Monday Reads! Vote Him OUT!

Pierre Edouard Baranowski, 1918 – Amedeo Modigliani

Good Day Sky Dancers!

Tis the season to be Voting!  And we all really, really, really need to do that and take as many people with us as possible!

I can hardly turn on the TV any more.

Here’s all I want to say from The Rolling Stone: via The Hill: “Rolling Stone endorses Biden, calls Trump ‘categorically unfit to be president'”. How can such a strongly worded statement be such an understatement?  But that’s been our upside down country for the past nearly 4 years.

Rolling Stone magazine is endorsing Democratic nominee Joe Biden for president, saying in a piece on Monday that the U.S. has lived “under a man categorically unfit to be president” for the last four years.

“Fortunately for America,” the magazine said at the top of its endorsement of the former vice president, “Joe Biden is Donald Trump’s opposite in nearly every category: The Democratic presidential nominee evinces competence, compassion, steadiness, integrity, and restraint.”

“Perhaps most important in this moment, Biden holds a profound respect for the institutions of American democracy, as well as a deep knowledge about how our government — and our system of checks and balances — is meant to work; he aspires to lead the nation as its president, not its dictator,” the magazine continued. “The 2020 election, then, offers the nation a chance to reboot and rebuild from the racist, authoritarian, know-nothing wreckage wrought by the 45th president.”

Trump’s only plan for America is one that keeps him in office and in the position of not being held accountable for anything including the massive grifting.

Amedeo Modigliani – Christina

So, what kind of things are going on right now?

Well, first, Trump is trying all kinds of ways to make Dr. Fauci look bad and to convince us all the virus is no big deal.  This is from CBS’ 60 Minutes as reported by Jonathan LaPook: “Fauci admits administration has restricted his media appearances, says he’s not surprised Trump got COVID”.  

Dr. Anthony Fauci has been a voice of logic and stability since the pandemic began. And right now, he’s worried we’re heading in the wrong direction. Worldwide the number of new cases is surging at an alarming rate, as seen in this map by Johns Hopkins University. This week, Russia reported a record number of infections, and cases are spiking in the UK, France, and Italy.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: When you have a million deaths and over 30 million infections globally, you can not say that we’re on the road to essentially getting out of this. So quite frankly, I don’t know where we are. It’s impossible to say.

What Dr. Fauci knows for sure is, here in the United States, infections are beginning to rise as the weather gets colder and people congregate indoors. Over the last two weeks, new cases have gone up in at least 38 states.

Dr. Jon LaPook: How bad would things have to get for you to advocate a national lockdown?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: They’d have to get really, really bad. First of all, the country is fatigued with restrictions. So we wanna use public health measures not to get in the way of opening the economy, but to being a safe gateway to opening the economy. So instead of having an opposition, open up the economy, get jobs back, or shut down. No. Put “shut down” away and say, “We’re gonna use public health measures to help us safely get to where we wanna go.”

Those measures were not in place last month in the rose garden when President Trump announced the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Dr. Jon LaPook: Were you surprised that President Trump got sick?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: Absolutely not. I was worried that he was going to get sick when I saw him in a completely precarious situation of crowded, no separation between people, and almost nobody wearing a mask. When I saw that on TV, I said, “Oh my goodness. Nothing good can come outta that, that’s gotta be a problem.” And then sure enough, it turned out to be a superspreader event.

The good Doctor intends to vote in person on election day and says it can be done safely.  Read or watch the entire interview at the link.

Yes. Please vote.

The AP went in search of the not so elusive Burbie women in Michigan and low and behold they found more than a few women of color!  Wow!  Some one tell the Russian Potted Plant occupying the Oval Office! Claire Galofaro  reports:  ‘Our house is on fire’: Suburban women lead a Trump revolt .  However, the lede feature is a suburban white woman so there’s still that. (sigh).  But it’s Michigan and that’s an important state.

For many of those women, the past four years have meant frustration, anger and activism — a political awakening that powered women’s marches, the #MeToo movement and the victories of record numbers of female candidates in 2018. That energy has helped create the widest gender gap — the political divide between men and women — in recent history. And it has started to show up in early voting as women are casting their ballots earlier than men. In Michigan, women have cast nearly 56% of the early vote so far, and 68% of those were Democrats, according to the voting data firm L2.

That could mean trouble for Trump, not just in Oakland County but also in suburban battlegrounds outside Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Phoenix.

Trump has tried to appeal to “the suburban housewives of America,” as he called them. Embracing fear and deploying dog whistles, he has argued that Black Lives Matter protesters will bring crime, low-income housing will ruin property values, suburbs will be abolished. Campaigning in Pennsylvania last week, he begged: “Suburban women, will you please like me?”

There’s no sign all this is working. Some recent polls show Biden winning support from about 60% of suburban women. In 2016, Democrat Hillary Clinton won 52%, according to an estimate by the Pew Research Center.

Talk to women across suburban Michigan, and you’ll find ample confirmation: the lifelong Republican who says her party has been commandeered by cowards. The Black executive who fears for the safety of her sons. The Democrat who voted for Trump in 2016 but now describes him as “a terrible person.”

Together, they create a powerful political force.

All I can say is whatever it takes to get that Monster out of the White House.

This NYT Times Op-ED asks a question we can only hope isn’t rhetorical. “Has Trump Drawn the Water for a ‘Republican Blood Bath’?  And if he has, what should Biden do with his first term?”  It’s a conversation between Gail Collins and Bret Stephens.

Gail: Speaking of the competition between Trump and Biden, what did you think of those town hall pseudo debates?

Bret: I think they’re a public service. Biden continues to dispel the myth that he no longer has a brain. And Trump continues to dispel the myth that he’s ever had a heart. The more voters are reminded of these two facts between now and the election, the likelier we are to send Trump into permanent exile in Mar-a-Lago or wherever else he goes from here.

Gail: Well thanks to great reporting from our Times colleagues, we are able to hope that the first place he goes from here is bankruptcy.

Bret: From Here to Bankruptcy? Wasn’t that a film with Burt Lancaster and Montgomery Clift?

Gail: If it was a new version, we’d have to watch the scene where Trump goes to the beach and embraces Melania (or Stormy? Or someone in between?) in the waves. Definitely don’t want to go there.

Bret: In the meantime, it looks like Amy Coney Barrett is heading toward confirmation, and some progressives are advocating all manner of retaliation against Republicans for pushing the nomination through: ending the Senate filibuster for legislation, packing the Supreme Court, even pushing for statehood for Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.

All this assumes Democrats win back the Senate and the White House. If they do, is any of that warranted or wise?

Gail: None of those would be on the top of my priority list, but I can understand why they’re coming up. The way the Republicans have handled court appointments is shocking, including their decision to break all the precedents they set during the Obama administration and ram Barrett through just days before the election.

Bret: Well, I wouldn’t object to any president’s right to nominate a justice at any point in his presidency if Mitch McConnell hadn’t held up Merrick Garland’s nomination to replace Antonin Scalia on transparently bogus grounds. But the hypocrisy rankles and reeks. If Senate Republicans had integrity — ha! — they would have held themselves to their own standard and held the nomination until after January.

Frans Hellens, 1919 – Amedeo Modigliani –

Trump’s constant trips to the Courts appear to be paying off for everyone but Trump Policy.  This is from WAPO. “Federal judge strikes down Trump plan to slash food stamps for 700,000 unemployed Americans” as reported by Spencer Hsu.

A federal judge on Sunday formally struck down a Trump administration attempt to end food stamp benefits for nearly 700,000 unemployed people, blocking as “arbitrary and capricious” the first of three such planned measures to restrict the federal food safety net.

“In a scathing 67-page opinion, Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell of D.C. condemned the Agriculture Department for failing to justify or even address the impact of the sweeping change on states, saying its shortcomings had been placed in stark relief amid the pandemic, during which unemployment has quadrupled and rosters of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program have grown by more than 17 percent, with more than 6 million new enrollees.

The rule “at issue in this litigation radically and abruptly alters decades of regulatory practice, leaving States scrambling and exponentially increasing food insecurity for tens of thousands of Americans,” Howell wrote, adding that the Agriculture Department “has been icily silent about how many [adults] would have been denied SNAP benefits had the changes sought . . . been in effect while the pandemic rapidly spread across the country.” The judge concluded that the department’s “utter failure to address the issue renders the agency action arbitrary and capricious.”

Howell temporarily enjoined the proposal on March 13, the same day President Trump declared the coronavirus outbreak a national emergency. Congress then waived the requirement for the duration of the emergency as part of economic relief legislation, and the Trump administration suspended its planned April implementation date.

However, the Agriculture Department appealed the judge’s earlier order, and absent court intervention the rule would have taken full effect at the end of the state of emergency. Spokesmen for the department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Also going to SCOTUS is the Trump Wall debacle and his “remain in Mexico policy (via Reuters) “U.S. Supreme Court to review legality of Trump’s ‘remain in Mexico’ asylum policy”.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to decide the legality of one of President Donald Trump’s hardline immigration policies that has forced tens of thousands of migrants along the southern border to wait in Mexico, rather than entering the United States, while their asylum claims are processed.

The justices will hear a Trump administration appeal of a 2019 lower court ruling that found that the policy likely violated federal immigration law. The “remain in Mexico” policy remains in effect because the Supreme Court in March put the lower court’s decision to block it on hold while the legal battle continues.

The Republican president has said the policy, which took effect in January 2019, has reduced the flow of migrants from Central America into the United States. Restricting both illegal and legal immigration has been a central theme of Trump’s presidency. He has sought to reduce asylum claims through a series of policy and rule changes.

Immigration advocacy groups and 11 individual asylum seekers who fled violence in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras were returned to Mexico after entering the United States filed suit to challenge the legality of the policy.

Portrait of Jeanne Herbuterne – Amedeo Modigliani 

Further information on this can be found at WAPO: “Supreme Court to review Trump’s border wall funding and ‘remain-in-Mexico’ program”.

The Trump administration had asked the court to intervene in both because of decisions against it in lower courts.

Also in both cases, the justices have previously allowed the administration to proceed with its plans while the merits of the issues were litigated.

In July, the court rejected a last-ditch effort from environmentalists to stop the ongoing construction of parts of the border wall. A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled in late June that the administration’s use for the wall of funds intended for the Defense Department was unlawful.

By the time the court hears the case, lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing the Sierra Club and the Southern Border Communities Coalition, say the Trump administration will have used all of the money.

But the administration told the court it was important for it to weigh in to correct the decision that the president did not have the authority to redirect military funds to pay for border wall construction.

Trump, who ran for office in 2016 promising that Mexico would pay for the border wall, has obtained more than $15 billion in federal funds for his signature project, including $5 billion provided by Congress through conventional appropriations. The president has tapped into Pentagon accounts for the remaining $10 billion, including the $2.5 billion transfer last year that the 9th Circuit said was unlawful.

In 2019, the Supreme Court in an emergency order allowed the administration to proceed with the transfers and contracts for construction, even though House Democrats, affected states and environmental groups said that violated the will of Congress, which withheld the funds from the administration.

So, if you’re like me and getting very tired, wistful, and full of wishing you will never hear anything negative about dull moments again, just join us and vote!  VOTE!  VOTE!

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


Sunday Reads: Presto!

Watch me pull a rabbit out of a hat…

Presto:

View this post on Instagram

VOTE ✔️

A post shared by Niecy Nash (@niecynash1) on

If anyone said half the shit tRump has said…they would not have been elected either.

In other news:

Read through this next one…

I want to vomit:

I’m not crazy about the Lincoln Project, probably because of who is behind it…but this is a real good ad:

What do you think?

Have a good Sunday…


Lazy Caturday Reads: Trump In Trouble

Good Morning!!

Only a little more than 2 weeks to go until November 3!

Biden continues to lead Trump in the polls. In the latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, he Biden is ahead by 11 points among likely voters. At Vanity Fair, Bess Levin humorously summarizes the findings: Poll: Americans Think Donald Trump is a “Horrible” “Disgusting” “Putinesque” “Ass.” They additionally think he’s a “racist,” “despicable,” “corrupt,” “antichrist.”

Trump was able to win in 2016 with just 46% of voters casting a ballot in his favor because states key to the Electoral College backed him. But Biden is ahead in several crucial states, including Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, which helped Trump clinch the election four years ago. Not only has Biden maintained an advantage with Black, Latino, and women voters—which might have something to do with the fact that Trump is a flaming raollscist and misogynist—plus young voters, independents, and people who live in cities and suburbs, he is also leading the president with a heretofore unthinkable collection of individuals: white people.

Yes, Trump, who won white voters by 20 points in 2016, and has spent the last four years saying and doing things that have suggested there was a nonzero chance he might appear at a rally one day wearing a white sheet and burning a cross, is losing to Biden with his favorite demographic….

e311dc18f9055eeb652c4493bf95a51fAdditionally, 52% of likely voters view Trump’s presidency as a failure, which is generally not a great thing vis-à-vis winning an election. The bad news for the president comes on the heels of his white-power-embracing, lie-spewing, explosive-diarrhea-of-the-mouth debate performance earlier this month and his COVID-19 diagnosis. And it’s not the only thing the campaign should probably be worried about! On top of the cold, hard data, poll respondents were asked to describe the candidates using one word, and for Trump, the views are a positive sign, unless it’s considered a positive that Americans think he’s a pathetic jackass:

“For Trump, the word that stands out is ‘incompetent,’ while for Biden it is ‘honest.’

From the NPR article:

To be clear, both candidates have a range of words ascribed to them that are positive and negative.

For Trump, on the positive end, people said he is “good,” “great,” “successful” and “strong.” On the negative side, “incompetent” was overwhelmingly the most common word used, followed by “liar,” “failure,” “bad,” “horrible,” “disaster,” “arrogant” and “buffoon.”

The positives ascribed to Biden include, for example, “honest,” “confident,” “hopeful,” “good,” “trustworthy” and “compassionate.”

On the negative side, voters said: “old,” “confused,” “incompetent,” “senile” and “weak.”

Biden also beat Trump soundly in TV ratings of their competing town hall appearances on Thursday night. Vanity Fair: It’s Official: Biden Beats Trump in Town Hall Television Ratings.

Dr. Thomas’ Eclectric Oil was formulated by Dr. S. N. Thomas in the late 1840s. It contained spirits of turpentine, camphor, oil of tar, red thyme, and fish oil

Dr. Thomas’ Eclectric Oil was formulated by Dr. S. N. Thomas in the late 1840s. It contained spirits of turpentine, camphor, oil of tar, red thyme, and fish oil.

According to Nielsen numbers released Friday, the Biden event was watched by 13.9 million viewers on ABC, easily besting Trump’s NBC spectacle, which drew just 10.9 million viewers. The Trump event’s total viewership was dwarfed by Biden’s even though Trump’s was simulcast on CNBC and MSNBC: as CNN noted, the three networks combined for roughly 13 million viewers, a total that still lagged behind the Biden event.

Before Thursday night’s town hall with Trump aired on NBC—a last-minute decision that was broadly panned—outlets reported that the president was banking on a ratings windfall.

“He looks at this the same way he looks at attendance at his rallies versus the [turnout] Biden gets for his events,” an anonymous source told The Daily Beast this week. “He obviously wants to blow Biden out of the water.

But on Friday morning, in the wake of mockery for his performance, Trump received some surprising news: a Biden ratings lead in the preliminary numbers. Even then, it was expected that Trump would ultimately prevail, owing to the fact that NBC blanketed its cable networks with the president. Alas, that wasn’t the case—although Trump could still potentially claim victory, as the Nielsen numbers only account for television viewership and not online and streaming numbers. (As one reporter noted, however, Biden’s town hall did comfortably beat Trump’s event in viewership on YouTube.)

It’s not looking good for Trump, and he is clearly freaking out about it. In a rally in Macon, GA last night he said he might have to leave the country if he loses.

From the article:

At one point, Mr. Trump threatened to leave the country should he lose the election.

“Could you imagine if I lose?” he said. “I’m not going to feel so good. Maybe I’ll have to leave the country, I don’t know.”

Trailing in the polls and at a significant cash deficit compared to Mr. Biden, Mr. Trump attempted to argue that he was opting against raising more money as he enters the final stretch of the election.

7ba691e3487ddcefa6da51176d2d1c9a“I could raise more money,” he said. “I would be the world’s greatest fund-raiser, but I just don’t want to do it.”

Mr. Trump’s campaign announced this week that he had raised over $247 million last month, far short of the record $383 million raised by Mr. Biden’s campaign and affiliated Democratic committees.

The president also delivered a discursive monologue about what he cast as a choice to not be more presidential, an allusion to the chaotic style that has turned off suburban women, a group that helped boost Mr. Trump to victory four years ago.

“I used to go and I’d imitate a president who’s playing presidential — it’s so easy compared to what we do,” he said. “I said, ‘I can be more presidential than any president in our history with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln when he wore the hat, that’s tough to beat.’”

Mr. Trump acknowledged his losses in the suburbs, seeming to link his slide to his divisive style. Mr. Biden leads by 23 points among suburban women in battleground states, according to recent polling by The New York Times and Siena College. Among suburban men, the race is tied.

“Suburban women,” he said. “I heard they like my policy but they don’t like my personality. I said they don’t care about my personality, they want to be safe.”

I don’t think it’s just his personality that turns off women voters. It’s his actions and non-actions.

76b7e01e343198f80551b13039a37789Trump might actually try to leave the country if he loses, because he will face multiple criminal prosecutions. But that won’t save him from the millions he owes to someone, likely Deutsche Bank. The New York Times has a new article up based on Trump’s tax data: $421 Million in Debt: Trump Calls It ‘a Peanut,’ but Challenges Lie Ahead.

President Trump painted a rosy picture of his financial condition during a televised town hall on Thursday night, calling his hundreds of millions of dollars in debt coming due “a peanut” and saying he had borrowed it as a favor to lenders eager to take advantage of his financial strength.

In fact, the loans, and the unusual requirement he had to accept to receive them, illustrate the financial challenges he faces and the longstanding reluctance of banks to deal with him.

Mr. Trump had to personally guarantee $421 million in debt, a rare step that lenders only require of businesses that may not be able to repay. The commitment puts his assets on the line and could place his lenders, should he be re-elected, in the position of deciding whether to foreclose on a sitting president.

The personal guarantee also speaks to why, despite Mr. Trump’s assertion that banks are eager to lend him money, nearly all the money he borrowed in the last decade came from only two institutions.

“When a bank asks for a personal guarantee, it is because the bank isn’t satisfied with the creditworthiness of the borrower,” said Richard Scott Carnell, who served as assistant secretary for financial institutions at the Treasury Department under President Bill Clinton and now teaches law at Fordham University. “If the captain gives a personal guarantee for the ship, he will be less likely to sink it.”

Sheet music, 1876There are lots of articles today on the ridiculous New York Post/Rudy Giuliani story about Hunter Biden’s alleged emails. This one is by David Ignatius at The Washington Post: The truth behind the Hunter Biden non-scandal.

The story of Hunter Biden’s involvement with the Ukrainian gas company Burisma isn’t a scandal about his father, as the Trump campaign claims, but part of a personal tragedy for the vice president’s son, compounded by this week’s dissemination of what looks like disinformation about Joe Biden’s role.

What’s clear, beyond the false scandal-mongering, has been evident for years: Hunter Biden made a mistake getting involved with a dubious company like Burisma. But the notion that the Burisma affair undermines Joe Biden’s case to be president is, as he would say, malarkey.

The Biden campaign has been understandably reluctant to respond, for fear of giving the story legitimacy. Still, Biden has said his son made a mistake. Family friends say the vice president is reluctant to publicly criticize Hunter Biden further, but they stress that both Bidens have learned the painful lesson that a president’s children should stay away from international business. Would that the Trump family recognized that rule.

That’s really the point, isn’t it? I wonder why more news outlets don’t focus on Trump’s nepotism and the corrupt behavior of his children and son-in-law.

e0112888dc530ac522ef0f49d21a74a3The Hunter-Ukraine connection has been a political sideshow since the Biden campaign began. It got new voltage this week when the New York Post published what it claimed were emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop suggesting that he had helped arrange a 2015 meeting between his father and a Burisma executive. The Biden campaign denied any such meeting, and its accounts, based on recollections of multiple staff members, are believable. An Eastern European expert in digital forensics who has examined some of the Ukrainian documents leaked to the New York Post told me he found anomalies — such as American-style capitalization of the names of ministries — that suggest fakery.

Read more at the WaPo and at the following links:

AP: Biden email episode illustrates risk to Trump from Giuliani.

The Daily Beast: Bolton Warned His Staff To Stay Away From Russia-Aligned Rudy Giuliani.

NPR: Analysis: Questionable ‘N.Y. Post’ Scoop Driven by Ex-Hannity Producer, Giuliani.

The Daily Beast: Rudy: Only ‘50/50’ Chance I Worked With a ‘Russian Spy’ to Dig Dirt on Bidens.

One more before I wrap this up. Yesterday Judge Reggie Walton called Trump’s bluff on his tweeted order to declassify every document associated with the Russia investigation. The Washington Post: U.S. judge: Do Trump’s tweets or White House lawyers speak for president on declassifying entire Russia probe?

A federal judge rebuked the Justice Department and the White House Counsel’s Office on Friday for dismissing without explanation President Trump’s “emphatic and unambiguous” tweets ordering the declassification of all documents in the government’s probe of Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

“I have fully authorized the total Declassification of any & all documents pertaining to the single greatest political CRIME in American History, the Russia Hoax,” the president tweeted Oct. 6. “Likewise, the Hillary Clinton Email Scandal. No redactions!”

1883 posterTrump’s blanket statement came the day after he returned to the White House from three days of treatment for the novel coronavirus at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. The tweet has since created a headache for government lawyers in pending open-records lawsuits filed by news organizations seeking fuller disclosure of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report and investigative materials.

Associate Deputy Attorney General Bradley Weinsheimer maintained in a court filing Tuesday that the White House Counsel’s Office informed the Justice Department that notwithstanding the president’s statement, “there is no order requiring wholesale declassification or disclosure of documents at issue.”

The Judge wasn’t buying it.

At Friday’s hearing, however, Judge Reggie B. Walton of the U.S. District Court in D.C. expressed bafflement at the claim that President Trump’s words were not to be believed.

“I think the American public has a right to rely on what the president says his intention is,” Walton said.

“It seems to me when a president makes a clear, unambiguous statement of what his intention is, that I can’t rely on the White House Counsel’s Office saying, ‘Well, that was not his intent,’ ” the judge said in a hearing conducted by videoconference because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Walton directed the department by noon Tuesday to clarify with Trump or “an individual who has conferred directly with the president” whether Trump had intended to order the declassification and release of Mueller report materials without redaction. The judge cited the urgency of releasing as much information as possible in the remaining days before the election.

This could get interesting. I hope you all have a great weekend. Please stop by Sky Dancing if you have the time and inclination–we love to hear from you!


Election Fever Friday Reads

Ladies of the Night Otto Dix

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 Atlanticsays 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.”

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner “Portrait of Erna” 1915

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.

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Sitting Lady

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!

Presidential candidates Joe Biden and Donald Trump appeared in directly competing town halls on Thursday night, after the President dropped out of the second debate.

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.

George Grosz
The Poet Max Herrmann-Neisse
1927

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?

 


Sunday Reads: SuperSPREADER

No, that is not a link to The Onion:

In a series of phone calls, President Donald Trump floated a bizarre idea last week from his presidential suite at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center — he wanted to rip open his dress shirt after discharge to reveal a Superman symbol beneath, The New York Times reported Saturday.

He “wanted to appear frail at first,” people with knowledge of the conversations told the Times. But underneath his dress shirt, Trump would wear a Superman T-shirt, which he would reveal by ripping open the top layer of his clothing. He ultimately opted not to go ahead with the stunt. It wasn’t immediately clear why.

I think it is obvious, tRump is clearly crazy coo coo.

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A cartoon by @b_a_bourgeois. #NewYorkerCartoons

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Meanwhile…

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Looking real good RNC

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This seems like a poor choice of outfit

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👀

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Here are a few interesting items, non-political links:

This is a quick post, we have already seen a tornado warning tonight…also flash flood warnings, as the remaining parts of Delta pass over Northeast Georgia. I hope everyone takes care…this is an open thread.