America is not a failed state. But it is in a vegetative state, largely because the nation is being overwhelmed by disinformation, false marketing, and a constant drumbeat of outright lies. And this attack on democratic norms seems to be touching everything as the election approaches. Example: “The Agriculture Department last week began mandating that millions of boxes of surplus food for needy families include a letter from President Donald Trump claiming credit for the program.” (Trump branded vegetables. I’ve seen it all.) Hopefully the boxes contain plenty of fiber, because it’s going to take that and more to push four years of this shit out of our system of government.

+ “Of the flood of misinformation, conspiracy theories and falsehoods seeding the internet on the coronavirus, one common thread stands out.” NYT: Study Finds ‘Single Largest Driver’ of Coronavirus Misinformation: Trump. And these deadly lies are never-ending. Trump has in fact almost never said anything true about the virus. That certainly includes his debate night vaccine claims: Moderna CEO says its coronavirus vaccine won’t be ready until spring of next year.

+ The lies are backed up by acts that fly in the unmasked face of reality, and his own administration’s guidance. WaPo: Trump plans big Wisconsin rallies despite White House task force calls for ‘maximal’ social distancing in the state.

+ However long it takes to get through the Covid 19 era, the end of that crisis will come a lot sooner than the end of the crisis caused by the Trumpist attacks on the core principles of democracy, especially voting. “As the 2020 presidential election nears, it is becoming clear that the Trump administration and the Republican Party are not just looking at but heavily investing in the largely nonexistent problem of voter fraud.” NYT Mag: The Attack on Voting.

+ “Former national security adviser H.R. McMaster said Thursday that President Donald Trump is ‘aiding and abetting‘ Russian President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to sow doubt about the American electoral system.” (One would be hard-pressed to name a Putin goal that Trump is not aiding.)

+ WaPo: As Kim wooed Trump with ‘love letters,’ he kept building his nuclear capability. Donald Trump is the second greatest thing ever to happen to despots and dictators like Kim and Putin. The greatest is that, even after all the damage he’s done to America, tens of millions of our citizens still look at him and see a president.