Trump enters the stage

Discussion of the recent unfolding of history.

Re: Trump enters the stage - on and on

Postby Meno_ » Mon May 25, 2020 1:05 am

The Guardian - Back to home

Coronavirus outbreak

Coronavirus: Trump aide claims China guilty of cover-up akin to Chernobyl

Trump spends second day on golf course as toll nears 100,000

China raises US trade tensions with warning of ‘new cold war’

Sun 24 May 2020 13.32 EDT

The White House on Sunday accused China of a cover-up that will “go down in history along with Chernobyl”, ramping up efforts to deflect attention from a Covid-19 death toll in the US fast closing on 100,000.

The US doctors taking Trump’s lead on hydroxychloroquine – despite mixed results

Robert O’Brien, Donald Trump’s national security adviser, made the claim on two political talk shows, saying Beijing gave “false information” to the World Health Organization (WHO) at the start of the year and alleging that stonewalling of an investigation into the origins of the pandemic has cost “many, many thousands of lives in America and around the world”.

On Saturday Mike Pence, the vice-president, told Breitbart News that China had “let the world down” and insisted the WHO was “their willing partner in withholding from the US and wider world vital information about the coronavirus”.

The Trump administration has become increasingly keen to move attention away from its handling of the pandemic, which has seen more deaths in the US than any other nation and a broken economy including soaring unemployment that another senior adviser told CNN would still be “in double digits” by the 3 November presidential election.

O’Brien dampened speculation that the administration might seek to delay that election. But as China warned that Washington’s “lies” were “pushing our two countries to the brink of a new cold war”, he went firmly on the attack.

 Someday they’re going to do an HBO show like they did with Chernobyl

Speaking to CBS’s Face the Nation, he claimed Beijing knew of the looming crisis as early as November but chose to keep it quiet.

“We don’t know who in the Chinese government did it, but it doesn’t matter if it was the local Chinese government or the Communist party of China,” he said.

“Look, this was a virus that was unleashed by China. There was a cover up that someday they’re going to do an HBO show like they did with Chernobyl,” he added, likening the pandemic to the 1986 nuclear disaster in Ukraine which Soviet authorities initially tried to hide.

O’Brien repeated the claim on NBC’s Meet the Press, accusing China of a “cover-up that … is going to go down in history along with Chernobyl”.

Most scientists say the pathogen that has infected 5.3 million people and killed more than 342,000 worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University, was passed from bats to humans via an intermediary species probably sold at a wet market in Wuhan, China, last year.

But Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other senior US figures have repeatedly said they suspect the coronavirus was somehow released from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a claim China has strenuously denied.

O’Brien claimed China’s alleged skulduggery was continuing.

“There’s a chance, and it’s been reported, that the Chinese have been engaged in espionage to try and find the research and the technologies that we’re working on both for a vaccine and a therapy,” he told CBS.

“So look, they’ve got a many, many year history of stealing American intellectual property and knocking off American technology. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did that with vaccines.”

O’Brien also said the US would soon implement restrictions on travelers from Brazil.

After spending much of Saturday playing golf at his resort in Virginia, Trump had no public engagements on Sunday. He duly went back to Trump National in Sterling.

On Twitter the president, who criticized Barack Obama in 2014 for golfing when a second case of Ebola was confirmed in the US, preferred to concentrate on topics other than the pandemic.

Trump feuded with his former attorney general, Jeff Sessions; attacked Joe Biden, his likely opponent in November; retweeted abusive messages about female opponents; repeated unsubstantiated allegations that mail-in ballots lead to rigged elections; and repeated baseless insinuations that an MSNBC host might have murdered an aide.

He also tweeted falsely that coronavirus “cases, numbers and deaths are going down all over the Country!”

On Saturday, North Carolina reported its highest one-day spike in cases. Official statistics continue to show hotspots in other places including Washington DC – where O’Brien said the administration still hopes to hold an in-person G7 summit in July – and Florida, where the Miami Herald reported that the rate of new cases was not slowing.

On Friday Dr Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, encouraged the public to go outdoors over the Memorial Day weekend.

Donald Trump leaves the White House on Sunday. Photograph: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA

“We know being outside does help, we know the sun does help in killing the virus, but that doesn’t change the fact that people need to be responsible and maintain that distance,” she told Fox News Sunday, when presented with images of packed beaches and people in close proximity, not wearing masks.

“I was hoping to convey this very clear message to the American people,” she said, “… across the country there is a virus out there.”

Birx also said Trump himself did wear a mask when not able to maintain social distance. Trump was not pictured using a mask on his trips to play golf in Virginia.

On ABC’s This Week, Birx was asked if the nation would need an extended or second lockdown.

'Incalculable loss': New York Times covers front page with 1,000 Covid-19 death notices

“It’s difficult to tell and I really am data-driven, so I’m collecting data right now about whether governors and whether states and whether communities are able to open safely,” she said.

“All of this proactive testing needs to be in place and needs to continue to be in place because that will determine safely remaining open in the fall.”

One thing the Trump administration admits will not bounce back fully by fall is the US unemployment rate, which Kevin Hassett, a senior adviser, told CNN would still be in double figures by the time of the election.

“Unemployment will be something that moves back slower,” he said. “You’re going to be starting at a number in the 20s [per cent] and working your way down. And so, of course, you could still not be back to full employment by September

© 2020 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.
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Re: Trump enters the stage should , could he exit?

Postby Meno_ » Tue May 26, 2020 2:06 am

Democracy Dies in Darkness

The Plum Line


Can we stop pretending Trump is fit to be president?

By Paul Waldman 

Opinion writer

May 25, 2020 at 10:08 AM EDT

At various times over the past three and a half years, many of us have asked what would happen if President Trump truly went over the edge or if his behavior became so frightening that his unfitness for the most powerful position on Earth could no longer be denied.

But the human capacity for denial is apparently almost infinite. Let’s review what our president has been up to in the past few days:

With the death toll from covid-19 about to top 100,000, Trump has offered almost nothing in the way of tributes to the dead, sympathy for their families, or acknowledgement of our national mourning. By all accounts he is barely bothering to manage his administration’s response to the pandemic, preferring to focus on cheerleading for an economic recovery he says is on its way, even as he feeds conspiracy theories about the death toll being inflated. This weekend, he went golfing.

In a Twitter spasm on Saturday and Sunday, Trump retweeted mockery of former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams’s weight and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) looks, along with a tweet calling Hillary Clinton a “skank.”

Eager to start a new culture war flare-up, he urged churches to open and gather parishioners in a room to breathe the same air, threatening that he would “override” governors whose shutdown orders still forbade such gatherings. The president has no such power.

He all but accused talk show host Joe Scarborough of murdering a young woman who died in 2001 in the then-congressman’s district office, bringing untold torture to her family from the conspiracy theorists who will respond to his accusation.

He has repeatedly insisted that the upcoming election is being “rigged” because states run by both Republicans and Democrats are making it easier to vote by mail, seeking to delegitimize a vote that has yet to occur, despite the substantial evidence that mail voting advantages neither party.

(, and /The Washington Post)

The truth is that Trump is not much more despicable of a human being than he has always been; it’s just that standard Trumpian behavior becomes more horrifying when it occurs during an ongoing national crisis. It is reality that changed around him, and he was incapable of responding to it.

We all know this. In public, Republicans may say that the real villain in the pandemic is China, or that all those deaths — and the tens of thousands yet to come — were inevitable, or that it is essential to get the economy moving. But they know as well as the rest of us do what a catastrophic failure Trump has been.

They must own the moral choice they now make. In 2016, they said Trump would grow serious and sober once he was faced with the awesome responsibilities of the office. There was little reason at the time to think it would happen, but it was at least possible.

No one can say that now. Not only do we know who Trump is, we know who he will always be. And we know that reelecting him will be disastrous in a hundred ways.

If you gave many Republicans in Washington truth serum, they’d say, “Of course he’s unfit to be president. Of course he’s corrupt, of course he’s incompetent, of course he’s the most dishonest person ever to step into the Oval Office. But I can live with that, because him being reelected means Republicans keep power, we get more conservative judges and we get all the policies we favor.”

That is the choice they’re making. We all know it, even if they’ll never say it out loud.

I’m not sure how I’d feel or what I’d do if was faced with a similar choice as a liberal, because it’s impossible to imagine a liberal version of Trump becoming the nominee of the Democratic Party — or even what a liberal version of Trump would look like. But we can see how Democrats grappled recently with their own questions about former vice president Joe Biden and the compromises they might have to make about him.

When a woman named Tara Reade alleged that Biden had sexually assaulted her in the early 1990s when she worked in his Senate office, the response among those who wish to see Trump defeated in November was complicated, to say the least. Some criticized Biden, some questioned Reade’s story and some remained agnostic pending further information.

And some, showing a forthrightness Republicans have not been willing to muster, said that even if they came to believe Reade’s story was true, they’d still vote for Biden, not just because Trump has been credibly accused of sexual misconduct by no fewer than two dozen women, but also because even if Biden turned out to be guilty, it would still be unfortunate but necessary to choose him over the most dangerously unfit president in American history.

In the days since, so many questions have been raised about Reade’s story that she has few defenders left; her own lawyer dropped her as a client. That has left Democrats breathing a sigh of relief, as they seem to have been excused from making a painful but necessary choice. Nevertheless, they grappled, candidly and publicly, with what it would mean for them if Reade were telling the truth.

The Republicans who support Trump have seldom done that, perhaps because there is no way to do so without acknowledging how morally indefensible that support has been. And as we approach another election, they’ll tell themselves that Trump isn’t as bad as he looks, or that Joe Biden is a monster, or that all that matters is winning.

In the future, when we look back on this dark period, we should resist the temptation to focus solely on Trump himself. To do so would be to excuse those who know exactly what he is but pretend they can work to keep him in office and remain unsullied. They cannot, and their moral culpability becomes clearer every day.

Read more:

Paul Waldman: Trump can’t even convince his own party that mail voting is fraudulent

Greg Sargent: Trump’s latest campaign stunt is a bust. Stop granting him magical powers.

Jennifer Rubin: Trump does not wear well

Max Boot: Trump’s ‘I know you are, but what am I?’ campaign rolls on

Colbert I. King: Trump is using his lies to sway his reelection, and Democrats aren’t paying attention

Paul Waldman

© 1996-2020 The Washington Post
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Re: Trump enters the stage could he stage an exit? Would he?

Postby Meno_ » Tue May 26, 2020 4:43 am



Trump sees a ‘rigged election’ ahead. Democrats see a constitutional crisis in the making.

The president’s increasingly amped-up rhetoric surrounding the integrity of the November elections has many wondering how he might respond to a defeat.

The president has had a long preoccupation with voter fraud and “rigged” elections. | Evan Vucci/AP Photo

First he lit into Michigan and Nevada, threatening to withhold federal funding because of his assertion that both states were preparing to commit voter fraud through mail-in ballot applications. Then President Donald Trump followed up Sunday with two more broadly-worded warnings that November would be “the greatest Rigged Election in history.”

“The Democrats are trying to Rig the 2020 Election, plain and simple!” the president claimed.

Trump’s increasingly amped-up rhetoric surrounding the integrity of the November election is beginning to bring to center stage a previously muted conversation. With the president lagging behind Joe Biden in public opinion polls six months before the general election, his opponents are becoming increasingly anxious that Trump may attempt to undermine the results of the election if he loses — or worse, might attempt to cling to power regardless of the outcome.

"He is planting the seeds for delegitimizing the election if he loses," Vanita Gupta, a former head of DOJ’s civil rights division under President Barack Obama and now president of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, said on Twitter on Sunday in reaction to Trump's "rigged election" claim. "It’s from the playbook. It’ll get more intense as he gets more freaked out."

Trump’s rhetoric isn’t exactly new for him. Dating back even before his entry into electoral politics, the president has had a long preoccupation with voter fraud and “rigged” elections. As a primary candidate, he attributed his Iowa defeat to fraud committed by Sen. Ted Cruz. Even after his general election victory, Trump made unsubstantiated claims of “serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California” — three states that he failed to carry — and told congressional leaders that millions of illegal votes were the reason he lost the popular vote.

In one of his first acts as president, Trump created an 11-member commission to study alleged voter fraud. Two years later, amid the GOP’s 2018 wipe-out, he was lodging complaints about “electoral corruption” in Arizona and “missing or forged” ballots in Florida.

"It’ll get more intense as he gets more freaked out."

 Vanita Gupta, president of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The concern that Trump might attempt to ignore the outcome of the election has persisted as an undercurrent in the Democratic Party since 2016, when Trump, during the year’s last presidential debate, refused to say if he would accept the election’s outcome that year if he lost. In the years since, Democrats saw innuendo in Trump’s jokes about extending his presidency beyond the constitutional limit of eight years and expressed admiration for Chinese President Xi Jinping’s limitless terms.

“It’s one of those things that I think has a very low probability, but a very high risk,” said David Skaggs, a former Democratic congressman who has discussed the potential for disruption in the November election with other lawmakers and former lawmakers in recent days. “So even though I don’t think it’s likely to eventuate into some kind of intervention at the state level by the president … there’s still some chance of that, and therefore it’s wise to take it seriously.”

Skaggs said there are people remaining in government who take their oaths of office seriously and “who are not going to be bowled over by a power grab.” However, he noted the presence of a “militia movement out there in the country that would probably rise to arms if the president said they should, and that would be awful.”

“I think the more there is reporting that takes the president’s innuendo seriously about this — the integrity, or the dis-integrity of the election — the more people will be on alert,” he said. “And that is some prophylactic, better than hydroxychloroquine.”

While the unique and uncertain atmospheric conditions this year — an election season rattled by the coronavirus crisis, which has postponed primaries and raised questions about voting procedures on Election Day in November — have served to put critics of the president on edge, it’s his recent threats to withhold funding from Michigan and Nevada that have raised alarms.

Especially significant is Michigan, which Trump won in 2016 but where he is polling behind Biden.

“He’s already set the stage to say it’s rigged,” said Pete Giangreco, a Democratic strategist who has worked on nine presidential campaigns. “This is part of the Trump autocrat playbook … There’s no way this guy’s going to win the popular vote, and it’s at least 50-50 he’s going to lose the electoral college. So, he’s got to come up with something else.”

The Biden campaign is signaling an awareness of the questions it raises. The former vice president told donors at a virtual fundraiser late last month that he is beginning a transition process, saying “the Bush administration worked very closely with Barack [Obama] and me, with our administration, in terms of handing over power in the transition,” according to a pool report.

“I hope it's as smooth as it was then,” he said, adding, “I doubt it, but I hope so.”

Bob Bauer, Joe Biden’s personal lawyer, said in a prepared statement that Trump “may well resort to any kind of trick, ploy or scheme he can in order to hold onto his presidency.”

Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for Trump's reelection effort, called any discussion about the president’s unwillingness to leave office if defeated “baseless, ridiculous conspiracy talk and they should go see [Democrats] Hillary Clinton or Stacey Abrams because they actually have openly questioned their own election results.”

The Trump administration recently started the process of planning for a transition of power if Biden wins, creating a transition planning group to prepare for the possibility.

But Trump has rarely been encumbered by fidelity to tradition. And Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, once predicted in congressional testimony that there “will never be a peaceful transition of power” if Trump loses.

“Would I be surprised if he gets beat in November and makes noises about not going out the door? No, and then what kind of constitutional crisis would that create, and then what would you do?” said Mark Longabaugh, a senior adviser to Bernie Sanders during his 2016 campaign.

He likened the prospect facing Democrats to that of the 2000 presidential election, in which the Supreme Court prohibited further recounts of the Florida vote, awarding the presidency to George W. Bush over Democrat Al Gore.

“If it’s narrow, that’s when Trump can really create a constitutional crisis,” Longabaugh said. “Think about the 2000 election, and if that was the election, what would Trump do? And you know, what would Trump do if the Supreme Court went against him? Would he do what Al Gore did and put the interests of the country above his own interests whether or not the Supreme Court was correct in its behavior or not? That’s where you get into, I think, scary territory.”

At a minimum, Democratic doubts about Trump's willingness to accept the November results have increased the imperative to win by indisputable margins — a heavy lift in an election that is widely expected to be close.

"My job is to make sure he loses Wisconsin so badly that he doesn’t have an argument for sticking around that passes the smell test,” said Ben Wikler, chairman of the state Democratic Party in Wisconsin, a state that is critical to Trump’s path to reelection.

Noting that Trump has "filed a lot of lawsuits" in the past, he said, “The bigger the margin, the safer democracy becomes.”

But outside of a court challenge, Trump’s options to disregard the election’s outcome are extremely limited.

“There’s a lot of people that need to do something to hold and implement the results of an election,” said David A. Super, a professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center who has analyzed scenarios in which Trump could attempt to hold onto power. “None of them is named Donald J. Trump … There’s absolutely no authority for cancelling or overriding an election in the Constitution or in the statutes. And it would require the president to get multiple people to fairly blatantly disregard their oaths to uphold the Constitution.”

The concerns about Trump’s intentions are reminiscent to some Democrats of the anxiety they felt in the 1970s, when the net was closing around Richard Nixon and some feared he may not go easily.

The difference, said Les Francis, a former deputy White House chief of staff in the Carter administration, is that Nixon made an “institutional decision” to resign, while “one thing we know about Trump, for sure, is he’s not an institutionalist by any stretch of the imagination.”

“I don’t think there’s any depth to which he will not go,” Francis said. “I don’t think there are any rules that he thinks apply to him. As his behavior grows worse, I think people become more alarmed at the possibilities.”











In tribute: Memorial Day 2020

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Re: Trump enters the stage - election previews

Postby Meno_ » Wed May 27, 2020 2:41 pm

Donald Trump has thrown everything but the kitchen sink at Joe Biden since the day he entered the race, using recycled nicknames, outright lies and even disinformation to try and brand him as something he's not,” said TJ Ducklo, national press secretary for the Biden campaign. “It failed miserably — VP Biden saw record turnout during sweeping victories this spring and united the Democratic Party around a nominee faster than in 2016 or 2008. Why? Because voters know Joe Biden, they know his character, and it's going to take more than cheap marketing tricks perfected at Trump University to bring down a true public servant who has fought for middle class families for over 45 years.”

New York Times

{The Democratization of Capital has come out of hibernation, and shown the anomaly of that synthesis to be a wish fulfilling fantasy that failed.

It is, as if all the principles on which the revolution never could bypass the ancien regime, at least on principle.

It's only that the rules changed, and that is where the cover-up should ha e been exposed. Of course, de-jure and de-facto do operate on different levels of insournable difficulty. There never is a fracture, where the whitewash never occurs in public .}
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Re: Trump enters the stage - It is starting - the final act

Postby Meno_ » Thu May 28, 2020 1:37 am

BBC News

Trump threatens to shut down social media companies

President Trump has taken the extraordinary step of threatening to close down social media platforms.

The threat came after Twitter added fact-check links to his tweets for the first time.

The battle between the president and the social-media companies has been brewing for a time.

But now it feels as though an all-out war is looming between Donald Trump and Twitter ahead of the US presidential election, in November.

Last night, a couple of Trump tweets raging about "fraudulent" postal ballots in US elections featured - for some users but not all - a strapline linking to what Twitter called "facts about mail-in ballots."

This then led to a page debunking the president's claims but featuring articles from two organisations he regards as his sworn enemies, CNN and the Washington Post.

It took him no time to fight back, tweeting : "Twitter is completely stifling free speech, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen."

Then, on Wednesday morning, the president woke up and raised the temperature even further with this two-part tweet :

"Republicans feel that social-media platforms totally silence conservatives voices.

"We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen.

"We saw what they attempted to do, and failed, in 2016.

"We can't let a more sophisticated version of that... happen again - just like we can't let largescale mail-in ballots take root in our country.

"It would be a free-for-all on cheating, forgery and the theft of ballots.

"Whoever cheated the most would win.

"Likewise, social media.

"Clean up your act, now."

Conspiracy theories

So does he mean any of this?

It is very hard to see Congress passing laws to strongly regulate or close down social-media platforms.

The president refers to free speech.

But as a private company, Twitter is free to police its platform as it sees fit.

Nevertheless, for Twitter's chief executive, Jack Dorsey, this is undoubtedly just the start of a clash that will continue right up until the November election.

In recent days, he has been under huge pressure to do something about President Trump's tweets.

Now, he has acted but not in a way that might have been expected.

There has been a furore over the way the president has used Twitter seemingly to endorse a baseless conspiracy theory about one of his critics, the TV presenter and former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough.

Image captionTwitter chief Jack Dorsey has resisted pressure to delete some of President Trump's previous tweets

President Trump has repeatedly suggested the death in an accident, in 2001, of one of the Congressman's aides, Lori Klausutis, is a "cold case" that deserves to be reopened by the police.

And that led the widower of Ms Klausutis to write to Jack Dorsey, pleading with him to remove the president's tweets because of the pain they were causing her family.

So far, Mr Dorsey has refused, apparently convinced the president's Twitter feed has protected status because it is part of the public record.

Nor was there any attempt to correct the inaccuracies in the tweets.

Adding a fact-check to the tweets about mail-in ballots appears to fit in with a new Twitter policy on protecting elections .

It warns users they may not post or share content that may interfere in elections or might suppress participation.

Last night, another baseless conspiracy theory - this time about a made-up crime involving Donald Trump in 2000 - was posted by an account called TheTweetofGod.

It too has neither been removed nor fact-checked, perhaps because Twitter realises it would be accused of inconsistency.

The president's Facebook page also features his diatribes about mail-in ballots and Joe Scarborough, with no sign of any fact-checking or limits on sharing such material.

But that's not to suggest it will escape his ire.

Last week, the president tweeted : "The radical left is in total command and control of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google."

And he intended to "remedy this illegal situation".

There have since been reports the White House might set up a special commission to investigate the claim.

Whatever the social-media companies do about their most famous and controversial user is bound to cause anger on one side or another.

They can look forward to a long hot summer.

Copyright © 2020 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

{Very reductively, as ultimate rules/rulers are concerned, the Washington post asks how can Trump get away with it?

The only plausible answer lies in the simplest psychological answer: he can not yet internalize the difference between the substance and the tacit , parent understand in pursuance of the NWO, therefore in order to avoid international disarray and chaos, he has to invoke an inner directed struggle within national borders.

It appears that the reconstruction of the greater America is tantamount to a political psychological regression, almost a quasi Wilsonian attempt to an internally bordered intrinsic adherence to a neutral state, a formal productive duplication .
An example can be used from the stated intended withdrawal from areas of long held birders that contained a conflicting state between factions like Afghanistan. A withdrawal has been signaled, letting domino pieces fall where they will, assuring that the established local forces can control insurgency.
But does this note a world politic of pre-World War mentality?

The U.S. has a very short memory, in this manner less then a hundred years, whereas extended Continental memory relating to wars of succession abounded , with less noticeable duration.

In geopolitical sense, the last hundred years implies more continuous causative sequencing , as viewed through a more distant oobjective lens, so maybe the regression to less international associations should not evoke an unreasonable trek, backward into time.

Now that ideological hurdles are supposed to have been solved with anti-dialectical methods, maybe it is timely to suppress the material (substance ) of inferred ideas as well.

But that's just the thing. The material thus suppressed may cause major problems in the near future.}




Trump to sign executive order on social media amid Twitter furor

Kayleigh McEnany told reporters aboard Air Force One that the order is “pertaining to social media” but shared no additional details on what it will do.

President Donald Trump and his supporters have been hammering Twitter since the social network labeled a pair of his tweets with a fact-checking notice for the first time on Tuesday. | Win McNamee/Getty Images


President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order aimed at social media companies on Thursday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters Wednesday evening, a move that comes as the president and his allies have escalated their allegations that companies like Twitter and Facebook stifle GOP voices.

McEnany told reporters aboard Air Force One that the order is “pertaining to social media” but shared no additional details on what it will do. But the announcement revived fears within the online industry that the Trump administration will target a 24-year-old statute that protects the companies from lawsuits — an avenue that a growing number of Republican lawmakers have advocated in their bias allegations about Silicon Valley.

Trump and his supporters have been hammering Twitter since the social network labeled a pair of his tweets with a fact-checking notice for the first time on Tuesday, and the president pledged Wednesday that "big action" will follow.

Twitter acted after Trump had alleged without evidence that mail-in ballots are likely to be “substantially fraudulent,” in tweets that the company said contained misleading information about the electoral process. The move triggered an array of rebukes from Republicans, including Trump.

“@Twitter is now interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election,” Trump tweeted Wednesday, adding that “Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!”

Democrats, meanwhile, have complained that Twitter has been too slow to respond to a litany of abusive, inaccurate or inflammatory tweets from the president, including his recent baseless insinuations that MSNBC host Joe Scarborough may be guilty of murder.

POLITICO reported last year that the White House was circulating a draft executive order to address long-standing accusations from conservatives about bias by social media companies. CNN later reported that the order would task the Federal Communications Commission with developing regulations to clarify when social media companies qualify for crucial liability protections, and would have the Federal Trade Commission “take those new policies into account when it investigates or files lawsuits against misbehaving companies."

But the executive order was never unveiled, and even Trump's appointees at those agencies have expressed little appetite for scrutinizing tweets and Facebook posts.

That proposal targeted the online industry's prized liability shield over user-generated content, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The 1996 law broadly protects websites from lawsuits over what their users post, and for taking good-faith efforts to curb illicit material.

But those protections, which have been fiercely defended by the tech industry, have come under scrutiny from officials on both sides of the political spectrum. Republicans have charged that the shield has enabled social media platforms to crack down on their viewpoints with impunity. There's no conclusive evidence of an anti-conservative bias on social media, and the companies have consistently denied the charges.

Trump's dust-up with Twitter rekindled Republican calls for Congress to roll back the legal shield.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), a Trump surrogate who has accused Silicon Valley firms of censorship, announced Wednesday that he’s drafting his own proposal to roll back those protections if companies engage in “editorializing” or “opine as to the truth or falsity” of statements online, like those made by Trump regarding mail-in ballots. Gaetz said he is “working with my Republican colleagues on the Judiciary Committee” on the legislation, but did not elaborate on the timing for its introduction.

In a similar vein, GOP tech critic Sen. Josh Hawley (Mo.) wrote in a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Wednesday that the company's “decision to editorialize regarding the content of political speech raises questions about why Twitter should continue receiving special status and special immunity from publisher liability under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. "And he later teased on social media plans for a separate proposal to "end these special government giveaways."

"If @Twitter wants to editorialize & comment on users’ posts, it should be divested of its special status under federal law (Section 230) & forced to play by same rules as all other publishers. Fair is fair," Hawley tweeted.

Some Democratic lawmakers have also advocated restricting the industry's Section 230 protections, but for very different seasons — such as failing to fact-check politicians like Trump.

The GOP calls got rhetorical support Wednesday night from FCC member Brendan Carr, a Republican who some see as a potential future chairman of the agency. Appearing on Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight," he singled out Twitter’s fact check of Trump’s tweets as imposing a “partisan political viewpoint” and slammed Facebook’s recent creation of an independent review board to review the company's content decisions.

“I think going forward if these entities want to be political actors ... like every other political actor, they have First Amendment rights, though they shouldn’t necessarily have these special bonus protections that only that set of political actors have in Section 230,” Carr said.

The Republican commissioner also blasted these social media companies for framing themselves as politically neutral before Congress and then engaging in what he deemed utterly partisan behavior. “That’s the type of unfair or deceptive business practice that would get a lot of other companies under a lot of federal scrutiny, including from the Federal Trade Commission,” Carr remarked.

The White House's announcement of an incoming executive order Wednesday triggered fears in Washington tech circles that the Trump administration will revive its push to empower regulators to reconsider those liability protections — though major questions remain about how it would be executed.

Congressional Democrats, meanwhile, continued to portray the GOP's bias allegations as political theater.

"Twitter’s milquetoast labeling of two Trump lies — out of thousands — prompts horrifying demagogic response: shut down the internet," Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) tweeted after Trump's Wednesday remarks. "His fear-mongering & conspiracy theory peddling is irresponsible, inexcusable, & authoritarian."

The push to weaken Section 230 has also faced opposition from within Trump's own party. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), the top Republican on the House Energy & Commerce consumer protection subcommittee, cast such campaigns as ill-conceived.

“I want to be very clear: I’m not for gutting Section 230. It’s essential for consumers and entities in the internet ecosystem,” she said at a House hearing in October. “Misguided and hasty attempts to amend or even repeal Section 230 for bias or other reasons could have unintended consequences for free speech and the ability for small businesses to provide new and innovative services.”

The push to have the government step in on social media moderation practices even drew a rebuttal from Carr, who last year Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for suggesting public officials should assume a role in setting rules for vetting speech on social media. "Outsourcing censorship to the government is not just a bad idea, it would violate the First Amendment," Carr tweeted then. "I’m a no."

John Hendel contributed to this report.





~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~

GOP operatives worry Trump will lose both the presidency and Senate majority

By Michael Warren and Ryan Nobles, CNN

Washington(CNN)A little more than three months ago, as Democrats cast their ballots in the Nevada caucuses, Republicans felt confident about their chances in 2020. The coronavirus seemed a distant, far-off threat. Democrats appeared poised to nominate a self-described socialist for president. The stock market was near a record high. The economy was roaring. President Donald Trump looked well-positioned to win a second term, and perhaps pull enough incumbent Republicans along with him to hold the party's majority in the Senate.

Today, that view has drastically changed.

"Put it this way, I am very glad my boss isn't on the ballot this cycle," said one high-ranking GOP Senate aide.

Republican strategists are increasingly worried that Trump is headed for defeat in November and that he may drag other Republicans down with him.

Seven GOP operatives not directly associated with the President's reelection campaign told CNN that Trump's response to the pandemic and the subsequent economic fallout have significantly damaged his bid for a second term — and that the effects are starting to hurt Republicans more broadly. Some of these operatives asked not to be identified in order to speak more candidly.

Several say that public polls showing Trump trailing presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden mirror what they are finding in their own private polls, and that the trend is bleeding into key Senate races. The GOP already had a difficult task of defending 23 Senate seats in 2020. The job of protecting its slim 3-seat majority has only gotten harder as the pandemic has unfolded. States like Arizona and North Carolina, once thought to be home to winnable Senate races now appear in jeopardy.

Trump himself is being alerted to the problems. Politico reported this week that two of Trump's own outside political advisers, Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie, warned the President last week that his support was falling in some swing states.

All of this demonstrates how difficult it is to run as a Republican incumbent almost anywhere in 2020. Strategists who spoke to CNN worry that Trump has become a liability for Republicans needing to expand their coalition beyond the President's core base of supporters.

Whereas a few months ago, they were confident of the party's chances across the board, many of the strategists who spoke to CNN have lowered their expectations, and now talk in terms of minimizing what they worry could be a wipeout for the GOP. This leaves them hoping for a minor rather than devastating defeat, something akin to Mitt Romney's narrow loss in 2012, when Republicans lost two Senate seats, rather than John McCain's performance four years earlier, when they lost eight.

"Republican candidates need something more like Romney in '12 and less like McCain in '08," said Liam Donovan, a GOP strategist in Washington.

The broader fear among Republicans is that the election becomes a referendum on Trump's performance during the pandemic. Coupled with a cratered economy, the effect could be devastating by both depressing the Republican faithful and turning off swing voters.

That one-two punch could knock the GOP out of power in Washington-- and it's what has strategists hoping the President's reelection team can successfully transform the race to a choice between Trump and an unpalatable Biden.

But that effort has become increasingly difficult against the backdrop of a pandemic that has destroyed many of the economic gains Republicans had hoped to make the foundation of their re-election argument.

"This is the one thing he (Trump) cannot change the subject on," said a Republican strategist. "This is not a political opponent, this is not going way and he has never had to deal with something like this."

There is some evidence Trump is not getting the bulk of the blame for the economic downturn. In the most recent CNN poll, from early May, Trump overall has a 45% approval rating. While only 42% approve of how he's handled the pandemic, 50% still said they approve of Trump's handling of the economy.

The Trump campaign has argued that Americans trust the President when it comes to handling the economy and they will choose him to be the person to lead the recovery.

"The economic message resonates strongly, particularly in a time like this," said Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh. "President Trump is clearly the one to restore us to that position. He did it once, he will do it again."

Still, the worry for Republicans beyond the Trump orbit is that if there are no signs of the economy turning the corner by November that will be an impossible argument for the Trump campaign to make.

"Absent some sort of V-shaped recovery many people think he is dead in the water," said the Republican strategist.

The Party of Trump

In the four years since winning the GOP nomination, Trump has solidified his position within the party. That has made it harder for Republicans in Congress to distance themselves from him without antagonizing his base. That, say Republican operatives, risks keeping away voters who may consider the GOP but don't like the President.

"It's a very, very tough environment. If you have a college degree and you live in suburbia, you don't want to vote for us," said one long-time Republican congressional campaign consultant, who added there is a serious worry about bleeding support from both seniors and self-described independent men.

The party's chief concern, some of these Republicans say, should be holding onto its Senate majority. The task requires Senate candidates to make appeals to suburban voters who flipped to Democrats in the 2018 midterm elections as a reaction against Trump.

But that goal is complicated by how dependent Republican candidates are on maximal turnout for the President, even in states the Trump campaign does not expect to win. GOP Sens. Cory Gardner in Colorado and Susan Collins in Maine cannot afford a depressed Trump base in their states, even as they play up their independent identities to win swing voters.

And the concern for Republicans goes beyond endangered incumbents -- including Sens. Martha McSally of Arizona and Thom Tillis of North Carolina. There is even a chance, in a bad year for Trump, that GOP-held Senate seats in Georgia and Montana could be in trouble, said Donovan.

Distance from the President

In the meantime, the cratered economy has intensified the need for Republican senators to differentiate themselves in subtle ways from Trump and his record. Scott Reed, the political director at the US Chamber of Commerce and a veteran of Republican campaigns, said that a presidential reelection campaign is "always" a referendum on the incumbent and his party.

While that bodes poorly for Republicans if the economy fails to improve or another wave of the virus emerges this summer, Reed said the GOP isn't necessarily doomed. Congress, he noted is, having a relative boom in popularity -- 31% support in the latest Gallup poll, the highest in over a decade -- thanks in part to the passage of economic relief.

Reed says incumbents should also trumpet their personal, localized accomplishments and areas where they have been independent of Trump without expressly alienating pro-Trump Republicans in their states.

Gardner, for example, has claimed to be the "chief architect" for the plan to relocate the headquarters of the federal Bureau of Land Management to Colorado, which the Trump administration announced last year. The first-term GOP senator has framed the decision as a bipartisan win for Western states, where the vast majority of federally managed land is, and a victory for Gardner against the Washington bureaucracy. It also has the benefit of having little to do with Trump himself or the economic crisis.

And in her campaign for fifth term, Collins has leaned heavily on her established political identity as an independent centrist. Her most recent TV ad touts her being named "the most bipartisan US senator" for the seventh year in a row by Georgetown University's Lugar Center.

The line aims to combat the most consistent line of criticism from Democrats -- that Collins has voted in line with the Trump administration on everything from judicial appointments to health care to the President's acquittal on impeachment -- without having to disavow Trump himself.

Republicans point out that while Democrats and progressive interest groups have already spent millions in TV and digital ads against incumbents, the GOP and its own allied PACs have yet to engage fully in the air war against Democratic challengers.

"The truth is despite being massively outspent by liberal dark money groups, Republicans are still well-positioned to hold the Senate majority in the fall," said Jesse Hunt, a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

The Trump campaign played down the worries of down-ballot Republicans, pointing out that a unified GOP offers the best chance of winning across the board in November.

"Any candidate that wants to win will run with the President," said Erin Perrine, the Trump campaign's deputy communications director. "He has the energy, the enthusiasm and the grass roots infrastructure. If you are a candidate you are going to want to be a part of that movement."

But what Republican professionals say would help immensely is if the President stuck to an encouraging message on bringing the country back from the pandemic.

"When he does it right three days in a row, it really bumps his numbers," said Reed. "We need command performance on message discipline."

© 2020 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ ??? ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ ????

{The Democratization of Capital has come out of hibernation, and shown the anomaly of that synthesis to be a wish fulfilling fantasy that failed.

It is, as if all the principles on which the revolution never could bypass the ancien regime, at least on principle, have ceased to function.

It's only that the rules changed, and that is where the cover-up should have been exposed. Of course, de-jure and de-facto 'principles' do operate on different levels of insurnable difficulty. There never is a fracture, where the whitewash never occurs in public .}

De-facto- Socialism wins, albeit with population control corollary

De jure Capital wins minus historical analysis as a reminder to those who can not learn the lessons .
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Re: Trump enters the stage - burn baby watts redux polarized

Postby Meno_ » Fri May 29, 2020 7:29 am

George Floyd killing: Trump calls protesters ‘thugs’ as fires erupt in Minneapolis on third night of unrest – live

Minnesota governor has called on the national guard and Minneapolis has declared a local emergency

Reports that Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey will hold a press conference shortly.

Here’s our updated video on fires that have erupted in Minneapolis, and the protests sweeping across the US in wake of George Floyd’s death.

Fires erupt in Minneapolis and protests sweep across the US in wake of George Floyd's death – video

Chris McGreal, our reporter on the ground in Minneapolis, has just posted this footage to Twitter:

Andrea Jenkins, the vice president of Minneapolis City Council, has told MSNBC that George Floyd had previously worked with one of the police officers fired after his death.

AP reports that at least seven people were shot Thursday night in Louisville, Kentucky, as protesters turned out to demand justice for Breonna Taylor, a black woman fatally shot by police in her home in March.

It comes amid demonstrations across the country following the death of a black man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis police custody.

Louisville Metro Police confirmed in a statement early Friday that there were at least seven shooting victims, at least one of whom is in critical condition. The statement said there were some arrests, but police didn’t provide a number. Police had initially confirmed reports of gunfire around 11:30 p.m.

Police spokesman Sgt. Lamont Washington told The Associated Press that all seven were civilians. Around 500 to 600 demonstrators marched through the Kentucky city’s downtown streets on Thursday night, the Courier Journal reported.

Understandably, emotions are high, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer tweeted just before midnight, sharing a Facebook post asking for peace that he said was written on behalf of Taylor’s mother.

Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical tech, was shot eight times on March 13 after Louisville narcotics detectives knocked down the front door. No drugs were found in the home.

Attention on Taylor’s death has intensified after her family sued the police department earlier this month. The case has attracted national headlines alongside the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery in a Georgia neighborhood in February.

As the US grapples with a third night of protests over the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis, here is what we know so far:

01:22 EDTUnrest continues over the death of George Floyd Photograph: Stephen Maturen/Getty ImagesProtesters look at a burning liquor store across the street from the Minneapolis Police Department 3rd Precinct during protests over the arrest of George Floyd Photograph: Tannen Maury/EPAProtesters gather around after setting fire to the entrance of a police station as demonstrations continue in Minneapolis Photograph: Carlos Barría/Reuters

Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey: “We all need to work together to ensure the safety of our friends, family, and Minneapolis residents. And right now working together means clearing the area.”

Donald Trump threatens to call in national guard

US president Donald Trump has tweeted about the protests, calling those involved “thugs” and threatening to send in the national guard.

St Paul police department reports over 170 businesses damaged or looted, and dozens of fires but no reports of serious injuries.

The 3rd precinct police station burns #GeorgeFloydprotest

The official city account has tweeted this. It is, however, important to note it is saying it is relying on unconfirmed reports.

We're hearing unconfirmed reports that gas lines to the Third Precinct have been cut and other explosive materials are in the building.

If you are near the building, for your safety, PLEASE RETREAT in the event the building explodes.

— City of Minneapolis (@CityMinneapolis) May 29, 2020

“We’re burning our own neighborhood,” said a distraught Deona Brown, a 24-year-old woman standing with a friend outside the precinct station, where a small group of protesters were shouting at a dozen or so stone-faced police officers in riot gear.

“This is where we live, where we shop, and they destroyed it.” No officers could be seen beyond the station.

“What that cop did was wrong, but I’m scared now,” Brown said.

Others in the crowd saw something different in the wreckage.

Protesters destroyed property “because the system is broken,” said a young man who identified himself only by his nickname, Cash, and who said he had been in the streets during the violence. He dismissed the idea that the destruction would hurt residents of the largely black neighborhood.

“They’re making money off of us,” he said angrily of the owners of the destroyed stores.

He laughed when asked if he had joined in the looting or violence. “I didn’t break anything.”

Where we stand

That’s all from me today, handing over to my colleague Josh Taylor in Australia. Here’s where we stand this evening:

Protests against police brutality have continued in cities across the US, including Minneapolis, Denver, New York and Oakland following the killing of George Floyd. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died in police custody after a white officer handcuffed hum kneeled on his neck for several minutes as Floyd pleaded that he could not breathe.

In Minneapolis, police abandoned the 3rd protest police station, which has been a major protest site. Crowds breached the station and set the entrance on fire. Elsewhere, businesses were looted and blazes set as the evening wore on.

The governor of Minnesota activated the National Guard to respond to the protests and declared a state of emergency in Minneapolis, St. Paul and surrounding areas. Governor Walz wrote in the proclamation that he supported peaceful protests but “unfortunately, some individuals have engaged in unlawful and dangerous activity, including arson, rioting, looting, and damaging public and private property”.

In Denver, shots were heard outside the state capitol. Protestors were ushered inside by state patrol and no one appears to have been hurt.

In New York, officers arrested at least 40 at the protests. Charges included civil disobedience. Officers pinned down several demonstrators and used tear gas and rubber bullets on the crowd.

Martin Luther King III, a human rights leader and son of the late Martin Luther King, Jr. quoted his father, who said, “riot is the language of the unheard”. King is one of many human rights advocates who have condemned the police’s treatment of Floyd. UN Human Rights commissioner Michelle Bachelet said she was “dismayed” to add Floyd’s name to a long list of Black Americans who have been killed by the police.

00:07 EDTProtesters set fire to the entrance of the 3rd precinct police station as demonstrations continued in Minneapolis. Photograph: Carlos Barría/Reuters

From The Guardian’s Chris McGreal:

As darkness fell the mood soured further and protesters again began burning buildings. They hit a liquor store, where exploding bottles sent people scurrying in fear, and a pawn shop.

But the primary target was the 3rd precinct police station, where a group of young men broke through the wire fence hastily erected before the police withdrew earlier in the day. As the fire grew they led chants of George Floyd’s name and “No justice, no peace” until flames engulfed the building. Protesters cheered and celebrated with fireworks.

Police officers watched from two blocks away but did not intervene. Fire crews attempted to put out other fires but did not go near the police station. As the fire spread, thousands more protesters poured into the area. Rumors were shouted amongst the crows that the national guard were on their way, and people began to run, but so far there is no evidence of any outside intervention by force.

Local businesses, including a wine shop are on fire.

Crowds have also lit fireworks.

The Minnesota National Guard has sent 500 soldiers to St. Paul, Minneapolis and surrounding areas.

We have activated more than 500 soldiers to St. Paul, Minneapolis and surrounding communities. Our mission is to protect life, preserve property and the right to peacefully demonstrate. A key objective is to ensure fire departments are able to respond to calls.

— MN National Guard (@MNNationalGuard) May 29, 2020

© 2020 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.

<><><> ><><>< ><><><>


Trump says military 'ready, willing and able' to deploy to Minneapolis amid protests

Active-duty forces are normally prohibited from taking part in domestic law enforcement, but the Insurrection Act of 1807 allows for a state legislature or governor to request assistance in the event of civil unrest.

May 30, 2020, 1:45 PM EDT / Updated May 30, 2020, 2:48 PM EDT

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump announced Saturday that the military police were ready to deploy to Minneapolis amid ongoing protests in the aftermath of George Floyd's death.

"We have our military ready, willing and able, if they ever want to call our military. We can have troops on the ground very quickly," Trump said as he left the White House Saturday afternoon on his way to Florida for the second attempt at the SpaceX launch. "They're using their National Guard right now, as you know."

"They've got to be tough, they've got to be strong, they've got to be respected," Trump said, speaking of Minnesota government officials, adding that there were protesters that needed to be "taught" that they "can't do this."

The move would take service members from around the country and prepare them to deploy to Minneapolis if the governor elects to use those resources.

Active-duty forces are normally prohibited from taking part in domestic law enforcement, but the Insurrection Act of 1807 allows for a state legislature or governor to request assistance in the event of civil unrest.

Jonathan Rath Hoffman, assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, said in a statement that the "Secretary of Defense and the Chairman have personally spoken with Governor Walz twice in the last 24-hours and expressed the department’s readiness to provide support to local and state authorities as requested."

"At this time there is no request by the Governor of Minnesota for Title 10 forces to support the Minnesota National Guard or state law enforcement," he continued, adding that the U.S. Northern Command was ordered to increase their alert status from a 48-hour recall to a 4-hour status in case the governor requested their assistance.

Protests erupted in Minneapolis and in several cities in the U.S. this week after Floyd, a black man, died when a white Minneapolis police officer used his knee to pin Floyd down on the ground for almost nine minutes after taking him into custody. The incident was caught on multiple cameras and Floyd could be heard pleading with the officer, saying, “I can’t breathe.”

Trump has been critical of Minnesota’s response, calling the Minneapolis mayor "radical" and unprepared to deal with the protests.

At a press conference Saturday afternoon, Attorney General William Barr said that the Department of Justice was prepared to "take all action necessary to enforce federal law" and reminded the public that it was a federal crime to cross state lines to participate in "violent rioting."

Barr and others have suggested that some of the Minneapolis protestors have been from out of town.

Trump backed up Barr's statement in a tweet, writing "Crossing State lines to incite violence is a FEDERAL CRIME!" and the federal government "will step in and do what has to be done, and that includes using the unlimited power of our Military and many arrests."

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said Saturday that he would fully mobilize the Minnesota National Guard for the first time since World War II to bring an end to the "wanton destruction" protests that he blamed on protesters from outside the state.

Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, head of Minnesota's National Guard, said that he was not consulted on Trump's decision to active the Army but that he thought it was a "prudent move."

“You may have seen or heard that this evening the president directed the Pentagon to put units of the Untied States Army on alter to possible operation in Minneapolis. While we were not consulted as it relates to that, I do believe it’s a prudent move to provide other options available to the governor if the governor elects to use those resources.”




In a sad week for America, Trump has fled from his duty

Opinion by David Gergen, CNN Senior Political Analyst

Editor's Note: (David Gergen has been a White House adviser to four presidents and is a senior political analyst at CNN. A graduate of Harvard Law School, he is a professor of public service at the Harvard Kennedy School, where he founded the Center for Public Leadership. Tune in CNN Sunday at noon ET for WE REMEMBER, a memorial service for those lost during the Covid-19 pandemic, hosted by Jake Tapper. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion on CNN.)

(CNN)This past week has brought tragedy upon tragedy to our nation: the death toll from Covid-19 passed a grim milestone of 100,000 deaths; the brutal killing of George Floyd ignited mass protests in Minneapolis and beyond, and seven were shot dead demanding justice in Louisville

But our President was mostly busy with other things: getting into a public fight with Twitter, condemning China over Hong Kong and terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization -- an entity that once looked to the United States as the world's leading institution in fighting pandemics.

President Donald Trump also took time, of course, to send out a stream of new, controversial tweets. He called protesters in Minneapolis "thugs" and repeated a racist line from a Miami police chief years ago, "When the looting starts, the shooting starts." He even retweeted a video in which a supporter says, "The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat."

But other than a brief tweet in the midst of another storm, Trump remained silent on the most sensitive issue of his presidency: the pandemic that is killing so many older Americans and people of color living near the edge. Understandably, with the rash of other news, the press is moving on. But we should pause for one more moment to recognize how sad and sharp a departure his silence is from past traditions of the presidency.

Ex-prosecutor: Complaint against Minnesota cop in George Floyd case drops important clues

Since the early days of the Republic until now, Americans have looked to our presidents to provide protection, meaning and comfort, especially in moments of crisis. After George Washington was sworn as commander in chief of the Continental Army, Ethan Allen's younger brother, Levi, wrote to Washington in 1776 that he had become "Our political Father and head of a Great People." Shortly thereafter, Washington was frequently referred to as "Father of Our Country." As he steered us through war, the constitutional convention, and two terms as President, the phrase caught on. He wasn't much of a speaker -- he thought his deeds spoke for him -- but he was a leader of such strong character and rock-solid integrity that he became the gold standard of the presidency.

Lincoln began his presidency during great uncertainty about his leadership. He won the election of 1860 with the smallest plurality ever (39%), and his military experience was virtually nil. But over time, he kindled a special relationship with Union soldiers, many of whom called him "Father Abraham." Historians say his homespun ways, common manner and kindly empathy converted them. In his re-election, soldiers were his greatest supporters.

Franklin Roosevelt was known to be self-involved in his early years, but his struggles with polio transformed him into a caring, compassionate leader. Working families and many people of color thought they had a friend in the White House. So attached did his followers become that when he gave a fireside chat on a summer evening, you could walk down the streets of Baltimore and hear every word as families sat in their living room by a radio.

It's been five decades since 1968, and things are somehow worse

Historians generally agree that Washington, Lincoln and FDR were our greatest presidents. All three are remembered for their empathy and steadfastness in caring for the lives of average Americans. They continue to set the standard.

In contemporary times, it is harder for any president to sustain deep ties with a majority of Americans. We are too sharply divided as a people, and the internet often brings out the worst in us. Even so, several of our recent presidents have found moments when they can unify us and make us feel that at the end of the day, we are indeed one people. In many cases, these moments have come to define their presidencies: Ask any American adult and they can generally remember one, two or even three occasions in which recent presidents connected with us emotionally, stirring our hearts.

I remember with absolute clarity the Challenger disaster in 1986. One saw the plumes of the rising space craft against a bright blue sky -- and then that horrific explosion as it instantly disappeared. Ronald Reagan was one of the few presidents in our history who expressed our emotions so well in a moment of shock and mourning. For hour upon hour, the networks had replayed the explosion, and it seemed so meaningless. But then Reagan used his speech to replace that picture in our minds with a different one: the astronauts waving goodbye. They became our heroes, especially as Reagan (drawing upon speechwriter Peggy Noonan) closed with lines from a World War II poem: "We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and 'slipped the surly bonds of earth' to 'touch the face of God.'"

One thinks, too, of Bill Clinton traveling to Oklahoma City after the bombing there of a federal building in 1995. Clinton, like Reagan, was at his best when he captured tangled emotions and gave meaning to deaths of some of our finest citizens. He not only consoled families in private but moved the nation when he mourned them publicly. As I recall, that's when presidents were first called "Mourners in Chief" -- a phrase that has been applied repeatedly to presidents since. (Not coincidentally, Clinton's speech of mourning in Oklahoma City is widely credited with resurrecting his presidency, then in the doldrums.)

One remembers, too, George W. Bush standing on the top of a crushed police car in the rubble of the World Trade Center bombing. When a first responder said he couldn't hear the President, Bush responded through his bullhorn: "I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon."

One also remembers Barack Obama flying again and again to speak at gravesites where young children or church parishioners were being buried, victims gunned down in a gun-obsessed nation. Thinking about the mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Church in Charleston, one's mind returns to the image of the President of the United States leading a memorial service, singing "Amazing Grace."

Reagan, Clinton, Bush, Obama -- two Republicans, two Democrats -- served as our "Mourners in Chief." All four bound us together for a few moments, and we remembered who we are and who we can be.

Why has our current "Mourner in Chief" gone AWOL? God knows. But his flight from responsibility is yet another sadness among this week's tragic loses

© 2020 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.


In Days of Discord, a President Fans the Flames

Mr. Trump has presented himself as someone who seeks conflict, not conciliation, a fighter, not a peacemaker. And he has lived up to his self-image at a perilous time.

Published May 30, 2020Updated May 31, 2020, 12:26 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON — With a nation on edge, ravaged by disease, hammered by economic collapse, divided over lockdowns and even face masks and now convulsed once again by race, President Trump’s first instinct has been to look for someone to fight.

Over the last week, America reeled from 100,000 pandemic deaths, 40 million people out of work and cities in flames over a brutal police killing of a subdued black man. But Mr. Trump was on the attack against China, the World Health Organization, Big Tech, former President Barack Obama, a cable television host and the mayor of a riot-torn city.

While other presidents seek to cool the situation in tinderbox moments like this, Mr. Trump plays with matches. He roars into any melee he finds, encouraging street uprisings against public health measures advanced by his own government, hurling made-up murder charges against a critic, accusing his predecessor of unspecified crimes, vowing to crack down on a social media company that angered him and then seemingly threatening to meet violence with violence in Minneapolis.

As several cities erupted in street protests after the killing of George Floyd, some of them resulting in clashes with the police, Mr. Trump made no appeal for calm. Instead in a series of tweets and comments to reporters on Saturday, he blamed the unrest on Democrats, called on “Liberal Governors and Mayors” to get “MUCH tougher” on the crowds, threatened to intervene with “the unlimited power of our Military” and even suggested his own supporters mount a counterdemonstration.

The turmoil came right to Mr. Trump’s doorstep for the second night in a row on Saturday as hundreds of people protesting Mr. Floyd’s death and the president’s response surged in streets near the White House. While most were peaceful, chanting “black lives matter” and “no peace, no justice,” some spray painted scatological advice for Mr. Trump, ignited small fires, set off firecrackers and threw bricks, bottles and fruit at Secret Service and United States Park Police officers, who responded with pepper spray.

The police cordoned off several blocks around the Executive Mansion as a phalanx of camouflage-wearing National Guard troops marched across nearby Lafayette Square. A man strode through the streets yelling, “Time for a revolution!” The image of the White House surrounded by police in helmets and riot gear behind plastic shields fueled the sense of a nation torn apart.

Mr. Trump praised the Secret Service for being “very cool” and “very professional” but assailed the Democratic mayor of Washington for not providing city police officers to help on Friday night, which she denied. While governors and mayors have urged restraint, Mr. Trump seemed more intent on taunting the protesters, bragging about the violence that would have met them had they tried to get onto White House grounds.

“Big crowd, professionally organized, but nobody came close to breaching the fence,” the president wrote on Twitter on Saturday morning. “If they had they would have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen. That’s when people would have been really badly hurt, at least. Many Secret Service agents just waiting for action.”

His suggestion that his own supporters should come to the White House on Saturday foreshadowed the possibility of a clash outside his own doors. “Tonight, I understand, is MAGA NIGHT AT THE WHITE HOUSE???” he wrote on Twitter, using the acronym for his first campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

Asked about the tweet later, he denied encouraging violence by his supporters. “They love African-American people,” he said. “They love black people. MAGA loves the black people.” By evening, however, Mr. Trump’s supporters were not in evidence among the crowds at the White House.

Mayor Muriel E. Bowser of Washington responded sharply on Saturday morning, saying her police department will protect anyone in Washington, including the president, and by Saturday evening her officers were out in force around the White House.

But she called the president a source of division. “While he hides behind his fence afraid/alone, I stand w/ people peacefully exercising their First Amendment Right after the murder of #GeorgeFloyd & hundreds of years of institutional racism,” she wrote. “There are no vicious dogs & ominous weapons. There is just a scared man. Afraid/alone …”

After his morning barrage, Mr. Trump tried to recalibrate later in the day, devoting the opening of a speech at the Kennedy Space Center following the SpaceX rocket launch to the unrest in the streets and clearly trying to temper his bellicose tone.

“I understand the pain that people are feeling,” he said. “We support the right of peaceful protesters and we hear their pleas. But what we are now seeing on the streets of our cities has nothing to do with justice or peace. The memory of George Floyd is being dishonored by rioters, looters and anarchists.”

The days of discord have put the president’s leadership style on vivid display. From the start of his ascension to power, Mr. Trump has presented himself as someone who seeks conflict, not conciliation, a fighter, not a peacemaker. That appeals to a substantial portion of the public that sees in him a president willing to take on an entrenched and entitled establishment.

But the confluence of perilous health, economic and now racial crises has tested his approach and left him struggling to find his footing just months before an election in which polls currently show him behind.

“The president seems more out-of-touch and detached from the difficult reality the country is living than ever before,” said Carlos Curbelo, a former Republican congressman from Florida who has been critical of Mr. Trump. “At a moment when America desperately needs healing, the president is focused on petty personal battles with his perceived adversaries.”

Such a moment would challenge any president, of course. It has been a year of national trauma that started out feeling like another 1998 with impeachment, then another 1918 with a killer pandemic combined with another 1929 given the shattering economic fallout. Now add to that another 1968, a year of deep social unrest.

It is fair to say that 2020 has turned out to be a year that has frayed the fabric of American society with an accumulation of anguish that has whipsawed the country and its people. But in some ways, Mr. Trump has become a totem for the nation’s polarization rather than a mender of it.

“I am daily thinking about why and how a society unravels and what we can do to stop the process,” said Timothy Naftali, a presidential historian at New York University. “The calamity these days is about more than Trump. He is just the malicious con man who lives to exploit our vulnerabilities.”

As the nation has confronted a coronavirus pandemic at the same time as the greatest economic catastrophe since the Great Depression, whatever unified resolve that existed at the beginning of the twin crises quickly evaporated into yet another cultural clash. And the president has made everything into just another partisan dispute rather than a source of consensus, from when and how to reopen to whether to wear a mask in public.

Mr. Trump led no national mourning as the death toll from the coronavirus passed 100,000 beyond lowering the flags at the White House, posting a single tweet and offering a passing comment on camera only when asked about it. Rather than seek agreement on the best and safest way to restore daily life, he threatened to “override” governors who prevented places of worship from resuming crowded services.

“Crisis leadership demands much more from the White House than irresponsible threats on social media,” said Meena Bose, director of the Peter S. Kalikow Center for the Study of the American Presidency at Hofstra University.

Mr. Trump’s initial response to the rioting in Minneapolis, where a police officer has been charged with murder after kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as he cried out that he could not breathe, underscored the president’s most instinctive response to national challenges. Threatening to send in troops, he wrote early Friday morning that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

Only after a cascade of criticism did he try to walk it back, posting a new tweet 13 hours later, suggesting that all he had meant was that “looting leads to shooting” by people in the street.

“I don’t want this to happen, and that’s what the expression put out last night means,” he said, a reformulation that convinced few if any of his critics.

Even some of Mr. Trump’s usual allies were distressed at the original shooting tweet. Geraldo Rivera, the television and radio host who often spends time with Mr. Trump at the president’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, decried “the recklessness” of that message and called on the president “to self-censor himself.”

“Come on, what is this, sixth grade?” Mr. Rivera said on Fox News. “You don’t put gasoline on the fire. That’s not calming anybody.” He added: “All he does is diminish himself.”

But many of the president’s defenders rejected the idea that he had mishandled the crises, pressing the argument that Democrats and the news media were to blame for the turmoil in the streets, which spread from Minneapolis to New York, Atlanta, Washington, Louisville, Portland and other cities.

“Keep track of cities where hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage and serious injuries and death will take place,” Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York mayor who has served as Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, wrote on Twitter on Friday night. “All Democrat dominated cities with criminal friendly policies. This is the future if you elect Democrats.”

Bernard B. Kerik, the former New York City police commissioner who was pardoned by Mr. Trump for tax fraud earlier this year, amplified the point on Twitter. “It should be no surprise that every one of these cities that the anarchist have taken over, are the same cities run by leftist Democrats with the highest violence, murder and poverty rates,” he wrote on Twitter. “They can’t handle their cities normally, so how are they going to deal with this?”

Mr. Trump, who this past week retweeted a video of a supporter saying that “the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat” (though the supporter insisted he meant that in a political sense), picked up the theme on Saturday.

With crowds visible from his upstairs windows, Mr. Trump reached for his phone and again assailed the “Democrat Mayor” of Minneapolis for not responding more vigorously and called on New York to unleash its police against crowds. “Let New York’s Finest be New York’s Finest,” he wrote. “There is nobody better, but they must be allowed to do their job!

Peter Baker is the chief White House correspondent and has covered the last four presidents for The Times and The Washington Post. He also is the author of five books, most recently “Impeachment: An American History.” @peterbakernyt • Facebook

Trump’s Looting and ‘Shooting’ Remarks Escalate Crisis in Minneapolis

© 2020 The New York Times Compay
Last edited by Meno_ on Sun May 31, 2020 5:58 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Trump enters the stage - signs of isolation

Postby Meno_ » Fri May 29, 2020 9:24 pm

Beth Cameron, a biologist and former senior official in the National Security Council said on Twitter: “There aren’t words for how much this decision will hurt the US, our global partners, and our ability to to impact the #COVID19 pandemic that is a threat to our national and global peace and security.”

{ on Trump withdrawing the U.S. from the WHO }
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Re: Trump enters the stage - globalism or not?

Postby Meno_ » Sat May 30, 2020 12:36 am

{Before this fellow Minnesotan's directive, I felt along with the independents, that those who advocated a liberal cause, based on the idea that the whole world wants to share in the U.S. prosperity, ( if they can't well....there be he'll to pay)
Since causa belli still retain that conventional age tested formula....
And may be, the inversion is sliced by a double edged Ocean's razor ....

But if bias has been ingrained even within a neutral position:
......well, how does that mesh with the prophesies that signal the coming of the antichrist: and ARMAGEDDON?...

Can I still pretend that it is the very inversion of it, that the truth betokens?
Can an overwhelming liberal media bias be sustained without falling into a state of singular bias against ..... a ..... scapegoat?

Watch this and see if an objective independence of though can be still sustained:}

{ Belatedly but only by a month. Now apply the idea of the 'anti-synthetic and a purely visually symmetrical image does not result. The analytics can not simply be reduced . Details will lapse, and abstract intrusions of figures will appear, and they will mask the original . The inversions can not function reversely.

It has a one way ticket in its scope, make a decision reversely to two destinations : heaven or hell, and once made, no repentance through the mediumship of the savior can redeem.

This is it, and that is why the decision has become a question of the final, and utmost importance.

Or, can a reversal replicate and negate the naturalistic fallacy ? Can global revision in it's absolute sense remain formally intact, without substantial values not sacrificed?

Unless it is a double inversion, without a cross.- }
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Re: Trump enters the stage - Mathis darkens WH mood

Postby Meno_ » Fri Jun 05, 2020 5:11 am

{General Mathis delivered a harsh rebuke against Trump, and was backed up by most of the top brass} :

WASHINGTON — It took him three and a half years, but former Trump Defense Secretary Jim Mattis finally unloaded on President Trump regarding the president’s recent actions and rhetoric after the nationwide protests of George Floyd’s death.

“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us,” Mattis writes to The Atlantic.

“We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership,” he continues.

And: “When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the constitutional rights of their fellow citizens — much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.”

Trump, as you’d expect, fired back at Mattis in a pair of tweets Wednesday night.

“I didn’t like his ‘leadership’ style or much else about him, and many others agree. Glad he is gone!”

But here are three reasons why Mattis’ takedown of Trump matters.

One, Mattis was an eyewitness to Trump’s presidency. “In addition to the authority he’s earned over a long and distinguished career, he speaks as one of a handful of high-ranking officials who have been firsthand witnesses to the way Donald Trump has operated as president,” The Dispatch writes of Mattis.

Two, he was seen as one of the early guardrails/validators early in Trump’s administration.

And three, Mattis isn’t alone in respected military voices speaking out against Trump and his actions, joining former Joints Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen and Martin Dempsey, as well as retired Marine General John Allen.

“The slide of the United States into illiberalism may well have begun on June 1, 2020. Remember the date. It may well signal the beginning of the end of the American experiment,”

{ Meanwhile, Mr. Trump called the protesters 'terrorists' }

Its been a strange week for the administration. In addition, Senator Murkowski of Alaska let it be known that she is having a hard time deciding to support Trump in the upcoming election. Trump immediately let out a tweet, signaling that he may not support Murkowski for her run for the Senate seat.}

The dark clouds are rolling in.
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Re: Trump enters the stage - from controlled genius to crazy

Postby Meno_ » Tue Jun 09, 2020 11:48 pm

In Donald Trump’s W5est Wing, being a member of the Trump family has historically been the ultimate job security. But that truism is being stress-tested after a run of polls consistently show Trump losing to Joe Biden at this stage of the race—a CNN poll this morning has him down 14 points. According to a source close to the White House, Trump has mulled taking oversight of the campaign away from his son-in-law Jared Kushner. “Trump is malignantly crazy about the bad poll numbers,” a former West Wing official said. “He’s going to broom Kushner and [Brad] Parscale—the numbers are not getting better,” a Republican close to the campaign said.


VISION 2020 2:59 P.M.

Trump Campaign Puts President’s Psychological Needs Above His Political Ones

Like countless other Americans, Donald Trump has seen his job security decline in recent weeks.

In early April, the share of Americans who disapproved of the president was about seven points higher than the percentage that approved of him; today, that margin has grown to 13.8 points, according to FiveThirtyEight. Over the same period, Joe Biden’s lead in live-interview polls of registered voters has swelled from six points to ten.

To retain the White House, Trump doesn’t need to win the most votes, he just needs to beat the spread. Which is to say, since the president’s support is concentrated among white, non-college-educated voters — who are themselves disproportionately located in battleground states — election forecasters have estimated that Trump can lose the popular vote by as much as five points and still keep his job in 2021.

But the Electoral College can’t compensate for a double-digit deficit. Making matters worse for Trump, his polling decline has been powered by defections among white, non-college-educated voters. As the New York Times’s Nate Cohn notes, Trump’s advantage over Biden with this demographic has declined from 31 points in March to 21 points today. By contrast, the Democratic nominee has gained only a point among nonwhite voters over that same timeframe. This suggests that Biden’s coalition has not only grown larger but also better optimized for Electoral College purposes. The Democratic nominee has not secured a double-digit advantage by further running up the score among demographic blocs that are heavily concentrated in safe blue states. Rather, he has built a broader and more geographically diverse voting base. Trump’s popular-vote deficit is therefore rising, even as his margin for error is shrinking.

In a normal campaign, these developments would prompt major strategic changes. Resources would be allocated in a more careful and targeted manner, as even a well-funded operation can’t afford to waste a penny when it has a ten-point gap to close. Messaging would be recalibrated to better appeal to swing constituencies. To the extent that there was a clear correlation between something the candidate was doing and a rise in disapproval, that behavior would be curbed.

But Donald Trump has neither the desire nor the capacity to mount a normal campaign. He has little investment in the long-term success of the conservative movement or Republican Party. He did not enter politics to advance an ideological project so much as to quell his insatiable thirst for attention and adoration. The rallies were the point.

Trump has some deeply rooted authoritarian and xenophobic intuitions. But his substantive agenda is for promotional use primarily. Where other presidents designed propaganda to secure their favored policies, Trump designs policies to secure his desired propaganda. To take one example: Threatening Kim Jong-un with annihilation — and then rewarding the dictator with a face-to-face meeting — did little to deter North Korea’s nuclear-weapons program. But it did yield a spectacle in which Trump could perform the role of master dealmaker. And by all appearances, this was sufficient for the president to deem his North Korea policy a smashing success. More broadly, reporting on the administration’s internal policy deliberations regularly suggests that, when Trump evaluates the relative merits of one course of action or another, he asks himself, “What would make tonight’s Fox News coverage most self-affirming?”

Trump’s fanatical obsession with his own image — a pathology that’s become more conspicuous (and conspicuously sociopathic) in the present context of national crisis — has led many to criticize him for putting his political interests above the nation’s public health. But this allegation is imprecise. The president is not actually capable of putting a premium on his own electoral fortunes. And this is not merely because he lacks the requisite self-discipline. For Trump, holding rallies and courting worshipful conservative media coverage are not means for winning political power; winning political power is a means for securing the adulation of crowds and conservative cable-news hosts.

Thus, when the imperatives of winning reelection — and gaining the president some public affirmation — come into conflict, the Trump campaign has been optimizing for the latter.

The president should be pouring every resource at his disposal into moving public opinion in battleground states. Instead, his campaign just spent $400,000 buying cable-news ads in the Washington, D.C., market — so that the candidate could enjoy a little emotional picker-upper in between Tucker Carlson segments. As the Daily Beast reports:

[O]ver the past month, the Trump campaign has spent slightly more than $400,000 on cable news ads in the Washington, D.C., area, buying time largely on Fox News but with some smaller buys on CNN and MSNBC as well, according to filings with the Federal Communications Commission … It is, on a purely electoral level, a remarkably quixotic use of campaign cash. The purchases have no real shot of moving D.C., Maryland, or Virginia into the Trump column …

But two knowledgeable sources—one a Trump campaign adviser, the other an individual close to the president—said the D.C.-area ads had another purpose as well: to put the president himself at ease … Trump is a voracious consumer of cable news, and—the thinking goes—is likely to see the spots pop up between segments of his favorite shows.

If Trump wishes to maximize his odds of remaining president, he should be catering to the preferences and sensibilities of the voters who’ve drifted away from him since 2016. For example, in 2016, Trump lost women voters by 14 points. At present, he’s losing them to Biden by 25. His deficit among college-educated whites has also ballooned.

But Trump has done approximately nothing to stanch his bleeding with these constituencies. In fact, he is arguably doing less to appeal to women than he did in 2016, when he would occasionally send Ivanka in front of the cameras to champion paid leave and testify to her father’s commitment to gender equality in the workplace.

Instead, the president has prioritized dispensing red meat to his base. There is no electoral logic to Trump’s militant advocacy for heavy-handed policing, let alone for his decision to spread a conspiracy theory about the 75-year-old white man who was brutalized in Buffalo on Tuesday morning. There is no sound political reason for him to pose with a bible in front of St. John’s church, let alone for gassing a crowd of peaceful protestors in order to do so. Trump has a higher approval rating among Republican voters than any GOP nominee since at least 2000. He has no significant room for improvement among right-wing evangelicals and “Blue Lives Matter” backers. Other Republicans understand that this is not the time for preaching to the choir; the House GOP is cobbling together a list of (milquetoast) police reforms it can support, while rhetorically affirming the need for change.

But the president craves reverence more than ballots. And only GOP base voters are willing to give him the former. So he is forever seeking to elicit the faithful’s adulation, rather than to win the converts’ tepid support.

Finally, as CNN’s Harry Enten notes, the available evidence suggests that Trump’s political standing declines when his media prominence rises: Given the president’s utter dearth of message discipline, the more Americans hear from him, the less they seem to like him. Recognition of this reality led to the suspension of Trump’s daily coronavirus press conferences. But since the president values near-term media attention above his long-term political interests, he will soon be improvising hateful rants in front of crowds of his adoring (but, for swing voters, deeply alienating) devotees on a routine basis.

In the immediate term, Trump’s inability to recognize and prioritize his own political interests makes him more dangerous. In the present context, a ruthlessly reelection-minded incumbent would be championing massive fiscal aid to states and cities, extending enhanced unemployment benefits, and coordinating a comprehensive federal response to the pandemic. There are a lot of misaligned incentives in U.S. politics. But a sitting president still has a strong interest in not presiding over mass death or unemployment in an election year.

In the long term, however, Trump’s myopic obsession with pleasing the hardline conservatives on his television and at his rallies may prove to be the cause of — and solution to — the biggest problems posed by his presidency.





2 long shots rise in Biden VP search

Two prospects who were not initially considered among the top tier contenders have burst into contention amid wide-scale protests.

Demonstrators march on Saturday to protest the death of George Floyd near the White House.

Wide-scale protests that have exposed deep racial tensions across the nation in the last two weeks are reshaping the contours of Joe Biden’s search for a vice presidential pick, sharpening the focus on an African American woman as his running mate and elevating the prospects of several candidates once viewed as longshots.

The campaign sees the outpouring of anger and emotion in the wake of George Floyd’s death as a watershed moment that has made the issue of a black running mate a top consideration, two sources familiar with the internal discussions say.

In the last week alone, two prospects who were initially not considered among the top tier contenders have suddenly burst into contention: Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Florida Rep. Val Demings.

Both have been tapped by the Biden campaign to act as leading surrogates amid the unrest and have seen their national media exposure intensify.

Bottoms is being vetted as a Biden running mate, two sources with knowledge of the discussions confirm to POLITICO. Demings, a former Orlando police chief, has previously confirmed she’s being vetted.

The Biden campaign, which has grappled with the question of whether to focus on race or region in choosing a vice presidential candidate, caution that the search is still fluid.

But campaign advisers and surrogates confirm that the dynamics of Biden’s search have quickly changed.

Biden, a former vice president himself, said recently he hopes to name a running mate by early August and has given no clear signals about which direction he is leaning other than to say his pick will be a woman.

“The time for the old playbook of getting geographic balance on the ticket has gone out the window with Sarah Palin,” said former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun (D-Ill.), the first African American woman to serve in the Senate and a Biden surrogate. “These are extraordinary times, Joe is an extraordinary candidate. The only way he’s going to get the voters energized is to have a black woman candidate — a black woman — for vice president.”

Just 10 days ago, top Biden surrogates pointed to Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar as a leading contender because of her appeal as a moderate from the Midwest. But her star has fallen in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. Social-justice activists have been sharply critical of Klobuchar’s past record as a Minneapolis-area prosecutor and have urged Biden not to choose her.

Moseley Braun said the campaign must take heed from the outpouring in the streets.

“It’s not just a signal, it’s a cry. It’s a cry from the heart from American people — ‘we need to move into another direction,’” she said. “We need to repudiate white supremacy.”

One source familiar with the internal discussions about vice presidential selection described the campaign’s view on the need for a black vice president as “an evolution” over the last two weeks.

In an interview, Bottoms deferred to the Biden campaign on questions about her prospects as a Biden running mate.

“I can tell you that obviously like so many mayors and governors across this country, my complete focus has been on our streets the last few days,” Bottoms said.

Within the campaign, the Atlanta mayor is viewed as a loyal, frontline warrior who stood with Biden almost as soon as he launched his 2020 bid last year. Her standing has been bolstered by her recent emergence as an authoritative voice at a time of racial duress in the country.

Bottoms began seeing a rise in TV bookings in the peak Covid-era, when she spoke frequently of how the virus was disproportionately affecting African Americans. But she became a ubiquitous presence on the airwaves in the wake of a widely lauded, off-script speech on May 29 that followed an evening when thousands of protesters — and looters — took to the streets of Atlanta.

“When I saw the murder of George Floyd, I hurt like a mother would hurt. And, yesterday, when I heard there were rumors about violent protests in Atlanta, I did what a mother would do. I called my son and I said, 'Where are you?' I said, 'I cannot protect you, and black boys shouldn't be out today,’” she said at a news conference calling for the violence to cease. “So you aren’t going to out-concern me and out-care about where we are in America. I wear this each and every day. And I pray over our children each and every day.”

Bottoms castigated wrongdoers, telling them they disgraced Martin Luther King’s legacy of enacting change through peaceful protest.

“What I see happening on the streets of Atlanta is not Atlanta. This is not a protest. This is not in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. This is chaos,” she said. “A protest has purpose. When Dr. King was assassinated we didn’t do this to our city. So if you love this city, this city that has a legacy of black mayors and black police chiefs … if you care about this city, then go home.”

The first big city mayor to endorse Biden, Bottoms has served as a campaign trail surrogate for well over a year, defending him on national TV through various verbal gaffes and campaign flubs — even after Biden clashed with Kamala Harris on the presidential primary debate stage, when the California senator excoriated his record on race.

Harris, who has run statewide twice before, is also being considered as a possible running mate and had been viewed as an early favorite candidate.

But while Harris sat on the sidelines for a time after she exited the 2020 field, Bottoms volunteered for Biden in Iowa. On caucus night, the former judge and Atlanta city council member even stepped up to give an impromptu speech about Biden’s candidacy when the precinct captain didn’t show. Throughout the campaign, Bottoms traveled extensively through the South on Biden’s behalf, joining him for events in Tennessee, South Carolina and Texas, among other places.

When Biden’s candidacy appeared on life support following routs in Iowa and New Hampshire, Bottoms went on national TV to remind audiences “the South has something to say” because the South Carolina primary had not yet taken place.

“She was with Joe Biden before it became cool to be with Joe Biden,” said Tharon Johnson, a longtime political senior adviser to Bottoms. “She was with Joe Biden when it was unpopular.”

Johnson said Bottoms, who is 50, would bring gender, racial, regional and generational balance to a Democratic ticket.

“That is someone that to me, has the stamina and has the vigor and the discipline that it takes to take on the national scene if she’s chosen ... She brings a level of humanization to the issues. She’s now built up a tremendous national profile,” Johnson said, noting that she is looking to add staff to help deal with the media demand, which has been four to five television hits a night. “She not only shares his commitment to the issues, she complements Joe Biden’s vision of America.”

In addition to Harris and Demings, other African American women the campaign is considering include fellow Georgian, former Democratic state House leader Stacey Abrams, who has been a vocal advocate for her own candidacy, and former National Security Adviser Susan Rice.

Florida Rep. Val Demings.

The recent unrest and focus on police conduct has elevated Demings’ profile due to her unique backstory as both a black congresswoman and a former police chief of a major metropolitan force in Florida. Demings’ husband is also the former sheriff of the county.

Demings, who first drew national notice as a House impeachment manager of President Trump earlier this year, has seen a boomlet of media attention — ranging from Ellen to Sunday news shows to an on-camera interview with Time — as she calls for law enforcement reform.

Still, the 63-year-old congresswoman’s law-enforcement bona fides could prove problematic for some progressive activists, which one Biden campaign adviser described as a “delicate” situation.

But Demings’ ability to speak commandingly on the topic and straddle the divide between police and African-Americans has been a boon to the Biden campaign, which has increasingly used her as a surrogate to discuss the complex intersections of these two communities.

“To protect and serve, we all need to make adjustments,” Demings told POLITICO. “You know why we see police chiefs and officers walking hand in hand with protesters? You know why we see some officers taking a knee? Doggone, it’s because there needs to be reform. They know the criminal justice system they work in needs to be reformed.”

“The George Floyd killing has reshaped America’s thinking, the campaign, everything."

 Florida state Rep. Shevrin Jones

Orlando’s police department has had a history of excessive use of force, but the NAACP president of the region’s chapter who served at the same time that Demings was chief, vouched for her social-justice bonafides and tenure leading the agency from 2007 to 2011. Though also criticized by some local activists, Demings has been praised from both ends of the political spectrum, from the NAACP to the current head of the Florida Fraternal Order of Police, a Republican.

No major deaths or severe brutality cases appear to have unfolded on her watch, according to news clips and political supporters and detractors. But when she was chief in 2009, she suffered her biggest embarrassment after failing to properly lock her Chevy Tahoe, leading to the theft of her agency-issued 9 mm Sig Sauer gun, bullets, handcuffs and baton, according to the Orlando Sentinel. She was reprimanded by her own agency.

Whomever the campaign selects as Biden’s running mate, the decision must take into account the historical nature of recent events, said Florida state Rep. Shevrin Jones, an African American Democrat who hosted a virtual campaign event with Biden last month.

“The George Floyd killing has reshaped America’s thinking, the campaign, everything,” said Jones, who originally favored Sen. Elizabeth Warren as a vice presidential pick.

He now backs Demings for Biden’s running mate, saying she gives Biden the best chance to carry Florida, the biggest swing state in the nation and the home state she shares with Trump.

“This reshaped my thinking, too, as a reminder that there is a lack of regard for black lives in this country, and so there’s heightened awareness for that regard to have a black woman on his ticket,” Jones said. “We’re not speaking from a place of tokenism. This is reality. And the voice of black women cannot be missing.”














Trump’s conspiracy theory on 75-year-old protester draws sharp backlash

Trent Lott fired by top lobbying firm

‘Ugh’: Republicans cringe after Trump's attack on 75-year-old protester

‘A hot, flaming mess’: Georgia primary beset by chaos, long lines



President'chances in November-rallies kick off in Oklahoma City June 19th



No, Trump isn't finished. His durable presidency is just beginning

Commentators have dismissed President Donald Trump's chances over and over again, only to be chastened by his triumphs.


How many times have we heard that Donald Trump is finished? That narrative was adopted almost from Day One of his presidential campaign. From scornful predictions about his chances in the primaries to faulty polls predicting President Hillary Clinton, from the phony Russian collusion story through the Ukrainian phone call impeachment and acquittal, Donald Trump has had more obituaries written about him than most actually deceased presidents. So far, all the pundits and prognosticators have been wrong. And they still are.

Look at the past few months. Back in mid-March, The Atlantic ran a piece by "Never Trumper" Peter Wehner titled, “The Trump presidency is over.” The thesis — very typical — was that the administration’s response to the COVID-19 crisis was about to take Trump down. “His administration may stagger on,” Wehner wrote, “but it will be only a hollow shell.”

Two weeks after that opinion column appeared, Trump’s approval rating for handling the crisis reached its record high. It has since settled from that peak but not to “hollow shell” levels.

The economic shock of the coronavirus lockdown was also supposed to spell the end. An article on Yahoo Finance predicted that the downturn presaged “a death sentence for presidential reelection hopes.” Experts suggested that if there were a recovery at all, it would not be a swift “V” shaped rebound but a grinding, long-term “U” shaped slog.

The experts were wrong yet again. Trump’s approval numbers on handling the economy have remained in positive territory throughout the temporary downturn. The stock market has rebounded strongly; the NASDAQ is back in record territory. And the unexpected gain of 2.5 million jobs pushed unemployment down to 13.3%, the largest monthly gain ever on record. 


Now the crisis following the killing of George Floyd has become the hoped-for tectonic event that critics believe will finally do Trump in politically. In the past week, the anti-Trump narratives have come thick and fast. When protesters occupied Lafayette Square, the president was said to be hunkered down in a bunker, and a doctored picture of a darkened White House was widely circulated that later proved to be a stock photo from the Obama era. Commentators were more agitated with Trump standing in front of St. John's Episcopal Church holding a Bible than they were when supposedly peaceful protesters set fire to it the night before. 

Responses to protests: In Harlem, we marched for justice, against police brutality

Trump's durability 

Trump is so durable, his critics want to pretend he doesn’t exist: 

►Trump has “relinquished the core duties and responsibilities of the presidency,” Robert Reich wrote. “He is no longer president. The sooner we stop treating him as if he were, the better.” 

►The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin, who declares Trump defunct on a regular basis, said gradual defections from the Trump camp will sink him and “this is how history is made.” 

►Also in The Post, Brian Klaas conjured an apocalyptic vision of Trump as dictator, threatening the president’s supporters that “history will judge you.”

►Paul Krugman at The New York Times said Republicans would be happy with Trump as dictator and predicted that “given Trump’s determination to put troops in the streets of America’s cities, it’s quite likely that innocent civilians will be shot at some point.” Krugman did not mention David Dorn, a retired police captain and African American shot and killed by St. Louis pawn shop looters. His life mattered, too.

Klass noted that “polls suggest Trump’s ship is sinking.” Do they?

According to FiveThirtyEight polling aggregates, Trump’s decline comes from post-inauguration highs in early April. He is above his worst numbers from December 2017, when the Russian collusion “insurance policy” was in full swing. 

And Trump’s numbers compare favorably with his immediate two-term predecessors. Gallup long-term poll data shows Trump following a nearly identical opinion track as President Barack Obama for the last 10 months, and he is also even with President George W. Bush at this point in his presidency. By contrast, Trump is about 10 points above both our most recent one-term presidents, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter.

The hyperbole of Trump's critics

What works most in Trump’s favor is the hyperbole of his critics. If Trump denounces far-left militant antifa as terrorists, some rush to defend them. If Trump praises law enforcement, progressives rush to defund them. Biden backers try to elevate Joe as a historic leader who can heal the nation when his civil rights record is worse than Trump’s. Trump’s best reelection guarantee will be if Democrats cave to the extremist narrative of a fundamentally racist America requiring radical progressive change.

Saving the American experiment: It feels like the American experiment is failing. Here's how we can still save it.

Given the dismal track record of the president’s critics, there should be an editorial moratorium on “Trump is finished” pieces until after his reelection. Then they can run with that narrative until it finally comes true in 2025.

© Copyright Gannett 2020

If anyone followed the turn of events since this forum started 2 years ago, no one in his right mind could have predicted this.

Now looking back, even the most unconvinced could begin to get the impression that it was all about the politics of anti-Trump smear machines orchestrated by the left wing liberals.

But was it?

Will we ever really find out?

God Bless Us & God Bless what remains of this country.


Hot off the presses:

Donald Trump tells Washington state, Seattle leaders to 'take back your city NOW'

President Donald Trump targeted Seattle in a pair of late-night tweets on Wednesday, chastising the “Radical Left” governor and mayor and claiming that “Domestic Terrorists” had overrun the largest city in Washington state.

Singling out Jay Inslee, a one-time Democratic presidential candidate, and Jenny Durkan, who has faced calls to resign as Seattle’s top elected official, Trump tweeted, “Take back your city NOW. If you don’t do it, I will. This is not a game. These ugly Anarchists must be stooped IMMEDIATELY. MOVE FAST!”

In a second tweet, Trump called for “LAW & ORDER.”

Durkan's response on Twitter: "Make us all safe. Go back to your bunker.
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Re: Trump enters the stage - is the stage turning into a cir

Postby Meno_ » Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:29 am


Frank Rich: What Trump Will Do to Win

Most weeks, New York Magazine writer-at-large Frank Rich speaks with contributor Alex Carp about the biggest stories in politics and culture. Today, a possible turning point in the Trump presidency and the rebuilding of our nation’s newsrooms.

After the most transformative week the country has seen during his presidency, Donald Trump’s public approval is slipping in a wave of new polls, and a number of prominent Republicans have begun to publicly withhold their support. Have we reached a turning point?

“Trump is flailing like an overturned turtle,” wrote the Times columnist Jennifer Senior last weekend, hoping against hope like many of us that maybe, just maybe, this time is different. There is no shortage of evidence. Trump has lost white eminences of the NFL like Roger Goodell and Drew Brees. He has lost the Episcopal and Catholic leaders of Washington after the photo op in which he manhandled the Bible much as he did those women he bragged about grabbing on the Access Hollywood tape. And he adds further proof daily, if any were needed, that he has lost his mind. A man who feels he gets away with lying about anything up to and including the weather thought America would disregard video showing troops under his administration’s order violently attacking peaceful protesters in front of St. John’s Church. Trump thought we’d look at a video of burly Buffalo cops pushing over a rail-thin 75-year-old protester in broad daylight and still buy into his theory that the victim was an “Antifa provocateur” who staged the bloody cracking of his own skull.

No wonder that yesterday the flailing, overturned turtle had his lawyer demand that CNN retract and apologize for a poll showing him with a 38 percent approval rating and 14 points behind Joe Biden. Calling bad news “Fake News” wasn’t enough to curb his anxiety anymore.

But as grim as things may seem for (and to) Trump, if there’s one lesson we can learn from American history — from all of it, from the birth of the nation to this very minute — is that white supremacists will fight with everything they’ve got to preserve their power. And they have done so successfully more often than not, Robert E. Lee’s surrender notwithstanding. Though Trump is trailing in all legitimate polls — if not always by as large a margin as in CNN’s — those same surveys show that one data point hasn’t changed: He retains the near-total loyalty of his own party. His approval rating among the GOP rank and file in CNN’s poll is 88 percent. It’s nearly unanimous among Republicans on Capitol Hill, Mitt Romney and (occasionally) Lisa Murkowski excepted.

Trump knows he has that base’s blessing to run a full-out white supremacist campaign. He isn’t wasting any time. Even as NASCAR banned the Confederate flag yesterday, he declared that he would refuse to rename American military bases named after defeated Confederate leaders. Trump also announced yesterday that he would not only hold his first pandemic rally on June 19 — Juneteenth, the holiday commemorating the end of slavery — but would do so in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where, in 1921, rioting whites massacred as many as 300 people and incinerated all but a block of the city’s prosperous black neighborhood. This isn’t any old racial dog whistle, it’s the screech of a pack of vicious dogs like those Trump threatened to sic on Black Lives Matter demonstrators.

Of course, Trump doesn’t know Tulsa’s history, but those around him do — including Stephen Miller, who, at one point according to reports this week, was being tasked to write a Trump speech on racial relations. Miller and his cohort would also know that Ronald Reagan had set the GOP template for such a political provocation in 1980, when he opened his general election campaign by giving a speech on “states’ rights” in the same Mississippi county where three civil rights workers had been notoriously slaughtered during the Freedom Summer of 1964.

Reagan won in a landslide. Trump can’t and won’t repeat that history in 2020. The current numbers suggest that he can’t eke out his narrow Electoral College victory of 2016. But there is another way to win that doesn’t require pgetting the most votes — and it’s the same way that the forces of white supremacy have always won. You suppress black votes. If you can do that, you don’t have to care what CNN pollsters say.

What happened in Georgia’s primary election this week is as handy a preview as any of what’s in store. Georgia is turning blue. It has an anomalous two Senate seats up for grabs this year, when Mitch McConnell’s slender majority is on the line. It may be in play in the presidential contest as well. Since 2018, when Stacey Abrams lost Georgia’s governorship by 55,000 votes in a midterm election blighted by voter suppression, some 700,000 new voters, many young and nonwhite, have been added to the rolls.

The white supremacist party’s game plan to counter that threat was made clear this week: utter chaos. There was a breakdown in voting machines (purchased from a vendor with close ties to the Republican governor, Brian Kemp) that centered on black neighborhoods in Atlanta (including the one where Martin Luther King grew up), and a breakdown in mail voting that led to even Abrams herself receiving a defective ballot.

This is just a glimpse of what will be a national effort. Trump and his party will use any means they can to abridge the right to vote — whether it be this week’s vote by the Republican-majority senate in Iowa to restrict mail ballots, or White House inaction on Russian election interference, or the administration’s ongoing enabling of a COVID-19 second wave that can be exploited to sow further chaos into the electoral process right through Election Day.

Trump may or may not be at the tipping point. The country is.

The resignation of James Bennet from the New York Times’ Opinion section, alongside similar turmoil in other newsrooms, seems to mark a recognition at the highest levels that many of the inherited conventions of mainstream journalism are out of step with the times. Moving forward, what do they need to do to refocus?

I agree with the press analysts, among them Ben Smith of the Times, that the greater issue raised by this institutional debacle is not the question of what opinion pieces should be published, but the broader one roiling the news operations of all major mainstream media in the Trump era. As David Roberts of Vox put it succinctly, these newsrooms are “habituated to a notion of ‘objectivity’ that makes telling the real story impossible.” The real story that gets short-changed is not the administration’s bottomless corruption that the press, often led by the Times, has often exposed with first-rate investigative reporting, but is, in Roberts’s term, the “racialized authoritarianism” of the Trump movement. As the Times reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones said last weekend, news organizations “are really struggling to cover in a way that appears to be nonpartisan a kind of political landscape where one political party has in many ways gone rogue.” By targeting journalism itself as an enemy, Trump and his party have mocked and destabilized the press’s traditional “two-sided” approach to news coverage and have been relentless in exploiting its weaknesses with propaganda and distracting, provocative stunts.

The truth is that neither the Times nor any other news organization has ever been scrupulously “nonpartisan.” Just look at how 99 percent of the mainstream press tilted its news coverage to lend credence to the Bush administration’s fictional case for war in Iraq. Decisions about what’s important and what’s not are made daily. The Times (and not just the Times) was similarly flummoxed by the racialized authoritarianism of Nazi Germany during World War II, and relegated the Holocaust to tiny articles on inside pages.

Perhaps more Jewish editors with clout in the newsroom would have made a difference then. Certainly more black editors would make a difference now. This week the Times’ chief White House correspondent wrote a piece aptly comparing Trump to the virulent segregationist and presidential candidate George Wallace in 1968, but then threw the “other side” a crumb by ahistorically asserting without evidence that Trump “does not share Wallace’s most extreme positions.” A news story that abutted it in the print edition that day described the Republican “Southern strategy” as being an effort by which “candidates sought to win over onetime Democrats by portraying themselves as tough on crime and disorder.” Perhaps a different editor might have asked why, perchance, this strategy was called “Southern.”

A non-racial issue that illustrates the press’s dilemma involves covering Trump’s tweets. They are covered profusely, but with rare exceptions — his tweet about the Buffalo demonstrator being a prominent one — they are played as side shows to the larger narrative of administration and congressional events. But don’t we know by now that these tweets are the main events for this presidency and its base? When the president of the United States repeatedly accuses a television personality of murder or tweets out a video attacking the memory of George Floyd before 80-million-plus followers, that is banner-headline news, not to be lost in the middle of a news story or to go unmentioned on a Sunday morning talk show. Somehow we’ve fallen into the habit of normalizing such actions by filing them away under the heading “that’s just Trump being Trump.”

Make no mistake that the big winner of the Tom Cotton debacle was Tom Cotton in particular and Trumpism in general. The Times’ disowning of his incendiary opinion piece has allowed him and the usual suspects on the crybaby right to liken the paper to Mao’s China and the groupthink of PC college campuses. Some of the loudest voices sounding this gong were at Murdoch outlets like Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, who allow only occasional and ineffectual liberal dissenters (remember Alan Colmes?) to sully their party line. They don’t even pretend to give a damn about “both sides” as they enforce their own political correctness.

Mitch McConnell’s former chief of staff, Josh Holmes, told the Washington Post that Cotton has emerged at the top of front-runners for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024. Whatever happens to Trump in 2020, his white supremacist cause isn’t going anywhere, and Cotton’s rise fulfills my long-held nightmare that its next leader will be far more effective than his predecessor.


And now: predictable-way something.


Is the average bible thumpers stupid or pretending as such to believe Trump, or is it something more vicious and underhanded?

Trump insiders say his campaign is falling apart because the President can't accept reality

'No one wants to get fired, so no one will tell the President why he’s losing — but maybe that’s OK because none of them understand why'

US President Donald Trump walks into the Rose Garden to make a statement to the press about restoring "law and order" on 1 June ( Getty Images )

One week from today, Americans will mark the 155th anniversary of the day US Army General Gordon Grainger read to the people of Texas his General Order Number 3 to inform them that “in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free”.

Grainger’s implementation of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in Texas on June 19, 1865 did not end all slavery in the United States. That day would come roughly six months later when the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution came into force. But since 1865, June 19 — the day the last persons enslaved by the defeated Confederacy gained their freedom — has been a celebrated one in African American communities across the United States.

One week from today, Donald Trump plans to mark that anniversary by delivering a speech on race relations in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where 99 years ago, what was then the wealthiest black community in the country was destroyed in what is still the worst instance of racial violence in American history.

Like most of his major addresses, the speech will have been authored at least in part by White House Senior Policy Adviser Stephen Miller, who according to leaked emails published by the Southern Poverty Law Center, has “an affinity for white nationalism”.

Later that day, Trump — who has reacted to the past few weeks of protests against racial inequality by channeling George Wallace, Richard Nixon and worse by tweeting about shooting looters, “vicious dogs,” and “law and order” ad infinitum — will continue his celebration of the events of June 19th by holding his first campaign rally since the day before Super Tuesday, Monday March 3.

That was the day he traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina and accused Democrats of “trying to politicize” the novel coronavirus which would soon bring a halt to his “Keep America Great” rallies, touted the strength of the “Trump economy,” and vowed to defeat the “radical socialist” who was then the Democratic frontrunner.

Three months on, the virus he dismissed as “politicized” has killed more than 100,000 Americans on his watch; the economy he spent the previous three years taking credit for has slipped into a recession; the “radical socialist” he’d hoped to run against has endorsed presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden; and Americans of all races in all parts of the country have taken to the streets to declare that Black Lives Matter.

Having been denied the opportunity to run against his preferred opponent — self-described democratic socialist Senator Bernie Sanders — and having seen the economic boom which began under his predecessor come to an abrupt ending due to Covid-19, Trump is reverting to the divisive, often-racist messaging that has been his comfort zone throughout his political career.

Perhaps in hopes of recapturing the spirit of his initial rise to political prominence — which was based on his promotion of the baseless theory that the first African American President of the United States was not a US citizen and therefore illegitimate — Trump has even adopted the rhetoric of the Confederate “lost cause” by declaring that he will veto the annual National Defense Authorization Act if it includes provisions to strip the names of Confederate generals from US military installations.

The President and his allies have long been criticized for being anywhere from unintentionally tone-deaf to intentionally inflammatory when it comes to matters of race, and not a single Trump campaign official would respond on the record to queries on how the campaign had decided that particular date and place to “reopen” the campaign in light of the weeks of protests for racial equality across the country.

One person close to the administration who did respond suggested that the rally had been added to the schedule after plans for the speech on race relations had already been worked out, and was an attempt to minimize both Trump’s and his campaign’s use of resources during the pandemic.

Film director of 'Terror in Tulsa' says Trump coming to city is 'a slap in the face'

Asked whether he believes the campaign’s selection of Tulsa to hold a rally on Juneteenth is the unintentional result of bad decision-making or an intentional wink-and-nod to the area’s history of racial tensions, former Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele posited that the correct answer was “both”.

“You can be intentionally dumb,” said Steele, who served as Maryland’s lieutenant governor from 2003 to 2007 and was the first African American Marylander to be elected to statewide office.

“The natural question is: Do you really want to have a huge rally in the midst of a continuing global pandemic, given that we’re now seeing spikes [in new Covid-19 cases] in that part of the country? And if you get past that, then you’re going to go to Tulsa, where the Black community there was a thriving, successful business community that was literally decimated by a racist white mob that killed hundreds of its residents?” he asked, incredulously.

“If the whole idea is that he’s gonna rebuild his relationships in the [Black] community, I just would not necessarily use that as the jump-off point to do that,” he continued, adding that the use of the Tulsa location and the June 19 date is “just astounding”.

“I just go back to my original point — you can be intentionally stupid,” he said.

Trump says police ‘dominate with compassion’ and renews Seattle threat

Democrats 'demand' Trump halt protest surveillance flights

Trump rally attendees must accept liability if they contract Covid-19

Protester pushed over by police and trolled by Trump has brain injury

Another source close to Trump and his family blamed the campaign’s lack of current messaging and scattershot strategy on campaign manager Brad Parscale — a relative newcomer to politics who has never managed a political campaign of any kind — and a campaign team composed largely of loyalists and a rising number of 2016 campaign veterans who are focusing on keeping Trump happy instead of delivering unvarnished advice.

“He’s wasting money on ads in Washington because the President complains about seeing that Conway group [The Lincoln Project] ad; the President says he wants rallies so they schedule them in places he’s guaranteed to win and doesn’t need to visit. The thinking is, if he keeps Mr Trump happy, the secret sauce of 2016 will flow and he will magically win again somehow,” they said of Parscale and much of the campaign’s top-level leadership, describing them as too sycophantic to maintain the professional detachment necessary to see when changes are needed.

But some blame, they said, rests with Trump himself, because he reacts so poorly to bad news that no one wants to be the bearer of any of it.

“No one wants to get fired, so no one will tell the President why he’s losing — but maybe that’s OK because none of them understand why,” they continued, adding later that Trump’s obsession with loyalty and disdain for most people associated with the George W Bush-era GOP has left most of the Republican Party’s top campaign talent on the sidelines or working for anti-Trump Republican groups.

Sam Nunberg, a Republican political consultant who advised Trump from 2011 to 2015, said the resumption of campaign rallies may provide some help to the president’s lagging poll numbers, but he, too, worried that the campaign has failed to adjust to the “new normal”.

“They've got to adapt and start running a highly proficient campaign that an incumbent president has the advantages to run,” said Nunberg, who added that he does not understand why the campaign has not been using its considerable war chest to blanket the airwaves with negative anti-Biden ads and positive ads contrasting Trump’s “vision for America” with that of the former vice president.

“His numbers will go up with rallies, but they're not controlling their own destiny, which is the reason why incumbents usually are able to win the presidency,” he added.

Nunberg explained that unlike 2016, when Trump ran based on his potential as a businessman, as an incumbent he is “no longer an idea” and needs to run on the record he has compiled, at least up until January of this year.

“You're not going to be able to win based on catchy slogans and themes… It has to be based on what he has accomplished, what he has shown his approach is to the economy [or] to foreign policy before Covid, and why that is better than Joe Biden’s,” he said.

Trump’s channeling of Nixon’s “law and order” rhetoric, Nunberg said, has been “a terrible approach” in the face of the protest movement that has sprung up in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police.

“This is not 1968,” he said. “What he has to understand is [Nixon’s use of] ‘law and order’ happened for a very important reason: We had Johnson, we had the great society, we had civil rights legislation, and then [the Watts riots in California broke out].”

“But that’s not what happened here,” Nunberg continued. “He [Trump] didn’t properly distinguish looting and protesting, which he should have. This moment is completely different, and it’s stigmatizing for how it started — there’s nobody defending those cops.”

He added that Trump’s invocation of rhetoric used by Nixon in ‘68 is ineffective because if anything, the position Trump is in is far more like that of George H W Bush in 1992 because as president, everything is happening on his watch.

Steele, too, predicted that Trump’s depiction of himself as the “law and order” savior figure he styled himself as in 2016 would fail to resonate with voters, and suggested that a “political trifecta” of Covid-19, the resulting economic collapse, and the protests sparked by Floyd’s death had stopped the president’s campaign before it ever got started, leaving with him few options but to try re-running the 2016 playbook once more.

“The reality is that the campaign and the West Wing have to face is a president who has been tone-deaf to all three events, and consequently, has spoken and behaved in a manner that has made it harder for the campaign to fashion a strategy and messaging that would actually work to the President's benefit at a time of national crisis in these three areas,” he said.

“So you fall back on what you think brought you to the dance in the first place. And that is a 2016 political narrative where you create enemies, you create boogeymen that you can go after, and that, I think is probably what you'll see.”

One source close to the Trump campaign suggested that the resumption of in-person rallies would re-energize both the campaign and the President, but Steele suggested that the only thing the rallies would benefit will be Trump’s ego.

“He can then stand in that pulpit and he can spew whatever gospel he wants knowing that everyone in the room is applauding him and buying what he's selling, but how does that translate once he leaves the room? He doesn't care, but it makes him feel energized, and it stokes his base. And he thinks that that will get him across the finish line,” Steele said.

“But there’s not any persuasion, it’s just re-affirming old ideas around the notion that ‘I alone can fix it,’ but what have you fixed? How do you come up with a law and order argument after everyone watched the killing of a man for eight minutes"

{But maybe Trump is none of the above, maybe he is not stupid, crazy, anti-social or whatnot, maybe just maybe he is the victim, not the victimized to a system, to an America, to a standard of living he has to change the optics of: IF we , are to survive.

Battle lines have been drawn, vested interests can't be undone, a classless society is a contradiction in socio-e economic terms.

The American Century is over, the Capitalists are loosing since colonialism turned into creditors and competitors.

The identifiable ' Ugly American' has turned into just another dated cliche, as everyone knows by now, bigger is not always better.

The US version is one of behemoths consisting of universal directors of an equally dated banking system, that can only hold out the symbolic insignia of monetary value, underwritten and supported by Asian, mostly Chinese wealth.

The Chinese and mostly the Japanese subcontract to even more impoverished populations, leaving the US perilously wedged upon the hyper real simulation of advance in the Silicon Valley.

But the just of the conflict consists in the identity of The American, no longer ugly, only wallowing in pragmatic uncertainty.

Nationalism is the only sensible way to go, but, only a reversed revisionary narrative can keep the system of governance alive.

It is only the economy, stupid, the last bastion of support that the anti-material synthesis can point to as a valid reference point.

That can never fail, that must never fail, for that is the pin that sustains the hole worldly edifice, which, despite most popular opinion, can turn on a dime.

Trump is an ok comedian, he should have gotten the top prize for it, but he has no guts for being the unappreciated artist Mr.Adolf was, Trump had flat feet, so now he is the silent joke of the military.

Stance times, and yours truly certainly hopes not for an unintended devolution furthering Mr. Darwin's reckless conjectures.}
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Re: Trump enters the stage - political nuances

Postby Meno_ » Mon Jun 15, 2020 2:16 pm

The Guardian - Back to home

Coronavirus outbreak

As virus cases rise in states where Trump won, Republican attitudes may shift

Covid-19 cases are now growing quickly in some rural and exurban areas with strong Trump support

Mon 15 Jun 2020 06.00 EDT

Skepticism among some Republicans about the real threat of the coronavirus pandemic, that may have been influenced by racial attitudes, could shift as positive cases of infection are now climbing in areas with strong support for Donald Trump, research suggests. 

Vulnerable populations in rural, conservative-leaning areas of the country, meanwhile, where health infrastructure is poor and public spending on health is low, could face increasing risks from Covid-19 at a time when job losses have led millions to lose health insurance. 

A well-documented partisan split in attitudes about coronavirus emerged in the early months of the pandemic. Republican men were less likely to wear protective masks than other groups, and Republicans were more likely to say their states were moving too slowly to reopen their economies. 

The discrepancy was attributed to factors including support for Trump, who downplayed the coronavirus threat, and even to gender differences in health-related conduct.

But research suggests that racial attitudes, which strongly correlate with party affiliation in the United States, might also have reinforced an empathy gap for the early victims of Covid-19, who were disproportionately African American.

A white Republican state senator from Ohio recently expressed that gap in shocking terms at an official hearing this week. “Could it just be that African Americans, the colored population, do not wash their hands as well as other groups?” the official, Steve Huffman, said in remarks captured on video.

Jody Armour, a University of Southern California law professor and author of the forthcoming N*gga Theory: Race, Language, Unequal Justice, and the Law, said: “One of the dominant kinds of discrimination today is actually unconscious indifference toward people who don’t look like you, who are outside your in-group.”

“When people are looking at out-group members, at an unconscious level, they don’t have the same level of care and concern for them, they don’t have a panic of empathy for them when they see them in distress.”

Leonie Huddy, a professor of political science at Stony Brook University in New York, said that Trump’s message to supporters downplaying coronavirus had a racial subtext.

“Very much under the surface is a sort of winking and nodding about the fact that the African American community has been more heavily affected,” Huddy said. “And so there’s a bit of, you know, ‘Maybe we’re OK’, because Trump’s supporters are largely white.”

“Trump’s not going to say that out loud, that’s a little too much even for him, but he’s good at alluding to that kind of thing.”

In the early stages of the pandemic, African Americans died of Covid-19 at three times the rate of white people, according to figures compiled by the non-partisan APM Research Lab. Only 21% of Covid-19 deaths by late May were recorded in counties won by Trump in 2016, according to a New York Times analysis.

But coronavirus cases are now growing quickly in some rural and exurban areas with strong Trump support. Covid-19 cases are climbing in Arizona, Florida, South Carolina and Arkansas, and in Texas hospitalizations for Covid-19 are up 42% since Memorial Day.

A relative lack of health infrastructure in parts of rural America and economic devastation from the Covid-19 closures mean that already vulnerable communities could be overwhelmed. Older, rural voters in Republican-led states that declined to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act are more likely to lack health insurance than the urban poor, according to a 2018 study.

Residents of rural areas tend to be older and sicker than their urban counterparts, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and they have longer travel distances to specialty and emergency care. The intensive care unit beds needed to ventilate critical Covid-19 patients are unequally distributed across the country.

Public attitudes can confound predictions based on race and income level. White non-college grads, a group that broke 64-28 for Trump in the 2016 election, think that protests about the police killing of George Floyd are “mostly legitimate” by a 51-39 margin, according to Marist polling.

But conservative political beliefs have been found to correlate with reliance on federal aid in states such as Kentucky, where residents counted on the federal government for at least 40% of their personal income in 28 out of 120 counties, as of 2014. 

Conservatives can both disproportionately rely on social welfare programs and oppose such programs owing to inaccurate perceptions about whom the programs benefit – perceptions once again informed by race, Huddy said. 

“I think that people that live in some of these areas would be surprised to find that in fact their area is a major recipient of federal transfer from more Democratic states to more Republican states,” said Huddy. “I think it would be surprising information to them. But that is the reality.”

© 2020 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.



‘We’re thinking landslide’: Beyond D.C., GOP officials see Trump on glide path to reelection

Conventional indicators suggest the president’s bid for a second term is in jeopardy. But state and local GOP officials see a different election unfolding.

By most conventional indicators, Donald Trump is in danger of becoming a one-term president. The economy is a wreck, the coronavirus persists, and his poll numbers have deteriorated.

But throughout the Republican Party’s vast organization in the states, the operational approach to Trump’s re-election campaign is hardening around a fundamentally different view.

Interviews with more than 50 state, district and county Republican Party chairs depict a version of the electoral landscape that is no worse for Trump than six months ago — and possibly even slightly better. According to this view, the coronavirus is on its way out and the economy is coming back. Polls are unreliable, Joe Biden is too frail to last, and the media still doesn’t get it.

“The more bad things happen in the country, it just solidifies support for Trump,” said Phillip Stephens, GOP chairman in Robeson County, N.C., one of several rural counties in that swing state that shifted from supporting Barack Obama in 2012 to Trump in 2016. “We’re calling him ‘Teflon Trump.’ Nothing’s going to stick, because if anything, it’s getting more exciting than it was in 2016.”

This year, Stephens said, “We’re thinking landslide.”

Five months before the election, many state and county Republican Party chairs predict a close election. Yet from the Eastern seaboard to the West Coast and the battlegrounds in between, there is an overriding belief that, just as Trump defied political gravity four years ago, there’s no reason he won’t do it again.

Andrew Hitt, the state party chairman in Wisconsin, said that during the height of public attention on the coronavirus, in late March and early April, internal polling suggested “some sagging off where we wanted to be.”

But now, he said, “Things are coming right back where we want them … That focus on the economy and on re-opening and bringing America back is resonating with people.”

In Ohio, Jane Timken, the state party chair, said she sees no evidence of support for Trump slipping. Jennifer Carnahan, the chairwoman of the Minnesota Republican Party, said the same. And Lawrence Tabas, the chairman of the Pennsylvania Republican Party, went so far as to predict that Trump would not only carry his state, but beat Biden by more than 100,000 votes — more than twice the margin he mustered in 2016.

“Contrary to what may be portrayed in the media, there’s still a high level of support out there,” said Kyle Hupfer, chairman of the Indiana Republican Party. He described himself as “way more” optimistic than he was at this point in 2016.

The Republican Party apparatus that Trump heads in 2020 is considerably different than the one that looked at him warily in 2016. At the state level, many chairs who were considered insufficiently committed to the president were ousted and replaced with loyalists. But their assessments would be easier to dismiss as spin if the perception of Trump’s durability did not reach so far beyond GOP officialdom.

When pollsters ask Americans who they think will win the election — not who they are voting for themselves — Trump performs relatively well. And if anything, Trump’s field officers appear more bullish than Trump and some of his advisers. Even the president, while lamenting what he views as unfair treatment by his adversaries, has privately expressed concerns about his poll numbers and publicly seemed to acknowledge he is down.

“If I wasn’t constantly harassed for three years by fake and illegal investigations, Russia, Russia, Russia, and the Impeachment Hoax, I’d be up by 25 points on Sleepy Joe and the Do Nothing Democrats,” he said on Twitter last week. “Very unfair, but it is what it is!!!”

Yet in the states, the Republican Party's rank-and-file are largely unconvinced that the president is precariously positioned in his reelection bid.

“The narrative from the Beltway is not accurate,” said Joe Bush, chairman of the Republican Party in Muskegon County, Mich., which Trump lost narrowly in 2016. “Here in the heartland, everybody is still very confident, more than ever.”

At the center of the disconnect between Trump loyalists’ assessment of the state of the race and the one based on public opinion polls is a distrust of polling itself. Republicans see an industry that maliciously oversamples Democrats or under-samples the white, non-college educated voters who are most likely to support Trump. They say it is hard to know who likely voters are this far from the election. And like many Democrats, they suspect Trump supporters disproportionately hang up on pollsters, under-counting his level of support.

Ted Lovdahl, chairman of the Republican Party in Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District, said he has friends who will tell pollsters “just exactly the opposite of what they feel.”

When he asked one of them why, his friend told him, “I don’t like some of their questions. It’s none of their business what I do.”

Recalling that polls four years ago failed to predict the outcome, Jack Brill, acting chairman of the local Republican Party in Sarasota County, Fla., said, “I used to be an avid poll watcher until 2016 … Guess what? I’m not watching polls.”

Instead, as they prepare for a post-lockdown summer of party picnics and parades, Republican Party organizers sense the beginnings of an economic recovery that, if sustained, is likely to power Trump to a second term. They also see a more immediate opening in the civil unrest surrounding the death of George Floyd.

“The other side is overplaying its hand, going down roads like defunding the police and nonsense like that."

 Michael Burke, chairman of the Republican Party in Pinal County, Arizona

“The further and further the Democrats tack left, and the further you get to where it’s the defunding the police,” said Scott Frostman, GOP chairman in Wisconsin’s Sauk County, which Obama won easily in 2012 but flipped to Trump four years later. “I think we have the opportunity as Republicans to talk to people a little bit more about some common sense things.”

Biden has rejected a national movement to defund police departments. But elections are often painted in broad strokes, and local party officials expect Trump — with his law and order rhetoric — will be the beneficiary of what they see as Democratic overreach.

“The other side is overplaying its hand, going down roads like defunding the police and nonsense like that,” said Michael Burke, chairman of the Republican Party in Pinal County, Arizona, a Trump stronghold in 2016.” “Most of the American people are looking like that saying, ‘Really?’”

By most objective measures, Trump will need something to drag Biden down. He has fallen behind Biden in most swing state polls, and he lags the former vice president nationally by more than 8 percentage points, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average. A Gallup poll last week put Trump’s approval rating at just 39 percent, down 10 percentage points from a month ago. Democrats appear competitive not only in expected swing states, but in places such as Iowa and Ohio, which Trump won easily in 2016.

Little of that data is registering, however. State and local officials point to Trump’s financial and organizational advantages and see Biden as a weak opponent. They’re eager for Trump to eviscerate him in debates. “While the Democrats have been spending their time playing Paper Rock Scissors on who their nominee is going to be, we’ve been building an army,” said Terry Lathan, chair of the Alabama Republican Party.

James Dickey, chairman of the Texas Republican Party, said it took Biden “days to figure out how to even successfully operate, or communicate out of a bunker” and that he “has clearly not been able to deal with any real challenging interview.”

Local officials brush off criticism of Trump by Republican fixtures such as former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who said last week that Trump “lies all the time.” They dismiss press accounts of the race. Dennis Coxwell, the chairman of Georgia’s Warren County Republican Party, said: “It’s gotten to a point where I cannot believe anything that the news media says.”

Many admire Trump’s bluntest instincts — the same ones that have cost him among women and independent voters, according to polls. “The left called George Bush all kinds of names and just savaged him all the time … and Bush never said a word,” said Burke, who worked for Trump in the late 1980s and early 1990s overseeing his fleet of helicopters. “It was frustrating for those of us on the right. Now a guy comes along, you attack him, you’re getting it back double barrel. And everybody’s sitting around saying, ‘Yeah, that’s right, give it to ‘em.’”

And most of all, they put their confidence in an expectation that the economy will improve by fall.

Doyle Webb, chairman of the Arkansas Republican Party and general counsel to the Republican National Committee, said the only concern that he would have about Trump’s reelection prospects is “if the economy had another downturn.”

“But I don’t see that happening,” Webb said.

Instead, he predicted an improving job outlook and a return to “the old Clinton mantra: ‘It’s the economy, stupid.’”

“I think that people will be happy,” Webb said, “and [Trump] will be re-elected.”

It’s a widely-held view. In Pennsylvania last week, Veral Salmon, the Republican Party chairman of the state’s bellwether Erie County, measured enthusiasm for Trump by the large number of requests he has received for Trump yard signs. In Maine, Melvin Williams, chairman of the Lincoln County Republican Committee, saw it in a population he said is “getting sick of this bullshit,” blaming coronavirus-related shutdowns on Democrats. And across the country, in heavily Democratic San Francisco, John Dennis, the chairman of the local GOP, was encouraged by the decreasing number of emails from the “Never Trump” crowd.

Not in his city, but nationally, Dennis said, “I’m pretty confident that [Trump] is going to pull it off.”



{ How will he pull it off?
Herd immunity in conjunction with racial politics, may be an unstoppable train, leveraged by the effective use of increasing socio-economic social distancing. Any partial derivation and reintegration of those elements, can assure that about 30% conceivable need not be infected for stability to be achieved and sustained.

70 percent immunity on account of predictable total infection may need to be achieved to make herd immunity workable, if a vaccine is not developed in the foreseeable future.}
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Re: Trump enters the stage - covidpolitics

Postby Meno_ » Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:05 pm

People around the President say he remains intent on reopening the country, and has said he will not allow another shutdown that might hamper an economic recovery. Trump's thinking is being driven in large part by the message he has gotten from his political advisers, which is that strong signs of a recovering economy are his surest ticket to reelection.

The President and his political strategists were buoyed by the positive jobs numbers earlier this month, which served to reinforce Trump's belief that his focus should be on continuing to encourage a national reopening rather than heed warnings about surging cases of coronavirus in a slew of states.

He has also pressed his team to work more quickly on a vaccine, hoping to have something ready even before the end of the year.
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Re: Trump enters the stage - Trump Rally

Postby Meno_ » Sun Jun 21, 2020 3:45 pm

"In his first rally in months, President Trump bragged about his response to the pandemic, despite widespread criticism of his administration’s faltering management of the crisis.

Addressing a mostly maskless crowd on Saturday night in a sparsely filled 19,000-seat indoor arena in Tulsa, Okla., Mr. Trump mocked the coronavirus, which has killed 121,000 Americans, and claimed that he wanted to slow down testing.

“Here’s the bad part,” Mr. Trump said, after boasting that the U.S. had tested millions more people than any other country. “When you do testing to that extent, you will find more cases. So I said to my people, slow the testing down, please.” He also insisted that schools needed to open in the fall.

On Sunday, Peter Navarro, the White House director of trade and manufacturing policy, said in an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the president’s comment about slowing testing was “tongue in cheek.”

At the rally, Mr. Trump said the low turnout had resulted from news media reports on local officials’ health concerns about the indoor rally, and campaign advisers claimed that their supporters had trouble entering the arena because of protesters.

In reality, there were few protests across the city, and black leaders in Tulsa had made calls earlier for people to stay away. TikTok users and fans of Korean pop music groups claimed to have registered potentially hundreds of thousands of tickets for Mr. Trump’s campaign rally as a prank.

Concerns that the event could spread the virus were amplified hours before Mr. Trump took the stage, when his campaign acknowledged that six staff members working on the rally had tested positive.

The campaign stressed that all rally attendees were receiving temperature checks before going through security and were then given wristbands, face masks and hand sanitizer.

Yet Trump supporters gathered in Tulsa appeared less worried about the virus and more exuberant over the president’s return to the campaign trail.

“If it is God’s will that I get coronavirus, that is the will of the Almighty,” said Robert Montanelli, a resident of a Tulsa suburb. “I will not live in fear.”

From the New York Times editorial , Sunday, June 21, 2020

{How can a non-partisan, average voter feel, by the rationalization that a worse ing economy can devolve hymen misery fad below that occurred during the Great Depression?

For then, mass starvation and huge increases in homelessness would be added to the ravages caused by the pandemic, especially looking forward with increased probability of a new resurgence and a second wave?

How awful could that be?}
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Re: Trump enters the stage -overt corruption or Hateful medi

Postby Meno_ » Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:22 am

You decide:

The Guardian -

William Barr

Trump AG Barr will escape impeachment thanks to ‘corrupt’ Republicans – Nadler

Attorney General fires New York attorney after bizarre standoff

Judiciary chair says he will cut $50m from ‘personal budget’

Opinion: SDNY disaster suggests Barr is not so smart after all

Sun 21 Jun 2020 13.24 EDT

Attorney general William Barr “certainly deserves” to be impeached and removed but will escape that fate because Republicans who control the Senate are “corrupt against the interests of the country”, the chairman of the House judiciary committee said on Sunday.

Geoffrey Berman, US attorney behind inquiries into Trump allies, resigns after Barr announces firing

Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat, told CNN’s State of the Union he would instead take $50m from the attorney general’s “own personal budget”.

On Saturday evening, after a near-24-hour standoff, Barr secured the exit of Geoffrey Berman, the US attorney for the southern district of New York.

The prestigious district has pursued investigations and prosecutions of allies of Donald Trump including two of his personal lawyers, Michael Cohen and Rudy Giuliani.

It also oversees the investigation of the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, a Trump friend, and a case involving a Turkish bank which former national security adviser John Bolton has said Trump tried to influence as a favour to the Turkish president.

Barr said on Friday night Berman, a Republican who donated to Trump in 2016, had agreed to step down. Berman said he had not.

On Saturday, Barr invoked Trump’s authority to fire Berman, who accepted his fate. His deputy Audrey Strauss, a career prosecutor and donor to Democrats, will assume the role until the Senate confirms a replacement.

Barr and Trump want that replacement to be Jay Clayton, the chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission who has never worked as a federal prosecutor. Barr had said the US attorney in New Jersey, a Trump ally, would fill the role in an acting capacity.

On NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, House intelligence chair Adam Schiff was asked if he accepted the reported explanation that Trump’s move to replace Berman with Clayton was “simply the president wanting to do a favor for a golfing buddy”.

“I can’t accept that explanation,” Schiff said, “given the pattern and practice of both the president in seeking to use the justice system to reward friends, punish enemies, protect people he likes, and Bill Barr’s willingness to carry that water for the president.

“Also, if you look at Berman’s statement, Berman apparently has the same skepticism. There’s a reason … he was saying ‘I’m not stepping down,’ that he wanted to ensure that these investigations continued … Berman clearly had a concern about why he was being pushed out.”

Clayton’s firm, Sullivan & Cromwell, has represented Deutsche Bank, one of Trump’s largest creditors which is itself under investigation by the DoJ. On Sunday Republican senator Tim Scott told ABC’s This Week: “There is no indication that those investigations will stop.”

Democrats have long claimed Barr acts more as a personal lawyer for Trump than the impartial chief of federal law enforcement. The attorney general, they say, has misrepresented the Mueller report and interfered in criminal cases involving Trump aides Michael Flynn and Roger Stone.

Schiff also referred to recent removals of a number of independent government watchdogs.

“Given the firings of these inspector generals,” he said, “given the way that Barr has sought to intervene in cases to help out people like Michael Flynn or Roger Stone, and to seek additional punishment for people like Michael Cohen” – who has turned against the president – “… you really have to question what’s really at the basis of this Friday night attempted massacre, and now, completed one.”

That was a reference to the so-called Saturday Night Massacre of 1973, when Richard Nixon sought to fire Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox and successive officials quit rather than do so. Nixon soon resigned, rather than be removed.

Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren has led calls for Barr to be impeached but Nadler said: “He certainly deserves impeachment but that would be a waste of time.

“We know that we have a corrupt Republican majority in the Senate which will not consider an impeachment no matter what the evidence and no matter what the facts,” Nadler said, saying such senators were “corrupt against the interests of the country”.

Measures against Barr would include the budget cut, he said.

When Trump was impeached, over attempts to get from Ukraine dirt on political rivals, he was acquitted in the Senate, which refused to call witnesses including Bolton, who is now publishing a book which includes allegations of more impeachable behaviour.

One Republican senator, Mitt Romney, voted for new witnesses and to impeach Trump. Susan Collins of Maine voted for witnesses.

Nadler, like other Democrats, has suggested Barr is seeking to impede investigations close to Trump. Asked which, he said: “I think it’s obvious that a number of investigations the southern district has been doing with reference to the president’s associates, Giuliani, the Turkish investigation, we’ve seen a pattern of Barr corruptly impeding all these investigations. So this is just more of the same.”

Nadler said he expected Berman to testify, if not at a hearing this week which will feature DoJ whistleblowers.

Preet Bharara, US attorney for the SDNY before Berman, whom Trump also fired, told CNN, for whom he now works, he did not think Berman would discuss ongoing investigations. He also condemned Barr’s conduct.

“The attorney general of the United States made a public misrepresentation about whether or not Geoff Berman was stepping down from office,” he said.

“It was clearly not the case, it was clearly a falsehood, and he tried to cover that up with a letter that spent time calling names against Geoff Berman and also retreated a little bit, allowing Berman to decide that the office was going to be left in good hands.”

Barr accused Berman of having “chosen public spectacle over public service”.

“Your statement also wrongly implies that your continued tenure in the office is necessary to ensure that cases now pending in the southern district of New York are handled appropriately,” the attorney general wrote. “This is obviously false. I fully expect that the office will continue to handle all cases in the normal course.”

Bharara said he thought Barr’s conduct “shows there is an unfitness for The job"

© 2020 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.


And latest paranoid politics at Oklahoma:

Trump is losing it

The incumbent US president launched psychological warfare in Tulsa.

The stage is set, the lines are drawn, the stakes are high and Donald Trump is losing it.

His mismanagement of the pandemic and the civil unrest gripping the United States have cost him dearly. He is trailing behind his Democratic rival Joe Biden in the polls by a double-digit margin. If the US elections were held today, he would lose "bigly", and that is just driving him crazy.

Trump is down but not out. He is nearing the tipping point but not there yet.

He has lost the economic and political gains which he hoped to use to launch his campaign. And it would be improbable if not impossible for him to overcome the recession and public anger before the November elections.

So he has resorted to psychology, embarking on a public relations offensive to deflect criticism and alter public perception in his favour, focusing on a small segment of the electorate in the swing states, which he hopes will help him repeat his 2016 victory.

Back then Trump had a number of perceived psychological advantages in the electorate over Hillary Clinton, some quite silly considering the stakes.

According to some psychologists, being the taller candidate and being seen as an "alpha male" may have given Trump some advantage over Clinton.

Indeed, some 80 million people watched as the 6-foot-3 (1.9m) celebrity towered over Clinton during the 2016 debates and threatened to lock her up. His name appearing first on the ballots in the key swing states may have also helped. 

But today, these instinctive psychological "advantages" are neither relevant nor sufficient, and Trump must come up with a new strategy to restore public confidence in him in a time of crisis.

Restoring confidence

In an attempt to appear in control during a national health disaster, Trump has tried to change the public's psychology by anointing himself a "war president" to fight the pandemic.

He has also referred to himself as the "law and order" president during the civil unrest, advocating military intervention and putting Mark Milley, the chairman of the joint chiefs of the US armed forces "in charge". 

He even played God's special messenger during the early days of the civil unrest, brandishing a copy of the Bible he had not read in front of a church he had not attended to defend a faith which was not under threat.

To no avail.

Public anger continues to simmer. The pandemic has taken the lives of 120,000 Americans and rising. The economy is in the deepest recession since World War I, and society is in turmoil. Even religious leaders are not buying into his insecure machismo.

So what began as a bleeding of support a few months ago has now turned into serious haemorrhaging.

That is why Trump has been so eager to get back on the campaign trail. He feels he has a connection with the crowd which can help him pull his presidency from the jaws of disaster.

He has had a unique understanding of power and its psychology since before he went in to politics. He is ready to "go to the mat" to get what he wants.

So he set off on a crusade to break the Democrats' fighting spirit and to win back "hearts and minds", the hearts of conservatives and the minds of independents.

First stop, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Psychological warfare

Trump began his first rally since the pandemic by serving red meat to the Red state, which voted overwhelmingly Republican in 2016.

He started with a perilous populist appeal, calling his supporters "warriors" and warning of "some very bad people outside … doing bad things".

With no economic or political case to make, he ignored the civil unrest, joked about the deadly pandemic, and denied the deep recession, as AJ+'s Tony Karon aptly remarked.

Trump slammed the "shameless hypocrite", "sleepy Joe" Biden, warning if he is elected president, "our country would be destroyed".

And he dissed the "radical left" Democrats, especially "hate-filled, America-bashing" Ilhan Omar and "socialist" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

He also demonised the "negative", "radical", "fake news" media, and the subversive radical left that holds Biden hostage.

Trump aims to go as far as it takes to shock and awe until he overwhelms his detractors and beats them into submission.

But in Tulsa, the reality proved more complicated.

The promised large crowds did not materialise and the relatively poor attendance of his much-publicised rally turned the hype into humiliation.

Contrary to Trump's assertions, fewer than 200 protesters were seen in Tulsa that day and they by far were not the main deterrent for prospective attendees.

Clearly, many of his supporters are not dying to hear his grievances and falsehoods during the pandemic.

Clearly, his tireless repetition of smears and satire is no longer as entertaining to his core supporters.

Clearly, he is losing control over his emotions and his tone, and the more he loses it, the more he loses support.

As people lose confidence in the president, so do the antsy and opportunistic political elites.

An increasing number of Republicans, including former generals and aides, are deserting his sinking ship; some out of fear for the party, not to mention the country's future in case of a Trump second term. Some reckon he poses a "danger to the Republic".

This leaves the incumbent president no choice but to double down on incitement against his opponents, before defections snowball.

The question is, what will Trump do if he loses the psychological warfare? Or, rather how far will he go to get re-elected?

For psychology goes in both directions, and Trump sounds increasingly paranoid about liberal institutions conspiring against him, about the media, the courts, and the "deep state" bureaucracy besieging him.

He has even asked his followers if they also had the impression "the Supreme Court doesn't like [him]".

Objectively speaking, being paranoid does not mean no one is actually colluding or conspiring against Trump or clamouring for his downfall.

That is why those celebrating his defeat prematurely should beware of his determination to do anything to win.

A desperate and humiliated Trump may do just about anything.

The stage is indeed set and the fault lines are drawn, for national elections and for a national showdown.


 Al Jazeera Media Network
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Re: Trump enters the stage People are strange

Postby Meno_ » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:08 am


'As bad as it gets': Pelosi, Democrats take aim at Trump over Russian bounty intelligence

"And yet the president will not confront the Russians on this score, denies being briefed," Pelosi said on ABC's "This Week."

June 28, 2020, 1:51 PM EDT

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday that President Donald Trump "wants to ignore any allegation against Russia" as he and his administration deny ever having been briefed about intelligence that Russians have offered to pay bounties to Taliban fighters who kill Americans.

Speaking on ABC's "This Week," Pelosi, D-Calif., said, "This is as bad as it gets."

"And yet the president will not confront the Russians on this score, denies being briefed," Pelosi said. "Whether he is or not, his administration knows, and our allies — some of our allies who work with us in Afghanistan — had been briefed and accept this report."

Referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pelosi added: "Just as I have said to the president: With him all roads lead to Putin. I don't know what the Russians have on the president, politically, personally, financially or whatever it is, but he wants to ignore, he wants to bring them back to the G8 despite the annexation of Crimea and invasion of Ukraine, despite what they yielded to him in Syria, despite his intervention into our election, which is well documented by our intelligence community, and despite now possibly this allegation, which we should have been briefed on."

The U.S. gathered intelligence on the Russian bounty offers, three people briefed on the matter told NBC News. The New York Times was first to report on the intelligence, which other news outlets have also confirmed.

The intelligence has been shared with congressional leaders and the British government, the sources said. Meanwhile, a senior defense official said there was no evidence that any bounty was actually paid. An intelligence official said the report is not surprising given the history between the U.S. and Russia; the U.S. armed Afghan fighters taking on the Soviet Union in the 1980s.

The Times report quoted officials as saying Trump was briefed on the intelligence. He and multiple administration officials have denied having been briefed.

Trump called for The Times to "reveal" its sourcing Sunday. He tweeted that "nobody briefed or told me," Vice President Mike Pence or White House chief of staff Mark Meadows about the intelligence.

"Everybody is denying it & there have not been many attacks on us," he wrote, adding that "nobody" has been tougher on Russia than his administration.

In a statement Saturday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the president and other top officials were not "briefed on the alleged Russian bounty intelligence."

"This does not speak to the merit of the alleged intelligence but to the inaccuracy of the New York Times story erroneously suggesting that President Trump was briefed on this matter," she said.

Pointing to McEnany's statement, Susan Rice, who was national security adviser in the administration of President Barack Obama, tweeted that she does not "believe this for a minute, but if it were true, it means that Trump is not even pretending to serve as commander in chief."

"And no one around him has the guts to ask him to," she said. "More evidence of their deadly incompetence."

Pelosi pointed Sunday to Russia's longstanding disdain over the U.S.'s 1980s war efforts in Afghanistan and said it is now seeking to take "it out on us, our troops."

"This is totally outrageous," she said. "You would think that the minute the president heard of it he would want to know more instead of denying that he knew anything.

"Now, if, in fact — we'll find out he has briefed and it was in his daily brief — but if it were not, what does that say about the concern that those who briefed the president have about not going anywhere near the Russia issue with this president?" she added.

Download the NBC News app for breaking news and politics

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, the ranking Democrat on the Armed Services military personnel subcommittee, called for a congressional investigation.

"I believe that when we ask our service members and their families to take risks and make sacrifices for the United States, it is with the understanding that we will do anything we can to mitigate those risks and honor those sacrifices," she said in a statement. "President Trump appears to have utterly failed to uphold his end of the bargain. Through thorough investigation, oversight, and accountability measures, we can still keep ours."

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., tweeted: "If reports are true that Russia offered a bounty on U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Trump wasn't briefed, that's a problem.

"If he was briefed and still wanted Russia back in the G-8, it's even worse," he added. "What will it take to get Trump to abandon the fiction that Putin is our friend?"

Democrats were not alone in raising alarms. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, chair of the House Republican Conference, tweeted that if "reporting about Russian bounties on US forces is true, the White House must explain" who knew what and when.

Speaking Sunday on NBC News' "Meet the Press," Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton said the U.S. "should be cautious" about the intelligence, adding, however, that he could never recall "a circumstance where the president himself goes out of his way to say he wasn't briefed on something."

Bolton, who recently released a highly critical book about the president and his time in the White House titled "The Room Where It Happened," said on CNN's "State of the Union" that, if the bounty reports are true, it is "one of the most serious matters, I think, that has arisen in the Trump administration."

"So what is the presidential reaction?" Bolton asked of Trump's tweets. "It's to say, 'It's not my responsibility, no one told me about it,' and therefore to duck any complaints that he hasn't acted effectively.

"This is part of the problem with President Trump's decision-making in the national security space," Bolton added. "It's just unconnected to the reality he's dealing with. It's about his personal position."

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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Fixed Cross » Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:34 pm

Dare you watch this?
The strong do what they can, the weak accept what they must.
- Thucydides
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby MagsJ » Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:25 pm

Fixed Cross wrote:

Dare you watch this?

You’d think that people would see objective sense, but they don’t.. they are blinded by emotion and the historical past, of civil wars and subjugation.

Even when presented with the truth, most deny the facts.. which has been evident even here on these boards, by those whom want and wish those facts to be otherwise.
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. - MagsJ

I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something at some point in time.. Wait, What! - MagsJ

You’re suggestions and I, just simply don’t mix.. like oil on water, or a really bad DJ - MagsJ
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Re: Trump enters the stage - fait accompli?

Postby Meno_ » Tue Jun 30, 2020 10:21 pm


Behind the Trump team’s U-turn, mounting fears about a mission-accomplished message

After weeks of celebrating states that reopened, the vice president and others on Monday changed course — commending governors who slowed their plans.

06/29/2020 07:39 PM EDT

Mike Pence couldn’t bear to stay quiet much longer.

The vice president worried that a weeks-long public hiatus by his coronavirus task force had created an information void that contributed to a sharp rise in confirmed cases across the southern and western United States.

With a televised briefing on Friday, organized at Pence’s direction on a day’s notice, the group revealed an undercurrent of fear behind the scenes of the federal government as the virus mounted its resurgence.

Over the weekend, Pence stepped up his urgency. Other Trump officials and allies issued stark new warnings as case counts soared in some of the nation’s largest states. And the machinery that had lined up behind President Donald Trump’s mission-accomplished message suddenly started to fade away.

The striking shift in the vice president’s tone — from zealously defending Trump’s push to reopen the U.S. economy to complimenting governors on Monday for halting their states’ reopenings — underscores Pence’s thorny position as he works to balance his and Trump’s political futures, which largely rely on convincing voters an economic rebound is on the horizon, with ensuring an appropriate response to an unwieldy new phase in the coronavirus pandemic.

Inside the Department of Health and Human Services, officials have agonized over Pence’s recent messages on coronavirus, saying that his ever-sunny tone could confuse Americans about the actual risks of the outbreak.

“We are winning the fight against the invisible enemy,” Pence contended in a June 16 op-ed that blamed the media for creating an “overblown” sense of panic about increased coronavirus infections during America’s phased economic reopening.

Pence spent Friday’s press conference touting the nation’s progress in fighting the coronavirus and defending the “constitutional rights” of people to participate in large gatherings, such as the Tulsa, Okla., Trump rally that Pence attended earlier this month, where a very small percentage of the crowd could be seen wearing protective coverings.

But the briefing foreshadowed a change in Pence’s own relaxed response to the novel coronavirus — a shift that intensified during his visit to a Texas mega-church, where he affirmed the importance of protective face coverings as a way to prevent transmission. It’s “just a good idea,” he said Sunday.

Pence praised Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican who had proudly pushed to reopen his state quickly, for taking steps “to limit the kind of gatherings and meetings in certain places in communities that may well be contributing to the community spread that we’re seeing…

The president needs evangelical voters. But he also needs to prevent churchers from serving as super-spreaders.

Confirmed U.S. Cases: 2,564,163 | U.S. Deaths: 125,928

 How coronavirus will change the world permanently


Mike Pence said new spikes may be due to young people 'disregarding' guidelines.

A nationwide mandate to wear a mask is 'long overdue,' according to Nancy Pelosi.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar said outbreaks across Southern states threaten to spiral out of control.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called Trump and his administration 'in denial' about the virus.

Read all coronavirus coverage »

Pence’s pro-mask endorsement drew praise from corners of the administration on Monday. One senior administration official said it was “a step in the right direction that President Trump should also take.”

Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, commented that “we need to get everybody on board at this point,” during a Monday webinar hosted by the Journal of the American Medical Association. (Schuchat did not cite Pence specifically, but spoke after the journal’s editor-in-chief praised the vice president for coming out in favor of masks over the weekend.)

But other recent comments by Pence — including his victory lap during Friday’s news conference about the amount of medical supplies and equipment procured by the administration — marked a jarring contrast against the alarm bells top health officials sounded last week.

“There are more cases. There are more hospitalizations in some of those places and soon you’ll be seeing more deaths,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the health experts on the White House coronavirus task force, said during the task force briefing as Pence quietly looked on.

“The window is closing,” added HHS Secretary Alex Azar during a Sunday morning appearance on NBC. “We have to act, and people as individuals have to act responsibly.”

Azar’s comments previewed the sharper tone that both he and Pence have adopted in the past 48 hours, as more than a dozen states confront alarming surges in confirmed Covid-19 cases that could overwhelm hospitals and plunge some communities back into lockdowns that residents and business owners anxiously hope to avoid.

Six states — Texas, Florida, Idaho, Tennessee, Utah and Georgia — all reported their highest single-day totals of new coronavirus cases on Saturday, a development Abbott described as “a very dangerous turn” in his state.

Top White House officials remain divided over the best course of action as the rate of new infections spikes in states across the U.S. Some officials, including health aides, believe the government needs to offer Americans more information on a regular basis about the best practices to keep Americans safe in the age of Covid-19 as well as continuing updates on new infections. Other aides firmly believe the White House should charge ahead with its economic message, regardless of the virus. That faction inside the White House does not want regular briefings on the state of Covid-19 or too many public appearances from officials like Fauci that could sour the nation’s mood in the coming months.

The steep rise in infections led a number of Republicans in the last 48 hours to start promoting the idea of wearing masks in public, or donning face coverings themselves.

Pence wore a mask on Sunday as he stepped off the government plane in Texas to greet the governor, as did Sen. John Cornyn, White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, all of whom joined the vice president on his Sunday trip to Texas.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor on Monday to say there should be “no stigma — none — about wearing masks when we leave our homes and come near other people.”

“Wearing simple face coverings is not about protecting ourselves. It is about protecting everyone we encounter,” McConnell said, weeks after Trump mocked his 2020 Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, for wearing a mask outdoors on Memorial Day.

During Pence’s call with governors on Monday, Abbott cited festivities over Memorial Day weekend, as well as his decision to permit bars to reopen, as two reasons Texas has witnessed skyrocketing cases and hospitalizations in the past three weeks. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey similarly said coronavirus cases in his state had slowed to a crawl before the latest surge, which began after restaurants, gyms and non-essential industries were given the greenlight to resume business in May and early June.

The surges in the south are leading other states, such as New Jersey, to halt their plans to open indoor dining at restaurants — a sign of mounting worries hitting state leaders across the nation just as they hoped to be putting the crisis behind them.

At a coronavirus task force meeting on Friday, counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway — who managed the president’s 2016 campaign — told aides the administration needed to make its priorities clear to the American public — including ideas about whether it was more important for bars in Texas and Florida to re-open this summer, or for schools to start on time in the fall, said a person familiar with the meeting.

White House coronavirus task force members spent much of Monday’s call with governors focusing on the drivers behind the precipitous rise in cases, according to two people familiar with the discussion. Notably absent from the conversation were previous dismissals by Pence and others that the increase in cases was largely the result of expanded testing.

Though Trump has continued to cling to increased testing as the primary explanation for new Covid-19 outbreaks, Pence has come to terms with the reality that testing alone cannot account for the surge of cases in the last week, according to a person familiar with his thinking.

In another striking departure from Trump, who sidelined the federal government’s task force last month to ensure his reopening message was front and center, Pence specifically commended governors on Monday for issuing new guidance or halting their plans to reopen. It was a significant break from his previous approval of states that had raced to start their economies back up.

Fauci, an expert in infectious diseases who established a ubiquitous on-screen presence during the early days of the pandemic, pointed to the resurgence of Covid-19 as a harsh reminder that it can often take two to three weeks for new coronavirus clusters to appear in data.

One senior administration official said the Trump campaign has been nervously monitoring data out of Oklahoma to determine whether the president’s June 22 rally, which the local fire department estimated 6,200 people attended, leads to apparent surge in surrounding counties over the next two weeks.


“There is definitely an acknowledgement that a surge is happening,” said one of the people familiar with Monday’s call with governors, which this person said was “the first time” administration officials admitted that a slow-speed reopening is likely safer than the rapid approach Trump has embraced.

Still, Pence and other top officials offered a mostly optimistic perspective of the coronavirus crisis, emphasizing that the nation is better-prepared to manage new outbreaks and encouraging governors to focus specifically on reminding younger Americans of the risk they could pose to older relatives if they become infected. Azar on the call avoided faulting the reopenings themselves for the upswing in cases, placing the blame instead on people failing to behave responsibly as states loosened their social distancing restrictions.

Task force members were also noncommittal about taking a stronger stand on mask-wearing, in response to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert’s request on the call for Trump to join his vice president in publicly urging Americans to wear face masks.

The Trump administration is, however, reviewing a new round of public health guidance for how states can mitigate the risks of coronavirus, with a focus on warnings about gatherings and the need for face coverings, said three officials. That guidance could be released by the July 4th holiday weekend, when Trump is expected to be in South Dakota to participate in a fireworks show at Mount Rushmore.

Meanwhile, Pence has canceled campaign-related events in Florida and Arizona this week — two states where coronavirus cases are rising rapidly — but is still expected to meet with both governors.

Before traveling to Texas on Sunday, where he spoke at First Baptist Church of Dallas alongside pro-Trump pastor Robert Jeffress and later met with Abbott, Pence organized the press conference last week where he and task force officials updated Americans on the resurgent virus. A person familiar with the matter said Pence arrived at the decision to hold a public briefing — following weeks of behind-the-scenes task force meetings — after he and several health officials expressed concern that an information void may have contributed to the sharp rise in coronavirus cases. The task force had stopped its near-daily briefings in early May when Trump and other senior administration officials began pushing states to reopen their economies.

But unlike those briefings, where top economic officials often made appearances to promote lifting bans on non-essential business operations and to laud the president’s leadership, Friday’s update was almost singularly focused on addressing recent Covid-19 outbreaks and encouraging Americans to exercise restraint and social distancing. While Pence spun a rosy picture about progress in testing and dismissed concerns about the president’s campaign schedule, he never once interjected when the health officials standing beside him gave sober assessments about the status of the pandemic.

Senate Republicans squeeze Trump over Russian bounties

Republicans have been skipping House Intelligence meetings for months

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Re: Trump enters the stage - 4 months to general election

Postby Meno_ » Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:00 am



POLITICO’s Election Forecast: Trump, Senate GOP in trouble

Trump's falling political fortunes have tilted the electoral map in Joe Biden's favor and made battlegrounds out of more Senate states.

A series of crises over the past three months has seen the political environment deteriorate markedly for President Donald Trump and his party. | Patrick Semansky/AP Photo

President Donald Trump is now an underdog to win a second term, and Republicans’ Senate majority is in serious danger of being swept out with him, according to the latest edition of POLITICO’s Election Forecast.

A series of crises over the past three months has seen the political environment deteriorate markedly for Trump and his party. The percentage of voters who think the country is headed in the wrong direction is hitting new highs — a record 75 percent in the latest POLITICO/Morning Consult poll — and Trump’s approval rating is settling near his all-time lows.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden’s lead over Trump is swelling to roughly 10 points nationally — and for the first time, our forecast classifies Biden as the clear favorite in the race.

The national atmosphere is toxic enough that Senate Republicans, who currently hold a three-seat majority, no longer have a significant edge in their quest to retain control of the chamber next year. Democrats have both built leads in states that were previously considered up-for-grabs and put new states firmly on the map, expanding their path to a majority and potential unified control of government in 2021.

POLITICO’s Election Forecast is a long-term, qualitative examination of the political landscape, from the presidential campaign down to the congressional-district level. It is based on continual interviews with strategists and operatives, polling and other data streams and the electoral and demographic trends driving the 2020 campaign. It is a more deliberative approach than a statistical model, which can be helpful in cutting through polls and other data sources but can also shift from day-to-day with little rationale for the changes.
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Re: Trump enters the stage - corruption. Roger Stone

Postby Meno_ » Mon Jul 13, 2020 8:16 am

"Unprecedented, historic corruption: an American president commutes the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president."

Mueller, special prosecutor
6:06 AM · Jul 11, 2020
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby promethean75 » Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:31 pm

But a president doing such a thing isnt illegal, so why do we call it 'corrupt'. See you think I'm defending trumpf here but I ain't. I'm saying this is the kind of stuff that draws attention to the structural flaws of western constitutional three-branch government.

A president's power to commute a sentence is one of those little things that really didn't need to be included, and in fact could become something abused by a president. Which we just saw. So now people are like 'wait why can he do that' and since they cant reconcile the fact that it is simultaneously legal and obviously corrupt, they start questioning the very foundation of the concept of the 'president', and in that investigation they discover alternative governing systems that dont have 'presidents'.

So all this is good news, in fact. That trumpf did that obviously knuckleheaded shit. Conservatism takes a major hit here.
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Re: Trump enters the stage - the stage has been set.....

Postby Meno_ » Mon Jul 13, 2020 3:46 pm

promethean75 wrote:But a president doing such a thing isnt illegal, so why do we call it 'corrupt'. See you think I'm defending trumpf here but I ain't. I'm saying this is the kind of stuff that draws attention to the structural flaws of western constitutional three-branch government.

A president's power to commute a sentence is one of those little things that really didn't need to be included, and in fact could become something abused by a president. Which we just saw. So now people are like 'wait why can he do that' and since they cant reconcile the fact that it is simultaneously legal and obviously corrupt, they start questioning the very foundation of the concept of the 'president', and in that investigation they discover alternative governing systems that dont have 'presidents'.

So all this is good news, in fact. That trumpf did that obviously knuckleheaded shit. Conservatism takes a major hit here.

Sure. This point is correct and well taken. An essential loophole through which any President can crawl through in order to sustain the powers of executive power.


The executive, thereby, can overcome any challenge by the other constitutional parts of governing, to delimit the balances between execution, legislation, and adjudication of programs which cal lawfully curb any one of the constitutional powers.

In this set up, the parts are not exclusively were formed to function, but the variously interact, by associating with each other to degrees of possibility, toward probable integrated levels, whereby , with the objective that use compromise and setting structural frameworks that allow planning to proceed, that do correspond to some measure of cooperation .

The problem here is limits of power which do expedite an easier way that an executive can find crawlspace, through which he can legitimize the essential space that the limits of power between checking and balancing those powers can be manipulated.

Under normal times, yeah5, sure, not much harm can be done to the original principles, however, in these tested times, when those very principles are challenged, the questions of remarking what the limits of power are, defy definitions.

What is the ultimate problem? Is a crisis of foreboding political chaos, that may even abridge the rule of executive rule as it applies to term limits become a qualifiable process, whereupon corruption is ok'd, as long as the party line , is upheld until the leading party is satisfied that status of motive to planning was a hieved, to guarantee the succession of their firm of it?

That is it, and I bet, that if Trump's agenda still has not achieved Republican politi cal aims, it is not inconceivable for the Republicans to cause any imminent reason to suspend any limits that block them to sustain those won parts of their agenda which stop shirt of those guarantees.

Shumer pointed this out during the impeachment process quite well, and truth is not hidden in a formal declarative process of bully pulpits.

However in these extraordinary times, where the very constitutional framework is being internally challenged, questions like these becoming tweetfully repetitive, the sense if public understanding is being side swiped, and much Madison ave style opinions can interfere and change the process.

It is apropos that a very vested and wealthy man has been elected, as self representation overcomes that of the public.

That ultimately, power here curropts by necessity, is no surprise to anyone, but them what can account for the ideal transition which may undermine itself in the process?

Trump is right in the support of conserving something that which is universal in its scope right now, and so. are those who have to pay for it, the emerging underclass, but does this n it return society to the most foundemental questions facing mankind. that pit self interested moral questions against the ethical ones that need to concern the union as a whole?

Finally the role of intelligence. Colonialism caused the Union (US) to break away from Regal positions of power, and ultimately, a return becomes necessary. Finally to contain the vestiges of self controlled interest, over that of levels of laissez faire equlateral social control

The "free world" becomes burdened by the very firms if de facto economic colonialism that faces the new economic aristicracy. The firms as Ecmandu talks about have set a fixed universal image of power distribution a long time ago.

So You are right of course, but the playing field has changed entirely from the old singularly complex interplay in strategy, even intelligence, as a purveyor of distribution is be coming controlled for political purposes, and even the final ultimate weapons could be used in an ultimate showdown that seemingly every one wants to avoid at all cost.

The return to a singular power struggle can incite a madness if unforeeable proportions,and that is the question that everyone should share equally opportunity for, at the least.

The stage has been set, but the sets have formidable faults lines of demarcation.


President Donald Trump on Monday shared a handful of social media posts questioning the expertise of his own public health officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, and suggesting their scientific counsel was intended to thwart his political standing ahead of November’s general election.

In a burst of early morning online activity, Trump retweeted messages from the politically conservative former game show personality Chuck Woolery — who served stints hosting “Wheel of Fortune” and “Love Connection” — which lamented the “most outrageous lies” being spread about the coronavirus pandemic.

“Everyone is lying. The CDC, Media, Democrats, our Doctors, not all but most, that we are told to trust. I think it’s all about the election and keeping the economy from coming back, which is about the election. I’m sick of it,” Woolery wrote in a tweet shared by the president.

In another post Trump retweeted, Woolery claimed there exists “so much evidence, yes scientific evidence, that schools should open this fall. It’s worldwide and it’s overwhelming. BUT NO.”

Trump also retweeted a message from Mark Young, Woolery’s co-host on his “Blunt Force Truth” podcast, which asked: “So based on Dr. Fauci and the Democrats, I will need an ID card to go shopping but not to vote?”

As the United States has posted peak numbers of daily Covid-19 infections in the past few weeks, the president’s relationship with Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, plummeted to a new nadir over the weekend.

The White House reportedly told various news outlets Saturday and Sunday that “several White House officials are concerned about the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things,” and furnished a lengthy list of statements the widely respected immunologist made in the early days of the outbreak.

The type of smear effort directed by the Trump administration against one of its most public-facing, trusted members is traditionally reserved for political rivals, and came after the president expressed public dissatisfaction with Fauci for his dire assessments of the outbreak in congressional testimony and media interviews.

Fauci, who told the Financial Times last Friday that he had not briefed Trump for at least two months, warned at a Senate health committee hearing in late June that the U.S. could register as many as 100,000 additional cases per day if further safeguards were not put in place.

In a livestreamed conversation last Monday with his boss, National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, Fauci said the U.S. was still “knee-deep” in its first wave of coronavirus infections, describing the outbreak as “serious situation that we have to address immediately.”

But Trump was dismissive of Fauci in an interview last Tuesday with Gray Television’s Greta Van Susteren, saying: “I think we are in a good place. I disagree with him.” And speaking with Fox News’ Sean Hannity last Thursday, Trump remarked that “Dr. Fauci is a nice man, but he’s made a lot of mistakes.”

Top administration officials have begun to follow the president’s lead in piling on Fauci, including White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, who memorably sparred with the doctor in April over the efficacy of the controversial antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a potential coronavirus treatment.

The pandemic is upending Trump's plans to shrink the health care safety net.

Confirmed U.S. Cases: 3,332,685 | U.S. Deaths: 135,400
How coronavirus will change the world permanently
Coronavirus cases, tracked state by state
Do you work for a hospital? Tell us what you're seeing
Trump is questioning the expertise of his own public health officials.
New York City is seeing coronavirus cases spike in young adults.
Trump's former chief of staff called U.S. coronavirus testing abilities inexcusable.
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Read all coronavirus coverage »
“Dr. Fauci has a good bedside manner with the public but he has been wrong about everything I have ever interacted with him on,” Navarro told The Washington Post in a story published Saturday, adding: “So when you ask me if I listen to Dr. Fauci’s advice, my answer is only with caution.”

Appearing Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Adm. Brett Giroir, the administration’s coronavirus testing czar, said that while “I respect Dr. Facui a lot,” he is “not 100 percent right, and he also doesn’t necessarily ... have the whole national interest in mind. He looks at it from a very narrow public health point of view.”

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany addressed the friction between Fauci and his colleagues Monday on “Fox & Friends,” echoing Giroir and arguing that Fauci considers the pandemic response only through the lens of a “public health standpoint.”

“Dr. Fauci’s one member of a team. But rest assured, his viewpoint is represented, and the information gets to the president through” the White House coronavirus task force, McEnany said.

Increasingly ostracized within Trump’s federal government, Fauci did elicit declarations of support Monday from his peers in the medical community, who forcefully defended the veteran director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

David Skorton, president and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges, and Ross McKinney, the association’s chief scientific officer, said in a statement that the AAMC "is extremely concerned and alarmed by efforts to discredit" Fauci, who "has been an independent and outspoken voice for truth as the nation has struggled to fight" the pandemic.

“Taking quotes from Dr. Fauci out of context to discredit his scientific knowledge and judgment will do tremendous harm to our nation’s efforts to get the virus under control, restore our economy, and return us to a more normal way of life,” Skorton and McKinney said. “America should be applauding Dr. Fauci for his service and following his advice, not undermining his credibility at this critical time.”

Fauci is not the administration’s only senior health official to have drawn the president’s ire in recent weeks. Trump similarly targeted CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield in a tweet last week that accused the public health agency’s guidelines for reopening schools of being “very tough & expensive.”

The president’s push to return students to classrooms in the fall represents the latest front in his pressure campaign for a broad-based economic reopening, in spite of surging Covid-19 caseloads.

The U.S. has notched records for new infections in late June and early July, with daily cases reaching 60,000 for the first time. On Sunday, Florida logged 15,000 new cases, surpassing the daily record reported by any single state since the start of the outbreak.

Although Trump ceded to bipartisan calls to wear a mask in public for the first time Saturday, during a visit to Walter Reed National Medical Center, he has remained reluctant to acknowledge the coronavirus’ threat as hot spots continue to emerge across in communities across the South and West.

He claimed in an interview with Fox Business earlier this month that the highly contagious disease is “at some point ... going to sort of just disappear,” and asserted during an address at the White House marking Independence Day celebrations that “99 percent” of cases are “totally harmless.”


~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~ ~

Election projections as of 07/13/2020

Forecast: The race between Biden and Trump is within the true margin of error

Analysis by Harry Enten, CNN

Updated 6:29 PM EDT, Mon July 13, 2020

(CNN)There is little doubt that former Vice President Joe Biden is ahead in the polls right now. He regularly posts double-digit advantages nationally and is ahead in the key swing states. If the election were held today, Biden would almost certainly be elected president.

But the election is not being held today. It's being held in a little less than four months. That's a lot of time.

And given the size of Biden's lead (clear, but not a blowout), the race can definitely shift enough to characterize this race to be within the true margin of error.

To be clear, I don't mean that Biden and Trump have similar chances of winning -- far from it. Biden is clearly the favorite.

What I mean is that people often don't realize what odds actually mean. Something may not have a likely chance of occurring, but it's quite conceivable that it does happen.

Whenever you see a poll published, you'll see the result comes with a margin of error. The margin of error essentially means that for a given population, 95% of the time a poll's result will come within the margin of error of the true value. There's a 2.5% (1 out of 40) chance a result will fall outside the margin of error on the low side, and a 2.5% (1 out of 40) chance a result will fall outside the margin of error on the high side.

It's not shocking at all to receive a poll result back that's outside the margin of error. It's even less surprising when a poll comes in within the margin of error of the other results, though at the high or low end of the polling results published.

Borrowing from this margin-of-error concept, there's literally no reputable forecast I know of that suggests that Biden's advantage is outside that 95% confidence interval when projecting forward to November.

You can see how a race can change from this point forward by looking at history.

Earlier this month, I examined the 13 elections featuring incumbent presidents since 1940. I noted that in two of the 13 presidential contests, the difference between where the national polls were at this point and the eventual margin was greater than 10 points.

That's more than the current margin between Biden and Trump. Two out of 13 times is well more than 2.5%. One of 13 times is plenty more than that.

If you were to expand to contests without incumbents, you will find even more examples of big swings. I wrote about the 1988 election a few weeks ago. The difference between the polls at this point and the election result (Republican George H.W. Bush by 8 points) and the polls in mid-July (Democrat Michael Dukakis by 5 points) was double digits.

This historical study doesn't even take into account that Trump likely has a better shot of winning the Electoral College than the popular vote.

Importantly, you can look at a lot of different odds makers and reach conclusions similar to mine.

The betting markets, which I believe are overestimating Trump's chances, give him about a 2-out-of-5 (40%) chance of winning a second term. (It should be noted that betting markets gave Bob Dole a similar chance of winning in 1996, when he faced a deficit similar to Trump's now. Dole lost.)

Jack Kersting's forecast, which I've cited before, puts Trump's chance of winning at about 1-in-6 (just north of 15%).

There's also the Economist forecast, which gives Trump about a 1-in-10 (around 10%) chance of winning.

There are clearly differences among these odds. The similarity across all of them is that Biden is ahead, though not by enough to have a lead that can be considered anywhere close to being outside the true margin of error.

The worst result for Trump is having about a 1-in-10 chance. His shot would need to be below 1-in-40 to be considered outside the true margin of error.

Indeed, we still have a lot of events and potential game changers ahead of us.

There are the conventions, which sometimes (though not recently) have really shaken things up historically.

We have an economy that seems to be more prone to shocks than usual, which could shift voter opinions.

Additionally, the coronavirus pandemic is bad right now, but there's no real way of knowing how things will be when voters are casting their ballots. Perhaps the case rate will be lower. Maybe there will be better treatments. We just don't know.

Speaking of the coronavirus, it feels like this campaign isn't even really underway. Usually, a presidential campaign is the main news story by this point. But with the pandemic and the protests against police brutality, it's been the number three story over the last month.

The campaign will eventually become the number one story. With a compressed time frame, we may see bigger jumps later in the campaign than we're used to in modern campaigns.

The bottom line is that unless the economy totally falls apart or Biden starts leading by closer to 20 points than 10 points, this election will never be anywhere close to being safely in his corner at this early juncture.

© 2020 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


The plot thickens:

Trump offers denial and delusion as pandemic crisis overtakes his presidency

Updated 10:04 AM EDT, Wed July 15, 2020

(CNN)Rarely has a president shown himself to be so unequal to a tragic national emergency.

Hundreds of Americans are dying daily and tens of thousands are getting infected from a once-in-a-century virus. States and cities are closing down again, threatening to trigger a ruinous new economic slump. Doctors and nurses lack sufficient protective gear as they battle the deadly pathogen. And with testing swamped by waves of disease, one top official is warning of the "the most difficult time" ever for US public health this winter.

Yet this is what is on Donald Trump's mind: Joe Biden didn't fix the country's roads and bridges, crowds of bikers and boaters in MAGA hats prove that election polls are wrong, and the border wall is almost finished (except it isn't). Oh, and by the way, where is Hunter Biden?

Trump struck all the wrong notes on Tuesday, as the US set yet another single day record for new coronavirus infections with 67,417. Florida, now the world's coronavirus epicenter, recorded its highest-ever Covid-19 death toll, and Texas broke its record for new daily cases. Another 900 deaths were reported on Tuesday according to a Johns Hopkins University tally, but the President offered denial and delusion at a White House appearance that even by his standards was a rambling, grievance-fueled mess.

Trump's directionless White House on full display

What is needed from Trump and his administration is a plan to tackle the most relentless national challenge since World War II, consoling words to memorialize the 136,000 Americans who are already dead and the thousands destined to follow, and the rhetoric to summon the will to triumph over this invisible enemy.

All Trump could offer on Tuesday was self-pity, incoherence and indifference. He came across as a leader living in a different dimension from his people and their fear and suffering and uncertainty about what the coming months will bring.

This is a President who has demonstrably failed to beat back the virus and has long since stopped trying to lead the country out of the darkness. He resorts to boasting about inconclusive steps he took months ago -- like limiting travel from China -- that have no relevance to the current moment, and he complains he's not getting enough credit for his performance.

He's also mining divisive political seams he thinks helped him in the past. In a CBS interview on Tuesday, he insisted that more White people than Black people are killed in police violence, dealing an insult to the national soul searching about race following the death of George Floyd.

"We could go on for days," Trump said at one point in his Tuesday tirade, and for a while it seemed that he might in the blasting July heat of the Rose Garden, where journalists sat wearing masks, socially distanced and in bemused silence.

Trump veers off his China script

The ostensible point of Trump's Rose Garden appearance was to unveil a barrage of new measures to punish China for its suppression of freedoms in Hong Kong -- which gave the President a new chance to fulminate against Beijing for sending a "plague" to the US despite his earlier fawning praise for how President Xi Jinping had handled the pandemic.

But it wasn't long before the session turned into the kind of negative, rally-style performance that Trump pines for, with normal campaign events severely curtailed by the pandemic.

He slammed Biden for his record on crime, trade, China, infrastructure, the economy, the military, and at one point suggested that hundreds of thousands could be dead by now had the former vice president been in charge when the coronavirus struck. Bizarrely, Trump also slammed the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee for his role in the Obama administration's mobilization against the H1N1 virus, which was far more efficient and cost tens of thousands fewer lives than Trump's missteps over the past few months

At event meant to announce China actions, Trump rambles into political attacks

Trump has been charging that Biden is mentally impaired and is not fit for the Oval Office. But at times, it was the President who appeared to be veering into confusion and incoherence. At one point he appeared to argue that his rival's vow to sign the Paris climate accord would lead to US office buildings being constructed without windows. And he suggested Biden wouldn't even know how to define the word "carbon."

In another extraordinary twist on Tuesday, the White House stepped up what is now a full frontal assault against the government's top infectious disease specialist, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has been telling the truth about the dire turn taken by a pandemic that is now infecting twice as many people per day as it was several months ago. In a USA Today op-ed, Trump's top trade adviser and anti-China polemicist Peter Navarro wrote that the respected scientist "has a good bedside manner with the public, but he has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on."

If nothing else, the President's wild appearance gave a whole new meaning to the notion of incumbent presidents running for a second term on a Rose Garden strategy by staging a highly unusual campaign-style speech to rail against his opponent from the White House.

In recent days, whispers have emerged from inside Trump's camp that aides are worried he is yet to settle on a strong campaign message and that his reelection effort is meandering. If there was a second term manifesto hidden in Trump's digressions and bitterness on Tuesday, it was very well disguised.

The President had an uncanny feel for the resentment at the Washington establishment and the perceived indifference towards political elites and political correctness at a time of sometimes bewildering racial and social change in 2016. Perhaps that mix can carry him to a second term. But after Tuesday's showing, it will be impossible to argue he won a second term based on a reasoned and orderly road map out of the crisis.

The mystery of Trump's missing strategy

Trump's unwillingness to face up to the coronavirus nightmare that is staring the rest of the nation in the face leaves the impression that the man who vowed in his 2016 Republican National Convention speech "I alone can fix it" long ago ran out of ideas on the virus. That speech horrified Trump's critics because of its dystopian vision. But at least Trump looked strong, and was dictating the political winds. In his wandering monologue on Tuesday, he looked lost, a shadow of the man who burned down the Republican Party and the Washington political establishment.

He appeared to be what he is -- a president who is flailing after being cruelly overtaken by events. Such an image -- that beset President Jimmy Carter in the last summer before his reelection bid amid the Iran hostage crisis -- is a perilous one for first-term presidents.

The mystery of Trump's behavior in recent months is that it seems unlikely he can come from behind against Biden unless he can find a way to suppress the virus, or at least give Americans hope that some semblance of normal life can resume soon.

Trump leans into racist rhetoric and downplays police violence against Black Americans

But more and more, it seems like Trump has played his best card -- his demand several months ago for states to open up and revive the economy -- which has been exposed as a backfired gamble as the pandemic races across Southern and Western states. And his go-to strategies of inciting divisions, stirring cultural warfare and sowing confusion with misinformation don't seem to be working -- at least if the polls are right.

The President did his best to talk up his "transition to greatness," but the idea is so divorced from the awful reality of the last few weeks -- with the average daily rate of new infections hitting 60,000 -- that his words only served to display his own considerable remove from reality.

"I think you're going to have some good news very, very quickly having to do with the vaccines," Trump said, at about the same time that Fauci said that it could take a year-to-a-year-and-a-half for the world to get a Covid-19 vaccine, that even then may not be completely effective.

Despite the rolling shutdowns in cities across the country, certain to throw many Americans who work in the service, tourism and transit industries out of work again, the President stuck by his predictions of a riotous return to economic growth.

But absent any credible plans to stem Covid-19's march, all the President has to sell right now is hope.

"I think by Election Day you're going to see some incredible numbers. The third quarter is going to be really good, the fourth quarter is going to be great, but next year is going to be one of the best economic years," he insisted.

"So hopefully I'll be able to be the President where we say, 'Look at the great job I did.'"

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Re: Trump enters the stage - Preview of coming attractions?

Postby Meno_ » Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:46 pm

WASHINGTON — One figure continually stands out for President Trump in our new national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll: 50 percent.

And not in a good way for him.

Fifty percent of all registered voters in our poll “strongly” disapprove of the president.

Fifty percent say there is no chance at all they will vote for him.

Fifty-two percent — in a separate question — say they’re “very uncomfortable” about his candidacy.

Fifty-one percent are backing Joe Biden in the horserace, versus 40 percent for Trump.

One of the old maxims of American politics used to be that an incumbent (for any office) needs to be at 50 percent to be safe for re-election — otherwise there’s a majority of voters who exist that don’t support him or her.

But Trump has a different problem at hand: He’s got 50 percent (or more) of the national electorate saying they strongly oppose him.

And that’s something that a new campaign manager alone can’t fix.
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby promethean75 » Fri Jul 17, 2020 11:03 am

Of course. The idiot has been sheltered all his life and couldn't even change a car tire of the nation depended on it. Put a little real life pressure on the asshole and he'll buckle. Money cant buy your way outta this one, haus.
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