Desperate Trump campaign trots out Melania to make partisan attacks

Yet another indication that Team Trump is nervous about next Tuesday’s elections: Melania Trump emerged for a rare campaign event—her first solo event of 2020—on Tuesday and took a much more partisan tone than usual. In her remarks in Pennsylvania, Melania directly attacked Joe Biden (using official campaign talking points, nothing new to see) and attacked Democrats for … being divisive and not leading on COVID-19. She even tried to link her husband’s disastrous coronavirus response to impeachment.

“No one should be promoting fear of real solutions for purely political ends,” Melania said. Which, fair in a vacuum, but context matters. “The Democrats have chosen to put their own agendas over the American people's well-being. Instead, they attempt to create a divide. A divide in something that should be non-partisan and non-controversial. A divide that causes confusion and fear instead of hope and security. That is not the leadership,” she said, in as pure an example of Republican projection as you can probably find.

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Oh, my. Putting a partisan agenda above the American people’s well-being and instead trying to divide and govern through confusion and fear … gosh, how dare those dastardly Democrats do such a thing!

"Let us also not forget what the Democrats chose to focus on when COVID-19 first came into our country,” Melania offered. “While the President was taking decisive action to keep the American people safe, the Democrats were wasting American taxpayer dollars in a sham impeachment.” 

Um. Let’s turn to the timeline, shall we? 

The Senate’s vote on Trump’s impeachment trial was on February 5, three days after Trump restricted travel from China, a restriction that came later than other nations and was incomplete, rather than “decisive action.” At the time, Trump said, “Well, we pretty much shut it down coming in from China. … We can’t have thousands of people coming in who may have this problem, the coronavirus. So we’re going to see what happens, but we did shut it down, yes.”

Trump continued downplaying the threat of the virus—intentionally, as it turned out, with full knowledge that it was a serious danger—for more than a month. For example, February 12, a week after Senate Republicans acquitted him: “We have a very small number of people in the country, right now, with it. It’s like around 12. Many of them are getting better. Some are fully recovered already. So we’re in very good shape.”

February 25: “I think that’s a problem that’s going to go away.”

February 27: “It’s going to disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”

February 28: “Now the Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus. … And this is their new hoax.”

March 5, one month after the Senate vote: “With approximately 100,000 CoronaVirus cases worldwide, and 3,280 deaths, the United States, because of quick action on closing our borders, has, as of now, only 129 cases (40 Americans brought in) and 11 deaths.”

March 7: “We’re doing very well and we’ve done a fantastic job.”

By contrast, Joe Biden warned, “We are not prepared for a pandemic. Trump has rolled back progress President Obama and I made to strengthen global health security. We need leadership that builds public trust, focuses on real threats, and mobilizes the world to stop outbreaks before they reach our shores”—before the coronavirus emerged in China. 

On January 27, he responded to the news of the emerging outbreak, writing “The outbreak of a new coronavirus, which has already infected more than 2,700 people and killed over 80 in China, will get worse before it gets better. Cases have been confirmed in a dozen countries, with at least five in the United States. There will likely be more,” and detailing preparedness measures that should have been taken.

Senate Minority Leader Schumer called on Trump to declare a national emergency on January 26. Sen. Elizabeth Warren released a plan for combating the outbreak on January 28. 

Democrats were responding early—yes, even during the impeachment process, walking and chewing gum at the same time—while Trump continued downplaying the threat for weeks and bragging that his too-little-too-late China travel restrictions had done all that needed to be done. That’s what Melania continues to brag about, despite the facts. Because otherwise, they have to admit they have nothing.

President Trump Unleashed: ‘Watermelon Head’ Adam Schiff ‘Should Be Locked Up’

During a campaign rally in Gastonia, North Carolina on Wednesday, President Donald Trump called Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff a “watermelon head” for returning to his “Russia, Russia, Russia” talking points to attack him in this election.

Trump mocked the House Intelligence Chairman for believing that Hunter Biden’s recovered “laptop from hell” could be part of a Russian disinformation campaign.

RELATED: DNI John Ratcliffe Says ‘Hunter Biden’s Laptop Is Not Part Of Some Russian Disinformation Campaign’

Trump On Alleged Hunter Biden Laptop: ‘This Laptop Is A Disaster’

President Trump said that Schiff probably did not even believe what he was saying, noting that the Democrat was “no dummy.”

On Hunter Biden, Trump alleged, “Explosive emails from Hunter Biden also show that Hunter was negotiating with a Chinese are tied to the Communist China party to receive $10 million a year for introductions well that sounds reasonable I think you do that. I think I’d even do it.”

“This laptop is a disaster,” Trump added.

“How the hell do he ever let go of this sucker. He got to have it fixed I guess he forgot to pick it up. What the hell?”

Adam Schiff Is A Habitual Anti-Trump Conspiracy Theorist

After that, the rally crowd began chanting, “Lock him up, lock him up, lock him up.”

Trump replied, “He should be. Honestly that guy should be locked up.”

Between the Democrats’ impeachment embarrassment and the latest controversy involving Hunter Biden, Rep. Schiff has been an unrelenting foe of this president.

Schiff was a leading proponent of the “Russian collusion” hoax, and so it should be no surprise he continues to do anything he can to undermine the Trump administration.

Schiff has already claimed that the Hunter Biden laptop scandal is a “Russian disinformation” smear – though Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe says that is false.

Ratcliffe has said that not only does the intelligence community not believe that, but they have not shared any intelligence on the matter with Congress.

RELATED: Adam Schiff Says ‘No Racist Appeal’ Or ‘Political Dirty Trick Beyond The Pale’ For Trump

Expect Schiff To Keep Attacking Trump

President Trump continues to campaign incessantly, per his Wednesday appearance in North Carolina, while his Democratic opponent continues to hide out in his basement.

How much will voters get that Donald Trump is out there working hard to earn their votes?

How much will they understand that Joe Biden is hiding out, because the less seen and heard he is, the better?

Time will tell.

In the meantime, “watermelon head” Adam Schiff will no doubt continue to do his worst and see Russian agents behind every bush and under every bed.

The post President Trump Unleashed: ‘Watermelon Head’ Adam Schiff ‘Should Be Locked Up’ appeared first on The Political Insider.

Comparing Trump To Biden On The Economy Is Like Comparing A Corvette To A Pinto

Anyone that thinks Joe Biden is going to bring back the economy or do better than the Trump economy is smoking that magical Latin lettuce.

First, Democrats do not build economies, they tear them down.

Second, Trump has been a businessman his entire adult life, while Biden has been a career politician with zero business sense for nearly half a century.

Asking Biden to manage anything above and beyond his personal bank account is already exceeding his limits.

For 47 years, lawmaker Biden stood by, did nothing, and watched as America’s wealth, business, technology, manufacturing, industry, intellectual property, and millions of jobs left the country in favor of the likes of countries like Mexico, China, and India.

READ: Mr. Flip Flop Does It Again – Now Biden Is Apologizing For Supporting A Bill He Co-Wrote

Suddenly he has a “plan” to reverse Trump’s tax cuts for the middle class, raise taxes on businesses again, and give foreign governments the advantage in every trade agreement once again.

Right, that will “fix” things.

It’s All About The Economy, Stupid

Businesses in the US are very vocal about why they began to expand and hire like wildfire when Trump was elected.

He cut regulations and cut taxes — the two most important factors a business looks at when planning an expansion.

I recall an interview I saw with the owner of a small factory (~100 employees).

In the last year alone of Obama’s reign, he said his business was hit with 300+ new regulations. How can anyone do business like that?

Trump has so far removed over 25,000 PAGES of federal regulations. That, along with the tax reform he passed, turbocharged the economy.

And once the lockdowns are over, we’ll go back to the lowest unemployment rates in history.

As long as Hiden Biden stays in his basement, that is.

READ: Klacik Outraises Democrat Opponent in Baltimore

Democrat Agenda Is Quickest To Oblivion

If you listen to what the Democrats or the media say about the economy and jobs, you would think it’s a disaster everywhere.

There is a different reality for many Americans.

The speed of economic recovery is ordinarily directly proportional to the depth of the recession.

The 2009 recession should have rebounded very quickly due to its depth.

Obama’s policies interminably drew it out by influencing companies to offshore work and split full-time jobs into multiple no-benefit part-time jobs through over-taxation, over-regulation, and Obamacare.

This was not his intent, of course. It’s just the natural effect of Democrat policies.

The economy roared to life when Trump was elected because he reversed the crippling Democrat policies that had slowed the recovery to a crawl.

I Am Still Not Over This Yet

Call me a child if you like, but I never thought I would see what I see in my country.

Politicized branches of our government going after their political opponents.

One political party purchasing Russian misinformation from a former foreign spy to initiate impeachment proceedings against a duly elected POTUS.

READ: Biden Is So Far Behind Trump In Reality – The Media Wants You To Think Otherwise

The former Vice President bragging on video about getting a foreign prosecutor fired by threatening to withhold $1,000,000,000 in aid.

A corporation that his son happens to be on the board of, with no qualifications outside of the V.P. being his father!

It’s on video, and the “corrupt media” tells us it’s not a story worthy of being investigated.

The media tells you this never happened: 

Who Really Supports Biden?

Nobody actually supports Biden. Biden himself is nothing more than a figurehead.

His supporters are not his supporters, but instead victims of the weaponization of psychology, mass propaganda, and gaslighting perpetrated most especially for the past 4 years – but it’s been a work of decades (Losing your job is good for us as a whole! Sending manufacturing abroad, which strengthens communist China, will benefit everyone!).

Globalization weakened the average person’s relevance and self-confidence within his own country.

Trump, the counter to Globalism, has been relentlessly attacked by formerly authoritative institutions, including the media, intelligence, and other government agencies.

This has divided the populace into those who see through the manipulation and those who have, due to internal weakness, been susceptible to it.

They have been driven insane through a combination of Social Media (designed to be addictive) and the MSM (who transitioned to outrage addiction as their profit model in the Internet age).

So, in short, who supports Biden? TDS loonies.

MORE STORIES FROM WAYNE DUPREE

The post Comparing Trump To Biden On The Economy Is Like Comparing A Corvette To A Pinto appeared first on The Political Insider.

If you smell desperation, it’s just the GOP

An Axios piece this week painting a rather dim picture of the final days of the Trump campaign also included this upbeat quote from a senior campaign official: "But the cool thing about the president is he's going to be everywhere in the last two weeks."

Bring it. Trump has very little time left to reverse the direction of this race, and everywhere he goes, he's a vision of repulsion. In Johnstown, PA, Trump begged suburban women to like him while barking, “I saved your damn neighborhood, okay?" In Greenville, NC, Trump bragged about the cold-blooded execution by U.S. Marshals of an antifa activist suspected of killing a right-wing Trump supporter. During his NBC town hall event Thursday, Trump explained to moderator Savannah Guthrie that he retweeted insane conspiracy theories to just "put it out there" and let the people decide. Guthrie responded by channeling what every relatively sane voter (including some Trump voters) have thought for four years. “I don’t get that," she said, dismayed. "You’re the president. You’re not like someone’s crazy uncle who can just retweet whatever.”

"Actually..." tweeted Trump's niece Mary, reminding us all that he is indeed exactly that—someone's crazy uncle.

At the risk of repetition, a couple days ago I took a look at Trump's numbers with key voting blocs in the gold-standard NBC/Wall Street Journal poll—he is underperforming his 2016 levels in every single one of them.

First, Biden's advantage over Trump among key groups in the survey compared to 2016 exit polls:

  • Black voters: Biden +87 (91% to 4%); Clinton +81
  • Women: Biden +26 (60% to 34%); Clinton +13
  • Whites with college degrees: Biden +19 (57% to 38%); Trump +3
  • Seniors: Biden +10 (54% to 44%); Trump +7
  • Independents: Biden +7 (46% to 39%); Trump +4  

Then Trump's advantage over Biden in certain blocs compared to 2016:

  • Men: Trump +5 (50% to 45%); Trump +11
  • White voters: Trump +4 (50% to 46%); Trump +20
  • Whites without college degrees: Trump +21 (59% to 38%); Trump +37

Overall, the NBC/WSJ poll had Joe Biden up by 11 points, and multiple aggregates have him at +10. The Economist has one of the most conservative polling composites with Biden up +8.6. But Biden's campaign went to great lengths this week to discourage Democratic voters from thinking he has a double-digit advantage. In a virtual grassroots summit, campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon called the national public polling "inflated" and added, "We are not ahead by double digits." What she didn't say was exactly how not double-digity the Biden lead is.  

Whatever Biden's advantage, the campaign's effort is clearly aimed at stamping out any complacency that Democratic strategists are certain became the death knell for Hillary Clinton in 2016. But I must tell you, I think they're reading the room wrong. As I wrote this week, a historic number of early Democratic voters are turning out at the polls and they are absolutely reveling in the chance to finally cast their vote against Trump. Although running up the score in early voting doesn't necessarily translate to a win on Election Day, it certainly does suggest high levels of enthusiasm among Democratic voters.

What we can also gather without knowing the exact internal data is that Republicans are acting like losers. GOP Leader Mitch McConnell is all but ignoring Trump on the stimulus deal. Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, who didn't have the guts or integrity to even hear witness testimony during Trump's impeachment trial, suddenly wants to be on record making it crystal clear he thinks Trump is 100% unfit for office. Sounds like someone is burnishing his future presidential cred for a post-Trump GOP. Georgia Sen. David Perdue—who's in a dogfight to save his seat—made the utterly desperate decision to not only introduce Trump at his Friday night rally in Macon, Georgia, but also to butcher the name of Sen. Kamala Harris, with whom he has served fully three years in the U.S. Senate. 

🚨WATCH: Georgia GOP @sendavidperdue mocks the pronunciation of Sen @KamalaHarris’s name during the #TrumpRally today in Georgia Disgusting. #GASen #GApol pic.twitter.com/yUzhT8nC7f

— American Bridge 21st Century (@American_Bridge) October 16, 2020

Make no mistake, that's a racist dogwhistle from the same candidate who ran an ad this summer lengthening the nose of his Jewish Democratic opponent, Jon Ossoff. Perdue's communications director tried to pass off the slight as a simple mistake, but that's the work of a Republican senator clinging to his seat and concluding his best play is to make racist appeals to white voters.

And then there's Trump himself, who devoted the bulk of his travel schedule this week to places he should have locked up by now, including Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, and Iowa. If you want a window into how desperate Trump is, during his Florida pitch to seniors in Fort Myers on Friday, Trump expressed actual empathy.

"My heart breaks for every grieving family that has lost a precious loved one. I feel their anguish and I mourn their loss. I feel their pain," Trump said. "There's nothing to describe it."

Naturally, that was on script. Trump read it, and it was very clearly modeled after Joe Biden's empathic appeal to seniors in southern Florida earlier this week—ya know the one, where Trump later tweeted out a picture of a bunch of seniors in wheelchairs with the tagline, "Biden for Resident."

In the Axios article, senior aides said Stepien's path to victory counts on using Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, and Maine's second district as Trump's foundation. Stepien tells them winning those states is the "easy part.” Really? Not a single one of those states is a gimme in public polling and, in fact, Trump is polling roughly 4 points behind Biden in Florida—the biggest catch of them all with 29 electoral votes.

Just to give you an idea of how rocky that electoral road is, consider this: Biden's path to 270 starts with California and New York as its building blocks. And those states truly are "easy" ones.

In fact, taking Stepien's calculus a step further, the five biggest red states from 2016 by electoral votes are all battlegrounds this year, even if they didn't start off that way: Texas (38), Florida (29), Ohio (18), Georgia (16), North Carolina (15).

And here's the New York Times aggregates for each of those states, from worst to best for Trump:

  • Florida: Biden +4
  • North Carolina: Biden +3
  • Georgia: Biden +2
  • Ohio: Biden +<1 (i.e. Biden's winning by less than one point)
  • Texas: Trump +2

None of this is to say Trump couldn't win, it's just a reality check on how unlikely he is to be victorious. And tons of voting is happening right now, while the polls continue to look very good for Biden. Conversely, if you're Trump, the days are just slipping away. But the emphasis on early voting this year significantly lessens the chances that, for instance, the sitting FBI director could open a last-minute investigation into Biden that causes the bottom to fall out on his campaign. 

So even as a haunting déjà vu feeling hangs over my excitement this year, I just keep looking at the fundamentals, how the campaigns are acting, and the actions of congressional lawmakers who are up for reelection or sharpening their knives for a post-Trump era. The outlook is good, much better in fact than it appeared in 2016. 

And if anxiety is keeping you up at night, the very best antidote to that is taking action—doing has the medicinal benefit of occupying the mind so the hobgoblins of doubt can't hijack it. Together, we can all bring this election home, and then get back to the work of trying to build a more perfect union. 

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If Biden Won’t Tell You Where He Stands on Packing the Supreme Court, He Doesn’t Deserve Your Vote

It is hard to imagine a serious candidate for President refusing to tell you where he stands on the future of the Supreme Court of the United States, but here we are.

On Thursday, former Vice President Joe Biden was – once again – asked whether or not he would support legislation to pack the Supreme Court with additional Justices.

Biden’s response was, “You’ll know my position on court-packing the day after the election.”

RELATED: Biden Refuses To Reveal His Stance On Packing Supreme Court Until After Election

Biden Is Trying To Hide His Views On Court Packing

Biden’s justification for refusing to tell voters where he stands on the future of the Supreme Court until after he is elected is, in his own words, “The moment I answer that question, the headline in every one of your papers will be about that rather than focusing on what’s happening now.”

Court-packing was attempted once before.

In 1937, President Franklin Roosevelt proposed expanding the Supreme Court to include as many as 15 justices in response to a series of rulings finding that certain parts of Roosevelt’s New Deal program were unconstitutional.

During the previous two years, the high court had struck down several key pieces of New Deal legislation on the grounds that the laws delegated an unconstitutional amount of authority to the executive branch and the federal government.

Flushed with his landslide reelection in 1936, President Roosevelt issued a proposal in February 1937 to provide retirement at full pay for all members of the court over 70.

If a justice refused to retire, an “assistant” with full voting rights was to be appointed, thus ensuring Roosevelt a liberal majority.

Most Republicans and many Democrats in Congress opposed the so-called “court-packing” plan.

Until very recently, Roosevelt’s court-packing effort was viewed as one of FDR’s most high-profile missteps and almost universally dismissed by historians and legal scholars as a terrible idea.

The current court-packing scheme is supported by liberals who once described court-packing as “institutionally corrosive” and “politically unserious.”

RELATED: ‘Woke’ Politics Poses the First Serious Challenge To Our Constitutional Democracy Since Communism

Why Support Court Packing Now? The Reason Is Simple

What was institutionally corrosive has suddenly become a cause celebre on the left for one reason: conservatives are poised to take control of the Court for a generation.

The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to replace her poses an existential threat to liberals’ control over their favorite and most reliable weapon: the Supreme Court.

With prominent liberals pushing for court-packing and with polling showing that 60% of Democrats support the court-packing scheme, you would think that the Democratic nominee for President would take a position, one way or the other, on the issue.

Alas, Joe Biden refuses to.

Biden’s refusal, and the refusal of his running mate Kamala Harris, to take a position on the future of the Supreme Court is not simply unacceptable.

It is disqualifying.

Democrats are telling voters that the future of same-sex marriage, healthcare, abortion, and the environment all hang in the balance as a result of the vacancy on the Supreme Court.

“You Have To Vote For Joe Biden So You Can Find Out What’s In Him”

They are doing this while their own nominee refuses to even answer the question about whether or not he would support efforts to pack the Supreme Court.

Biden’s outrageous response recalls Nancy Pelosi’s now infamous line about Obamacare:

“We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”

It’s absolutely preposterous. The American people deserve to know where a Presidential candidate stands on the future of the Supreme Court.

RELATED: Kamala Harris Didn’t Make One Mention Of Impeachment During Debate – But Mike Pence Did

By nominating Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump has told the American people exactly what kind of Supreme Court they would get by voting for him.

Joe Biden is refusing to do the same.

If you can’t tell voters where you stand on an issue as critical as this – you don’t deserve to be President.

The post If Biden Won’t Tell You Where He Stands on Packing the Supreme Court, He Doesn’t Deserve Your Vote appeared first on The Political Insider.

This Week in Statehouse Action: Wolverine-al Failure edition

Republican legislators in key swing states still aren’t ruling out elector-related shenanigans designed to steal the election for Donald Trump, but there’s still a pandemic on, and a bunch of domestic terrorists just got arrested for plotting to overthrow Michigan’s government, so I’m going to shift focus a little this week.

To me, my statehouse action!

(But for real, the guy who wrote the law review article that inspired all of this and helped establish Pennsylvania as a potential Ground Zero for legislator-instigated elector-related constitutional crisis still thinks that this scenario is very much in play. And given what I’ve learned from working in and writing about state legislative politics for the past decade or so, I do, too.)

Anyway.

Campaign Action

House of M: Michigan is hands-down the most action-packed state that hasn’t or isn’t about to play host to a vice/presidential debate.

  • First, late last week, the state Supreme Court struck down Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive authority to issue emergency orders, which she’s of course been doing to help her state fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • The decision was 4-3, which matters because
      • Conservatives have a 4-3 majority on the court
      • The decision was straight along partisan lines
      • Progressives have a chance this fall to flip the Michigan Supreme Court to a 4-3 conservative minority.
  • The retirement of a conservative justice has created an opportunity to shift the highest court in this key swing state away from the GOP.
    • Democrats have a lot of balls in the air right now for sure, but Republicans have a history of not sleeping on court elections.
    • Dems, on the other hand … have yet to really get their act together when it comes to investing in these incredibly important, high-stakes, and infrequent (state supreme court terms are at least six years; in Michigan, justices serve eight-year terms) races.
      • Daily Kos has endorsed progressive Michigan Supreme Court candidate Elizabeth Welch in this race, but it’s not clear that the Democratic establishment outside of the state is paying any attention at all.

le sigh

  • So, the state Supreme Court’s ruling against Whitmer’s emergency executive powers last Friday threw her coronavirus-related orders into legal limbo.

Good, right?

  • But given that the Senate majority leader is opposed to a statewide mask requirement, and
  • GOP House members are feigning outrage because the governor is working to help elect a Democratic majority to the state House (and never mind that Republican lawmakers have been fighting Whitmer on her coronavirus-related executive orders for many months already),
    • … the outlook for real progress on protecting the state from the pandemic looks less than rosy.

And this all brings us to Thursday, when 13 white guys (well …. probably white. I haven’t found an article yet that describes them as anything but, and in my experience, news outlets tend to not mention someone’s race unless they’re NOT white, in which case, they ALWAYS mention it. Please feel free to hit me up with any examples you find that contradict this) were charged for participating in an alleged domestic terrorism plot that involved kidnapping Michigan’s governor and possibly murdering her or other state leaders they perceived as “violating the U.S. Constitution.”

  • And these weren’t just a bunch of disgruntled assholes.
  • After their arrests were announced Thursday, Whitmer tied these men to
    • Trump’s failure last week to condemn white supremacist (with which which Michigan’s militias have flirted) and extreme right-wing groups and
    • Trump’s tweeted encouragement to “LIBERATE MICHIGAN” earlier this year in response to protests of the governor’s coronavirus safety measures.

Yes, let’s blame the victim

So, yeah, the Wolverine State is having a super normal one.

The Dark Keystone Saga: But just because Pennsylvania GOP legislative leaders aren’t currently, right at this moment, actively working to steal the state’s electors for Donald Trump, don’t think for a second there aren’t shenanigans afoot there.

  • A shady resolution (read: Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf can’t veto it) establishing a “Select Committee on Election Integrity” charged with investigating and reviewing “the regulation and conduct of the 2020 general election” still awaits a full House floor vote, which it may get as soon as Oct. 19, when the legislature reconvenes.
    • This committee will be made up of three Republicans and two Democrats, has subpoena power, and is authorized to “prepare and file pleadings and other legal documents” (emphasis mine).

… like, say, a certificate of ascertainment for Trump’s electors ..?

  • The subpoena and investigatory power the resolution endows this “Select Committee” with with the power to find supposed “facts” designed to demonstrate that the election was not run properly or fairly.
    • The resolution appeared “out of nowhere” on last week—literally a day after Trump claimed during the presidential debate (somehow that was JUST LAST WEEK) that “bad things happen in Philadelphia” (he also encouraged his supporters to intimidate voters at polls there, but that’s a whole other matter).
  • And speaking of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court …

But!

  • If Democrats can flip one of Pennsylvania’s legislative chambers (28 R/21 D Senate, 109 R/92 D House [2 vacancies]) next month, this GOP power-grab will die a delicious and deserved death.

Age of Coronapocalypse: In Virginia, where lawmakers are still meeting in special session to deal with racial justice, police reform, and coronavirus-related budget issues, one Republican may have put her legislative colleagues in grave danger.

  • State Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel attended the Rose Garden event announcing the nomination of conservative Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court—an event now notorious for likely being responsible for numerous attendees’ subsequent COVID-19 diagnoses.
    • Just a couple of days after attending the gathering, at which photos reveal social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines were most definitely NOT followed, Vogel returned to Richmond for two days of in-person session with many of her Senate colleagues.
      • Vogel reports that she has since tested negative for COVID-19, but it’s not clear that those results came back before session last week—or that she even got tested before other Rose Garden event attendees’ coronavirus diagnoses came to light.
  • Vogel’s not alone in placing her colleagues in unnecessary danger when it comes to the coronavirus.

… just something to bear in mind the next time Republicans rail about “transparency” and “good faith.”

Welp, that’s a wrap for this week. (Better than a rap, because my rhymes would be almost as bad as my puns, and better than a rap sheet, because we’re not white domestic terrorists who’ve been arrested for plotting to overthrow state governments, hm?)

Hang in there. We have a few laps yet to put behind us before we cross anything resembling a finish line in this election.

Maybe you’re tired.

Stressed.

Sick.

Sad.

Something else entirely.

Some unfortunate combination of any of those things.

I see you. And I hope you’ll do something to take care of yourself this week.

Because you’re important.

And we need you.

Pence’s evasion is smoother than Trump’s shouting, but he’s no more likely to answer a hard question

One aspect of Vice President Mike Pence’s debate performance that won’t necessarily be caught by traditional fact-checking is how he constantly dodged hard questions. Although Pence is happy to lie, in many cases he instead just … didn’t answer, not even bothering with a politician’s traditional acknowledge-and-pivot.

The New York Times describes Pence’s answer to a question on preexisting conditions as “a master class in evasive rhetorical jujitsu.” In that one, he “ignored the question (the White House has not, in fact, come up with a plan), then launched into a long defense of his anti-abortion views and, for his dismount, demanded that Sen. Kamala Harris say if she supported a plan to ‘pack’ the Supreme Court.” But that wasn’t the only time Pence completely evaded an inconvenient question by any stretch.

He didn’t acknowledge the content of a question about whether voters deserve to know more about Donald Trump’s health, treating it instead as if he’d been offered well wishes to pass along to Trump. When asked: “Why is the U.S. death toll, as a percentage of our population, higher than that of almost every other wealthy country?” He lied about Trump having “suspended all travel from China” and attacked former Vice President Joe Biden for having opposed that move. He bragged about “the greatest national mobilization since World War II.” He promised “literally 10s of millions of doses of a vaccine before the end of this year.” He accused Biden of plagiarism for a coronavirus response plan that, Pence claimed, looks like Trump’s. (This, too, is false.) At no point did he admit that yes, the U.S. death toll is extremely high by global standards, or try to account for this failure.

Again and again, Pence followed this pattern.

When ineffectual moderator Susan Page asked: “Vice President Pence, you're the former governor of Indiana. If Roe v Wade is overturned, what would you want Indiana to do? Would you want your home state to ban all abortions?”

Pence began responding with “Thank you for the question, but I'll use a little bit of my time to respond to that very important key before.” He then offered 124 words on Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani, before acting like he had been asked about whether he wanted to see Amy Coney Barrett confirmed to the Supreme Court: “Now with regard to the Supreme Court of the United States. Let me say, President Trump and I could not be more enthusiastic about the opportunity to see Amy Coney Barrett become Justice Amy Coney Barrett,” Pence said, and pivoted to attack Democrats for supposedly being opposed to Barrett because of her faith. At no point did he in any way approach the question of Roe v. Wade or whether his home state should or would ban all abortions. This is a man whose career has been defined in large part by his opposition to abortion under any circumstances, but when asked about it on his largest stage, he talked about everything but.

Pence also echoed Trump’s refusal to answer one extremely important question: “If Vice President Biden is declared the winner and President Trump refuses to accept a peaceful transfer of power, what would be your role and responsibility as Vice President? What would you personally do?”

Pence began with his confidence that he and Trump would win. That’s standard politician stuff—of course he wouldn’t start by accepting the premise that he’s going to lose. So, too, with his litany of supposed accomplishments of Team Trump. But. Pence then moved to attacking Democrats for supposedly undermining democracy first, through investigations of the 2016 Trump campaign’s ties to Russia and through impeachment, a constitutional process that did, let’s not forget, draw a conviction vote from Republican Sen. Mitt Romney. This is Pence setting up a rationale for Trump to attack the results of the 2020 elections. When he attacked mail-in voting as creating a “massive opportunity for voter fraud,” he was echoing Trump’s efforts to delegitimize the results of the 2020 elections. And crucially, at no point did Pence say yes, he would accept a loss in this election. At no point did he answer the question about taking responsibility if Trump refuses to accept a peaceful transfer of power.

In one sense, Pence was just doing the thing he’d done throughout the debate: dodging. But on this question, a dodge is an answer. Pence’s answer is that if Trump refuses to accept a peaceful transfer of power, he is along for the ride, kissing ass as he's been doing for the past four years.

Please donate now to help make Kamala Harris our next vice president!

Pelosi Suggests Using 25th Amendment To Remove Trump From Office Before Election

On Thursday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi implied that she is looking at removing President Donald Trump from power  using the U.S. Constitution’s 25th Amendment.

Pelosi said to reporters during a press briefing, “Tomorrow, by the way, tomorrow — come here tomorrow. We’re going to be talking about the 25th Amendment.”

Pelosi’s comments come after her Democratic House already impeached the President, though the Senate declined to convict.

RELATED: What If Trump Becomes Too Ill? Here’s What Happened When Past Presidents Had Emergencies

The Purpose Of The 25th Amendment To The U.S. Constitution

Using the 25th Amendment to essentially undo the 2016 presidential election has been a topic of discussion among Democrats and Never Trump Republicans since Trump first stepped into the White House.

Enacted in 1967, the purpose of the 25th Amendment was two fold:

  • To ensure that the United States has an Acting President in times when the duly-elected president can no longer lead, due to death, illness, or some other factors.
  • To set in stone the line of succession.

For example, when President Ronald Reagan underwent surgery in 1985 and Vice President George H.W. Bush was Acting President for that time.

George W. Bush also transferred power to Vice President Dick Cheney while Bush underwent surgery.

Section 4 of the 25th Amendment allows for Congress and the Vice President to remove the President from power. From History.com:

Section 4 stipulates that when the vice president and a majority of a body of Congress declare in writing to the president pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House that the president is unable to perform the duties of the office, the vice president immediately becomes acting president.

Pelosi appears to be looking at this section of the 25th Amendment.

President Pelosi?

Speaker Pelosi’s mention of the 25th Amendment comes not just after impeachment, but also amid speculation that Pelosi herself could become Acting President in the event of election chaos.

The possibility of her becoming president has been raised by many including Pelosi herself.

It is unlikely, but possible, that if the issues with the election leave no clear winner, and if the House is unable to reach a conclusion before January 20, 2021, Pelosi could become Acting President.

25th Amendment Interest Rose After First Couple’s COVID-19 Diagnosis

After it was announced that President Trump and First Lady Melania were diagnosed with COVID-19 last week, interest in the 25th Amendment rose online.

CBS News reported, “(T)he news of his positive coronavirus test drove an immediate surge in Google searches for the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which lays out the succession for the executive branch should the president be incapacitated or deemed unable to carry out the duties of the presidency.

RELATED: Pelosi Signals She Is Prepared To Become Acting President If Election Descends Into Chaos

When White House communications director Alyssa Farah was asked if Vice President Mike Pence might have to become Acting President while Trump was at Walter Reed, she replied, “The president is in charge.”

Still, the pattern of trying to remove Trump from office and defy the results of the 2016 election are clear.

The Democrats spent most of Trump’s first term impeaching him.

Pelosi even threatened to advance impeachment a second time over Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Now, Pelosi is talking about using the 25th Amendment.

Their mission since the 2016 election ended has been to undo its results.

If they care to be honest, Democrats might want to change the name of their party because their respect for democracy is at an all-time low.

That change is about as likely as President Nancy Pelosi ever happening.

The post Pelosi Suggests Using 25th Amendment To Remove Trump From Office Before Election appeared first on The Political Insider.

Kamala Harris Didn’t Make One Mention Of Impeachment During Debate – But Mike Pence Did

2020 Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris curiously didn’t have anything to say Wednesday night about her party’s years-long impeachment crusade against President Trump over alleged “Russian collusion.”

But Mike Pence did.

I can’t be the only person in America who finds it strange that neither the Democrat Party’s presidential or vice presidential nominees mentioned that their opponent was impeached (even if the Senate failed to convict).

After all, impeachment is extremely rare. So why don’t the Democrats attack the Trump administration for it?

RELATED: Mike Pence: Democrats Don’t Talk About Joe Biden’s Agenda, ‘And If I Were Them, I Wouldn’t Either’

Pence to Harris: Democrats Spent The Last 3.5 Years Trying To Overturn The Last Election

Democrat reticence to attack Trump for being impeached is especially ironic, given the deluge of claims from the media and Democrats that Trump will “refuse to peacefully transfer power” if he loses the election.

The impeachment scam was the culmination of Democrats refusing to accept the results of the 2016 election.

Some are even saying the left will refuse to accept the results again in 2020, should Trump emerge victorious.

When Susan Page, the moderator of the first and only 2020 vice presidential debate, asked if President Donald Trump would accept a “peaceful transfer of power” should he lose in November, Pence decided it was a good time to bring the issue up.

“When you talk about accepting the outcome of the election, I must tell you, Senator, your party has spent the last three and a half years trying to overturn the results of the last election,” Pence charged.

“It’s amazing,” he added.

Pence Says Democrats Spied On Trump-Pence 2016 Campaign

Vice President Pence took it a step further – noting that the left’s refusal to accept the results of the 2016 election came even before the election happened.

“When Joe Biden was vice president of the United States, the FBI actually spied on President Trump and my campaign,” Pence said.

He continued, “There were documents released this week that the CIA actually made a referral to the FBI documenting that those allegations were coming from the Hillary Clinton campaign, and of course, we’ve all seen the avalanche, what you put the country through for the better part of three years until it was found that there was no obstruction, no collusion, case closed.”

Just before the debate, the Director of National Intelligence declassified files that show Pence is right.

Don’t forget, an investigation into the Obama administration’s actions during the 2016 campaign is ongoing.

And one FBI lawyer has already pled guilty to making false statements.

It’s not hard at all to follow the string that leads from “spying on the Trump campaign” to “refusing to accept the election results” to “impeachment.”

And it’s something they don’t want to talk about much these days. Just ask Kamala Harris.

Vice President Pence added, “And then, Senator Harris, you and your colleagues in the Congress, trying to impeach the President of the United States over a phone call.”

Hillary Clinton to Biden: Don’t Concede The Election

On left-wing charges that Trump won’t accept a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election, Pence flipped the script.

“And now, Hillary Clinton actually said to Joe Biden that, in her words, under no circumstances should he concede the election.”

The media bias is plain as day.

Why haven’t reporters or debate moderators harangued Team Biden about accepting the results of the election should they lose?

RELATED: Mike Pence Eager To Debate Biden’s Hotheaded VP Nominee Kamala Harris And Set The Record Straight

Only Republicans Seem To Talk About Impeachment These Days

In the first presidential debate, impeachment was not mentioned by the moderator Chris Wallace, though President Trump cited it a few times.

In the vice presidential debate, it was only mentioned when Mike Pence did so.

For years, impeachment seemed to be the only thing Democrats wanted to talk about.

Now you won’t hear about it – unless Republicans remind us of the duplicity the Democrats perpetrated.

The post Kamala Harris Didn’t Make One Mention Of Impeachment During Debate – But Mike Pence Did appeared first on The Political Insider.

It’s not about Barrett’s religion: It’s about the cover-up of how extreme and unqualified she is

The fact that Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett "served as a ‘handmaid’ in Christian group People of Praise," in the words of The Washington Post, is a thing. It's a thing that is concerning to a lot of not evangelical or fundamentalist Christian Americans. Republicans are, however, trying to make that a landmine for Democrats, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell leading the way. They're saying any questions about her rather out-of-the-mainstream practice is an attack on faith. They are in fact itching to have a fight about her religion.

But that's eliding a larger problem: Barrett has been actively trying to cover-up her association with People of Praise and her fundamentalist beliefs, and People of Praise have been helping. This is what Democrats need to be focusing on. The Post reports that while Barrett has disclosed "serving on the board of a network of private Christian schools affiliated with the group," People of Praise will not confirm that she is a member. Furthermore, in the last few years it has "removed from its website editions of a People of Praise magazine — first those that included her name and photograph and then all archives of the magazine itself." Why are her ties to the group being scrubbed and who is helping her do that?

That goes along with Barrett's failure in 2017 and again this year to disclose that she had signed on to a newspaper ad in 2006 taking the most extreme position on abortion possible, advocating for the overturning of Roe v. Wade and going further, saying she  opposed "abortion on demand" and defended "the right to life from fertilization to the end of natural life." That's leaving the door open for banning types of birth control and for investigation and potential prosecution of women who've had miscarriages, the furthest forced birth extremists tend to go. Of course she doesn't want that information in front of the Judiciary Committee or the American public, which supports abortion rights.

So who's covering it up for her? Is the White House advising her to withhold information? Is the Republican-majority Senate  Judiciary Committee staff helping her pick and choose the information senators and the American public get to weigh when considering the nomination? Because it sure seems like a concerted effort, and the kind of thing that raises eyebrows for investigators. What else might she be failing to disclose—and why? This should at least require more time for a more thorough investigation and Democrats should demand that. It's not about her religion: It's about why she is trying to cover up her religion!

Clearly the investigation into Brett Kavanaugh wasn't thorough enough because McConnell and Sen. Chuck Grassley, who was then chair of the committee, wouldn't let it be. They didn't give enough time. That means there are still outstanding questions about Kavanaugh, and big ones. Like who paid his $92,000 country club fees, his $10,500-a-year private school for his kids, his $60,000 to $200,000 credit card debt, and his $1.2 million mortgage before his confirmation hearings. Which is a question for another time and potentially an impeachment investigation when there's a Democratic-controlled Senate. Potentially.

But on this nominee, there needs to be an investigation. The FBI needs to figure out why there was a coordinated effort to cover this information up, why the People of Praise group has been erasing her from existence in their organization, and what else she could be withholding from the committee. It's not about the organization itself: It's about the effort to prevent the Senate and public from knowing. She, and the Republicans, demean the process by hiding things.

There are already serious questions about her fitness to serve. First and foremost, Barrett accepted the nomination in the first place, in these extraordinary circumstances and mere weeks before a presidential election. Then she participated willingly and knowingly in what turned out to be a coronavirus superspreader event that violated the rules the District of Columbia has in place for public gatherings. Yes, the White House is federal land and not governed by D.C.'s ordinances, but it shows an appalling lack of judgement on the part of this would-be justice to participate in the whole fiasco.

But there are also questions about her actual ability to judge. She actually authored a Seventh Circuit opinion last year "that threatened to hurl corporate insurance policies into chaos" and was quickly and quietly withdrawn to allow the lower court judgement she had initially overturned stand. It was an "episode that stunned attorneys and raised questions about her judgment." Because she made an extremely basic and big mistake. She ignored state law, in this case Indiana’s, in her initial ruling. "Her opinion, absolutely, 100 percent, ignored Indiana law with respect to how those things would be decided," one lawyer involved said. "It was the only time in my career where I had to file a brief that raised this point."

It's a given, even among conservatives, that Barrett got this nomination not for her legal qualifications but because of her ideological ones. That's not even debatable in 2020, after the Trump administration and the kinds of judges—even those rated unqualified—he's promoted. What's remarkable is the extent to which Republicans are still committed to covering up her background. That's a problem, and one that gives Democrats absolutely every reason to fight this nomination. Not on religious grounds: on the cover up.