The radically liberal Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y) called on lawmakers to stop “asking if white supremacy in policing exists” and to instead accept that it does. She also wants them to focus on determining just how big of a problem white supremacy in policing is going forward.
Ocasio-Cortez Speaks Out On Policing
Ocasio-Cortez made these comments during a House Oversight and Reform hearing that was meant to focus on what the left described as the “pervasive” problem of white supremacists infiltrating the police departments in America. Law enforcement officers, legal experts, and even one former neo-Nazi testified about their personal experiences with racist police officers.
Later in the hearing, Ocasio-Cortez was given the chance to speak, and she used her time to suggest that “far too much of the discussion around the issue of white supremacist infiltration of policing focuses on whether this problem exists.”
“We have known for generations that it’s not a question about whether this problem is an issue, it’s a matter of how we have allowed it to sustain for so long,” she said. “Congress, as well, has been complicit, and our silence has allowed for more violence and continued generational trauma in our communities.”
“We have to stop asking if white supremacy in policing exists and I think we need to start figuring out how we can better determine the scale of this problem,” she added.
Rep. @AOC: "We have to stop asking IF white supremacy in policing exists and I think we need to start figuring out how we can better determine the scale of this problem." pic.twitter.com/hFxz8uvGNB
This just goes to show that the level of hatred that Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow Democrats have for police has become so great that they see it as a foregone conclusion that police departments are “racist.”
It’s rhetoric like this from lawmakers like Ocasio-Cortez as well as from members of the media that have endangered the lives of American police officers all over the country like never before.
It should be noted that the FBI was asked to testify in the hearing, but refused. Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) said “they have nothing to say because they have no evidence that this is a widespread problem demanding the FBI’s attention.”
Donald Trump is losing, and any bad news for him doesn’t help him win. As with most Tuesday night events, the Wednesday morning roundup is a few hours too soon for pundits to really weigh in. But you all get to comment!!
Undecided voters call Trump ‘unhinged’ and ‘un-American’ — but unswayed by debate
Snapshots from a Frank Luntz focus group.
Despite their indecisiveness, most described Trump in a negative light, including one of the participants who was leaning toward voting for the president. The voters characterized Trump as “unhinged,” “arrogant,” “forceful”, a “bully,” “chaotic” and “un-American.”
When asked to describe Biden they offered: “better than expected,” “politician,” “compassion,” “coherent,” and a “nice guy lacking vision.”
So, Susan Collins, did Trump learn his lesson from impeachment? No he did not. That’s why you and your fellow Republican enablers need to go. And that’s why the Republicans are losing, and losing badly.
I just don’t think it was a dumpster fire or shit show. It was a frontal assault on our political system.
Biden campaign thinks calling out Trump for trying to steal the election is counterproductive. Biden instead repeatedly told viewers that their votes would count & that Trump couldn’t stop/change the result. They may be right that it’s more likely to deter turnout than persuade
Trump-Biden presidential debate in Cleveland: Once is enough. Please make it stop.
Joe Biden delivered two messages: He's not senile and he will return America to normal. Enuf said.
The Commission on Presidential Debates should cancel the second and third debates scheduled for President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. To hold them would be sadistic. Americans don’t deserve this. Biden didn’t deserve it and neither did the moderator, Chris Wallace.
Trump is uncontrollable and cruel and unpatriotic. He made clear in his closing argument that any election he doesn’t win is rigged and fraudulent. His claims had no basis but may have been enough to scare some people off voting in what used to be the world’s exemplary democracy.
We’ll wait on more comment, though the national outlets will have plenty as the day goes on. We don’t need another debate.
No hyperbole: The incumbent’s behavior this evening is the lowest moment in the history of the presidency since Andrew Johnson’s racist state papers.
Early surge of Democratic mail voting sparks worry inside GOP
Of the more than 9 million voters who requested mail ballots through Monday in Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Maine and Iowa, the five battleground states where such data is publicly available, 52 percent were Democrats. Twenty-eight percent were Republicans, and 20 percent were unaffiliated…
Even more alarming to some Republicans, Democrats are also returning their ballots at higher rates than GOP voters in two of those states where that information is available: Florida and North Carolina...
The margins are “stunning” — and bad news for Republicans up and down the ballot, said longtime GOP pollster Whit Ayres. While the Republican Party is focused on getting voters out on Election Day, he noted that older voters who have traditionally supported Republicans are most concerned about being infected with the novel coronavirus and could choose to stay home if the outbreak intensifies as the election near
People love it when Trump talks over people and makes insults, it's why he's up 7 points in polls.
Here's the thing: the really hardcore Trump supporters don't understand that he's losing. They live in a disinfo bubble and have no clue. (I've spoken to a couple in person and they think he'll win like 48 states). Weird situation.
Ok, that was the debate. Trump did a great job of reinforcing his negatives.
Meanwhile, when Frank asks everyone to associate a word or phrase with Biden, the vast majority are positive in nature.... and several people say Biden was much sharper than they expected him to be, exceeded expectations, etc (brilliant work by Team Trump w/ the senile strategy)
‘We’ll stop the bleeding’: Democrats spot erosion of Trump’s rural dominance
Terri Mitko is sure there are former supporters of President Donald Trump who aren’t going to be voting for him again, because she lives with one: Her husband.
“There was a whole ‘I don’t want to vote for Hillary’ contingent. And Hillary’s not running this time,” says Mitko, an attorney and chairwoman of the Beaver County Democratic Party. “Trump was a breath of fresh air and had this schtick going about draining the swamp. ... Well, now we’re onto him.”
Why did the president knowingly mislead America about the coronavirus threat?
Biden leads by enough to withstand a polling misfire.New Pennsylvania polls give Biden a significant lead.
For the first time since we started our poll tracker several weeks ago, Joe Biden leads by enough to withstand a repeat of the polling error in 2016.
More than 100,000 votes have already been cast in Minnesota. Based on modeled party ID, Dems account for 46% of all votes cast, 29% GOP, 25% Ind. Dems have a 26% lead among voters who didn't cast a ballot in '16. 45% of these Dems are under the age of 35.
Former aides say that in private, the president has spoken with cynicism and contempt about believers.
“They’re all hustlers,” Trump said.
The president’s alliance with religious conservatives has long been premised on the contention that he takes them seriously, while Democrats hold them in disdain. In speeches and interviews, Trump routinely lavishes praise on conservative Christians, casting himself as their champion. “My administration will never stop fighting for Americans of faith,” he declared at a rally for evangelicals earlier this year. It’s a message his campaign will seek to amplify in the coming weeks as Republicans work to confirm Amy Coney Barrett—a devout, conservative Catholic—to the Supreme Court.
He has no depth. It's impossible to come up with any new insights about him. So what happens when politics is crucially important, but there is little original to say? https://t.co/xJf83iNNOH
CDC’s credibility is eroded by internal blunders and external attacks as coronavirus vaccine campaigns loom
For decades, the agency stood at the forefront of fighting disease outbreaks. This time, it’s dealing with a crisis of its own.
The CDC had been preparing for decades for this moment — the arrival of a virus rampaging across the planet, inflicting widespread death and suffering.
But 2020 has been a disaster for the CDC.
The agency’s response to the worst public health crisis in a century — the coronavirus pandemic — has been marked by technical blunders and botched messaging. The agency has endured false accusations and interference by Trump administration political appointees. Worst of all, the CDC has experienced a loss of institutional credibility at a time when the nation desperately needs to know whom to trust.
This harsh assessment does not come from political or ideological enemies of the CDC. It comes from the agency’s friends and supporters — and even from some of the professionals within the agency’s Atlanta headquarters.
“Since late February, the CDC has lost massive amounts of credibility,” said Jody Lanard, a physician who worked for nearly two decades as a pandemic communications adviser consulting with the World Health Organization.
How could it be possible that a conscienceless, remorseless narcissistic psychopath who thinks only of himself, locked children in cages, doesn't care whether Americans die of a deadly disease, and publicly attacked Pope Francis, could hold religious people in such low regard? https://t.co/IJLHLcer1C
Trump tax returns are not just good for gossip. Here are 3 reasons voters should care.
Trump didn't want us to know what was in his returns. Was he honest with the IRS? Did hiding information make him a security risk? Is he fit to lead?
A common trick that tax-evading business owners use is to have the business buy things for them directly, and then not report the purchase as income for the owner. In my time as a federal prosecutor, I saw small businesses pay for their owners’ “home office” renovation — actually a lavish kitchen remodel — or for “compensation” for love interests of the owner that were actually just big gifts.
So when we read that the president claimed deductions for hair styling, private jets and big parties at his home, we are seeing behavior typical of expenditures investigators see in tax-evading family businesses. Sometimes these expenses are legitimate. No, you can’t deduct your hair stylist expenses. But for many questionable business expenses, an IRS auditor would have to give the taxpayer a chance to prove that, say, his mansion really is an investment property, not a playground for his adult children.
.@usatodayopinion editorial: Trump routinely overspends, miscalculates and mismanages. His skills as a strategic thinker are nonexistent. OTOH ... He excels in tax avoidance, walking out on debts, self-promotion and playing a successful businessman on TV. https://t.co/CNcnFR1CsY
President Trump attacked Democratic rival Joe Biden during the first presidential debate Tuesday night by going after his son Hunter Biden's work in Ukraine, leaning into an issue that led to Trump's impeachment in an attempt to get under the former...
A top Republican, Rep. Kevin Brady, is calling for an investigation into the source behind the New York Times’ access to President Trump’s tax documents.
Brady (R-TX) is the ranking Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee.
He states there is a possibility that “a felony crime was committed by releasing the private tax return information” of the President.
“To ensure every American is protected against the illegal release of their tax returns for political reasons, I am calling for an investigation of the source and to prosecute if the law was broken,” Brady announced.
A felony crime was possibly committed by illegally releasing the private tax returns of #PresidentTrump.
So every American remains protected against the illegal release of their tax returns for political reasons, I call for an investigation.https://t.co/3vvgJZaYj3
Brady Wants New York Times Source For Trump’s Tax Documents Investigated
Brady’s focus is on how the New York Times was able to obtain the President’s tax information.
“While many critics question the article’s accuracy, equally troubling is the prospect that a felony crime was committed by releasing the private tax return information of an individual – in this case the President’s,” Brady said.
Congressional Democrats’ have relentlessly pursued Trump’s tax records, while the President has kept them guarded, even fighting their release against Democratic Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.
Other Congressional Republicans joined the call for an investigation.
Scalise, GOP House Minority Whip, meanwhile, slammed Democrats for ignoring the potential criminality behind the leak of Trump’s tax information.
“The headlines are always the thing that are out there driving the story regardless of the truth and here somebody clearly must have broken the law, but they [Democrats] don’t care about that,” he charged.
Scalise went on to note all of the other Democrat attempts to bring down President Trump.
The left, he contends, “has been the party of hoaxes, Russia collusion, impeachment, tax returns since 2016 … because they have no agenda.”
The revelation, per Sunday's New York Times report, that President Trump paid little to no federal income tax in recent years will redirect the conversation at Tuesday night's general election debate. But will it redirect any meaningful number of votes?I suspect not, not even among the president's most reluctant supporters.In broad strokes, there are two reasons to vote for Trump in 2020: liking who he is or liking what (you think) he'll do. This is an artificial separation of two rationales that often overlap, but let's call them the personality voter and the transactional voter.The personality voter likes how crude and cunning Trump is. She proudly brands herself "a deplorable" in reference to Hillary Clinton's infamous 2016 remark. She thinks it's funny when Trump riles his enemies, who, not coincidentally, are her enemies, too. This strain of Trump support tends to have a strong populist flavor, where supporting Trump gives "a collective middle finger" to political and cultural elites this voter despises and whom she believes despise her in turn.For the personality voter, Trump's ability to avoid paying income taxes is untroubling. It's far from the first violation of establishment norms she has vicariously enjoyed through her candidate. If anything, she agrees, as he said at a 2016 debate with Clinton, that successful tax avoidance "makes [him] smart." The populist hypocrisy Trump's critics see here won't register.Personality isn't necessarily relevant for the transactional voter, our second type. In some cases, Trump's personality helps him deliver on his side of the transaction. If the thing a voter wants from Trump is to own the libs, for example, his personality is an asset. But if the thing desired involves a policy or program, Trump's personality might be immaterial or actually detrimental. Many purely transactional voters would willingly — maybe far more willingly — vote for any candidate who would do what they want Trump to do. Their vote isn't for Trump qua Trump but for Trump qua the candidate they think is most likely to provide what they want."I voted for the Supreme Court. I didn't want to vote for Trump," an archetypal transactional Trump voter named Jim George told The Washington Post in 2017. "With Trump, you just hold your nose."A transactional Trump voter in 2020 is already holding his nose too firmly to catch a whiff of these tax returns. If he's decided everything Trump has said and done over the past four years does not tip the scales against whatever good he believes will come from re-electing the president, the tax story won't do it, either. It definitely won't turn him into a Joe Biden voter, and I'm skeptical that it could even keep him home, because Trump's personal life is irrelevant to his provision of whatever benefit(s) is anticipated.The transactional voter is already under contract. He's had ample time to inspect Trump, and he didn't find anything that made him want to back out of the deal.There is one scenario in which that arrangement might fall through, and that's if Trump's personal financial circumstances rendered him unable to hold up his end of the imagined bargain. But how would that happen? Or rather, how would the transactional voter become convinced it had happened were he satisfied with Trump's performance to date?The Times reported Trump has hundreds of millions of dollars in debt for which he is personally liable coming due over the next four years, possibly including around $100 million owed to the IRS should the agency decide a large tax rebate was improperly obtained. These are staggering numbers for us little people to contemplate, but if he holds onto the presidency, Trump is expected simply to obtain extensions on his loans and use his office however he can to mitigate his personal financial catastrophe. It would be an enormous debacle, very possibly leading to another impeachment or special counsel investigation and distracting the president from whatever his part of the transaction is supposed to be.Well, so what? Trump's first four years have had an enormous debacle every week, and an impeachment and special counsel investigation, too. Trump accomplished relatively little of his policy promises, certainly none of the headlines. The wall is not built; the swamp is not drained; not a single one of the "endless wars" is ended; the American steel industry did not come roaring back to life. Trump's most significant fulfilled promise — nominating conservative justices to the Supreme Court — was the one over which he arguably had the least influence: He could not know whether or when there would be a vacancy, and he was undoubtedly responsible for few, if any, of the names on his shortlist.If this level of distraction and failure is acceptable to the transactional voter, a second-term Trump fighting foreclosure and the IRS is too.More stories from theweek.com Trump reportedly made tens of millions in the Great Recession by partnering with multilevel marketing companies The bigger truth revealed by Trump's taxes 'Sully' Sullenberger savages Trump's 'lethal lies and incompetence' in new Lincoln Project ad
Presidential candidates to face off for first time in Cleveland and for Biden no news would be good newsAfter months of anticipation, Donald Trump and election rival Joe Biden were scheduled to meet on a debate stage for the first time in Cleveland on Tuesday night, in what could be Trump’s last best chance to turn the presidential race his way and win re-election.Suffering from weeks of negative revelations in the news and terrible poll numbers, Trump needs a big score at the first presidential debate to shift the national conversation away from the sputtering economy, the coronavirus pandemic and his staggering tax avoidance, analysts say.Those factors could see a performance by Trump that is even more aggressive than usual.“Trump will go after Biden hard, to deflect attention away from his own troubles, including the reports on his tax evasion and business failures,” said Brad Bannon, a Washington-based Democratic strategist. “Much of Biden’s support is based on his calm demeanor, which contrasts well with the president’s erratic personality.“So, it’s important for Biden to respond to Trump without losing his cool, and smile while he surgically cuts the president down to size.”Advisers to Biden, meanwhile, say that a great debate result for the Democratic candidate would be for not much to happen at all. The challenge as they see it is for Biden to appear steady and draw a contrast with Trump – and to resist being drawn into a mudfight.Biden himself appears to recognize the dangers of meeting Trump on his preferred turf of insult and mockery.“I hope I don’t get baited into a brawl with this guy, because that’s the only place he’s comfortable,” Biden told donors at a fundraiser in Delaware earlier this month. “This is a guy who is absolutely tasteless. Completely tasteless. So pointing it out doesn’t do much.”The presidential election on 3 November is only 35 days away, and early in-person voting is under way already, while about 10m mail-in ballots have been sent out across the country – a record brought about by the coronavirus crisis.The conventional wisdom about presidential debates is that they do not move the race much – except when they do. Former vice-president Al Gore was dinged for sighing through his first debate in 2000 with George W Bush. An underprepared outing by Barack Obama against Mitt Romney in their first debate of 2012 breathed new life into the challenger’s campaign.But the stakes around the first debate of the 2020 cycle may be unique. The race has proven historically stable throughout the year, according to polling analysts, and big campaign moments including the national conventions and Biden’s selection of Kamala Harris as a running mate do not appear to have moved the needle.For weeks, the Trump campaign has been touting the debate as the moment that would at last alter the race, regaling donors with a fantasy of a quick-witted Trump running circles around a somnolent Biden.Trump went so far at the weekend as to demand a “drug test” before the debate of Biden, whom Trump has baselessly accused of taking “performance enhancing drugs”.Biden laughed off the suggestion, but his campaign issued a lacerating response.“Vice-President Biden intends to deliver his debate answers in words,” a Biden spokeswoman told Politico. “If the president thinks his best case is made in urine, he can have at it.”Biden and Trump are scheduled to participate in three debates total. The 90-minute opener in the series will be held at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and be moderated by the Fox News host Chris Wallace, who has proven in the past to be a tough interviewer of the president.On Monday, Wallace said he hoped to be “as invisible as possible” onstage. “If I’ve done my job right, at the end of the night, people will say, ‘That was a great debate, who was the moderator?’” Wallace told Fox.Wallace has picked six subjects for the night: the candidates’ records in office; the supreme court; Covid-19; the economy; “race and violence in our cities”; and the integrity of the election.But a bombshell New York Times report at the weekend showing that Trump paid zero federal taxes in 10 of the last 15 years, and that Trump has hundreds of millions in mysterious debt coming due, could be one of many topics that upend the planned proceedings.Biden is expected to highlight how much of Trump’s wealth was inherited, and to draw a contrast between Scranton, Pennsylvania, where Biden grew up, and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, the site of Trump’s most famous golden tower.Biden might also underscore the dangers of a president who denies climate change by pointing to the ongoing wildfire crisis in the west. Facing new sexual assault allegations himself, Trump could seek to revive allegations against Biden.Trump has already signaled that Biden’s family is fair game, with sustained attacks on his son Hunter Biden, whose relationships in Ukraine Republicans tried to use to muddle the impeachment inquiry.But Trump appears to need more political mileage out of the debate than the brief bump that a few sharply delivered attacks might deliver.More than winning an argument, strategists say, the debates are about making an impression on viewers that could nudge a crucial few into one camp or the other.“Trump needs a Biden collapse,” the Republican political consultant Mike Murphy, a frequent Trump critic, said on his podcast. “Because Trump needs something to happen on the 29th that gives him the whole month to work with.”
House Democrats started off the 2020 cycle looking to protect roughly four dozen vulnerable members, including 30 whose districts voted for President Donald Trump four years ago.
Now as they enter the final month, Democrats are scaling back defensive spending and funneling their remaining millions to knock out vulnerable Republicans and expand their 34-seat majority, according to a POLITICO review of recent advertising data.
The Democrats’ media-buying strategy in the last weeks of the campaign offers perhapsthe clearest portrait yet of the party’s confidence in protecting their toughest House seats, and cementing the GOP’s minority status for years to come. Two years after flipping 43 seats, national Democrats are playing just as much offense as it is defense — a surprising turn of events in a cycle when their most endangered members once dreaded the thought of sharing a ballot with Trump.
“I have had conversations in the last week that I would not think was possible,” said Rep. Ann Kuster (D-N.H.), who has been heavily involved with Democratic recruiting and campaigning in recent cycles.
“We have a shot at winning in Alaska, we have a shot at winning in Montana,” Kuster said.
In a signof their growing optimism, Democrats canceled millions of October TV reservations for lawmakers like Reps. Jared Golden in Maine or Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania — in two districts that Trump had won by about 10 points in 2016. And party officials also nixed ad time in a pair of purple Michigan districts belonging to freshman Reps. Haley Stevens and Elissa Slotkin, which Trump also won in the last presidential election.
Now Democrats are pouring that cash into capturing red seats — in Michigan, Colorado, Montana and Alaska — that the party hadn’t been eyeing until late in the election cycle as Trump sagged in the polls and GOP campaigns entered crisis mode.
The NRCC, the House Republicans campaign arm, declined to comment.
Overall, Democratic groups are providing air cover to protect roughly two dozen of their members and running offensive TV ads in about as many GOP-held districts from the third week of September through the first week of October, according to an analysis of data by from the ad-tracking firm Advertising Analytics.
At the same time, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is sitting on nearly $105 million and armed with polling that shows Democrats ahead in districts that the president carried handily in 2016.
“It’s a combination of a lot of things,” DCCC Chair Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) said in a brief interview, stressing that party officials began early with recruitment and on-the-ground staff in battleground districts. “We’re raising money like it’s falling from the sky.”
But Bustos also said that having Joe Biden at the top of the ticket for Democrats makes a difference in winning the kind of seats, as well as electoral votes, needed for an all-around victory in November. Recent polling shows Biden ahead by an average of about 7 points.
“Joe Biden is viewed as a guy who can sell in rural America,” Bustos said. “We probably won’t win a lot of these small towns, but you've got to be able to pick up enough votes where it adds up, and we can win these races. And that’s how Joe Biden is going to win these races, too.”
Democratic lawmakers and party officials insist they’re not making any assumptions in 2020, working aggressively to protect their endangered incumbents, particularly in Trump country.
But they also acknowledge that Republicans’ recruitment failures have shored up their incumbents and saved them millions of dollars. Members in swing districts, like Rep. Antonio Delgado (D-N.Y.), Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.) and Josh Harder (D-Calif.) are in such strong shape that the DCCC and House Majority PAC, Democrats’ chief congressional outside group, aren’t airing any TV ads to help them.
And they realize that the GOP’s dismal showing, as well as Biden’s consistently strong polling, has helped stretched the map into Arizona, Texas and North Carolina — unlike four years ago, when a less popular Hillary Clinton was seen as a drag in some House races.
“Not only are people feeling good about Biden, he’s up in a lot of places where Hillary wasn’t. He’s not toxic to voters,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said.
“They may not be enthusiastically supporting him, they may even support Trump, but they don’t have malevolent feelings about Biden. That’s tremendously helpful because you don’t have the drag on our down-ballot races when the person is, not only going to the polls and voting for Trump, but they hate the guts of our candidate,” said Wasserman Schultz, a former chair of the Democratic National Committee.
Democrats are so confident heading into November that Speaker Nancy Pelosi has begun eyeing more elaborate math that goes beyond her majority in the House — specifically, looking at the party breakdown of state delegations in the unlikely event that the House would need to decide the election this fall. Pelosi has been looking specifically at states like Alaska or Montana, where a single win could hand Democrats control of the delegation.
Swing-district Democrats, particularly freshmen, are entering the final month of the election better positioned than they ever could have expected a year ago.
Just before the pandemic, endangered Democrats’ biggest threats would have likely involved GOP attack ads on the subject of impeachment, the Green New Deal or Medicare for All.
But the coronavirus pandemic and economic fallout upended this year’s narrative, making health care — once again — the biggest issue of the 2020 campaign.
Virtual town hall events for the most endangered Democrats now focus squarely on the health crisis and its battering of the economy, a far cry from a year ago, when question-and-answer sessions at lawmakers' events were more likely to draw attacks against self-described socialists within the Democratic party, than present real questions about health care access.
Another seismic political event last week — the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the abrupt threats to the Affordable Care Act and abortion rights — only further solidified health care as Democrats’ biggest selling point in the final weeks.
Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Florida, who won a swing seat in 2016 and has gone on to help other moderate Democrats win in Trump country, said strong polling of Democrats, including Biden, does help incumbents breathe a sigh of relief.
“Unlike in other races, you don’t see Democrats running away from the top of the ticket as you might in other campaigns," she said. "Certainly, that’s probably easier than having to run as a Democrat, running away from your top of your ticket.
But she also cautioned that polling — on both the state and district level — didn’t guarantee a win for Democrats if they can’t also deliver the votes.
“I really don't know any pollster who has a good handle of what turnout is going to look like in a pandemic. So I think everybody really needs to keep running through the tape as hard as they can, irrespective of what the polls say,” Murphy said.
The putrid heap of orange-tinted lard in the White House will do everything in his power to stay there after Jan. 20, 2021. That includes installing a Supreme Court justice with experience in stealing presidential elections. While the Senate Democrats are still grappling with that particular issue, House Democrats are working on how they're respond to various scenarios, including the scariest: a for-real, legitimate tied electoral vote should that happen.
This is about being prepared for the worst, so don't panic or anything because Trump's polling is still very, very bad for him. But with minority rule being the norm in American governance, it's not impossible that we end up with a tied electoral college. That's what led House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to start mobilizing her team with a letter sent Sunday reminding them of the House's responsibility and what they need to do now. Which is basically make sure Democrats win House races in hopes of flipping a few delegations.
It hasn't happened since 1876, but here's how it works in the event of a tie: Each state's delegation gets a single vote. That means holding a majority of state delegations in the chamber. Despite the fact that there are 232 Democrats and 198 Republicans, Republicans still have the delegation edge—all those at-large and one to three member rural red states represented by Republicans have given them a 26-22 edge. So here we go again, the popular vote loser, the candidate that is in opposition to the ruling majority in the House, could still get the majority of votes in the warped Congress and take it all.
"The Constitution says that a candidate must receive a majority of the state delegations to win," Pelosi wrote. "We must achieve that majority of delegations or keep the Republicans from doing so." There are some very close states. Pennsylvania is tied, with nine Democratic seats and nine Republican. Michigan is barely Democratic, seven to six with independent Justin Amash holding the 14th seat there. He's retiring and is likely to be replaced by a Republican. Every single seat matters more than ever this cycle, even though Democrats will easily retain the House.
They need seats to flip, but they need seats where they also get the state delegation. Two they're eyeing right now are Montana's and Alaska's. They're at-large seats, where there's just one seat for the entire state. Our Daily Kos elections team just moved Montana from Likely R to Lean R, with Democratic challenger Kathleen Williams holding a 46-44 edge in the polling average. In Alaska, Democrats are looking the Alyse Galvin to unseat the longest serving member of Congress, Don Young. Galvin is a registered independent, but gained the challenger's spot in the state, which allows independents to contest in party primaries. In 2018, she gave Young the toughest challenge he's had in three decades, getting 46.5% of the vote.
Other than those flips, it's about consolidating seats in close delegations and defending swing state seats. Democrats have a one- or two-vote seat advantage in seven states where they have to make sure vulnerable members stay safe: Arizona (Democratic edge 5-4), Iowa (Democratic edge 3-1), Maine (2 Democrats), Minnesota (4-3 Democratic edge), Nevada (3-1 Democratic edge), and New Hampshire (2 Democrats). Florida has a one-seat Republican advantage, 14 to Democrats' 13. The Alaska and Montana at-large seats are held by Republicans, meaning a Democrat would change the delegation’s vote in a presidential tally.
"We're trying to win every seat in America, but there are obviously some places where a congressional district is even more important than just getting the member into the U.S. House of Representatives," Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat and constitutional lawyer, told Politico. This means that Democrats are not just focusing on protecting vulnerable Democrats, but expanding the map.
If House Democrats are preparing for this eventuality, you can be sure that they are gaming out other possible challenges Trump will bring. It’s a balancing act for Pelosi, realizing she has to both combat Trump—she even obliquely threatened a potential second impeachment effort to gum up Senate works and prevent a rushed Supreme Court appointment—and not rocking the boat so much she could tip vulnerable Democrats in those key delegations overboard.
Talking with nine swing-state voters who went for Trump in 2016 about the coming SCOTUS fight.
When I logged onto the Zoom call I began the discussion with an open-ended question: “How has your thinking about the presidential race changed—or has it—since we last spoke?”
Their answers surprised me. No one even mentioned the Supreme Court. Instead many of the women volunteered that they were leaning much more toward Joe Biden because of Donald Trump’s recent refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power.
Their disgust was palpable.
After accusing Biden of being on drugs and Bloomberg of bribery, calling for the impeachment of a senator, repeating his usual vague insinuations about ballots and his usual vague promise of an Obamacare replacement, Trump has arrived at his golf club.
The report also reveals the Trump Organization wrote off around $26 million in unexplained “consulting fees” between 2010 and 2018. Some of those tax deductions match consulting fees paid to Ivanka Trump in her financial disclosures. https://t.co/kVdcFPPccT
You don't need a fancy algorithm to know that Trump is losing, pretty badly at the moment. The Supreme Court pick doesn't seem to be helping him. The COVID situation may be getting worse again. Maybe the debates will help. But the clock is ticking: people are already voting.
From this poll: 1) Biden +12 in 13 battleground states; 2) Biden even in red states Trump won by 11 in 2016; 3) Biden even in veteran and active duty military households. As Kobe would say, job not done.https://t.co/o0DH1guP6y
I was a Republican governor of Pa. I’m voting for Joe Biden
Whether the Republican Party can restore itself or not, I don’t know. Whether it wants to or not, I don’t know that either. But what matters to me is that the core group of conservative principles I held as a young man when I cast my first vote decades ago are with me today. They are the same principles exhorted by my party’s forebears -- Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. Those principles have been indispensible to me in deciding to extend my hand of support to Joe Biden, who I believe absolutely must be America’s next president.
Per new ABC/WP poll, Trump heads into weeks of confirmation fight over preserving #ACA protections for #preexistingconditions w/Biden holding these leads on handling health care: +48 non-whites; +47 col+ white women,+ 26 ages 18-29, +24 indies. Biden's even w/non col white women https://t.co/GNdJAIJAu6
Four years ago, Trump survived ‘Access Hollywood’ — and a media myth of indestructibility was born
I come away from all of this — the past four years of shocking scandals and constant lies, the conversations with voters, the media’s beating-our-heads-against-the-wall coverage of Trump voters who still like Trump — with a changed viewpoint about the needle that supposedly doesn’t move.
Actually, it does move.
In looking back at the “Access Hollywood” episode, I came across an academic study published this year by scholars from the University of Massachusetts and Brandeis University that cuts against conventional wisdom. Entitling their paper “Just Locker Room Talk?,” the political scientists concluded that the revelations did make a difference, finding “consistent evidence that the release of the tape modestly, though significantly, reduced support for Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign.” These effects were similar among men and women, but noticeably larger among Republicans compared with Democrats.
Yet another measure of how suburban turnout may soar in Nov. Combined w/a recovery from 16's big decline in Black turnout, it seems very possible that the non-college white vote share, which has been dropping 2 pts every 4 years, could fall 3, creating a deeper hole for Trump. https://t.co/la7HLXO6ck
Yes, airborne transmission is happening. The CDC needs to set the record straight.
But on Monday, the CDC removed this information from its website, bizarrely explaining that it “does not reflect our current state of knowledge.”
So let’s review our current state of knowledge, shall we?
Many scientists have known that airborne transmission of the virus was happening since February. The CDC, however, somehow failed to recognize the accumulating evidence that airborne transmission is important and therefore failed to alert the public.
If presidential elections really turn on how the country is doing, there's a good reason for the incumbent to sweat.
The U.S. budget deficit tripled this year to $3.3 trillion, by far the highest ever. The U.S. economy shrank at a 31.7 percent annual rate in the second quarter, by far the worst ever. The trade deficit is at its highest level in 12 years. Consumer confidence is at its lowest level in six years. Unemployment claims, which had never topped 700,000 in a week before March, have topped 700,000 every week since March. Farm bankruptcies are rising, even though government payments to farmers are at an all-time high. Homicides are rising in America’s cities after decades of decline, while a series of police killings of unarmed Black Americans has triggered anguished protests and civil unrest. The West Coast is on fire, and 2020 may turn out to be the hottest year in recorded history. America’s reputation abroad is the worst it’s been since the Pew Research Center began doing international surveys.
In related news, a virus that has already killed 200,000 Americans is still spreading in much of the country, even though it’s mostly under control in most of the rest of the world. Now the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, less than two months before an election that was already inflaming some rather scary tensions, has created a potential constitutional crisis, while President Donald Trump is refusing to commit to a peaceful transition of power if he loses the election to Joe Biden.
Voters are already starting to vote, and the president is already proclaiming that the election is going to be riddled with fraud, which is not so awesome.
On the other hand … let’s see ... Hamilton is streaming on Disney Plus?
Per new ABC/WP poll, Trump heads into weeks of confirmation fight over preserving #ACA protections for #preexistingconditions w/Biden holding these leads on handling health care: +48 non-whites; +47 col+ white women,+ 26 ages 18-29, +24 indies. Biden's even w/non col white women https://t.co/GNdJAIJAu6
Takeaways from NBC News/Marist polls of MI & WI 1. Majorities of likely voters say 2020 winner should get to fill SCOTUS vacancy Winner should fill vacancy MI 54%, WI 56% Trump should fill vacancy immediately MI 35%, WI 37% Trump should fill after election MI 7%, WI 5%
How to fix public health weaknesses before the next pandemic hits
The list could go on. The common denominator is an antiquated and unstandardized system of linking data from clinical records and public health monitoring in ways that provide evidence on how to control the virus while minimizing the disruption to the economy and society. Electronic medical records — envisioned as a boon for public-health surveillance, providing data that could be readily analyzed — turn out to be much better for billing than for the exchange of data.
The next phase of pandemic response that might be placed at risk by these spotty data systems is vaccination. Accurate records of who has been vaccinated, when and with which vaccine will be essential. They will encourage trust in the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, ensure prioritization of the groups that should first receive the vaccine, and aid in monitoring vaccine impact on the pandemic. A patchwork of local systems, already strained, is not well-suited to this task.
COVID-19 is political, so scientists should be too
I ran for Congress because it needs more scientists. But that’s just one of many ways we can have more influence on our government.
Every race is unique, and it is particularly challenging to draw lessons from campaigning during the COVID-19 pandemic, but one thing I learned is that a background in health and an unconventional profile can be appealing to voters across the political spectrum. My campaign found high levels of support with both progressive and more conservative voters, and across the district’s diverse geography. Could having more scientists in Congress, with our focus on evidence and data, help bridge the political divide?
Public health needs a political constituency. Otherwise, the funds won’t be there.
Oh, & like most NYT/Siena state polls, this national survey finds Biden in a strong position even though it has undecided higher for non-white than white voters. The decided voters in those groups give Biden big leads. Where does Trump go for more votes? https://t.co/PP2jntVCFV
As long as there have been books, there have been tightasses trying to ban them, and American tightasses are among the most obnoxious, Jesus-freaked, and delicate-fee-fee’d tightasses in the civilized world. There were 377 cases of attempted book banning in 2019 (over 12,647 over the last 38 years), which is why an important group has designated this Banned Books Week:
Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information.
Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community—librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types—in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.
Banned Books Week 2020 will be held September 27– October 3. The theme of this year’s event proclaims “Censorship Is A Dead End. Find your freedom to read!”
By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship.
The top 5 banned books last year were (cue the sound of conservative Christians grinding their teeth): George by Alex Gino; Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Outby Susan Kuklin; A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundoby Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller; Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg, illustrated by Fiona Smyth; and Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack, illustrated by Stevie Lewis. Kudos to you all, you’re definitely worth reading.
See the various events scheduled for this week here. So far Trump hasn’t called for any book bannings or burnings. He may be dumb as rocks and more corrupt than Al Capone, but I'll give him credit for one thing: he's smart enough to know not to mess with librarians.
And now, our feature presentation...
Cheers and Jeers for Monday, September 28, 2020
Note: Candy corn is Baby Jesus’s tears of joy. No proof, really...it just makes sense.
By the Numbers:
Days 'til the Biden-Trump debate: 1
Percent of Biden supporters and Trump cultists, respectively, polled by ABC News-WaPost, who say the opening on the Supreme Court makes it more important to them that their candidate wins the presidency: 64%, 37%
Estimated number of people, according to the ACLU, who can't vote this year because of the patchwork of state felony disenfranchisement laws that leave them out of the democratic process: 5.8 million
Percent of American Millennials (18-36) who hold a "biblical worldview"—i.e. God is the all-powerful Creator of the universe and stills rules it today; Satan is real; the Bible is accurate in all of its teachings—according to a study released by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University: 2%
Percent of population 56 and older who have a biblical worldview: 9%
Amount the U.S. economy has lost since 2000 because of discrimination against Black citizens in areas like education and access to business loans, according to a Citigroup study: $16 billion
Number of New York Metro workers who were suspended for building a secret man cave under Grand Central Station: 3
CHEERS to peepers protection. As a public service to you, our dear C&J reader, once a year we conduct a simple vision test to make sure your eyeballs are functioning the way they should be, thus making for a more enjoyable blogging experience. So, if you would, please read the words on this chart officially authorized by the National Ophthalmological Society:
Yes, that’s correct. It says: “The Republican President Is Fucked.” Your eyes are perfect! You’re good to go for another year. Please enjoy a complimentary lollipop from the reception desk.
» Born on the planet Orpglorb-7 three million years ago, upon which she immediately ate her parents, siblings and attending physicians
» Spent several thousand years educating herself in the ways of catastrophic death and destruction as a radioactive fungus-kraken hybrid
» Worked up the ranks of Orpglorb government, becoming Director of Suffering and Pain, where she was awarded the coveted Beating Heart Ripped From The Chest And Shown To The Victim Award
» Signed an authorization that vaporized several planets devoted to peace and harmony so she could use the residual debris to launch her own Echoes of Their Screams jewelry line
» Prefers to go by her nickname: Madam Finger Lightning
» Mother of 16,000 hatchlings, all of whom she ate at birth
» Hobbies include Armageddon management, non-anesthesia abdominal surgery, and bursting out of unsuspecting neighbors' chests
Ha Ha, just kidding. She's much worse: Federalist Society.
CHEERS to G-d's Amazing 25-Hour Miracle Diet. The Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur started at sundown yesterday (which in Maine is, like, 6 O'clock now) and continues through today. According to C&J's go-to guide, Torah Tots…
Yom Kippur is a Shabbat...no work can be performed on Yom Kippur.
It is well-known that you are supposed to refrain from eating and drinking (even water) on Yom Kippur. It is a complete, 25+ hour fast beginning before sunset on the evening before Yom Kippur and ending after nightfall on the day of Yom Kippur. The Talmud also specifies additional restrictions: washing and bathing, anointing one's body (with cosmetics, perfumes, etc.), marital relations and wearing leather shoes.
The holiday is a somber one during which Jews confess their sins and seek forgiveness over the course of a day. That's why I'm not Jewish—I'd barely get started before the closing buzzer went off.
JEERS to keeping track of America’s fugliest numbers. While Trump and McConnell continued piloting their SCOTUS nomination steamroller over all that is just and good in America, the mighty Covid-19 Wurlitzer played on (33 million cases around the globe now, with over 20 percent of them in the U.S.). Our Monday tradition of maintaining a benchmark of the awfulness for the C&J historical record continues. Let’scheck the most depressing tote board in the world as our death toll now approaches the population of America’s 109th-largest city Birmingham, Alabama:
20 weeks ago: 1.4 million confirmed cases. 80,000 deaths.
10 weeks ago: 3.8 million confirmed cases, 143,000 deaths
5 weeks ago: 5.8 million confirmed cases, 180,000 deaths
This morning: 7.3 million confirmed cases, 209,000 deaths
And in other covid news, Florida Governor Ron DeSuperspreader has officially given the green light for the entire state to become a giant maskless covid bump-and-grind beer & titties pool party, while banning local governments from spoiling all the fun by imposing their own stupid "life saving" "regulations." Up yonder in the hereafter, God sighed as He logged on and placed another mega-order of bunk beds from Ikea.
CHEERS to order in the courts. Some clear-eyed action by the Knights of the Oaken Gavel in recent days as they pour the hot lead of justice from their parapets onto the heads of the schemers trying to bring down Castle Democracy:
Staffing FraudA federal judge ruled Friday that [Bureau of Land Management acting director William Perry Pendley] has been serving unlawfully, blocking him from continuing in the position in the latest pushback against the administration’s practice of filling key positions without U.S. Senate approval. The ruling came after Montana’s Democratic governor in July sued to remove Pendley, saying the former oil industry attorney was illegally overseeing an agency that manages almost a quarter-billion acres of land, primarily in the U.S. West.
Voting RightsLess than three weeks before early voting begins in Texas, a U.S. district judge has blocked the state from eliminating straight-ticket voting as an option for people who go to the polls this November. In a ruling issued late Friday, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo cited the coronavirus pandemic, saying the elimination of the voting practice would “cause irreparable injury” to voters “by creating mass lines at the polls and increasing the amount of time voters are exposed to COVID-19.”
2020 Census[US District Judge Lucy Koh] ruled late Thursday night that national counting for the 2020 census can continue through October 31. … The National Urban League and several other groups, including the city of Los Angeles, had sued the government, asking for a preliminary injunction to block the government from concluding the count on September 30. …Los Angeles' City Attorney Mike Feuer said the injunction was a major win for amore accurate Census count in a statement released after the stay was issued.
And this just in: Eric Trump has to show up next week in front of a judge in New York and explain why crimes seem to follow him around like the perennial dirt swirling around Pig-Pen. The judge's first words to Eric will be: "Place your right hand on the Bible." The judge's next words to Eric will be: "No, your other right hand."
Ten years ago in C&J: September 28, 2010
JEERS to unequal treatment. Here's another example of the oft-used phrase, "It's Okay If You're A Republican." Two years ago, President Obama announced he was ordering his departments to cut $100 million, admitting it was a small and mostly-symbolic gesture to set the tone for the new administration. Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell pounced on it as meaningless. And yet, when promoting the GOP's new "Pledge to America," one of its co-authors could only recommend cuts across the entire spectrum of federal programs that totaled—you guessed it—$100 million:
For the math challenged, [Rep. Kevin] McCarthy's proposed cuts amount to 0.01% of the federal budget, leaving 99.99% of the federal budget—including entitlements (Medicare, Social Security), defense and interest on the debt; about 80% of the budget—intact. And he won't name any non-defense discretionary programs he'd cut. Wow, is that bold or what?
Please contain your laughter. For purely selfish reasons, I want him to hear mine the loudest.
And just one more…
CHEERS to intercepted documents. My intel squirrel Sgt. Fluffy brought back a doozy from D.C.:
From the Desk of Ronna McDaniel
This Week's RNC Motivational Action List
Sept. 28 - Oct. 4
Monday Take all the time you need to reflect on all the positive and worthwhile things you learned over the weekend from the Values Voters Summit. Spend the remaining 23 hours, 59 minutes and 55 seconds reviewing your preemptive Biden impeachment list.
Tuesday Clear your head of "stinkin' thinkin'" by picturing a happy, placid scene of illegals being shipped back to Mexico in boxcars via the main entrance through the Great Wall of Trump.
Wednesday With that nip of fall in the air, today is a good day to write a letter to your local newspaper warning about the dangers of global cooling. Go ahead and make up your own facts—they'll print it anyway.
Thursday Butt-dial John Bolton and let one rip. Then scratch a pesky itch with your open-carry Glock, but don’t bother checking to see if it's unloaded because you're a responsible Republican gun owner so how could it not be?
Friday Don't take no for an answer, give no for an answer. Then practice mansplaining lady parts in front of a mirror so you'll be ready to win hearts and hoo-hahs at upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings.
All Week: Don’t bake a single thing for the gays.
Have a great week! God Bless America and Money and Trump and Bombs!
And here’s the Democratic motivational action list: in 36 days, make the makers of the Republican motivational action list cry.
Have a tolerable Monday. Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?
Today's Shameless C&J Testimonial
“Bill in Portland Maine knows he’s crazy; it’s so self-evident. Quite frankly, I don’t pay that much attention to him. I think it’s really a sad, sick situation.”