goods to endorse on social media.In Trumpland, there is no herd immunity to this disease. They have been infected for so long, they are happy to sneeze full viral loads in the hope that everyone succumbs to the same lies.So what if the polls consistently show their boss losing to Joe Biden by such large numbers that they are outside the margin of error? The only margin of error that matters is saying something that might break the mirror that Trump stares at every day.Brad Parscale, Trump’s campaign manager, claims that polls are “the biggest joke in politics” and “the fakest thing.” This is from the genius behind the mostly empty rally in Tulsa that was more effective as a coronavirus comeback than a political oneIt’s that kind of fact-denying brilliance that leads our antihero to sit on the wrong side of precisely every issue of the day.On Monday Trump tried yet again to smear Biden by claiming he was on the side of “radical” and “reckless politicians” who are opposed to what he called “our law enforcement heroes”.This was just the first working day after Trump commuted the sentence of a convicted felon who lied to protect him – in opposition to the career prosecutors who might be considered “our law enforcement heroes”.Irony may be dead in Trump’s America, but the polling isn’t.While Trump is trying to whip up opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement, the country has already made up its mind. A clear majority of Americans – 60% – agree with the ideas of Black Lives Matter, and similar numbers support major reforms to policing. As it happens, around the same numbers disapprove of Trump’s handling of the protests.Why would anyone campaigning for reelection waste a whole day talking to just 40% of the country?Because Donald Trump has lied so often, to so many people, that he believes his own version of reality. It is just one of the multiple truths that is so familiar to anyone living in Putin’s Russia.Restoring sanity and science is impossible inside a White House where Trump’s fantasies rule. We will endure six more months of Fauci-bashing before we can turn the tide on this pandemic.Fauci will of course survive. But it will take many more years to restore America’s credibility after this confederacy of dunces is swept out.• Richard Wolffe is a Guardian US columnist

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  • Business
    Autoblog

    2021 Ford Bronco First Edition reservations sell out, Bronco website 'stampeded'

    When the 2021 Ford Bronco was revealed last night, we — and you, probably — noticed right away that Ford's Bronco reservation site was apparently struggling to handle the volume. If you snagged one, you know that the First Edition gets Badlands mechanicals (heavy duty suspension), Outer Banks interior and Wildtrak exterior.

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  • Lifestyle
    Business Insider

    I've driven midsize SUVs from Toyota, Honda, Ford, VW, Chevy, and others. Here are my 10 favorites.

    These midsize SUVs combine performance, value, quality, and versatility. They're all worth a look, especially for families that don't want a minivan.

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  • U.S.
    The Daily Beast

    Ghislaine Maxwell Says She Had No Contact With Epstein in 10 Years. Not True.

    In the July 10 court filing protesting her confinement to jail for alleged sex trafficking offenses and perjury in relation to Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell’s attorneys claimed “she’d had no contact with Epstein for more than a decade.” However, court filings from a prior civil case (Giuffre vs. Maxwell, 2015), unsealed last August on the day before Epstein’s death, include a log of email communications between Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein showing they contacted each other between January 6 and January 27, 2015. Six of these seven email correspondences between Epstein and Maxwell were shielded from disclosure in the case by “common interest” and in one case, when Epstein attorney Alan Dershowitz was included on an email, it was shielded by attorney-client privilege. The email log appears to contradict Maxwell’s claim that she has not been in contact with Epstein for more than 10 years. (An attorney for Maxwell did not respond to requests for comment.)Meet the Media’s Go-To Ghislaine Maxwell ‘Friend’ Who Critics Say Is ‘Full of Shit’Why Is the Public Corruption Unit Prosecuting Ghislaine Maxwell?The first date of these exchanges, January 6, 2015, was three days after the publication of an explosive article in the Daily Mail picturing Prince Andrew with his arm around Epstein victim/survivor Virginia Roberts Giuffre and a smiling Ghislaine Maxwell (labeled as “the madame”) in the background. Maxwell is alleged in various civil suits to have been an integral part, if not the principal organizer, of Jeffrey Epstein’s sex-trafficking enterprise. While Maxwell’s recent arrest cites allegations of sex-trafficking activity occurring between 1994 and 1997, there are indications that she was present at Epstein’s Palm Beach estate during the 2002-2005 time frame of the alleged criminal activities outlined in his 2019 arrest and indictment—such as Maxwell receiving and leaving phone messages there, as well as the discovery of stationary paper with her name on it, and testimony from a butler that she had an office in the house.According to Brad Edwards and Brittany Henderson, attorneys for numerous alleged victims of Epstein and Maxwell, when the 2005-06 Palm Beach police investigation of Epstein began, “she [Maxwell] became a ghost. She completely distanced herself from Epstein.” But prior to this, as Edwards and Henderson note in their new book on Epstein, the pair “slept in the same bed and traveled the world together in private planes... they were inseparable for almost two decades.” For her part, Maxwell claimed to have broken off her romantic relationship with Epstein much earlier, in 2000. (In a recent court filing in the Virgin Islands against his estate, Maxwell claimed she worked for Epstein and/or his companies until 2006). In a 2007 character reference, sent by Epstein’s lawyers to support his bid in getting what one Florida prosecutor called “the deal of the century,” Epstein’s attorneys claimed that Epstein’s relationship with Maxwell “ended amicably around 2000.” They explained in the letter that Epstein’s need for frequent travel and his work arrangements “precluded a good married life with children” to explain why Maxwell and Epstein ended their relationship.When Epstein’s Florida criminal case was hanging in the balance, Ghislaine wrote the following about Jeffrey Epstein: My experience of Jeffrey, is of a thoughtful, kind, generous loving man, with a keen sense of humour and ready smile—a man of principles and values and a man of his word. If he made a promise, he would always follow through. In fact, I never saw him break a promise. He is disciplined in business and conscientious. A man always quick to help someone who is down, or to offer an opportunity to someone to pursue a dream or goal. After their breakup, Maxwell claims to have continued on in 2001 as an employee of Epstein’s—she is listed aboard 84 flights on Epstein’s aircraft in 2001, and aboard 67 flights in 2002, but this dropped to 14 flights by 2006. One particular flight included Epstein, Maxwell, Emmy Tayler, and Virginia Giuffre (then Roberts) on March 9, 2001. This flight landed at London’s Luton airport the night before Giuffre, then a 17-year-old girl from Florida, was allegedly trafficked to Prince Andrew. (Andrew and Maxwell have denied these claims.) Flight logs kept by Epstein pilot David Rodgers show Maxwell regularly traveled on Epstein’s planes all the way through 2007 when Epstein’s pilots stopped writing down the names of his passengers in February of that year. This past weekend the Mail on Sunday published an article citing Maxwell’s claim she did not see Epstein in person after 2005. However, logs from Epstein’s pilots indicate Maxwell flew to Paris on Epstein’s Boeing 727 on his 54th birthday in 2007. In a 2016 deposition, Sigrid McCawley, an attorney for Epstein and Maxwell’s alleged victims, asked Maxwell if she ever saw a girl under age 18 at Jeffrey Epstein’s home that was not the child of a friend. Maxwell said, “Again, I can’t testify to that because I have no idea what you are talking about.” When asked if Maxwell hired girls to perform sexual massages, Maxwell said, “I don’t hire girls like that,” and McCawley asked Maxwell to specify what she meant by “girls like that.” Maxwell responded, in part, “You are asking if I hired somebody to do what, I don’t know what you are talking about.” Later in the deposition, in an apparent moment of frustration, Maxwell began banging on the table for which she later apologized. Yet the current charges in her July 2020 indictment appear to begin with Maxwell recruiting a 14-year-old Jane Doe from Michigan’s Interlochen music camp in 1994, once attended by Epstein when he was a teenager. In the years to follow, according to one victim/survivor, Maxwell would even prowl Central Park looking for young girls to recruit for Epstein’s abuse.Maxwell has filed that she “vigorously denies the charges, intends to fight them, and is entitled to the presumption of innocence” and her attorneys have stated on the record that they believe the government’s criminal case is “meritless.” Maxwell’s bail hearing is set for Tuesday, July 14. Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

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