It’s unfair to treat every gaffe as evidence of malice or incompetence. But were Trump’s demonstrably false statements gaffes?

Public officials misspeak all the time. Journalists make mistakes all the time. Ordinary citizens over-react to headlines without reading the full article all the time. We are all of us human. It’s unfair for any of us to treat every gaffe as evidence of malice or incompetence.   For example, critics of President Trump are stretching when they say Trump called coronavirus a “hoax.” In the context of his Feb…

Fact check: Trump utters series of false and misleading claims at coronavirus briefing

Not fake news. Not the enemy of the American people. “Nobody ever thought a thing like this could have happened,” said the the president at Thursday’s press event. Feb 27: “We’re going very substantially down, not up.” [Narrator: “Cases were not going down.”] Feb 26: “The 15 [documented cases of COVID-19 in the USA] within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.” [Narrator: “It…

Rhinoceros in Love (World Drama — China, 1999)

The blurb for a 2011 English version of the 1999 Chinese play I’m teaching this week: China’s most popular and provocative drama. A modern story of love and obsession, Rhinoceros in Love tells the story of a rhinoceros-keeper who develops a dangerous romantic fascination with the woman of his dreams: the uncompromising, unobtainable Mingming. Hear from the director Meng Jinghui about this smash-hit show which continues to play nightly in…

Trump, finally, takes the coronavirus emergency seriously

CNN’s Stephen Collinson praises the president’s Monday press conference. This version of Donald Trump will save lives. The President offered Americans something they have rarely seen from him in his latest and most somber press conference yet on the coronavirus pandemic on Monday. He dispensed unimpeachable information based on fact. He called for national unity and seemed like he meant to help forge it. And he ditched his normal habit of…

No, the Fed Did Not Just Give Stock Traders $1.5 Trillion

I don’t know that much about the world of finance. This was a helpful explanation of what it means to say the Fed “injected” 1.5 trillion dollars. According to Slate, that money was in the form of short-term loans, not a gift. “Again, this is all short-term lending against the safest collateral in the world, U.S. government securities. Nobody is just being given money for keeps. This is why the…