Barr’s Voter Fraud Investigation Will Fizzle Like Durham’s But the Damage To Democracy Could Be Horrific
Donald Trump is bunkering in the White House, watching TV and binging on junk food. The wheels of government are frozen and no transition efforts are being made. The Secretary of State laughed when asked about it. Joe Biden can’t even get a copy of the intelligence briefings and Fox News has implemented a policy of not […]
The origins of this phrase are a bit murky, but it’s one I heard over and over again as a kid, growing up within a circle of Irish relatives, especially a grandfather, we called him Pappy, who would mutter it at the television as he listened to the evening news. My mother’s parents lived only one street over from us and they’d come each evening, usually around 5 o’clock, while we were eating dinner, to watch the evening news with us. Pappy was disdainful of television, the physical box, not the products of it, but even as a little kid I just knew it had to do only with money. As in, he was simply too darned cheap to spring for a TV; why do so when he had ours to watch each night? Grandma would first drop a chocolate drop or two into my brother’s and my lap as we ate dinner while Pappy headed to the living room and the TV set, turned it on, low enough not to disturb my mother, whose ironclad rule was no television while we ate, and then he’d plunk himself down at the end of the couch closest to the set because he was hard of hearing. He’d already snagged the evening newspaper, which irked my Dad no end because he hadn’t had a chance to read it and Pappy was notorious for crinkling and crunching and folding it to screaming, and then he’d watch, listen and read all at the same time every bit of the news he could fit in during the few hours they’d visit with us. And he’d mutter over and over again as he read and listened, “Aw hell, that’s a hiding to nowhere.” Meaning what nonsense. No purpose to it; no truth; just BS, dead ends, no solutions. Foolishness. Dumbness. I’ve been thinking a good bit about Pappy of late as I feel, along with the rest of you, inundated with the BS lies and deflections that pass for our news these days. Or, as Rachel Maddow says far too often now, “It’s another day that ends with Y, so another news dump.” More crap, more craziness, more nonsense. Which brings me to the purpose for this piece: there is so much coming at us every damned day, and along with you, I’m busy, have a lot to do, but know it is imperative that I pay attention to what is going on now. Never have I felt as I do currently that our democracy depends on all of us paying attention. In no special order, here are some of the stories or snippets of same that you may have seen or heard; or given how much there is, you may have missed some of them: This first one just may be as nuts as it can get: The grand and glorious governor of Nebraska, the not so honorable Pete Ricketts, has declared that the folks in charge of running the little courthouse in Dakota County, Nebraska, tucked up there in the far Eastern corner of the state, close by South Dakota and the meat packing plants in both states, cannot demand that those citizens coming to their courthouse wear masks. Or, well, they can go ahead and make this demand. But—give up any and all […]
Atlantis didn’t sink overnight. If you believe the legend at all, it supposedly took a few thousand years of steadily worsening earthquakes before the big one hit. The Trump reelection campaign knows what seismic setbacks are, as well. Each week they tremble as the new polls come out and they’re progressively worse. And as we get closer to Election Day, the polls will be taking the temperature of the electorate more often still. In their latest effort to regain lost ground, Team Trump ordered campaign ads to run in Iowa, a state which Trump took with nine points in 2016. Chuck Grassley was elected by a margin of 24 points and even he is calling it a battleground state, and Joni Ernst is getting a few more gray hairs. Des Moines Register: The poll of 674 likely voters in November, conducted June 7-10, showed Republican President Trump leading former Vice President Joe Biden by just 1 percentage point, 44% to 43%. It showed Democrat Theresa Greenfield leading Republican U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst 46% to 43%. And it showed Iowans prefer a Democrat over a Republican in three of four congressional districts. The results for the presidential and U.S. Senate races were close enough to fall within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points. “I don’t think anybody could look at these data and say Iowa is not in play,” said J. Ann Selzer, president of Selzer & Co., the firm that conducted the poll. Chuck Grassley is very worried. He was the one begging somebody to read the recent vitriolic Wall Street Journal editorial board piece to Trump, in hopes that Trump would “follow the instructions.” Although Trump marked a solid win in 2016, Grassley noted that George W. Bush in 2004 is the only other Republican to have carried the state [of Iowa] in a presidential contest since Ronald Reagan in 1984. Writing off Democrats after 2016 would have been a mistake, he said. Ergo, Trump’s reelection campaign, headed by Jared Kushner, is airing advertising in Iowa and they’ve dispensed Mike Pence to go down and save the bacon. Good luck with that. And meanwhile, back in Washington, all is not well between Trump and Jared. Trump went on record saying that he regretted taking Kushner’s advice on prison reform. That was the single feather in Kushner’s cap and now it’s gone. That reduces Kushner’s wins to absolutely zero. By Kushnerian logic, the First Step Act was supposed to win Trump the black vote — or at least more black votes than Trump was bleeding elsewhere. That formula doesn’t seem to be working so well, when a poll last week said 88% of black voters thought Trump only escalated racial tensions after George Floyd’s murder. This statistic only shows how ludicrously Kushner had framed the issue, let alone the solution and we must say, it is surprising that it’s taken Trump this long to get woke to Jared. After all, Jared started out phuquing up early in the game, when he advised his father-in-law to fire James Comey, (with Steve Bannon screaming “no” in the background.) That was followed by his advice to hire Anthony Scaramucci, to back Luther Strange in the Alabama primary, (Bannon screaming in background again, as he supported Roy Moore;) to replace Pence with Nikki Haley, (that piece […]
You well remember waking up on 11/09, if you went to sleep at all, and finding yourself down the rabbit hole with the rest of us. The election of Donald Trump knocked the political world off its axis and nothing has been the same. Night became day, black is white, up is down. So it should come as no shock to you that in contravention of the laws of political physics, Trump seeks a second term and of course he doesn’t have any plan or policy to share with us. Why would he? This is all about staying out of jail and staying on TV. Trump has an ego the size of a gas-giant planet and this is all about juicing that ego. He didn’t run for the job, he ran for the attention. He hates the freaking job. Windsor Mann, The Bulwark: Trump is not interested in the actual job of the presidency. He’s interested in the attention the presidency affords him. After his election, he discovered that running for president was easier and more fun than being president. Which is why he continued to hold campaign rallies even after he was elected. He wasn’t campaigning for anything. He just liked hearing crowds screaming his name. Unlike most politicians, who campaign in order to govern, Trump campaigns as a way to avoid governing. […] Instead of holding rallies for the purpose of getting elected, Trump wants to get elected so he can keep having rallies. […] Trump cares more about his Twitter account than people’s lives. It took him months to respond to the pandemic and a few weeks to be bored by it. Yet, two days after Twitter flagged two of his tweets, Trump signed an executive order targeting social media companies and said he would shut down Twitter if he could. Instead of using Twitter to advance his political agenda, Trump uses the presidency to advance his Twitter agenda. And don’t believe that he’s going to resign. Not unless Vladimir signs off on it, and I wouldn’t make book on that. No, he’s going down in flames via the same media that got him where he got in the first place. Except the second time around is a whole lot different than the first. Right now Trump is depending on the base, Diamond and Silk, and the big brain on Brad Parscale and his Death Star to bring the bacon home. Rick Wilson, Daily Beast: Trump’s 2016 effort could afford to be a shambolic circus; nothing was on the line. He never expected to win and so the rotating cast of campaign managers didn’t really matter. Now, the fear is rising that the bet on a base-only election isn’t playing out. For Jared and Brad, the vultures are circling the Trump effort, from Karl Rove and his merry band to the Ike Turner of Trump world, Corey Lewandowski. Steve Bannon and pro-am baby daddy Jason Miller are back in the loop. Trump got the band back together, but it feels more like a Team of Yokos than a working unit. They seem to spend the majority of their time talking shit about each other rather than running a campaign. You love to see it. […] But for all this pain, and for all his rising fear, Trump will never […]
It’s no secret that Donald Trump lives for nothing but reelection. While that may seem to be a no-brainer, bear in mind that Trump needs to be reelected not only for all the standard reasons, money, reputation, ego, continuing his agenda; Trump needs to be reelected to stay out of prison. British Journalist Edward Luce was on Morning Joe Thursday morning and he said Trump’s “back is very much to the wall.” “He has no idea how to speak to the protests, he has no idea how to unify the nation, he has no idea how to handle the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing, he has no idea how to handle this pandemic.” Luce explains Trump’s ineptitude in handling this lethal confluence of factors by framing it in a manner with which you are quite familiar — to Trump this is all a television show. Financial Times: What is the point of all this? The key is to view these images through the lens of reality television. Mr Trump wants Americans to believe that the White House is threatened by domestic terrorists, arsonists, thugs, looters and killers — words he has used frequently in the past few days. US stability is under threat, he claims. The president’s life, and those of decent law-abiding Americans, are threatened by the extremists on the streets. That is the gist of Mr Trump’s message. But it requires a visual backdrop. Hence the hyped-up situation in Washington. A more sober assessment is that Mr Trump’s poll numbers are dropping. He is faced with the triple cocktail of a badly-managed pandemic, the worst economic contraction since the Great Depression and an inability to quell the legitimate anger behind America’s demonstrations. The article goes on to say that Trump has no political instincts, only optical ones. What we are to draw from this moment in time is that from now on and for the next five months, Trump will stop at nothing to simulate reality in such a manner that he can stoke fear and raise tensions to the boiling point, so that he can then appear to come in and solve the situation. This is a standard Trump M.O. the manufactured crisis. The sublime irony here is that we have real crises, which are tanking us right now, and which Trump is unable to comprehend, let alone solve. To him it’s all play acting and manipulation, with our nation’s capitol as the stage and with real people suffering and dying. The Trump administration itself is dying. Luce went on to point out that “Trump’s polls are cratering” and he said, “I’ve lived in many democracies, including America. I know a dying administration when I see one.” Meanwhile, as we speak, troops on buses drive into D.C. so that the day’s reality TV shoot can start. Let the games begin. This is all political theater to Trump right now, in a desperate gambit to stay out of court and avoid the inevitable. And he cares not a jot what the cost is to America, of that you may be certain.
Last week Priorities USA issued a stellar ad (see below) compiling notable Trump quotes and lies about the coronavirus. The ad hit such a nerve that Trump immediately had a lawyer write a cease and desist letter to broadcasters, and he threatened to revoke networks’ licenses. Now, here’s the latest salvo in this particular theater of the cultural war, an attack ad on Joe Biden, featuring doctored audio. The media is giving a pass to a pro-Biden TV ad that doctors and deceptively edits audio of President Trump, even though every independent fact checker said President Trump DID NOT call the coronavirus a hoax. Joe Biden, on the other hand? This sounds authentic… pic.twitter.com/YY6vN5gTM6 — Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) April 2, 2020 The ad is done in retaliation and to see if Twitter will enforce its manipulated media standards on both sides. The campaign feels that Twitter is pro-Biden and will only enforce the standard against the Trump campaign. The Hill: “Twitter has so far effectively instituted a ‘Biden protection rule,’ refusing to apply their manipulated media label to video and audio of President Trump that every independent fact checker says is false,” a Trump campaign official said. “This tweet forces the issue and makes Twitter decide. It can enforce its arbitrary rules fairly and equally, or it can have its policy exposed as totally ineffective or a partisan sham. It’s their move.” […] Several videos promoted by Democrats, including the Priorities USA ad, have been viewed millions of times and feature audio of Trump saying: “The coronavirus, this is their new hoax.” Fact-checkers at The Washington Post, Snopes, PolitiFact and FacCheck.org have determined that it is false to claim that Trump called the virus a hoax. Rather, he used the term while talking about Democratic efforts to politicize the virus. Trump’s full quote was: “Coronavirus. They’re politicizing it. We did one of the great jobs, you say, ‘How’s President Trump doing?’ ‘Oh, nothing, nothing.’ They have no clue, they don’t have any clue. … And this is their new hoax. But you know, we did something that’s been pretty amazing.” Ugly is as ugly does and this is totally in line with who Trump is and how his campaign has been run so far. The only way they know how to win is by cheating or voter suppression. The 2020 campaign is going to be down and dirty, like nothing we’ve ever seen. It will make the 2016 campaign look genteel by comparison. Here’s last week’s video that got Trump threatening lawsuits, if you missed it. Trump refused to take the threat of the coronavirus seriously, now he won’t take responsibility as his administration has been totally unprepared for this crisis. pic.twitter.com/Jdh1GY9HHS — Priorities USA (@prioritiesUSA) March 23, 2020
Donald Trump congratulated himself Saturday on strong economic indicators continuing, which he believes will handily carry him into a second term of office. Our Country is the envy of the World. Thank you, Mr. President! https://t.co/2h8mvu16YX — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 6, 2019 You may recall Larry Kudlow admitting to Chris Wallace on Fox […]
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