Election Fever Friday ReadsPosted: October 16, 2020
Good Day Sky Dancers!
Well, the usual crazy election season is even crazier than usual. Republicans are panicking and trying as quickly as possible to shove an unacceptable candidate on to the court while screaming Biden wants to pack the courts! at the top of their lungs. Trump exited an official townhall debate with Joe Biden on ABC only to be given an hour to himself on NBC/MSNBC. Joe’s fundraising is a monster machine while Trump can’t even afford a few TV ads. Every day is a new fresh hell!!
I’m mostly staying in bed with the blankets over my head.
Peter Nicholls–writing for The Atlantic—says Trump is Scared and lashing out.
He seemed as if he might be delirious. He blasted out bewildering tweets in all caps. Sick and infectious, he circled the perimeter of the hospital in an armored SUV, waving to supporters. He demanded the arrest of his opponents.
After doctors treated Donald Trump with a steroid last week, following his COVID-19 diagnosis, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, other Trump critics, and national-security experts questioned whether the drug had warped his judgment. “Roid rage” started trending on Twitter. His condition revived talk about invoking the Twenty-Fifth Amendment. A Stanford University law professor who had taken the same drug tweeted that she couldn’t be “president of my cat” when under its influence.
Those suspicions miss the point: Trump is belligerent when sick, just as he’s hostile when well. He sees plots when he’s dosed with dexamethasone and conspiracies when he’s gulping Diet Coke behind the Resolute desk. Days have passed since he apparently stopped taking the drug, and he sounds every bit as unmoored.
What’s been driving him in the final stretch of the campaign isn’t a medication that messes with his mood. It’s dread, people who’ve worked with him throughout the years told me. There are less than three weeks to go in a campaign that appears to be heading the wrong way. “He’s down and he’s likely to lose,” a former White House official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to talk more freely, told me. “This is fear.”
It’s hard to gauge whether Trump’s thinking was impaired. One measure that doctors use to spot changes in a patient’s behavior is deviations from the baseline. But Trump’s ordinary conduct is, “let’s say, charitably, unusual,” Robert Wachter, the chairman of the department of medicine at UC San Francisco, told me. Or, in the nonclinical and wholly unscientific assessment of the ex–White House official: “There’s no way to put lipstick on this pig. The guy is nuts.”
Jonathan Swan of Axios writes that “Trump’s advisers brace for loss, point fingers”. Wow, wouldn’t you like to have to look for a job expecting Donald Trump to have to give you a reference.
Three senior Trump advisers who recently talked to campaign manager Bill Stepien walked away believing he thinks they will lose.
The big picture: The Trump campaign is filled with internal blaming and pre-spinning of a potential loss, accelerating a dire mood that’s driven by a daily barrage of bleak headlines, campaign and White House officials tell me.
- “A lot of this is the president himself,” one adviser said. “You can’t heal a patient who doesn’t want to take the diagnosis.”
Behind the scenes: In weekly pep talks, Stepien tells staff members why they shouldn’t pay attention to the perennially horrible public polls — and how they can “win the week” and the campaign.
- But in other private conversations, described by multiple sources, Stepien can seem darkly pessimistic. He likens the campaign to an airplane flying through turbulence, saying: “It’s our job to safely land the plane.”
- Three sources who have heard Stepien use variations of the airplane analogy say they sensed he was deeply, perhaps irretrievably pessimistic about the state of the race.
- “It’s not a great feeling when you get the sense the campaign manager doesn’t deep down think we’re going to win,” one campaign source said.
Stepien pushed back strongly on that, telling me on Friday morning: “With each day closer to November 3, our campaign data presents a clear pathway to 270 for the President that provides me more confidence than ever in President Trump’s re-election.”
- “Our campaign knows how President Trump was elected in 2016 and more importantly, we know exactly how he’s going to do it again,” Stepien added.
Why it matters: Trump can still win. But make no mistake: Even his most loyal supporters, including those paid to believe, keep telling us he’s toast — and could bring Republican control of the Senate down with him.
There is some indication that Mitch McConnell expects to lose the Senate but is plotting to regain it in 2022. It appears that he doesn’t want to do anything regarding COVID 19 because he believes any stimulus would help a Biden economy. He’s really just an evil ass isn’t he? This is an Op Ed from Market Watch by Rex Nutting: “By saying no to more stimulus, Mitch McConnell is already trying to make Joe Biden’s life miserable”.
Blame Donald Trump all you want for Washington’s failure to deliver more relief and stimulus to the battered economy. But the failure is not his, not entirely. If Senate Leader Mitch McConnell had wanted to do it, it would have been done.
McConnell has gotten everything he wanted out of Trump’s presidency: A big tax cut for corporations and the wealthy, a judiciary packed with young conservatives.
The Republican senator from Kentucky may be the most powerful person in Washington. His strength doesn’t rely on subservience to Trump, but on his skill in orchestrating the most autocratic institution in the land. He’s a master, and he plans on being there for a while longer. At 78, he’s running for re-election to another six-year term.
Although both men have occasionally mentioned further stimulus, neither Trump nor McConnell wanted another stimulus bill urgently enough to get it done. The “greatest deal maker” in history never engaged with the Democrats, and McConnell seemed happy to let the effort fail.
Now they are talking about piecemeal proposals that may bail out a few industries, but nothing substantive that would boost the economy, move the needle on the stock market SPX, 0.49% DJIA, 0.82%, or help the people who are struggling to pay the rent or buy food.
At first glance, McConnell’s indifference to further economic assistance is a puzzle. McConnell was fully onboard with economic stimulus and relief in March and April, when a bipartisan group of lawmakers and administration officials crafted a series of measures that flooded the economy with timely and targeted aid.
It wasn’t perfect, but it got results.
The government assistance approved in March and April kept millions of households, thousands of business, and the U.S. economy in general afloat for much of the summer, before most of the provisions expired. You’d think that another shot of adrenaline before the election could have sealed a Republican victory in November by making the economy a big plus instead of a question mark.
Why did Mitch say no?
Some will point to ideology. McConnell didn’t want to give that much cash to states poorly run by Democratic governors and mayors, they say. Or maybe Mitch is honestly worried about the national debt.
But I think it was McConnell’s pragmatism and knack for political calculus that made the difference between the cooperation of the spring and the gridlock of the summer and fall. He knows that no legislation enacted now can save the election for the Republicans.
He still wants to win, of course, but he needs a Plan B just in case. McConnell can see the blue wave coming, and he’s already angling to make Joe Biden’s life miserable, just as he did with Joe’s buddy, Barack Obama.
We need to get rid of McConnell as much as we need to get rid of Trump. Well, at least he has to deal with bad ratings today.
Chew out this you ugly Orange Snot Blob!
Trump’s hourlong appearance on NBC, which drew criticism across the industry and even an angry letter from top talent and showrunners who work with NBCU, appears to be trailing Biden’s 90-minute session with ABC in the ratings, at least according to early numbers.
Biden drew 12.7 million total viewers on the Disney-owned network, while Trump drew 10.4 million in the same 9-10 p.m. time slot on NBC. Across the entire runtime, the Biden town hall averaged 12.3 million viewers. In terms of the fast national 18-49 demographic, Biden is comfortably on top with a 2.6 rating to Trump’s 1.7.
Plus, the First Day of Early Voting is happening here in New Orleans and we seem to be no different than the rest of the country. This is from our Mayor LaToya Cantrell:
I was bugging the Denver part of my family to get their ballots mailed in since of any of us, they have the likelihood of a vote that really matters. The Denver Post reports this: “Early voter turnout in Colorado increases a “bonkers” 2,400% from 2016. Democrats returning ballots at highest rate so far” Youngest Son in Law seems to like the mail in ballots. The kids and sister in Washington State do too. Me, I’m going to be headed down the Avenue to the old Fire Station on Election Day as usual.
More than 300,000 Colorado voters have returned ballots for the Nov. 3 election as of 11:30 Wednesday night — a staggering display of enthusiasm in a state that sends all voters a ballot by mail.
When that latest figure was tabulated by the Secretary of State’s Office, Colorado was 20 days out from the election. Twenty days out from the 2016 election — when Colorado also had universal mail-in voting — 12,141 people had cast ballots, said a spokeswoman for Secretary of State Jena Griswold. That’s a 2,377% increase in early turnout this year as compared with 2016, when overall voter turnout far exceeded the national average.
“It’s great for democracy to see so many Coloradans making their voices heard,” Griswold told The Denver Post. “Even with ballots still being mailed this week to registered voters, turnout is 24 times higher than at this point in 2016.”
Politicos in Colorado are floored by these numbers, which Democratic political consultant Craig Hughes described as “bonkers.”
I’m assuming all our Sky Dancers have similar plans to save our Republic.
So, one more thing just to Drive Donald bonkers. This is Forbes. You know, the ones with the billionaires’ list? It seems Donald does have billions in debt. “Donald Trump Has At Least $1 Billion In Debt, More Than Twice The Amount He Suggested.” This is from Dan Alexander.
No aspect of Donald Trump’s business has been the subject of more speculation than his debt load. Lots of people believe the president owes $400 million, especially after Trump seemed to agree with that figure on national television Thursday night. In reality, however, he owes more than $1 billion.
The loans are spread out over more than a dozen different assets—hotels, buildings, mansions and golf courses. Most are listed on the financial disclosure report Trump files annually with the federal government. Two, which add up to an estimated $447 million, are not.
A list of what he own and what he owes and to whom is shown on the link.
And today’s best and most creative Trumpist excuse of the day comes from Kudlow whose probably already been at the bottle.
So, I’m going to go back and hide under the blankets with a cup of nice black coffee and a cat or 2 plus a dog.
What’s on you reading and blogging list today?