Trump killed plans for a national testing strategy, because COVID-19 ‘hit blue states hardest’

On Thursday, Vanity Fair published a detailed analysis of how the planned federal testing program headed up by Jared Kushner disintegrated into a puddle of mismanagement, hubris, and finger-pointing. As much as any other story over the last three years, it’s instructive in showing how the Trump White House acted as if it were both above the rules and smarter than the experts. Like so many other things that have happened under Trump, it’s ultimately a story about how unwillingness to accept responsibility for anything dooms everything.

Only the utter abandonment of any effort to execute a coherent national testing strategy—a decision that all its own is principally responsible for consigning 160,000 Americans to their deaths—turns out not to be the worst aspect of this story. The worst part is that Trump, Kushner, and everyone involved knew that hundreds of thousands of Americans would die if they failed to act, but they still refused to act out of a political calculation. That calculation was that American deaths in blue states would be good for Trump’s election chances. The worst thing is that Americans did not have to die in vast numbers. The United States’ worst in the world results on COVID-19 were not an accident.

On the day he announced his coronavirus response team, Trump added management of testing for the disease onto the stack of things that son-in-law Kushner was supposed to squeeze in between solving Middle East peace and providing kill lists to authoritarian dictators. Kushner responded by forming a crack team of old college buddies and real estate pals who WhatsApp’d their way to a national testing strategy with the help of advice from billionaire bankers and the occasional health expert. The end result was a plan that recognized that the United States needed a coherent national testing strategy, that states shouldn’t have to compete with each other for protective gear, and that a national contract-tracing database was required to make testing effective.

Then the White House set out to execute that plan. Step one: Illegally purchase over a million Chinese-made COVID-19 tests that turned out to be “contaminated and unusable” in a $52 million taxpayer-funded boondoggle. Step two: Decide that paying any real attention to COVID-19 might be bad for the stock market and just say f-ck it about the whole thing. Seriously.

Trump’s “political instincts” were that it was better to simply continue downplaying concerns about the virus and to keep the federal government out of the testing business. Because, of course, testing for COVID-19 might find COVID-19, which would be “bad publicity.” Besides, Dr. Deborah Birx was backing up Trump, showing models that suggested the virus would just magically disappear with the summer. Trump decided to dump the whole idea of launching any testing plan, forget about contact tracing, and abandon any pretense of a national strategy.

But even that isn’t the worst thing. 

As a member of Kushner’s team made clear, Trump didn’t just decide that turning up cases of COVID-19 by testing for them would lead to bad publicity—he decided that, because it was hitting blue states the hardest, he should just let it burn. “The political folks believed that because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states,” said the source, “that they could blame those governors, and that would be an effective political strategy.”

Just to repeat that: Trump deliberately decided to let Americans die, in huge numbers, not because there was nothing that could be done, but because it was decided that it would “politically advantageous” to have people dying in states with Democratic governors.

There are acts that go beyond the need for impeachment. There are acts that are so inhumane that they go beyond comprehension. There are actions for which even imprisonment seems inadequate. 

But let’s start with impeachment. The imprisonment can come later.

Obama To Biden: We Always Took Responsibility For Our Mistakes

Former President Barack Obama had a sit down with Joe Biden where the duo spoke about how their administration always took responsibility for their mistakes.

Biden posted a video to his Twitter account of the socially-distanced meeting along with the caption “44 + 46,” a reference to their possible presidential line numbers.

The video is a teaser of the conversation between the previous president and vice president.

In the clip, Biden and Obama criticize President Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Can you imagine standing up when you were president and saying ‘it’s not my responsibility. I take no responsibility.’ Literally. Literally,” Biden asked.

“Those words didn’t come out of our mouths when we were in office,” replied Obama.

RELATED: Biden To Muslim Voters: I Wish We Taught Islamic Faith In Our Schools

Blamed Benghazi on a YouTube Video

Now, when you’re dealing with two skilled and accomplished liars in Biden and Obama, there is a lot to unpack in their comments. Even with just a couple of short sentences.

Let’s begin with Biden’s claim that Trump hasn’t taken responsibility for the pandemic.

While it is true that the President said he doesn’t “take responsibility at all” over four months ago when it was clear that Democrats had impeded congressional efforts to address COVID-19 by hosting an impeachment circus, more recent comments have differed.

In an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, he said: “I take responsibility always for everything because it’s ultimately my job, too. I have to get everybody in line.”

As for Obama saying of shirking responsibility that “those words didn’t come out of our mouths” – what absolute gall.

This was an administration – from Obama to Biden, down to Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice – who refused responsibility for the Benghazi terrorist attack in 2012 that killed four Americans, instead deliberately crafting a lie to the public involving an obscure anti-Muslim YouTube video.

At first, they tossed Rice under the bus, forcing her on news stations to repeat the lie over and over again. Clinton would later be tossed under the bus as well.

It took several weeks for Obama to suggest he took any responsibility for the lives lost in Libya, and only did so as the controversy refused to subside and he faced election against Mitt Romney.

Biden, on the other hand, continued to lie.

RELATED: Meadows Expects Indictments From Durham Investigation Into Spying On Trump – ‘Time For People To Go To Jail’

Doesn’t Stop at Benghazi

When did Obama and Biden take responsibility for spying on Trump’s presidential campaign? We must have missed it.

Some Obama-era officials may have no choice but to accept responsibility for the biggest political scandal of our time according to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

In discussing the investigation by U.S. Attorney John Durham into the origins of the Russia collusion probe, Meadows said he “expect(s) indictments.”

“It’s all starting to come unraveled,” he said. “It’s all unraveling. And I tell you, it’s time that people go to jail and people are indicted.”

Aside from that, Obama and Biden took responsibility for everything else.

Just kidding.

One of Obama’s favorite targets for finger-pointing was his predecessor, former President George W. Bush:

And, of course, Obama blamed Fox News for everything that ailed his failure of a presidency. He blamed Russia for Hillary’s 2016 election loss. Not the fact that he was essentially on the ballot for a third term by proxy.

Despite their claims in the Biden video, passing the buck during difficult times was a hallmark of the Obama presidency.

The post Obama To Biden: We Always Took Responsibility For Our Mistakes appeared first on The Political Insider.

Former Ohio Republican governor to speak at the Democratic convention

Ohio has burrowed itself deep in impeached president Donald Trump, who may or may not be hiding in his bunker at this time. It’s not a state that will decide the presidency. Trump won it by eight points in 2016, and if he loses it this year (and chances are growing by the day), he will already have lost Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and several other states—giving presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden more than enough electoral votes to end our long national nightmare. Yet his campaign has now made Ohio the second-largest recipient of advertising dollars, behind only Florida. 

So how do you think Trump will react when he finds out that former Ohio two-term Republican governor John Kasich is scheduled to speak at the Democratic National Convention? Hilarious, right? 

The Daily Beast has leaked details on Democratic plans for the mostly online convention, which includes the information on Kasich’s participation. The Associated Press has more information on the Kasich coup, and adds this hint: “Kasich is among a handful of high-profile Republicans likely to become more active in supporting Biden in the fall.” The Biden campaign, feeling secure in its base, is clearly focused on expanding his potential base of support, and the never-Trump crowd, while small, could have a big impact in close races up and down the ballot. 

Ohio is a perfect example, a state in which Trump’s standing has fallen more precipitously during the coronavirus pandemic (and because of it) than most places. 

As noted in a previous analysis, Trump’s general election matchup numbers are closely correlated to his approval numbers. His 47% approvals here means he’s getting between 47-49% in the head-to-head matchups versus Biden. That’s enough for victory, but barely. Trump is hanging on for dear life in a state that he comfortably won in 2016, and which shouldn’t be in play given its demographics—mostly white, mostly non-college.  

Meanwhile, Kasich left office a popular politician, with a 52-36 rating the last time Quinnipiac checked in before he was termed out of office in 2018. But even then, there were storm clouds that hinted at a party split: “Ohio Gov. John Kasich gets a 52-36 percent job approval rating, doing better with Democrats than he does with his fellow Republicans, Democrats approve of Kasich 57-33 percent. Republicans are divided as 46 percent approve and 44 percent disapprove.” You see, he had run against Trump in the 2016 Republican primary, and Trump hit him for, among other things, giving his state’s residents health care via Obamacare Medicaid expansion. 

pic.twitter.com/ZQ0osiFEJQ

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 11, 2016

The campaign eventually ended, but the feud never did. For example, here was a typical interaction between the two, in 2018:

pic.twitter.com/wqtmN9SwhT

— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) August 13, 2018

Pretty good, right? Kasich also attacked his party for looking the other way as Trump made a mockery of party orthodoxy, steel and aluminum tariffs, as well as for tolerating Trump’s attacks on national institutions like the FBI and the Justice Department. After the 2019 Dayton mass shooting, Kasich called Trump “sensitive” and “thin-skinned.”  

Kasich spent some seconds this year “running against Trump in the GOP primary,” but no one took that seriously. The Republican Party is the Party of Trump, and vice versa. There’s no longer any room for Kasich-style moderate fiscal conservatives in the GOP. We don’t want them either! But at least this year, those never-Trumpers realize the damage that Trump is doing to the country. As Kasich told the Washington Post, “[The Republican Party] coddled this guy the whole time and now it’s like some rats are jumping off of the sinking ship. It’s just a little late. It’s left this nation with a crescendo of hate not only between politicians but between citizens. ... It started with Charlottesville and people remained silent then, and we find ourselves in this position now.”

Kasich may be the highest-profile Republican to flip to Biden right now, but there is definitely something happening among Republicans. Look at Trump’s approval ratings among Republicans: 

So 87-9 seems ridiculously high, right? Except that during the impeachment hearings, that number was 91-6. That means that in just a few short months, Trump has lost a net-seven points of support among Republicans. 

Don’t scoff. Every Republican that gives up on Trump is one less vote. They may vote for Biden and say the heck with it, they’ll vote for Democrats in critical Senate and House races. Or maybe they stay home in frustration, which is almost as good. 

Every Republican defection makes it harder for Trump to bounce back. How is he going to expand his coalition if he can’t even hold on to his own core base? 

Kasich isn’t a play to win Ohio. We don’t need Ohio. Let Trump piss his money away on a state that is irrelevant to whether he wins or loses. While there are two Republican-held House seats that could be in play, control of the U.S. House isn’t at stake. 

But there are Republicans who aren’t happy being associated with a racist sociopath who is putting our children at risk to boost his reelection chances, and Kasich is a signal to them freeing them from Trumpism. There are alternatives. Because this thing, whatever it is that Republicanism has become? It really hasn’t quite worked out well for the country now, has it.

But even if Kasich doesn’t swing a single vote—which is quite possible—the inevitable Trump tantrum will be reason enough to stand up and clap. You know it’ll be glorious. 

Millions of Americans will soon find out just how badly they’ve been screwed by Trump and the GOP

Robert Reich, writing for The Guardian, weighs in on the fairy tale that our country is somehow “roaring back,” as Donald Trump characterized it when he hawked a report last week based on misleading unemployment statistics—numbers that were already woefully out of date at the time they were released.

The US economy isn’t roaring back. Just over half of Americans have jobs now, the lowest figure in more than 70 years. What’s roaring back is Covid-19. Until it’s tamed, the American economy doesn’t stand a chance.

As former Labor Secretary Reich notes: “The uptick in jobs in June was due almost entirely to the hasty reopening, which is now being reversed.”

Last month, many businesses rehired previously laid-off employees based on cues they received from state governors assuring them the crisis had passed and that it was “time to reopen.” Those governors and Republicans in their legislatures in turn took their cues from a political imperative pushed relentlessly by the White House. But, as most of these governors well knew, that wasn’t the reality at all. It was simply a story spun out of thin air by an administration growing increasingly desperate about its reelection chances; a story to mollify a restless public grown increasingly frustrated at the endless lockdowns; a story to provide temporary cover for Republicans at the state and federal level who had absolutely no clue how to handle this pandemic.

But mostly it was a story to satisfy their donors, who were seeing their corporate profits evaporate and taking it out on their paid stooges in Congress and the states. The GOP jumped to the task, bailing out businesses as much as they possibly could—namely with hundreds of billions of dollars—without ever telling the American public where those funds were actually going. (Hint: It was to their donors.) But it wasn’t done out of any concern for American workers. If it had been, the GOP would have come up with a game plan that didn’t simply involve waving some fairy dust at the end of May and telling people it was now suddenly safe to go back to work.

This was effectively an untested medical experiment on a grand scale, collectively embraced by Republicans, with ordinary Americans as its unwitting subjects. The reopening push was not based on any scientific or medical planning to address the pandemic but wholly on “feel-good” politics designed to satisfy donors for a few months. 

So when those June unemployment numbers trumpeted by Trump and his state media last Thursday were actually compiled, reported COVID-19 cases in this country were averaging 25,000 daily because all those reopenings in late May were only just beginning to register a corresponding spike in infections. Since that report, cases have now jumped drastically to an average of 55,000 per day or more, forcing many states that had prematurely reopened to reverse course, shutting down businesses once again in a desperate attempt to prevent the virus from spiraling out of control and overwhelming their state’s medical capabilities. Late in June, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci warned that we were likely to see 100,000 cases of new infections every day thanks to inadequate efforts to contain the virus and these misguided reopenings.

Republican state legislators from Texas to Arizona to Wisconsin, where COVID-19 cases are now shooting through the roof, all rode the reopening bandwagon for months. They pounded their chests on their Facebook pages about their “patriotism,” attended rallies in support of gun-toting Neo-Nazi militias, and brought frivolous lawsuits to force businesses to reopen. In most Republican-led states (and some Democratic-run ones as well), the GOP’s blind push—and often violent agitation—to force accelerated reopenings caused several states to issue blanket, credulous edicts to reopen long before it was safe to do so. In states like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin where they did not control the governor’s mansion, GOP-controlled legislatures introduced articles of impeachment to try to force their states to reopen, or petitioned like-minded judges to overrule the lockdown measures.

In less than a week since those new job numbers were released, instead of a nation “roaring back,” we are now witnessing an embarrassing and hasty Republican retreat from everything they and Trump assured us of with such certainty. Meanwhile, as Reich painstakingly points out, the pandemic hasn’t gone anywhere in the last four months. It still hangs around, strong as ever, like a voracious beast, ready to devour anyone foolish enough to try to defy it.

Now, Reich explains, all of those efforts are proving to be disastrous.

Arizona’s Republican governor, Doug Ducey, initially refused to order masks and even barred local officials from doing so. This week he closed all gyms, bars and movie theaters in the state. The governors of Florida, Texas and California have also reimposed restrictions. Officials in Florida’s Miami-Dade county recently approved the reopening of movie theaters, arcades, casinos, concert halls, bowling halls and adult entertainment venues. They have now re-closed them.

And so on across America. A vast re-closing is under way, as haphazard as was the reopening. In the biggest public health emergency in US history, in which nearly 130,000 have already lost their lives, still no one is in charge.

You’d think some Republicans would have the decency to apologize. But none have as of this writing. Meanwhile, as a result of Republican dithering and inaction, millions of Americans are now finding themselves teetering on the edge of a financial abyss thanks to the complete lack of a coherent national response to this crisis by this president, and thanks to the Republican officials at all levels who abetted him. Reich plainly lays out what is coming in the next few weeks, all Republican “magical thinking” and fantasy-spinning to the contrary.

Brace yourself. Not only will the virus take many more lives in the months ahead, but millions of Americans are in danger of becoming destitute. Extra unemployment benefits enacted by Congress in March are set to end on 31 July. About one in five people in renter households are at risk of eviction by 30 September. Delinquency rates on mortgages have more than doubled since March.

An estimated 25 million Americans have lost or will lose employer-provided health insurance. America’s fragile childcare system is in danger of collapse, with the result that hundreds of thousands of working parents will not be able to return to work even if jobs are available.

The GOP-controlled U.S. Senate has all but abandoned the field in this pandemic, blocking attempts by Democratic lawmakers in the House to provide additional emergency aid to suffering Americans, and instead going on vacation throughout the entire month of June. In this conscious act of cowardice, they deliberately left Americans to their fate. Sen. Mitch McConnell and his colleagues have long since exhausted their quiver of phony, supply-side, “market-based” solutions and are now willingly leaving millions to be crushed by an ongoing economic catastrophe that is only now beginning to reveal its full ferocity.

As the true, stunning magnitude of this crisis finally hits home for Americans, the Republican Party will be offering no solutions—because they have none. Helping Americans in a crisis like this is not in their playbook, and they have no point of reference even if they had the inclination to do anything. In the end, they will be only too happy to scamper away to whatever gated communities continue to offer them shelter, muttering their worthless platitudes as Americans collapse into economic hardship, hunger, and in many cases, homelessness.

By late summer, all people of voting age in this country are going to be forced to make brutal, existential decisions about their futures and those of their families, and none of Trump’s hysterical babbling about Confederate statues or other race-baiting dogwhistles is going to make one whit of difference. This crisis is about to go into overdrive, far beyond any Republican attempts to “wish it away.” Millions of peoples’ lives are about to come alive with a fierce urgency that may well consign the Republican Party to the sorry trash bin of history, as Americans realize just how badly they’ve been screwed and lied to.

Sen. Joni Ernst says 130,000 American deaths show Trump is ‘stepping forward’

Though it is a holiday weekend, the Sunday news shows continued on in mostly the usual fashion. Trump ally Sen. Joni Ernst, one of the corrupt man-child's most ardent defenders as the Republican Senate nullified impeachment charges against Trump without investigation, once had a lot to day about two (2) Americans dying of Ebola under President Barack Obama, saying it showed "failed leadership." CNN host Dana Bash asked Ernst whether 130,000 Americans dying in the (now fully out-of-control) COVID-19 pandemic also is showing "failed leadership."

Sen. Joni Ernst replied with yet another response seemingly hand-tailored to show just how corrupt, incompetent, and buffoonish the Republican Party has become. After a long filibuster resulting in Bash repeating of the question: "No, I think that the president is stepping forward," she clowned.

CNN's Dana Bash: You said in 2014 that Obama showed "failed leadership" with Ebola, when only 2 Americans died. Would you say Trump's showed failed leadership with coronavirus as 130,000 Americans have died? Sen. Joni Ernst: "No, I think that the president is stepping forward" pic.twitter.com/WQqSC82OSt

— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) July 5, 2020

Lord, now that was just pathetic. I’m embarrassed for both of them.

Again, the whole premise of so-called "news" programs is invalidated if political leaders are simply allowed to bullshit their way through each with no repercussions. Bash's question was spot-on, probing whether a sitting senator's supposed outrage at one pandemic would translate to the next. Clearly, it did not.

What, then, should the repercussions be for being so transparently a hack? Should a buzzer sound? Should a duck drop from the ceiling? During the pandemic itself physical solutions are largely out of bounds, as most of the people praising Donald Trump's brilliant handling of a pandemic now expected by the White House to result in at least a quarter million dead are praising him from inside their own homes because it is simply too unsafe to travel to the studios as usual. That means the best solution is, for now, right out; nobody is going to agree to have a pie-throwing machine installed in their den.

Hecklers, then. I'm going to propose the "news" shows liven up their broadcasts with professional hecklers. If any politician says something as egregiously tawdry as Joni Ernst says regularly, ninety seconds of interview time will be given to a team of hecklers to point it out and roast their target into oblivion.

Hey, it's more news than what's currently being broadcast. If the nation's top political reporters are incapable of bringing shame to those that quite transparently deserve it, we need to bring in people with more appropriate skills.

Hillary Clinton: I Would Have Done a Better Job As President Handling Coronavirus

Hillary Clinton took a swing at President Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, saying she would have done a “better job” in managing the crisis.

In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Clinton even claimed she would have done a better job in handling the economic fallout.

“We wouldn’t have been able to stop the pandemic at our borders the way that Trump claimed in the beginning, but we sure could have done a better job saving lives, modeling better, more responsible behavior,” she claimed.

“I don’t think we necessarily should have had as deep an economic assault on livelihoods and jobs as we have,” Clinton added. “So I know I would have done a better job.”

RELATED: Hillary Clinton Says It’s Time For a ‘Real President’

She Crazy

She’s a two-time failed presidential candidate, failed to implement new health care as First Lady, failed to protect Americans as Secretary of State, but we’re supposed to believe she could have done a better job than Trump.

It’s hard not to imagine Hillary locking down the entire nation if she had the power of the presidency behind her, meaning an economy in utter shambles. She celebrated Governor Cuomo, after all, who has done the very same thing – ruined his state’s economy, led the nation in COVID-19 cases, and personally sent thousands of seniors to nursing homes resulting in their deaths.

While locking down Americans, she likely would have never shut down travel from China or other nations that were hotspots for the virus, meaning many more lives lost.

Not to mention, we know all about her crisis management skills from Benghazi. Perhaps she could have blamed the pandemic on a YouTube video.

RELATED: Rep Dan Crenshaw Lights Hillary Clinton Up Over Her Latest Attack on Trump

Fantasy Land

This isn’t the first time Hillary openly fantasized about being the President, and it certainly won’t be the last time.

Several weeks ago, Clinton criticized Trump’s coronavirus response by saying, “We need a real President.”

“Donald Trump isn’t responsible for the coronavirus,” she tweeted recently. “But he is responsible for the disastrous lack of leadership that has led to 122,000 deaths in the U.S. and counting.”

And in April, the former First Lady shared a Washington Post story and quote with her social media followers which falsely alleged the President took over two months to treat the pandemic seriously.

Rep. Dan Crenshaw slammed Clinton when she mocked the President for America becoming the leader in coronavirus cases, a fact only possible if you believe nations like China and Iran had accurately reported their numbers.

“Delete your account. This isn’t the time,” Crenshaw replied. “This can’t be the new normal, where American tragedy is applauded for the sake of political opportunism.”

Additionally, Clinton told the Hollywood Reporter that she would beat Trump if she were on the ballot again in November, but added that running again was “not in the cards.”

The post Hillary Clinton: I Would Have Done a Better Job As President Handling Coronavirus appeared first on The Political Insider.

Pelosi Looking At Second Impeachment Hoax Against President Trump

To make sure Trump doesn’t win the presidency again or to make him pay if he does, Nancy Pelosi and DC Democrats are considering at least three new articles of impeachment against the president, media and political sources report.

House Speaker Pelosi is considering a broad front strategy and will possibly make the announcement next month or soon afterward in an attempt to steal thunder from the GOP convention and Trump’s fall campaign.

She may consider articles of impeachment, which the House Judiciary Committee will dutifully bring up, on COVID, the riots, and the new Democrat talking point on Russian bounties on the heads of American troops in Afghanistan. The charges would break down this way:

COVID- The Democrats would charge that the president, out of incompetence and failing to listen to his public health advisors, failed to respond to COVID in time and by such is directly responsible for the deaths of over 100,000 Americans.

Yes, it is absurd and is especially so as Joe Biden called the president’s initial travel ban “xenophobic.” But this country passed the boundaries of the surreal some time ago regarding charges against the president.

There are approximately 45% of the public who will believe anything negative about Trump, no matter how ridiculous. Democrats can call them out at will to make it seem there is consensus for a new impeachment drive. Collusion with China on the virus is another facet of this charge: that the president, for personal and national economic gain, ignored the virus to curry favor with the Chinese.

The riots- This article would essentially charge the president with the constitutionally vague high crime and misdemeanor of “racism” and would thus hold him responsible for the deaths and riots associated with the George Floyd shooting.

This makes no sense and it’s not supposed to make sense. None of it is. The Democrats know they can never get enough votes out of the Senate to convict even if the Senate flips to them in November. The goal is to make the president look guilty, or sparing that make voters tire of his controversies, to depress his strength with swing voters.

This specific ploy would be to increase black Democrat turnout by luridly replaying scenes of the riots and blaming Trump. Though as Democrats are at this point held more responsible on the riots than the president, this could backfire on them.

Russian bounties- Democrats will charge, again, that the president is somehow compromised by the Russians and that’s why he ignored alleged intelligence reports on a Russian military intelligence unit paying the Taliban to kill American troops in Afghanistan.

Given all intel agencies have publicly disavowed the reports, this would be the hardest case to make. Remember, none of these are designed by Democrats to convict Trump in the Senate, only to hurt him, and the nation, between now and election day and even after that if the president wins reelection.

This piece was written by David Kamioner on July 3, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

Read more at LifeZette:
Fox News fires host Ed Henry for sexual misconduct allegations: Fans stunned
Wisconsin college students demand Lincoln statue be torn down because while he was ‘anti-slavery,’ he wasn’t ‘pro-black’
Biden pops off on reporter, calls him a ‘lying dog face’

The post Pelosi Looking At Second Impeachment Hoax Against President Trump appeared first on The Political Insider.

This Week in Statehouse Action: 2 Lock 2 Down edition

Hello, and happy early Independence Day to all who observe!

(And, of course, as an erudite consumer of this missive, I know you’ll observe in a responsible, socially-distanced way. Because Lockdown 2: The New Batch is going to suck enough as it is.)

As a lot of states whose Republican governors reopened businesses prematurely in the middle of a damn pandemic begin to grapple with the obvious and avoidable fallout, a lot of state-level action right now is extremely coronavirus-related.

… but not all of it.

Body Double: … but some of it!

Campaign Action
  • In Pennsylvania, GOP Rep. (and noted Terrible Human) Daryl Metcalfe is coopting “my body, my choice” as a slogan to justify his reckless refusal to wear a face mask to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
    • Metcalfe has also introduced a resolution calling for the impeachment of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, saying in a statement that Wolf’s businesses closures and other measures he’s taken to combat the spread of the coronavirus have “caused immeasurable harm an hardship for far more Pennsylvanians than the virus!”

I dunno, getting a deadly disease seems like a pretty severe hardship

Double or Nothing: In Kansas, where I’m sure the GOP-controlled legislature is contemplating a measured and reasonable response to Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s new mandatory face mask order, one Republican lawmaker is super worried about losing his primary election in August.

Okay, this has all been interesting, but I did promise you non-coronavirus related content.

And, well, tomorrow is an important day.

No, not because it’s Independence Day Eve.

And not because it’s my half-birthday.

(Which it is.)

Election Day is four short months from July 3.

And this is a year that ends in zero.

Which makes this Election Day the final chance for Democrats to flip legislative chambers and put themselves in position in states across the country to prevent another decade of GOP gerrymandering.

Thousands of seats are on the ballot this fall.

And yes, all state legislative elections in each and every state are important.

But because redistricting is at stake, some are a bit more important than others this fall.

Democrats taking a birds-eye view of these elections (c’est moi) have to weigh a number of factors when it comes to prioritizing states, chambers, and seats this year.

  • How many seats do Democrats need to flip to win a majority in the chamber?
  • Do past election results, political trends, or other factors indicate that Democrats can flip that many seats in a single election?
  • Was Democratic recruitment strong?
  • Do legislators in that state impact redistricting (some states, like California, task independent commissions with drawing legislative and congressional maps)?

These are the chief factors I’ve weighed in determining my state legislative chamber priority target list for 2020.

Topmost among those targets are (in alphabetical order, nothing to read into here):

  • Arizona House (Dems need to flip two for a majority)
  • Arizona Senate (Dems need to flip three)
  • Michigan House (Dems need to flip four)
  • Minnesota Senate (flip two)
  • North Carolina House (flip six)
  • North Carolina Senate (flip five)
  • Pennsylvania House (flip nine)
  • Texas House (flip nine)
    • In Arizona, flipping either chamber would break the Republican trifecta. While legislative and congressional maps there are drawn by an independent redistricting commission, Republicans have spent the entire decade trying to undermine and dismantle the body; as long as the GOP has complete control of the state, fair redistricting is in real danger.
    • In Michigan, flipping the House would help stymie ongoing GOP efforts to dismantle or defang the independent redistricting commission the party’s been attacking since voters approved it in 2018.
    • In Minnesota, flipping the state Senate would give Democrats a governing trifecta (governorship, House, Senate) and complete control of the redistricting process.
    • Flipping at least one chamber in North Carolina is essential to preventing another GOP gerrymander of the state. The Democratic governor is generally favored to win reelection here, but it doesn’t matter—the legislature has complete control of legislative and congressional redistricting.
    • While Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf is positioned to veto egregious partisan gerrymanders sent to him by the legislature, flipping a chamber in Pennsylvania would give him a redistricting partner, so to speak, which would send him a fair map to approve, levy against the GOP in negotiations, or be considered by the Democratic-majority state Supreme Court in litigation.
    • Flipping the Texas House would break the GOP trifecta in the state and give Democrats a say in the redistricting process for the first time since the infamous DeLay-mander of 2003.

Over the coming weeks, I’ll be going in to detail on each of these chambers—challenges, opportunities, available paths to victory, targeted districts, and the like. And I’ll be adding target chambers as the electoral landscape shifts and solidifies as we approach November.

  • But let’s start with the relative layup of the bunch: Minnesota Senate.
    • As ever, much love to the beautiful brains at Daily Kos Elections who crunch the numbers that give us presidential and other statewide elections results broken down by legislative district.
      • And after this crunching, they’ve spit out multiple opportunities for Democrats to win that coveted trifecta this fall.
        • Republicans currently have a 35-32 majority in the Minnesota Senate.
        • In 2016, Hillary Clinton carried just 28 seats in the 67-seat chamber.
        • In the special U.S. Senate election in 2018, Democrat Tina Smith carried 39 out of 67 districts.
        • Democrat Tim Walz carried those same 39 seats, plus two more.
        • Sen. Amy Klobuchar annihilated her GOP opponent and carried a ridiculous 52 of the 67 Senate seats, but let’s look at the closer elections to map out the most viable targets in the fall.
          • Those targets can be found among the eight Smith/Waltz districts currently represented by Republicans.
    • It’s worth noting, though, that only two of those seats supported Clinton in 2016 (SDs 44 and 56).
      • … which, well, is fine, since Democrats only have to flip two for that sweet Senate majority and hot trifecta action.

Welp, that’s a wrap for this week. Thanks for checking in before checking out for the holiday!

Whatever you end up doing this weekend, I hope you enjoy the heck out of it.

You deserve it.

You’re worth it.

Hang in there.

And wear a mask.

Hillary Clinton Says It’s Time For a ‘Real President’

Two-time failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton criticized President Trump and his coronavirus pandemic response on Thursday saying, “We need a real President.”

Clinton, who most decidedly believes she’s the “real president” in her own mind, also took Trump to task for a controversial retweet.

“Over the last 24 hours, the 100,000th American died of COVID-19 on Trump’s watch,” she wrote. “He’s spent the last 24 hours sharing videos that begin ‘The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat’ while complaining Twitter’s censoring him.”

Clinton concluded, “We need a real president.”

RELATED: Maxine Waters: Trump Is The Reason Cops Kill Black People Like George Floyd

Trump’s Controversial Tweet

Hillary’s tweet also shared one from the President in which he thanked a group known as “Cowboys for Trump.”

The group posted a message referring to the media as “fake,” but included a video clip of their leader, Cuoy Griffin, a commissioner for Otero County in New Mexico, stating, “I’ve come to a place where I’ve come to the conclusion that the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.”

Trump, in the middle of a tweetstorm, likely was sharing the message about fake news. It is unclear if he actually saw the clip in question.

That said, the video is taken from an event earlier this month in which Griffin clarified the comment by adding, “I don’t say that in the physical sense” and predicting his words would be taken out of context.

The full comment:

I’ve come to a place where I’ve come to the conclusion that the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat. I don’t say that in the physical sense and I can already see the videos getting edited where it says I wanna go murder Democrats. No, I say that in the political sense because the Democrat agenda and policy is anti-American right now. It’s where our country’s not coming to a place if you love or hate Donald Trump, our country’s coming to a place if you love or hate America.

RELATED: Rep Dan Crenshaw Lights Hillary Clinton Up Over Her Latest Attack on Trump

The Pretend President

Look, we know Hillary loves to play pretend president on social media because she’ll never be one in real life.

But the reality is that the coronavirus pandemic would have been far worse if President Trump did not get ahead of this thing by implementing a travel ban and declaring an emergency – even in the midst of an impeachment circus created by Clinton’s own party.

Had Hillary been in charge, she’d have exacerbated the crisis by keeping open borders and open travel into the country, all while thanking China for the virus even as they were the sole reason for the 100,000+ deaths in the United States.

The post Hillary Clinton Says It’s Time For a ‘Real President’ appeared first on The Political Insider.

Bill Maher Regrets Trump Impeachment: It ‘Turned Out To Be A Horrible Thing’

Liberal talk show host Bill Maher surprised everyone on Friday’s episode of “Real Time with Bill Maher” when he admitted he now regrets the impeachment of President Donald Trump, saying that it “turned out to be a horrible thing.”

While talking to leftwing documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, Maher pointed to Trump’s recent firings of various inspectors general, complaining that they got very little media attention amidst COVID-19. He believes that much of this lack of coverage can be traced back to Trump’s impeachment.

“Just the impeachment, you know, I mean, if I could do it over again I wouldn’t because it just emboldened him,” Maher said, according to Fox News. “Now he can conduct this war on accountability and nobody even— it barely made the papers. I bet you people are watching this and going, ‘Wow, I’ve never heard that because the news is all COVID.'”

Moore agreed with him, going so far as to say the removal of the government watchdogs makes Trump “very dangerous.” This comes one month after Maher called for Trump to be impeached for “favoring” states that “are nice to him” during the coronavirus pandemic, according to The Blaze.

“I find one of the most galling parts about this is that the president is favoring certain states over the others. Governors who are ‘nice’ to him, as he calls it, get a lot of attention and all of the equipment they want,” Maher told Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). “To me, this is even more of an impeachable offense than what he did with Ukraine or Russia.”

Maher has long been vocal about his support for impeaching Trump, voicing his support for it in January of 2019. “I don’t know how we get out of this except by getting him out of office,” Maher said. “I wasn’t necessarily for impeachment until recently, but I think you have to go ahead and do it.”

Democrats were so focused on their effort to impeach Trump earlier this year that they almost completely ignored COVID-19 when the virus was starting to make its way to the U.S. Had Democrats not been distracting everyone with their impeachment nonsense, there’s no telling where we’d be with coronavirus today.

This piece was written by PoliZette Staff on May 24, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

Read more at LifeZette:
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany breaks down, discusses Ravi Zacharias’ death and his impacts on her faith
Over 600 doctors sign letter begging Trump to end lockdowns, call them a ‘mass casualty incident’
Kamala Harris sponsors bill condemning the use of the term ‘Chinese virus’ as racist

The post Bill Maher Regrets Trump Impeachment: It ‘Turned Out To Be A Horrible Thing’ appeared first on The Political Insider.