Auto-Save Draft feature temporarily disabled. Please be sure you manually save your post by selecting "Save Draft" if you have that need.

Letter From An American

2

Comments

  • Merkin BallerMerkin Baller Posts: 4,296
    Ok, this one was depressing. 

  • josevolutionjosevolution Posts: 23,960
    Ok, this one was depressing. 
    I’d add Sad, Republicans are just evil POS every last one of them! 
    jesus greets me looks just like me ....
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 18,979
     October 15, 2020 (Thursday)

    Tonight was supposed to be the night of a televised town hall meeting featuring both President Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. But, after Trump tested positive for coronavirus, the organizers of the event turned it into a virtual meeting. Trump refused to participate. So Biden arranged an event of an hour and a half on ABC. Then Trump arranged his own, separate hour-long town hall on NBC.

    NBC faced deep criticism for giving Trump a platform when he had ditched the official plan. But the network made up for that criticism by giving the position of moderator to journalist Savannah Guthrie, who has a J.D. from Georgetown Law School and worked as a litigator. Although the setting of the NBC event was oddly partisan—the backdrop consisted of masked women nodding along with the president’s answers—Guthrie repeatedly pressed Trump on his evasive answers to questioners, and his frustration was palpable.

    Before the event, Trump had denigrated it. “They asked me if I’d do it, I figured, ‘What the hell? We get a free hour on television,’” he said.

    But the questioning did him no favors. He refused to distance himself from QAnon supporters, who believe in the conspiracy theory that Trump is secretly orchestrating an assault on a ring of pedophiles and cannibals made up of the country’s elites. He admitted he owes $400 million to someone, but insists that he doesn’t owe it to Russia or any “sinister people” and that it is a “very, very small percentage” compared to his assets. He refused to say whether he had tested negative for coronavirus on September 29, the day of his first debate with Biden, and said he could not release his tax returns because they were under audit (when Guthrie noted that there was no rule stopping him from releasing them anyway, he got visibly angry). He maintained that he has a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, but could not describe what that is. As usual, he insisted he is treated terribly.

    Meanwhile, over at his own town hall, Biden put to rest Trump’s accusations that he is senile or “sleepy.” Biden answered questions from voters ranging from what he would do about racial inequality to our standing in foreign affairs. He showed deep knowledge of the issues, citing history and statistics, as well as providing detailed plans for what he would do to address the nation's problems. He was empathetic and human—the word people keep using is “decent”—and seemed energetic and eager to get underway with his plans for getting America back on track.

    In one of the more striking moments of the evening, moderator George Stephanopoulos asked Biden “If you lose, what will that say to you about where America is today?” Rather than giving the obvious answer for a presidential candidate-- “I won’t lose”—Biden demonstrated that he is willing to accept responsibility for his actions, something that has been perilously thin on the ground for the past four years, and demonstrated his confidence in his fellow Americans. “It could say that I’m a lousy candidate and I didn’t do a good job,” he told Stephanopoulos. “But… I hope that it doesn’t say that we are as racially, ethnically, and religiously at odds with one another as it appears the president wants us to be…. Because we have the greatest opportunity than any country in the world to own the 21st century and we can’t do it divided.” [sic]

    After the events, fact-checkers provided the grounding for the obvious: Trump made it up as he went along, hitting some of his favorite debunked talking points, while Biden misspoke on some of the details he outlined (he got troop levels in Afghanistan wrong, for example) but stayed close to the facts.

    More than anything, though, Biden reminded us of what a president is supposed to sound like. It was an extraordinary relief to hear someone actually talk about the issues the country faces, rather than make everything about himself. And then, after the televised part of his town hall ended, Biden continued to answer questions, talking to voters because, well, that’s what real politicians do.

    Trump’s willingness to grab free airtime tonight reflects his campaign’s financial straits. In these last days of the campaign, as his funds dwindle, Trump has been using the resources of the federal government—also known as our tax dollars—to support his bid for reelection. He has poured more than $32 billion into direct aid for farmers, put letters in government-distributed boxes of food claiming personal credit for the program, and promised billions to seniors to help cover the cost of prescription drugs. He has planned a $300 million advertising campaign to help us “defeat despair” over the coronavirus, and has used the White House for both the Republican National Convention and a recent political rally.

    All that money is supposed to move voters into Trump’s column, but tonight did nothing to aid that effort.

    Still, he doesn’t much seem to care. His administration seems to have turned into a revenge operation. Today, Trump appeared to celebrate last month’s killing of murder suspect Michael Reinoehl by law enforcement officers who had been deputized as U.S. Marshals. Reinoehl was a suspect in the killing of a right-wing agitator in Portland, Oregon, when the officers shot him. “They knew who he was; they didn't want to arrest him, and in 15 minutes that ended," Trump told an audience at a campaign rally in North Carolina, seeming to gloat over an extrajudicial killing. Trump also continued to attack Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, just a week after the FBI arrested 8 men for plotting to kidnap her.

    We also learned today that intelligence officers had warned White House officials, including the president, that Russians were using Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani to feed disinformation to Trump. A former intelligence official told Washington Post reporters: “The message was, “Do what you want to do, but your friend Rudy has been worked by Russian assets in Ukraine.” This makes the willingness of Republicans to push yesterday’s “revelation” of an incriminating laptop allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden even more astonishing. NBC News reports that intelligence officers are investigating that story to see if it is a foreign intelligence operation.

    On Twitter tonight, conservative columnist Bill Kristol wrote, “A friend who has served at very high levels of government, a true public servant and a serious conservative, emailed me earlier: "The Republican Party has become the party of facilitating Russian agitprop and voter suppression. Not what I signed up for."

    Today the administration rejected a request from California Governor Gavin Newsom for a disaster declaration to free up money to help the state after six wildfires have burned hundreds of thousands of acres across the state. California is a reliably Democratic state that will likely give its electoral votes to Biden.

    Meanwhile, in the absence of a coronavirus relief bill, poverty is growing. Depending on the scale they use, researchers say 6 to 8 million Americans have slipped below the poverty line. Republican strategists appear to be willing to deepen the recession if it means crippling an incoming Biden administration. According to a report in Bloomberg, Republicans are setting the stage to kill future federal spending. If Biden is elected but the Republicans hold the Senate, they will refuse any aid to address the coronavirus crisis, thus hoping to cripple a Democratic presidency from Day One.

    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 32,318
    Today's HCR letter was great.  Trump is showing himself to be the loser he is.  That last paragraph is concerning.  It illustrates how very important winning the senate is.   I don't see how it could not.  I mean, how is it that so many republicans still support that guy?  It's truly disgusting.
    “In all human affairs there are efforts, and there are results, and the strength of the effort is the measure of the result.”
    -James Allen










  • josevolutionjosevolution Posts: 23,960
    brianlux said:
    Today's HCR letter was great.  Trump is showing himself to be the loser he is.  That last paragraph is concerning.  It illustrates how very important winning the senate is.   I don't see how it could not.  I mean, how is it that so many republicans still support that guy?  It's truly disgusting.
    Yep Moscow Mitch is all about not giving anything to any Democrat president, total disgraceful disgusting vile POS human!
    jesus greets me looks just like me ....
  • Merkin BallerMerkin Baller Posts: 4,296
    brianlux said:
    Today's HCR letter was great.  Trump is showing himself to be the loser he is.  That last paragraph is concerning.  It illustrates how very important winning the senate is.   I don't see how it could not.  I mean, how is it that so many republicans still support that guy?  It's truly disgusting.
    Yep Moscow Mitch is all about not giving anything to any Democrat president, total disgraceful disgusting vile POS human!

    It's wild... they're preparing to go back to the Obama playbook which was basically obstruct wherever & whenever possible. They would rather destroy the country than work with democrats and they're not even hiding it.

  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 32,318
    brianlux said:
    Today's HCR letter was great.  Trump is showing himself to be the loser he is.  That last paragraph is concerning.  It illustrates how very important winning the senate is.   I don't see how it could not.  I mean, how is it that so many republicans still support that guy?  It's truly disgusting.
    Yep Moscow Mitch is all about not giving anything to any Democrat president, total disgraceful disgusting vile POS human!

    It's wild... they're preparing to go back to the Obama playbook which was basically obstruct wherever & whenever possible. They would rather destroy the country than work with democrats and they're not even hiding it.
    Exactly!  And they will be the first to bitch and moan about the very situation they caused if it comes to that.

    “In all human affairs there are efforts, and there are results, and the strength of the effort is the measure of the result.”
    -James Allen










  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 18,979
     October 16, 2020 (Friday)

    The theme of the day was the palpable sense of rats leaving a sinking ship as Republicans, administration officials, and administration-adjacent people distanced themselves from the president.

    There was a foreshadowing of that exodus on Wednesday, when Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) let loose about the president in a telephone call with constituents. Sasse was an early critic of Trump but toned down his opposition significantly in the early part of the administration. On Wednesday, he reverted to his earlier position, saying he had “never been on the Trump train.” He complained about the way Trump “kisses dictators’ butts,” and went on: "The United States now regularly sells out our allies under his leadership, the way he treats women, spends like a drunken sailor…. [He] mocks evangelicals behind closed doors...has treated the presidency like a business opportunity" and has "flirted with white supremacists." He said: “What the heck were any of us thinking, that selling a TV-obsessed, narcissistic individual to the American people was a good idea?"

    The theme of abandoning the administration became apparent yesterday, when officials leaked the story that intelligence officials had warned Trump against listening to his lawyer Rudy Giuliani. This was a high-level leak, and suggests that more and more staffers are starting to look for a way off the S.S. Trump.

    The audience numbers for last night’s town halls was also revealing, as Biden attracted 700,000 more viewers on just one ABC outlet than Trump did on the three NBC outlets that carried his event. Biden’s town hall was the most watched event since the Oscars in February. It appears that people are simply tired of watching the president and are eager for calm and reason.

    Today, a group called “43 Alumni for Biden” released an ad called “Team 46." It says that they are all lifelong Republicans, but because they recognize the qualities of leadership—including empathy-- everyone “on this team” is voting for Biden. “Let’s put Joe Biden in the White House.” The ad features a number of pictures of President George W. Bush, the forty-third president, and is narrated by someone whose voice sounds like his. Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance notes, “This looks awfully close to an endorsement of Biden from George W. Bush.”

    Also today, the former chair of the New Hampshire Republican Committee, Jennifer Horn, urged “my fellow Republicans” not to vote for Trump’s reelection. In a piece in USA Today, Horn reminded Republicans of “the overwhelming sorrow and grief that this president” has inflicted on the country. Citing Covid-19 deaths, “cultural divides, racial unrest, economic disparity and constitutional abuses,” all of which “are just tools to be used to feed his narcissism, advance his political ambitions and line his pockets,” Horn indicted both Trump and the Republican Party that enables him.

    “This election poses a unique challenge,” she wrote. “It will test not Republican vs. Democrat or Trump vs. Biden, but rather, “We the People.” It is our role in this constitutional republic, our leadership, and our dedication to the promise of America that is being tested. Trump or America,” she wrote. “We cannot have both.”

    Under pressure, Trump changed course today and approved the emergency declaration for California that he denied yesterday. Such a reconsideration would normally have taken until after the election, but this one happened fast. Earlier this week, Trump tweeted: “People are fleeing California. Taxes too high, Crime too high, Brownouts too many, Lockdowns too severe. VOTE FOR TRUMP, WHAT THE HELL DO YOU HAVE TO LOSE!!!”

    Today CNN began teasers for a special on Sunday that will explain how former senior Trump officials believe Trump is unfit for the presidency. According to former White House Chief of Staff, retired Marine General John Kelly, “The depths of his dishonesty is just astounding to me. The dishonesty, the transactional nature of every relationship, though it's more pathetic than anything else. He is the most flawed person I have ever met in my life."

    Also today, Caroline Giuliani, the daughter of Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, urged people to end Trump’s “reign of terror” by voting for “a compassionate and decent president,” Joe Biden. “[C]orruption starts with 'yes-men' and women, the cronies who create an echo chamber of lies and subservience to maintain their proximity to power," she wrote in a piece for Vanity Fair. "We've seen this ad nauseam with Trump and his cadre of high-level sycophants (the ones who weren't convicted, anyway)." Giuliani cheered Biden’s choice of Kamala Harris for his running mate, and wrote, "in Joe Biden, we'll have a leader who prioritizes common ground and civility over alienation, bullying, and scorched-earth tactics.” [T]ogether,” she said, “we can vote this toxic administration out of office."

    And yet another story from the day: a third career prosecutor from the Department of Justice resigned after publicly attacking Attorney General William Barr for abusing his power to get Trump reelected. “After 36 years, I’m fleeing what was the U.S. Department of Justice,” Phillip Halpern wrote. “[T]he department’s past leaders were dedicated to the rule of law and the guiding principle that justice is blind. That is a bygone era, but it should not be forgotten.” Noting that “Barr has never actually investigated, charged or tried a case,” Halpern expressed deep concern over Barr’s “slavish obedience to Donald Trump’s will.” “This career bureaucrat seems determined to turn our democracy into an autocracy,” he warned.

    Georgetown Law Professor Paul Butler, who worked as a federal prosecutor under Barr when he was George H. W. Bush’s Attorney General, told Katie Benner of the New York Times that such criticism is “unprecedented,” and reflects Trump’s pressure on the AG. “I have never seen sitting prosecutors go on the record with concerns about the attorney general,” he said.

    And yet, Barr’s willingness to bend the Justice Department to Trump’s personal will may, in the end, not be enough to keep Trump’s favor. Angry that Barr did not produce a report attacking the Russia investigation before the election, Trump just yesterday said he wasn’t happy with Barr’s performance, and might not keep him on as AG if he wins a second term.

    There are signs people in the administration are preparing for Trump to lose the election. His cabinet is rushing to change regulations to lock in Trump’s goal of giving more scope to businessmen to act as they see fit. Normally, changes in regulations require setting aside time for public comment on the changes, but the administration is shortening or eliminating those periods over changes in, for example, rules allowing railroads to move highly flammable liquefied natural gas on freight trains, what constitutes “contract” work, how much pollution factories can emit, and who can immigrate to America.
     
    Russell Vought, the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, said in a statement: “President Trump has worked quickly from the beginning of his term to grow the economy by removing the mountain of Obama-Biden job-killing regulations,” and that the current push simply continues that effort. But no one is missing the quiet distancing going on in Washington as Republican lawmakers are shifting away from public support for the president.

    Meanwhile, at his rally tonight in Georgia, Trump told the crowd “You should… lock up the Bidens, lock up Hillary.” The crowd then began to chant “Lock them up.” But one thing about a bully: when people finally start to turn on him, there is a stampede for the exits.

    Tonight, at his Georgia rally, Trump outlined all the ways in which he was being unfairly treated, then mused: “Could you imagine if I lose?... I’m not going to feel so good. Maybe I’ll have to leave the country, I don’t know.”

    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 32,318
    Isn't it just flat out bizarre how how long it took some of these GOP officials to realize what most of us knew all along?  I'm glad they are waking up but, man, if the evidence we've been seeing for quite some time had been any more clear, it would have smacked them right upside the head. 

    Let's get the vote out, get Trump out, and start mending this badly broken ship.
    “In all human affairs there are efforts, and there are results, and the strength of the effort is the measure of the result.”
    -James Allen










  • josevolutionjosevolution Posts: 23,960
    brianlux said:
    Isn't it just flat out bizarre how how long it took some of these GOP officials to realize what most of us knew all along?  I'm glad they are waking up but, man, if the evidence we've been seeing for quite some time had been any more clear, it would have smacked them right upside the head. 

    Let's get the vote out, get Trump out, and start mending this badly broken ship.
    Can’t wait we’re voting early here on Long Island October 25th!
    jesus greets me looks just like me ....
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 18,979
    short note that she took the night off....
    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • Spiritual_ChaosSpiritual_Chaos Posts: 21,883
    Does "Letter from an american" and the Bowie song "I'm afraid of Americans" have the same amount of syllables ?

    Sounds like you can replace it while singing it.
    "Mostly I think that people react sensitively because they know you’ve got a point"
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 18,979
     October 18, 2020 (Sunday)

    Today reinforced some of the developing storylines of the 2020 election.

    Last night, at a rally in Michigan, Trump once again attacked Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer for locking down her state in the early days of the pandemic. When the crowd started to chant “Lock her up!” Trump responded: “Lock them all up!” Just ten days ago, the FBI arrested eight men plotting to kidnap Whitmer and put her on trial for “treason.” Whitmer called Trump out for “inspiring and incentivizing and inciting this kind of domestic terrorism.” She told NBC, “It is wrong. It’s got to end. It is dangerous, not just for me and my family, but for public servants everywhere who are doing their jobs and trying to protect their fellow Americans. People of goodwill on both sides of the aisle need to step up and call this out and bring the heat down.”

    Lara Trump, who is married to Eric Trump and is a senior advisor to the Trump campaign, disagreed. She told CNN’s Jake Tapper, “Well, look, he wasn’t doing anything, I don’t think, to provoke people to threaten this woman at all…. He was having fun at a Trump rally.” The Trump campaign then insisted that a small “8645” emblem on a table beside Whitmer during her television interview was “encouraging assassination attempts” against Trump. (To “86” something is slang for getting rid of it.) While observers have noted Trump’s use of gaslighting—making someone believe something that is not true—another abusive pattern is “DARVO,” which stands for “Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender.”

    Today, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that political officials in the Trump administration have restricted his media appearances. He also explained that he now has federal protection because of threats to his life, and to his wife and children. “That’s sad,” he told Jonathan Lapook of CBS’s 60 Minutes, “The very fact that a public health message to save lives triggers such venom and animosity to me that it results in real and credible threats to my life and my safety.”

    The editorial board of the New York Times today ran a special section of the Sunday Review to explain to readers in thirteen essays why Trump “is unfit to lead the nation.” The essays cover his corruption, incompetent statesmanship, attacks on women and minorities, rejection of science, and so on. The editorial introducing the issue begins: “Donald Trump’s re-election campaign poses the greatest threat to American democracy since World War II.” What follows is a blistering litany of the actions of the man who is “without any real rivals as the worst American president in modern history,” the editors say. He is conducting “an intolerable assault on the very foundations of the American experiment in government by the people.” The editorial concludes: “Mr. Trump is a man of no integrity. He has repeatedly violated his oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States…. Now, in this moment of peril, it falls to the American people — even those who would prefer a Republican president — to preserve, protect and defend the United States by voting.”

    More Republicans who have appeared to move in lockstep with the president are distancing themselves from him. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) needs independents to swing his way in a tight race with Democrat MJ Hegar, a retired Air Force combat pilot. On Friday, Cornyn told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Editorial Board that his relationship with Trump was “maybe like a lot of women who get married and think they’re going to change their spouse, and that doesn’t usually work out very well.” Cornyn claims to have stood up to Trump, but privately.

    In all this there is nothing really new.

    But there is a story that might have new information in it.

    Last Wednesday morning, October 14, the tabloid New York Post ran a complicated and unbelievable story about Hunter Biden dropping off three laptops at a repair store and never going back for them, the FBI subpoenaing hard drives, and the repair shop owner making copies before turning them over and then giving the copies to Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who gave them to the New York Post. Allegedly, the material on the laptops was incriminating.

    The story was pretty transparently bogus from the start, especially since Giuliani has been hanging around with Andrii Derkach, a Ukrainian lawmaker who, according to the Treasury Department, is a longtime Russian agent. According to the Treasury, Derkach has been working to promote “false and unsubstantiated narratives concerning U.S. officials in the upcoming 2020 election.” Giuliani was an eager listener.

    Today, Katie Robertson at the New York Times reported that the New York Post article was so suspect that its lead author refused to put his name on it. The two main sources for the story were Stephen Bannon, Trump’s former advisor who is under federal indictment for fraud, and Giuliani. Giuliani said he took the story to the Post because “either nobody else would take it, or if they took it, they would spend all the time they could to try to contradict it before they put it out.” One woman whose name finally appeared on the story is a former associate producer for Sean Hannity’s show and has been at the newspaper only since April. The other did not work on the story and only discovered her name was on it after it was published. The New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal have all said they could not verify the story.

    The startling new “revelations” about Hunter Biden mirror classic disinformation campaigns in Russia, and look a great deal like the last-minute “revelations” about Hillary Clinton’s emails “discovered” on a laptop in Fall 2016, all of which later came to nothing. Former CIA officer Evan McMullin tweeted: “For weeks, there’s been awareness in intel circles of Russian plans to return (with Trump) to their bogus Biden-Burisma narrative and, as I’ve warned, their plan to expand that to include bonkers pedophilia and human trafficking allegations against the Bidens. Don’t fall for it!”

    And yet, certain Republican lawmakers are running with the story. Republican Representative Lee Zeldin of New York tweeted that “Joe Needs to answer some questions ASAP about this dirty $ setup.” Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) went onto the Fox News Channel to suggest that the computer at the center of this story, allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden, had child pornography on it. This prompted intelligence specialist Malcolm Nance to tweet: “Whoa. The Republicans tried to tie Hunter Biden to child pornography. This is a 100% FSB [Russian Intelligence Agency] tactic. The FSB ALWAYS claims/plants Child porn on their opponents.”

    For at least a year now, intelligence officers have warned us that Russia is interfering in this election, trying to swing it to Trump. Despite the fact that Trump’s polling numbers are abysmal, our Electoral College system means that the swing of relatively few voters in key states could enable him to eke out a victory, just as he did in 2016. It is worth remembering that Trump’s plan in 2020 has never been to win a majority; it has been to win by gaming the system. It seems to me also worth remembering that Trump has consistently refused either to criticize Russia or to acknowledge that Putin’s agents are working to help him get reelected.
     
    While many Trump campaign officials are already trying to blame each other for their candidate’s apparent weakness, Trump and his loyalists remain adamant that he is going to win. They are allegedly taking names of those whom he considers insufficiently supportive. He is mad at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who has rejected the president’s plans for a coronavirus relief bill and who publicly criticized the White House approach to the pandemic. He has gone after Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) for her coolness toward Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, and Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) for his condemnation of the president in a phone call with constituents. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), who has made his dislike for Trump clear in recent statements, is also on the outs.

    Tim Murtaugh, communications director for the Trump campaign, says, “President Trump won in 2016 without the vocal support of the political insider crowd, and he’s going to do it again. The President enjoys the support of over 90 percent of Republicans….”

    It is certainly possible that the Trump campaign is putting a brave face on the terrible polls, but the ham-handed attempt to dump disinformation about the Bidens is an excellent reminder that foreign operatives have been trying to influence our elections since 2016, and they have not gone away.

    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 18,979
     October 19, 2020 (Monday)

    With the election just over two weeks away, the news is intense.

    The biggest story, by far, remains coronavirus. While we are all understandably buffeted by the craziness of politics these days, no historians will ever write about this election without noting that over it hangs the pall of more than 220,000 Americans dead of Covid-19 and more than 8 million infected, and that numbers, once again, are rising. Today the U.S. had 58,387 new cases, along with at least 445 deaths.

    After Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and, theoretically anyway, an adviser to the White House, was quoted on CBS’s 60 Minutes last night criticizing the administration’s response to coronavirus, Trump attacked him this morning in a conference call with staff to which reporters had been invited. “Fauci is a disaster,” Trump said. “If I listened to him, we’d have 500,000 deaths." Later he increased that number to 700,000 or 800,000. “People are tired of Covid,” he said. “I have the biggest rallies I’ve ever had. And we have Covid. People are saying: ‘Whatever. Just leave us alone.’ They’re tired of it.”

    In Prescott, Arizona, this afternoon, Trump expanded on this idea. He told the crowd: "They are getting tired of the pandemic, aren't they? You turn on CNN, that's all they cover. 'Covid, Covid, Pandemic, Covid, Covid.' You know why? They're trying to talk everybody out of voting. People aren't buying it, CNN, you dumb bastards."

    Indeed, we are all tired of it, but as cases are surging and hospitals and medical staff again appear to be on the verge of being overwhelmed with cases of Covid-19, a majority of Americans trust Fauci’s cautious advice more than we trust that of the White House, which is embracing the idea of simply letting the disease spread to try to create immunity. Trump’s final push for reelection centers on holding in-person rallies, trying to illustrate that there is nothing to fear from the disease and that the country needs to get back to normal despite it.

    Trump’s anger at Fauci seems to be part of his general anger these days, seemingly sparked by the polls that show him trailing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. He is using his rallies both to express his grievances and to boast of his own power. Today, in Prescott, he boasted "I call the head of Exxon. I'll use a company. 'How, how are you doing, how's energy coming? When are doing the exploration? Oh, you need a couple of permits, huh?' But I call the head of Exxon, I say, 'you know, I'd love you to send me $25m for the campaign'" This sort of a bribe—the official term is quid pro quo—is illegal. Exxon promptly clarified: “We are aware of the President’s statement regarding a hypothetical call with our CEO… and just so we’re all clear, it never happened.”

    Trump, as well as other pro-Trump media outlets, are frustrated that the story Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani passed to the tabloid newspaper the New York Post is not getting the traction they want. The story of three laptops, abandoned at a repair shop by Biden’s son Hunter, that just happened to have incriminating evidence that ended up in Giuliani’s hands, was flagged almost instantly as having the hallmarks of Russian disinformation. Today more than 50 former senior intelligence officers signed a letter to that effect, warning that Russia was, once again, interfering in our elections.  

    Even though intelligence officers warned the White House that Russian intelligence was targeting Giuliani, Trump’s team stands behind the story, and is reportedly putting pressure on FBI director Christopher Wray to announce an investigation into the issue. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA), and Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) have all been pushing the story.

    Today, the president exploded at a reporter, calling him “a criminal for not reporting” on the Hunter Biden story. Trump loyalist John Ratcliffe, the Director of National Intelligence—which places him at the head of our intelligence services—defended the Biden story and insisted it is not part of a Russian disinformation campaign. He told the Fox News Channel: “That's something the American people should consider as they go in & look at elections & everything that's going on in this country ... we have the opportunity to bring truth."

    Ratcliffe’s partisanship shocked CIA veteran John Sipher, who tweeted: “Stunningly inappropriate. Intelligence leaders should be focused on collecting and analyzing foreign national security information. This is domestic, partisan politics and out-of-bounds.”

    The news broke today that the Fox News Channel executives passed on the Biden story, thinking it was not credible. Now, of course, it is reporting on the fight over the story, so it is sort of having it both ways, but the fact that the story was even too iffy for FNC speaks volumes. Also today, Facebook suspended the account of Andrii Derkach, the Ukrainian politician associated with Giuliani and the Biden story. Treasury officials have identified Derkach as a Russian operative. Facebook took down his page “for violating our policy against the use of our platform by people engaged in election-focused influence operations.”

    Also today, the Department of Justice indicted 6 Russian military intelligence officers for computer hacks around the world that cost billions of dollars and disrupted a number of different societies. Thomas P. Bossert, Trump’s first homeland security adviser, who is now the president of a security firm, told New York Times reporters Michael S. Schmidt and Nicole Perlroth: “The G.R.U.’s hackers operate as a strategic arm of the Russian state, and they have been using this cybertool as a military weapon in a military campaign.”

    Thursday night is the final presidential debate, and the Trump campaign spent the day wrangling over its terms. The non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates negotiated with the campaigns months ago to establish that the topics for each debate would be determined by the debate’s moderator. Last week, NBC News White House correspondent Kristin Welker, who will moderate the Thursday event—an arrangement to which Trump agreed—announced her topics, including the coronavirus, race, leadership, national security, and climate change. The Trump campaign promptly accused the commission of breaking a promise to focus on foreign affairs, an accusation the commission rejected, reminding the campaign of the terms to which they had agreed.

    For his part, Trump called Welker “a radical left Democrat” who is “extraordinarily unfair,” but said he would take part anyway.  “I’ll participate, I just think it is very unfair,” Trump told reporters. “I will participate, but it’s very unfair that they changed the topics and it is very unfair that again we have an anchor who is totally biased.”

    Later today, though, the commission announced it would turn off each candidate’s microphone during his opponent’s initial two-minute reply to Welker’s questions. Trump indicated he was not happy with the change.

    Finally, tonight the Supreme Court denied a request from the Pennsylvania Republican Party to stop the counting of mail-in ballots that arrive up to three days after Election Day. This is a win for wider voting in a swing state that often plays a key role in the Electoral College, and it appears that the Pennsylvania Republican Party thinks enabling more people to vote will hurt them. Four of the eight voting justices-- Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr., Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh—sided with the Republicans’ argument for restricting the vote. Since Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett is, like them, a strict constructionist, it is not unreasonable to assume she would have joined them if she were on the court. Because there are currently eight justices on the court, and they tied, the lower court’s decision holds. But if Barrett were there, it is likely the strict constructionists would have made up a majority, cutting off the counting of ballots that arrived in the three days after the election.

    In what is quite a rare occurrence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to hold sessions over the weekend to push through Barrett’s nomination before the election.

    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • Spiritual_ChaosSpiritual_Chaos Posts: 21,883
    edited October 20
    Bad (internet) form posting complete content. 

    Should post a paragraph and two, and link to her site so she'll get the clicks. 

    Interesting reads!
    "Mostly I think that people react sensitively because they know you’ve got a point"
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 18,979
    when I want your advice   I will ask for it. go ahead and hold your breath til that happens.
    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • Spiritual_ChaosSpiritual_Chaos Posts: 21,883
    edited October 20
    mickeyrat said:
    when I want your advice   I will ask for it. go ahead and hold your breath til that happens.
    No. I will point out when you are doing things in a way not that is not ideal, discourteous or wrong.

    Thank you.
    Post edited by Spiritual_Chaos on
    "Mostly I think that people react sensitively because they know you’ve got a point"
  • Merkin BallerMerkin Baller Posts: 4,296
    edited October 20

    The point about how the PA election ruling would have turned out if ACB had already been sworn in is sobering, to say the least.


  • RunIntoTheRainRunIntoTheRain TexasPosts: 833
    Thank you @mickeyrat for posting the letters on here. 
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 32,318
    edited October 20
    Thank you @mickeyrat for posting the letters on here. 

    Same here, thanks Mickey.

    Great read today!
    “In all human affairs there are efforts, and there are results, and the strength of the effort is the measure of the result.”
    -James Allen










  • Merkin BallerMerkin Baller Posts: 4,296
    +1 in appreciation of this thread.

  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 32,318
    The 10/20 letter look cautious optimist to me- certainly more optimistic than not.  I'm I'm not giving anything away.  Gotta wait for Mickey to post it!  :wink:
    “In all human affairs there are efforts, and there are results, and the strength of the effort is the measure of the result.”
    -James Allen










  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 18,979
     October 20, 2020 (Tuesday)

    Trump is acting as if he expects to lose the election. Today, on the Fox News Channel, he hammered again on the discredited Hunter Biden laptop story and lashed out at Attorney General William Barr for not pursuing it. “We’ve got to get the Attorney General to act,” he said. “He’s got to act, and he’s got to act fast. He’s got to appoint somebody. This is major corruption, and this has to be known about before the election. And by the way, we’re doing very well. We’re going to win the election. We’re doing very well.”

    Today the FBI declined to comment on the story, saying in a letter to Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), who had asked for information about the alleged laptop, that “consistent with longstanding Department of Justice… policy and practice, the FBI” was not getting involved in this political effort. “If actionable intelligence is developed,” Assistant Director of the Office of Congressional Affairs Jill C. Tyson wrote, “the FBI in consultation with the Intelligence Community will evaluate the need to provide… briefings….”

    Trump also lashed out at Lesley Stahl, the host of CBS’s 60 Minutes, after he walked out of an interview. On Sunday, 60 Minutes is running a special featuring interviews with Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, and Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris. Trump was apparently angry that Stahl asked him about coronavirus, his attacks on Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and infectious disease authority Dr. Anthony Fauci, and the size of the crowds at his rallies.

    Trump’s people were taping the interview themselves, allegedly to archive it, but after he left, Trump took to Twitter, where he threatened to release the video himself to undercut 60 Minutes. “I am pleased to inform you that, for the sake of accuracy in reporting, I am considering posting my interview with Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes, PRIOR TO AIRTIME! This will be done so that everybody can get a glimpse of what a FAKE and BIASED interview is all about…” he tweeted. “Everyone should compare this terrible Electoral Intrusion with the recent interviews of Sleepy Joe Biden!”
     
    While there has been some tightening in the polls, giving a boost to Trump, there are signs he is right to be worried. In the Washington Post today, Greg Sargent noted that at the congressional district level, Trump is significantly behind his 2016 polling with both working class and college-educated white people. Interviewing David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report, Sargent quoted Wasserman’s observation that Trump is consistently running 8 to 10 points behind where he did in 2016. He is doing even worse in wealthy suburbs. He is doing better than he did in 2016 in heavily Hispanic districts in Florida and Texas, but that will not help him much in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. He needs to build more support among white voters, but he has only two weeks left to do it.

    After being on-again, off-again for a new coronavirus relief bill, Trump is now eager to have one before the election, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin appear to be close to a deal. But news broke today that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has privately told Republican senators that he opposes the idea, and has warned the White House not to negotiate with Pelosi before the election.

    Some Republicans object to the price tag of a big measure; others don’t want to have to choose between agreeing with Trump or upsetting their relief-hating base. McConnell is also determined not to let anything interrupt the tight schedule he has established for the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court before the election. It is also likely the Republicans are not eager to pass a big relief bill just before an election that might put a Democrat in power, thus boosting his chances of rebuilding the economy.

    It is also true, though, that Trump has less clout with Republican lawmakers than ever before, and they are trying to distance themselves from him.

    Meanwhile, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden today stayed out of the news as he prepares for Thursday’s presidential debate. It hit me, as I was reading the news today, how blissfully normal it sounds to imagine a president who actually prepares for things, and who is not in the news all day, every day. Apparently, I’m not the only one to feel that way: Axios reports that this month popular engagement with Biden’s Twitter account and videos have passed Trump’s. So have Biden’s follower numbers. Biden’s town hall last week also drew more viewers.

    Just why this election is so important received powerful illustration tonight. In 2017, the Trump administration began a pilot program to deter refugees from coming to America by taking away migrants’ children. It broke up more than 1000 families. The next year, the program became official, and the administration forcibly removed more than 2,800 children from their parents in May and June of that year. Most of those families were still in custody when a federal judge ordered the program stopped and the families reunited. Today NBC broke the story that lawyers appointed to identify the separated families have not been able to find the parents of 545 of the children, and that the administration actually deported about two-thirds of those parents during the pilot program while keeping their children behind. Those children are now in America with relatives or foster families.

    Almost immediately after this news broke, the administration put out a press release announcing that “THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION IS COMMITTED TO COMBATING HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND PROTECTING THE INNOCENT.” It listed the ways in which the administration has taken on this crime. Pedophilia and human trafficking are the central concerns of the conspiracy theory QAnon, so the press release both addressed the administration’s policy of stripping children from their parents and nodded to QAnon supporters.

    Other revelations today included news from the continuing investigation by the New York Times into Trump’s tax records. It turns out that, for all Trump’s attempts to smear Biden by claiming he is too close to China, Trump himself has a bank account in the country which he did not list on his public financial disclosures because it is held under a corporate name. The account paid $188,561 in taxes in China from 2013 to 2015. Biden’s income taxes, which-- unlike the president-- he released, show neither business dealings nor income from China.

    Today, in a plea deal, Elliott Broidy, a major Trump fundraiser and deputy finance chair of the Republican National Committee, pleaded guilty to acting as an unregistered foreign agent. Broidy admitted to lobbying the Trump administration for Chinese and Malaysian interests in exchange for millions of dollars. Broidy forfeited $6.6 million, and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in return for their recommendation of lenience at sentencing. Like Trump, Broidy was one of Trump fixer Michael Cohen’s clients.

    In the midst of all this, there is, today, what appears to be excellent news: two new studies show that deaths for hospitalized Covid-19 patients have dropped sharply since the start of the pandemic. When it began, hospitalized patients had a 25.6% chance of dying; now that rate is 7.6%. There are a number of reasons for this apparent drop, but the three that seem most important are a better understanding of the disease, standard procedures for care, and mask wearing, which reduces how much virus initially infects a patient. The disease remains vicious, of course, but mortality rates 18 percentage points lower now than they were at the start of the pandemic are definitely moving in the right direction.

    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 32,318
    ^^^ And there it is!
    “In all human affairs there are efforts, and there are results, and the strength of the effort is the measure of the result.”
    -James Allen










  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 18,979
     October 21, 2020 (Wednesday)

    As we enter the home stretch to this election, we are bombarded with so much news the only way to make sense of it is to divide it into categories.

    The president is angry and self-pitying while campaign officials are trying to tip the election with the dubious laptop story. Administration officials are also working as quickly as they can to push through whatever they can while they are still in power, hoping what they are doing flies under the radar with so much going on. And this flurry of activity means there are bad slips.

    At the same time, Democratic candidate Joe Biden is trying to get elected, but in such a storm of crazy that his actual policies, which are quite developed, are simply not getting much airtime. Instead, people have begun to look to him as a return to an America in which strength was measured not by dominance but by caring.

    The president began the day by tweeting about Biden’s proposed tax plan, which he calls “the Radical Biden-Harris Agenda.” He claims that the plan will “slash the typical American’s income by $6,500 per year. They will raise TAXES by $4 TRILLION DOLLARS – triggering a mass exodus of jobs out of America and into foreign countries…. Your 401k’s will crash with Biden. Massive Biden Tax and Regulation increases will destroy all that you have built! Additionally, 180 Million People will lose their Private Healthcare Plans.”

    In fact, though, it is the administration that is talking about slashing things, including millions of dollars from Democratic-led cities that Trump and Barr have labeled “anarchist jurisdictions": New York City; Portland, Oregon; Washington, D.C.; and Seattle, Washington. That money would cut federal grants for coronavirus relief, HIV treatment, newborn screening, and so on. Officials from the affected cities, as well as the U.S. Conference of Mayors, say they will sue if the administration tries to follow this through.

    In a move that threatens to destroy our nonpartisan civil service, Trump today signed an Executive Order creating a new category of public servant who is not covered by normal rules. These employees can be hired by agency heads without having to go through the merit-based system in place since 1883, and can be fired at will. This new “Schedule F” will once again allow presidents to appoint cronies to office, while firing those insufficiently loyal. It also appears to shield political appointees from an incoming administration by protecting them from firing because of political affiliation.

    Yesterday, an inspector general for the United States Postal Service issued a report requested by Congress examining the effects of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s changes to the postal service. The report concluded that the changes resulted in “significant negative service impacts across the country.” DeJoy is a Trump loyalist. The USPS Board of Governors, made up of Trump appointees, rejects the report’s conclusions.

    Meanwhile, a number of senior administration officials and lawmakers from both parties are worried that the White House is fast-tracking a business deal worth billions of dollars in what is essentially a no-bid contract to a company associated with Republican operatives, including Karl Rove. The company, Rivada, wants to lease the Department of Defense’s mid-band spectrum. This spectrum is wildly valuable for the 5G market, the next-generation mobile network. Pentagon leaders are opposed to the deal since the military uses that spectrum, and they say they have not been able to study the effect of commercial use of the spectrum on military readiness. Pentagon lawyers say the White House has no authority to sell or lease its spectrum. Lawmakers of both parties oppose the deal. One senior official told CNN, “Something is really fishy about this.”

    Today, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe blamed Iran for hacked emails purporting to come from the alt-right Proud Boys warning Democrats to vote for Trump. Ratcliffe said “we have identified that two foreign actors, Iran and Russia, have taken specific actions” relating to the election. He said the emails were designed to hurt Trump. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told Rachel Maddow that intelligence officers in a classified briefing about the matter did not, in fact, say that there was any attempt to hurt Trump. “I’m surprised that Ratcliffe would say that to the public…. I had the strong impression it was much rather to undermine confidence in elections….”  

    Meanwhile, Trump continues to push the laptop story. He is reportedly considering firing FBI director Christopher Wray after the election because Wray has refused to announce an investigation into Biden, his son Hunter Biden, or other Biden associates. After Wray’s refusal to back up Trump’s insistence that this summer’s violence was from “Antifa,” the FBI director’s unwillingness to announce a Biden investigation is apparently infuriating the president. In 2016, then FBI director James Comey announced a new investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails just 11 days before the election, an announcement political scientists say helped to swing victory to Trump. While the president can, in fact, fire an FBI director, it is unusual, and certainly should not happen because the director refuses to attack the president’s political rival. The term of the FBI director is set at 10 years so the director serves at least two presidents, and is not bound to the political cycle.

    Trump is railing not just at Wray, but also at Attorney General William Barr. Trump was counting on Barr’s probe of the Russia investigation to implicate high-ranking members of the Obama administration just before the election, but Barr has backed off on delivering the report. Trump is frustrated, recently retweeting a photo of Barr with the caption “for the love of GOD ARREST SOMEBODY.” Barr has been staying out of the news lately, although he was in Memphis, Tennessee, today, announcing arrests made there under his Operation Legend, the name for the police crackdown in a number of cities announced in July.

    Pushing the story of Hunter Biden’s laptop got a lot more difficult today when Sacha Baron Cohen revealed that his new Borat film shows Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani—the source of the laptop-- in a compromising position with a young woman. Giuliani insists the scene is a “complete fabrication,” but the stills I saw (and I was trying really hard not to see any of this) indicate that this explanation will convince only those determined to be convinced. As many observers have pointed out, if Baron Cohen could prank Giuliani so easily, what does that say about how well Giuliani could identify foreign influence operations?

    For his part, Biden is acting like a normal presidential candidate, which just doesn’t grab the headlines the way Trump’s actions do. After Trump attacked Biden’s tax policy, though, a number of stories noted the actual terms of the plan.

    Biden proposes to raise taxes on the wealthy. He would get rid of some of the 2017 Trump tax cuts, including the cut in the income tax rate for people making more than $400,000 a year. Trump cut that rate from 39.6% to 37%. Biden would put it back where it was. This change would affect fewer than 10% of taxpayers. People would also pay into the Social Security payroll tax for incomes over $400,000. That tax is currently collected only on $137,700 of earnings. Under this plan, the nation’s top 1% of earners would bring home about 15.9% less money after taxes than they do now.

    Biden also proposes to raise the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, and establish a 15% minimum tax on the so-called “book income” of a corporation, that is, the amount its directors report to shareholders, which often makes a corporation look quite profitable while it pays little or no tax. He would also increase taxes on international profits. These proposed taxes would make up more than half of the revenue the Treasury would see from the new measures.

    The Biden proposals would raise between $2.4 and $4 trillion over a decade. The Penn Wharton Budget Model concludes that the top 1% of earners would pay about 80% of the tax increases. Its report continues: “All groups outside of the top 5%... see their after-tax incomes fall by less than 1 percent.” The Washington Post awarded four Pinocchios to Trump’s attacks on Biden’s tax plan. The Tax Foundation could not score Trump’s own plan because he has made no actual proposals.

    Biden had powerful help today getting out his message. Former President Barack Obama, who has largely stayed out of the political fray, has reentered it powerfully. In a speech in Philadelphia, Obama directly attacked Trump, tearing apart his successor’s response to the coronavirus and his administration in general. No one gets under Trump’s skin like Obama does, and the former president seemed to be deliberately needling the president, perhaps to prod him to more self-destruction at tomorrow’s debate.

    His appearances were not just attacks on Trump, though. They were reminders of what the presidency looked like just four years ago, and they were designed to make sure people get to the polls. “We’ve got to turn out like never before,” President Obama said. “We cannot leave any doubt in this election…. A whole bunch of people stayed at home and got lazy and complacent. Not this time,” he said. “Not in this election.”

    Still, what made most news for Biden today was an old video of the former vice president at a memorial service for Chris Hixon, the athletic director at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, who died when he tried to disarm the killer. In the clip, which circulated widely on social media, Biden expresses his sympathy to Hixon’s parents and is walking away when Hixon’s son Corey, who has Kabuki Syndrome, runs up and, as Biden turns to see what’s happening, throws himself into Biden’s embrace. Biden spontaneously kisses the young man’s forehead and asks if he’s okay. When he shakes his head no, Biden hugs him, cradling his head, and reassures him, “It’s going to be okay. We’re going to be okay, I promise.”

    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 18,979
    October 22, 2020 (Thursday)

    Today had two important takeaways:

    Intelligence officials warned today that Russia recently hacked into our local and state computer networks. This could compromise our voting infrastructure. Intelligence officials believe our adversaries will try to help Trump, possibly by casting doubt on the voting results. While the administration has tried to insist that Iran and China are as significant a threat, experts disagree. Yesterday, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe identified Iran as the originator of fake emails purporting to be the from the alt-right gang the Proud Boys warning Democrats to vote for Trump, but the information they used for the enterprise was all public. Russia, though, has hacked our private election systems, making officials worry that it could change or delete voter data, throwing people off the rolls or invalidating mail-in ballots.  

    Bottom line on tonight’s final presidential debate: Trump needed to move the needle in his direction. He didn’t. Biden needed not to lose voters. He didn’t. The debate will likely not change the trajectory of the election.

    If you need a break after this week’s news hurricane, you can quit reading right here.

    For those sticking around….

    This was not a good day for the president’s reelection campaign. He seemed unable to get over how angry he was at Lesley Stahl from CBS’s 60 Minutes after yesterday's interview for a special program Sunday evening, and ultimately decided to post on Facebook the video the White House took during it. Trump’s team had said they were recording “for archival purposes only,” and posting the video meant Trump violated his agreement with the network.

    Trump seemed to think showing the clip would illustrate how poorly the media treats him, but in fact it shows Stahl behaving professionally, asking solid questions and fact-checking the president, while Trump argues and denigrates her. If the clip was supposed to generate sympathy for him, it backfired.

    The debate did him no favors either. Debate moderator Kristen Welker of NBC News was far more effective at keeping control over the debate than the previous two moderators were, especially at first, when the two men appeared to be afraid of her cutting their mics. Trump could not contain himself for long, though, and slipped pretty quickly back into talking over Welker and Biden both. Still, he was far more restrained than he was at the first debate.

    More significantly, he made little effort to use his time to connect with voters. He focused simply on badgering Biden and rehearsing the talking points that have become almost set pieces in his performances. They are not entirely comprehensible to someone who is not reading or watching right-wing media, but they are quite shockingly full of lies. And while his language is familiar to his usual audience, it is unlikely to attract new voters, who will likely be confused at best and, possibly, bored after hearing the same phrases for so long.

    While Biden, too, strayed from the truth on occasion, CNN fact checker Daniel Dale put it this way: “For a fact checker, you’re kind of sitting there w/Biden. Occasionally you’re like oh that’s wrong. With Trump you’re like the ‘I Love Lucy’ episode in the chocolate factory. You don’t know which one to pick up because there’s just so much.” He noted, “From a lying perspective, Trump is even worse tonight than in the first debate.”

    Trump did not make much of a case for his reelection tonight. He seemed to have no plans for what he would like to accomplish in a second term, although he did say he hoped to create a new healthcare plan (he has said repeatedly he already has one). He mocked Biden for talking about the so-called “kitchen table issues” that are important to ordinary voters, and insisted that Biden should have done everything he talks about accomplishing in the future back when he was vice president under President Barack Obama. At one point, Trump talked about what he would do “when I become president.”

    For his part, Biden largely ignored Trump’s wild answers and tried to outline his policies, which he described with more detail than clarity, but which were interesting nonetheless because they offered something new when compared with Trump’s rote performance, worn thin by familiarity. Biden had no major slips. Trump pounced on Biden’s declaration that the nation must transition away from oil, instantly responding, “Will you remember that Texas, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Ohio?” But Pennsylvania and Ohio produce just a tiny bit of crude oil—they are both primarily natural gas states—and Trump's identification of Texas and Oklahoma was a self-own. He is worried about carrying Texas and Oklahoma?“

    Most telling was that Trump was unprepared for Welker’s final, excellent but softball question: if they were to be elected, what would they say on Inauguration Day to voters who did not support them. Trump claimed that rebuilding the economy “to make our country totally successful as it was prior to the plague coming over from China” would bring Americans together, and then pivoted to attacking Biden, warning that if he were elected, “you will have a depression the likes of which you’ve never seen.”

    Biden, though, recognized that Welker had deliberately lobbed them the opportunity to make a final pitch to voters. He promised to represent all voters, not just those who voted for him, and promised to put “science over fiction” and “hope over fear.” “We’re going to choose to move forward because we have enormous opportunities, enormous opportunities to make things better,” he said. “We can grow this economy, we can deal with the systemic racism, and at the same time we can make sure that our economy is being run and moved and motivated by clean energy creating millions of new jobs. That’s the fact.”

    On the ballot this year, he said, are “Decency, honor, respect, treating people with dignity, making sure that everyone has an even chance, and I'm going to make sure you get that."

    Instant polls gave the debate to Biden by the same margins showing in the polls in general. CNN had Biden at 53% and Trump at 39%; Data Progress had Biden at 52% and Trump at 41%; US Politics had Biden at 52% and Trump at 39%.

    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 32,318
    Another great one from HCR!
    “In all human affairs there are efforts, and there are results, and the strength of the effort is the measure of the result.”
    -James Allen










  • jerparker20jerparker20 St. Paul, MNPosts: 1,950
    Thanks for posting these. I really wish these were the only election related piece of news I viewed. Much better for the blood pressure than doom scrolling online all day.
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 18,979
     October 23, 2020 (Friday)

    Today the United States had at least 82,600 new cases of coronavirus, our highest daily level of cases in a single day since the pandemic started. The outbreak is widespread, meaning it will be harder to move medical personnel around to address the crisis. We have lost close to 224,000 Americans to Covid-19. As it spreads through Republican-governed states, leaders refuse to use government authority to slow its reach. “It’s not a job for government,” North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum said.

    In a sign that Trump supporters see his reelection in danger, tonight on his show on the Fox News Channel, Lou Dobbs unloaded on South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, who is the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, for not doing more to help Trump. Dobbs urged South Carolinians not to vote for Graham, who is up for reelection.

    This is ironic, since one of the goals of the very public Republican effort to ram Amy Coney Barrett through a Senate confirmation vote was to get airtime for Graham, who is in an unexpectedly tight race. Graham is faced by Democrat Jaime Harrison, who raised an eye-popping $57 million last quarter, the most any Senate candidate has ever raised in a quarter. Harrison is the first Senate candidate in history to raise and spend more than $100 million.

    Even if elected, Democratic senators will come too late to stop Barrett’s lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. Today, senators battled over the confirmation of the 48-year-old judge, whom Trump appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit just three years ago. Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is urging Republicans not to confirm an extremist judge less than two weeks before the election season will end. “The Republican majority is on the precipice of making a colossal and historic mistake,” Schumer said. “The damage it does to this chamber will be irrevocable.”

    For his part, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blamed the fight over Supreme Court justices on Democrats, beginning with their 1987 opposition to Ronald Reagan’s nominee for the court, Robert Bork. This is a common complaint on the part of Republicans, although in Bork’s case, 6 Republicans joined the Democrats to oppose him—making the opposition bipartisan-- and the Democrats went on to confirm Reagan’s next nominee for the seat, Justice Anthony Kennedy, after only three days of hearings. The Senate confirmed Kennedy by a unanimous vote, indicating that the problem with Bork was not Democratic partisanship, but rather the nominee.

    In this case, Barrett will be the third Supreme Court justice appointed by Trump, since McConnell refused even to hold hearings for President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Merrick Garland. McConnell said that holding confirmation hearings for Garland in March before an election was a disservice to voters, who should be allowed to make their wishes known in the upcoming election. If confirmed—and the Republicans have the votes to confirm her—Barrett will allow Trump to cement an originalist view of the Constitution on the Supreme Court.

    Barrett’s appointment is the outcome of a longstanding attempt to overturn the active government under which we have lived since the 1930s. During the Great Depression, Democrats under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt began to use the government to regulate business, provide a basic social safety net—this is when we got Social Security—and promote infrastructure. But racist Democrats from the South balked at racial equality under this new government.

    After World War II, under Chief Justice Earl Warren, a Republican appointed by President Dwight Eisenhower, and Chief Justice Warren Burger, a Republican appointed by Richard Nixon, the Supreme Court set out to make all Americans equal before the law. They tried to end segregation through the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, decision prohibiting racial segregation in public schools. In 1965, they protected the right of married couples to use contraception. In 1967, they legalized interracial marriage. In 1973, with the Roe v. Wade decision, they tried to give women control over their own reproduction by legalizing abortion.

    The justices based their decisions on the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, passed by Congress in 1866 and ratified in 1868 in the wake of the Civil War. Congress developed this amendment after legislatures in former Confederate states passed “Black Codes” severely limiting the rights and protections for formerly enslaved people. Congress intended for the Fourteenth to enable the federal government to guarantee that African Americans had the same rights as white Americans, even in states whose legislatures wanted to keep them in a form of quasi-slavery.

    Justices in the Warren and Burger courts used that same amendment to protect civil rights a century later. They argued that the Fourteenth Amendment required that the Bill of Rights apply to state governments as well as to the federal government. This is known as the “incorporation doctrine,” but the name matters less than the concept: states cannot abridge an individual’s rights, any more than the federal government can. This doctrine dramatically expanded civil rights.

    But from the beginning, there was a backlash against the New Deal government by businessmen who objected to the idea of federal regulation and the bureaucracy it would require. As early as 1937, they were demanding an end to the active government and a return to the world of the 1920s, where businessmen could do as they wished, family and churches managed social welfare, and private interests profited from infrastructure projects. They gained little traction; the vast majority of Americans liked the new system.

    But the expansion of civil rights under the Warren and Burger courts was a whole new kettle of fish. Opponents of the new decisions insisted that the court was engaging in “judicial activism,” taking away from voters the right to make their own decisions about how society should work. That said that justices were “legislating from the bench.” They insisted that the Constitution is limited by the views of its framers, and that the government can do nothing that is not explicitly written in that 1787 document. Faced with confusion over the exact meaning of the Constitution, some revised their position in a few ways, one of which was to rest on “textualism,” the idea that a law says exactly what it says and nothing else.

    This is the foundation for today’s “originalists” like Barrett. They are trying to erase the era of legislation and legal decisions that constructed our modern nation. If the government is as limited as they say, it cannot protect the rights of minorities or women. It cannot regulate business. It cannot provide a social safety net, or promote infrastructure.

    Their doctrine will send authority for civil rights back to the states to wither or thrive as different legislatures see fit, so long as their laws don’t run into textual problems, in which case the Supreme Court will step in to limit state actions.

    Barrett is a darling of religious conservatives who expect her to overturn Roe v. Wade, and to undermine civil rights legislation, as the court did, for example, in the 2013 Shelby County v. Holder decision gutting the 1965 Voting Rights Act. But she also has the support of secret dark money donors. She will be the key vote to having a solid pro-corporate Supreme Court that will sharply limit what the federal government can do. Such a court can be expected to gut government regulation of business with more decisions like the 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision and to slash the social safety net. First up, of course, is the Affordable Care Act, about which the court will begin to hear arguments on November 10, just a week after the election.

    This version of our government is not popular. Republican senators who will vote for Barrett represent 14.3 million fewer Americans than the Democratic senators who oppose her confirmation. Schumer today warned his Republican colleagues: “The majority has trampled over norms, rules, standards, honor, values, any of them that could possibly stand in its monomaniacal pursuit to put someone on the court who will take away the rights of so many Americans.”

    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • josevolutionjosevolution Posts: 23,960
    mickeyrat said:
     October 23, 2020 (Friday)

    Today the United States had at least 82,600 new cases of coronavirus, our highest daily level of cases in a single day since the pandemic started. The outbreak is widespread, meaning it will be harder to move medical personnel around to address the crisis. We have lost close to 224,000 Americans to Covid-19. As it spreads through Republican-governed states, leaders refuse to use government authority to slow its reach. “It’s not a job for government,” North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum said.

    In a sign that Trump supporters see his reelection in danger, tonight on his show on the Fox News Channel, Lou Dobbs unloaded on South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, who is the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, for not doing more to help Trump. Dobbs urged South Carolinians not to vote for Graham, who is up for reelection.

    This is ironic, since one of the goals of the very public Republican effort to ram Amy Coney Barrett through a Senate confirmation vote was to get airtime for Graham, who is in an unexpectedly tight race. Graham is faced by Democrat Jaime Harrison, who raised an eye-popping $57 million last quarter, the most any Senate candidate has ever raised in a quarter. Harrison is the first Senate candidate in history to raise and spend more than $100 million.

    Even if elected, Democratic senators will come too late to stop Barrett’s lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. Today, senators battled over the confirmation of the 48-year-old judge, whom Trump appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit just three years ago. Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is urging Republicans not to confirm an extremist judge less than two weeks before the election season will end. “The Republican majority is on the precipice of making a colossal and historic mistake,” Schumer said. “The damage it does to this chamber will be irrevocable.”

    For his part, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blamed the fight over Supreme Court justices on Democrats, beginning with their 1987 opposition to Ronald Reagan’s nominee for the court, Robert Bork. This is a common complaint on the part of Republicans, although in Bork’s case, 6 Republicans joined the Democrats to oppose him—making the opposition bipartisan-- and the Democrats went on to confirm Reagan’s next nominee for the seat, Justice Anthony Kennedy, after only three days of hearings. The Senate confirmed Kennedy by a unanimous vote, indicating that the problem with Bork was not Democratic partisanship, but rather the nominee.

    In this case, Barrett will be the third Supreme Court justice appointed by Trump, since McConnell refused even to hold hearings for President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Merrick Garland. McConnell said that holding confirmation hearings for Garland in March before an election was a disservice to voters, who should be allowed to make their wishes known in the upcoming election. If confirmed—and the Republicans have the votes to confirm her—Barrett will allow Trump to cement an originalist view of the Constitution on the Supreme Court.

    Barrett’s appointment is the outcome of a longstanding attempt to overturn the active government under which we have lived since the 1930s. During the Great Depression, Democrats under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt began to use the government to regulate business, provide a basic social safety net—this is when we got Social Security—and promote infrastructure. But racist Democrats from the South balked at racial equality under this new government.

    After World War II, under Chief Justice Earl Warren, a Republican appointed by President Dwight Eisenhower, and Chief Justice Warren Burger, a Republican appointed by Richard Nixon, the Supreme Court set out to make all Americans equal before the law. They tried to end segregation through the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, decision prohibiting racial segregation in public schools. In 1965, they protected the right of married couples to use contraception. In 1967, they legalized interracial marriage. In 1973, with the Roe v. Wade decision, they tried to give women control over their own reproduction by legalizing abortion.

    The justices based their decisions on the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, passed by Congress in 1866 and ratified in 1868 in the wake of the Civil War. Congress developed this amendment after legislatures in former Confederate states passed “Black Codes” severely limiting the rights and protections for formerly enslaved people. Congress intended for the Fourteenth to enable the federal government to guarantee that African Americans had the same rights as white Americans, even in states whose legislatures wanted to keep them in a form of quasi-slavery.

    Justices in the Warren and Burger courts used that same amendment to protect civil rights a century later. They argued that the Fourteenth Amendment required that the Bill of Rights apply to state governments as well as to the federal government. This is known as the “incorporation doctrine,” but the name matters less than the concept: states cannot abridge an individual’s rights, any more than the federal government can. This doctrine dramatically expanded civil rights.

    But from the beginning, there was a backlash against the New Deal government by businessmen who objected to the idea of federal regulation and the bureaucracy it would require. As early as 1937, they were demanding an end to the active government and a return to the world of the 1920s, where businessmen could do as they wished, family and churches managed social welfare, and private interests profited from infrastructure projects. They gained little traction; the vast majority of Americans liked the new system.

    But the expansion of civil rights under the Warren and Burger courts was a whole new kettle of fish. Opponents of the new decisions insisted that the court was engaging in “judicial activism,” taking away from voters the right to make their own decisions about how society should work. That said that justices were “legislating from the bench.” They insisted that the Constitution is limited by the views of its framers, and that the government can do nothing that is not explicitly written in that 1787 document. Faced with confusion over the exact meaning of the Constitution, some revised their position in a few ways, one of which was to rest on “textualism,” the idea that a law says exactly what it says and nothing else.

    This is the foundation for today’s “originalists” like Barrett. They are trying to erase the era of legislation and legal decisions that constructed our modern nation. If the government is as limited as they say, it cannot protect the rights of minorities or women. It cannot regulate business. It cannot provide a social safety net, or promote infrastructure.

    Their doctrine will send authority for civil rights back to the states to wither or thrive as different legislatures see fit, so long as their laws don’t run into textual problems, in which case the Supreme Court will step in to limit state actions.

    Barrett is a darling of religious conservatives who expect her to overturn Roe v. Wade, and to undermine civil rights legislation, as the court did, for example, in the 2013 Shelby County v. Holder decision gutting the 1965 Voting Rights Act. But she also has the support of secret dark money donors. She will be the key vote to having a solid pro-corporate Supreme Court that will sharply limit what the federal government can do. Such a court can be expected to gut government regulation of business with more decisions like the 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision and to slash the social safety net. First up, of course, is the Affordable Care Act, about which the court will begin to hear arguments on November 10, just a week after the election.

    This version of our government is not popular. Republican senators who will vote for Barrett represent 14.3 million fewer Americans than the Democratic senators who oppose her confirmation. Schumer today warned his Republican colleagues: “The majority has trampled over norms, rules, standards, honor, values, any of them that could possibly stand in its monomaniacal pursuit to put someone on the court who will take away the rights of so many Americans.”

    Screw the GOP they are evil bastards! 
    jesus greets me looks just like me ....
Sign In or Register to comment.