Monday, August 31, 2020

Biden calls Trump ‘a toxic presence’ who is encouraging violence in America

'All the times Trump has called for violence' - link
Mod: Donnie got his posh butt kicked today by the adult in the presidential race. I'm sure he's very very angry.

Biden calls Trump ‘a toxic presence’ who is encouraging violence in America (The Washington Post link): Joe Biden excoriated President Trump on Monday as a threat to the safety of all Americans, saying he has encouraged violence in the nation’s streets even as he has faltered in handling the coronavirus pandemic.

For his most extensive remarks since violent protests have escalated across the country in recent days, Biden traveled to Pittsburgh and struck a centrist note, condemning both the destruction in the streets and Trump for creating a culture that he said has exacerbated it. “I want to be very clear about all of this: Rioting is not protesting. Looting is not protesting. Setting fires is not protesting,” Biden said. “It’s lawlessness, plain and simple. And those who do it should be prosecuted.”

The former vice president also rejected the caricature that Trump and his allies have painted of him as someone who holds extremist views and has helped fuel the anger in urban centers across the country. “You know me. You know my heart. You know my story, my family’s story,” Biden said. “Ask yourself: Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really?”

While the speech was delivered amid heightened tensions over race and police conduct, Biden did not outline new policies, instead focusing on making a broader condemnation of Trump.

He called the president a danger to those suffering from the coronavirus, to anyone in search of a job or struggling to pay rent, to voters worried about Russian interference in the upcoming election and to those worried about their own safety amid unrest.

Donald Trump wants to ask the question: Who will keep you safer as president? Let’s answer that question,” Biden said. “When I was vice president, violent crime fell 15 percent in this country. We did it without chaos and disorder.” Pointing to a nationwide homicide rate rising 26 percent this year, Biden asked, “Do you really feel safer under Donald Trump?”

Mod: More at the link.

'No Blame?' ABC News finds 54 cases invoking 'Trump' in connection with violence, threats, alleged assaults

Mod: This insightful article, which originally appeared on May 30, is now the #1 "Top Story" on the ABC News site. The reason it has gone viral today seems obvious. With his followers now assaulting people in the streets, this so-called President Trump has quickly become America's lead enabler of civil unrest, violence, and what is being called "MAGA War."

'No Blame?' ABC News finds 54 cases invoking 'Trump' in connection with violence, threats, alleged assaults (ABC News link): President Donald Trump has repeatedly distanced himself from acts of violence in communities across America, dismissing critics who point to his rhetoric as a potential source of inspiration or comfort for anyone acting on even long-held beliefs of bigotry and hate.

"I think my rhetoric brings people together," he said last year, four days after a 21-year-old allegedly posted an anti-immigrant screed online and then allegedly opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, killing 22 and injuring dozens of others.

But a nationwide review conducted by ABC News has identified at least 54 criminal cases where Trump was invoked in direct connection with violent acts, threats of violence or allegations of assault.

After a Latino gas station attendant in Gainesville, Florida, was suddenly punched in the head by a white man, the victim could be heard on surveillance camera recounting the attacker’s own words: “He said, ‘This is for Trump.'" Charges were filed but the victim stopped pursuing them.

When police questioned a Washington state man about his threats to kill a local Syrian-born man, the suspect told police he wanted the victim to "get out of my country," adding, "That’s why I like Trump."

Reviewing police reports and court records, ABC News found that in at least 12 cases perpetrators hailed Trump in the midst or immediate aftermath of physically assaulting innocent victims. In another 18 cases, perpetrators cheered or defended Trump while taunting or threatening others. And in another 10 cases, Trump and his rhetoric were cited in court to explain a defendant's violent or threatening behavior.

Mod: There's much more at the link.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

ABC News Poll: GOP Convention Backfires As Trump Approval Even Drops With Republicans

Mod: You do know, this is going to especially hurt the feelings of Ivanka, Eric, Tiffany and Donny Junior. They all worked very hard on their speeches.

Trump's favorability and perceptions of COVID-19 response stagnate post-convention (ABC News link): President Donald Trump's efforts to build his appeal and define his opponent at the Republican National Convention, using pageantry and the White House as the backdrop, had little apparent impact on the electorate's impressions of both him and former Vice President Joe Biden, a new ABC News/Ipsos poll finds.

Trump's week of celebration did not improve his favorability, even among his own base, and the country still remains widely critical of his handling of the major crisis of his presidency: COVID-19.

Less than one-third (31%) of the country has a favorable view of the president in the days after he accepted the Republican nomination for the second time — a stagnant reality for Trump. His favorability rating stood at 32% in the last poll, taken a week earlier, right after the Democratic National Convention.

Trump finds himself in a much different position than his chief rival.

Among Democrats, too, Biden’s favorability climbed seven points after his convention — showing signs that he’s solidified support among his base. But Trump’s favorability dipped slightly — by four points among Republicans in the newest survey.

While a majority (53%) approved of Democrats' messaging and programming at their convention, only 37% said the same about the Republican gathering. Just under 6 in 10 Americans (59%) disapproved of the RNC.

Only 34% of the country felt that this year's GOP convention maintained the right balance between criticizing Democrats and touting their own party's achievements, compared to 45% who believed the same about the Democrats following their convention.

Trump & Social Security: Disability payments would end in 2021 - Payments to the elderly stop in 2023

Mod: There really is no way to sugarcoat this very much. What Trump and his cronies want to do with Social Security and Medicare could, if they're allowed to proceed as planned, kill a lot of people. 

Trump plan to scrap payroll tax would reduce benefits by 202, top Social Security actuary says (Market Watch link): Repealing the payroll tax as proposed by President Donald Trump without putting in place a new source of funding for Social Security would mean disability payments would end in mid-2021 and payments to the elderly would stop in 2023, according to the program’s chief actuary.

Capitol Hill Democrats touted the letter on Monday as proof that Trump’s recent talk of getting rid of the payroll tax permanently would endanger the politically popular pension program, and presidential son Donald Trump Jr. lauded that night in his Republican convention address the executive order on the suspension of payroll-tax collection.

The White House has argued that Trump only wanted a temporary holiday, not a permanent payroll-tax repeal, despite Trump’s own words: He has suggested that, if re-elected, the tax’s suspension would become permanent.

Chief Actuary Stephen Goss, in a letter to four Democratic senators, analyzed a hypothetical proposal where the payroll tax was eliminated on Jan. 1, 2021, without a replacement. That would leave the two Social Security trust funds — the one for Disability Insurance and the other for Old Age and Survivors Insurance — reliant on existing cash, interest paid on government bonds and taxes paid on Social Security benefits for income.

“If this hypothetical legislation were enacted, with no alternative source of revenue to replace the elimination of payroll taxes on earned income paid on January 1, 2021 and thereafter, we estimate that DI Trust Fund asset reserves would become permanently depleted in about the middle of calendar year 2021, with no ability to pay DI benefits thereafter.

We estimate that OASI Trust Fund reserves would become permanently depleted by the middle of calendar year 2023, with no ability to pay OASI benefits thereafter,” Goss wrote.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Donald Trump sells himself at RNC: Reelect me to fix the problems I created

Mod: Here are a few interesting passages from an editorial published by USA Today this weekend. They make some very good points. Clicking on the link below will take you to the entire piece.

Donald Trump sells himself at RNC: Reelect me to fix the problems I created (USA Today link): Our View: He promised in 2016 to deliver America from evils. Instead, the president has delivered evils to America.

Four years ago, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Donald Trump portrayed an America beset by violence and economic ruin. After setting that stage, and in one of his most messianic moments, he declared that crime would end and that only he could deliver the nation from these ruinous calamities: “I alone can fix it.”

In point of fact, over the past 3 1/2 years, he has not so much delivered us from these things as he has delivered these things to us.

When Trump spoke in 2016, the unemployment rate was under 5%. Today it is 10.2%. When he spoke in 2016, the nation had just been through an Ebola scare, which the Obama administration had handled with great skill and very little loss of life.

Today, more than 180,000 Americans are dead from COVID-19, the highest toll of any nation and a number far higher than it would have been under more competent stewardship in Washington.

When he spoke in 2016, the crime rate was quite low. Today, it is still low. But Trump is intent on using unrest in select cities to paint a picture of rampant lawlessness, asserting that "no one will be safe" in Joe Biden's America and that Democrats would "demolish" the suburbs.

As he took to the South Lawn platform Thursday night, after plans to deliver his acceptance in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Jacksonville, Florida, fell through because of the pandemic, to accept the Republican Party's nomination for a second term, the most responsible words Trump could have uttered would have been: I’m sorry."

Alas, no such luck. Instead, Trump, inappropriately using the White House as backdrop for a political speech, and in front of a mostly maskless crowd that was not socially distanced, delivered a sometimes listless, sometimes blistering account that could have been titled: I alone am still the only one who can fix it. As an exercise in logic, it is the equivalent of a quadruple axel, something like: You have to vote for me to solve the problems that I created.

Trump greeted with ‘one-fingered salutes’ on his way to New Hampshire: ‘Too many middle fingers to count’ (Raw Story link): President Donald Trump is traveling to New Hampshire Friday evening where he will hold a short rally then head back home to the White House.

As the presidential motorcade made its way to Joint Base Andrews to board Air Force One the White House press pool released some very descriptive details. Most press poolers try to capture the scene wherever they go, delivering descriptions including information about the weather, sometimes what the president is wearing, if there are supporters or protestors and what they’re doing. This particular scene apparently offered a large number of details.

“The president’s motorcade moved down Pennsylvania Avenue on a route that took us past throngs of protesters who are presumably here for the events marking the anniversary of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington,” the pool report reads.

“Many of the protesters along the avenue greeted the motorcade with raised middle fingers,” it notes.

“There were far too many middle fingers to count. Several of the peope in the crowd opted to raise both of their middle fingers in a double barreled one finger salute,” it continues.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Fat Loud-Mouthed Bore: Donald Trump's Lip Flapping Low Rated Convention Calamity

Mod: The convention ratings are out, and the verdict is in. Donald Trump is a loud-mouthed obnoxious bore and people are sick of listening to his lying mouth.

Biden hits Trump where it hurts: in the convention speech ratings (CNN link): President Trump's Thursday night convention speech making the case for his reelection was lower-rated than his challenger Joe Biden's speech one week ago, according to overnight Nielsen ratings.

About 21.6 million viewers watched coverage of Trump's RNC address across nine cable and broadcast networks, down from 23.6 million viewers who watched Biden's DNC address on the same nine networks.

The totals may fluctuate slightly when final numbers are released later in the day, but Biden clearly edged out Trump.

The Democratic convention was also higher-rated than the Republican convention overall when the audience for all four days is tallied up. Biden's campaign celebrated the overnight ratings win -- and embraced it as a potential way to get under Trump's skin.

"I still love you, buddy!"
The president's ratings obsession is well-documented. He has tweeted about ratings hundreds of times, often inaccurately. He raised the subject as recently as Friday morning, when he tweeted, "Great Ratings & Reviews Last Night. Thank you!"

He did not share any immediate reaction when the initial viewership figures showed him trailing Biden. And it is impossible to know how many people watched just Trump, just Biden, or both speeches.

Republicans Insist Only Trump Can Stop The Chaos In The Streets - But Isn't This All Happening On His Watch?

Mod: The streets are in flames, looting and shootings are rampant. So the guy whose watch this is all happening under claims he's the solution? I'm not sure. The idiot in charge is at fault, does nothing but talk about it, and chances are things won't be getting any better.

Republicans Insist Only Trump Can Stop This Chaos. But He’s in Charge Now (DYNUZ link): The America that many speakers described on Wednesday at the Republican National Convention did not sound like a desirable place: fractious, violent, functionally lawless in some pockets.

But their case that only President Trump could shield Americans from this fate was complicated by a nettlesome fact. He is in charge, at present — at the controls of government through the purportedly real-time conditions these supporters outlined. And they would all like to keep him there. “America,” Vice President Mike Pence told a Republican convention crowd sternly from Fort McHenry in Baltimore, “needs four more years of President Donald Trump.”

The third night of the Republican convention steered into a bit of messaging jujitsu that has become a dominant theme of the week: Mr. Trump’s ability to turn back Trump-era ills that have, in this telling, been largely out of his hands to date. And so the president, the argument has gone, can be relied upon now to safeguard Americans against the threats they see all around them, in the nation he now leads.

Ratings disaster: Dems trounced GOP on convention night 3 – ‘America’s Got Talent’ beat RNC, Harris beat Pence (Raw Story link): The Republican National Convention by many accounts was a snoozefest, lacking interest or even what some thought were possible-drug-induced hyperbolic performances, and now the numbers prove that Americans tuned out the Trump-Pence show, bigly.

 Basically, Democrats’ convention night three beat the RNC’s night three by more than 50% – which is huge. And vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris beat Vice President Mike Pence by a whopping 54% in top markets.

Mod: Stunner. Pundits are calling it the lowest ratings for a political convention ever. I guess people just don't like Trump's asshole kids. Or Pence. Or Donald, for that matter.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

The Kenosha Shooting Suspect Was In The Front Row Of A Trump Rally In January

Big Crazy feeding the Little Crazy
Mod: The dog whistles have become fire alarms, and the streets are now in flames.

The Kenosha Shooting Suspect Was In The Front Row Of A Trump Rally In January (Buzz Feed News link): The law enforcement–obsessed 17-year-old who was charged with shooting and killing two people and injuring another in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during protests for Jacob Blake appeared in the front row at a Donald Trump rally in January. Kyle Howard Rittenhouse’s social media presence is filled with him posing with weapons, posting “Blue Lives Matter,” and supporting Trump for president.

Footage from the Des Moines, Iowa, rally on Jan. 30 shows Rittenhouse feet away from the president, in the front row, to the left of the podium. He posted a TikTok video from the event.

Seven months later, Rittenhouse went with his rifle to the third night of Black Lives Matter protests in Kenosha after police shot Blake, a Black man who is now paralyzed as a result, according to his family. Rittenhouse attended as an armed vigilante, supposedly assisting police and protecting property in an unofficial capacity. Instead, he allegedly prowled the protest with a gun. Videos captured him fraternizing with law enforcement and attempting to get their attention.

By the end of the evening, he was considered a fugitive on the run. He was arrested Wednesday morning in Antioch, Illinois, and is expected to be extradited to Wisconsin to face charges of first-degree intentional homicide. Rittenhouse’s mother did not respond to a request for comment. The Lake County Public Defender’s Office, who represented him in court today, told BuzzFeed News it does not comment on active cases.

Wednesday’s arrest record from Antioch police states that Rittenhouse “fled the state of Wisconsin with the intent to avoid prosecution for the offense.” According to public records, Rittenhouse lived in Antioch, which is about 20 miles away from Kenosha, with his mother and siblings and worked as a lifeguard at the local YMCA.

Mod: Much more at the link. The next story deals with a reprehensible Fox News dirtbag who is obviously feeding off these murders.

Tucker Carlson Justifies Kenosha Shootings: Vigilante Kid Did What ‘No One Else Would’ (The Daily Beast link): Tucker Carlson on Wednesday rallied to the defense of vigilante kid Kyle Rittenhouse, who allegedly shot and killed two protesters in Kenosha, Wisc., on Tuesday night, telling his Fox News viewers that the 17-year-old merely “decided to maintain order when no one else would.” Earlier on Wednesday, Rittenhouse was arrested in Illinois and charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the slaying of two people and the injuring of another during Tuesday night’s protest over the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

The teenager—whose social-media profiles were rife with Blue Lives Matter content—reportedly traveled to Kenosha and co-mingled with other armed vigilantes looking to protect local businesses.

Carlson, whose racist rhetoric and fear-mongering over the Black Lives Matter movement has sparked internal turmoil at Fox, began his broadcast by grumbling that “big media organizations do their best to downplay” the violence around the country while airing footage of chaos in Kenosha.

The Fox News star went on to show a video clip of a victim dying of a gunshot wound to the head, noting that Rittenhouse has been charged with his murder. At the same time, he portrayed the teenaged gunman as a victim himself. Saying he was “unsure” what the video of Rittenhouse shooting two individuals amounts to, Carlson said a court will decide if it “qualifies as self-defense” before seemingly justifying the suspected gunman’s vigilante-style tactics.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Anti-19th Amendment Republicanism: RNC speaker Abby Johnson supports policies barring women from voting

Dear Abby
Mod: Yeah, I know. A covey of bland blond Trump dependents read their little speeches last night. I didn't care, or even watch much. Trust me, though not a Trump, the following nut also spoke, and this mad momma is far more interesting. In the worst case scenario sort of way.

RNC speaker Abby Johnson supports policies barring women from voting (Raw Story link): Anti-abortion activist Abby Johnson, who will speak on Tuesday during the second night of the Republican National Convention, has advocated in recent months for a head-of-household voting system that has historically barred women and people of color from casting ballots.

“What is the most controversial thing you believe?” Johnson asked on Twitter in early May.

“I would support bringing back household voting,” Johnson replied to her tweet. “How anti-feminist of me.”

Johnson’s prime time RNC remarks come on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the 19th Amendment, which extended voting rights to women. Before the adoption of the 19th Amendment, and the 15th Amendment, which prohibits denying U.S. citizens the right to vote based on race, the right to vote was largely extended to White men who owned property and, in some cases, met certain religious criteria.

Previously, some states had extended voting rights to Black men and White men who did not own property. Several had laws permitting women to cast ballots. One argument made against women’s suffrage was that their male husbands could vote on behalf of the household.

Today, “head of household” is a filing status within the U.S. tax system that provides financial savings to unmarried individuals with children or other dependents. Head-of-household decision making is used in some religious communities, with male spouses and partners nearly universally being the head. Head-of-household voting would permit only the head of a household — and not all household members who are citizens over 18 years of age — to cast a ballot. Johnson believes the male member of the household would be the de facto decision maker.

“But what happens when the husband is a Republican and the wife is a Democrat or vice versa?” a Twitter user asked Johnson.

“Then they would have to decide on one vote. In a Godly household, the husband would get the final say,” she replied.

Kyle Morse, the spokesperson for American Bridge 21st Century, a super PAC that supports Democrats, said Johnson’s speaking slot “further underscores just how extreme Donald Trump’s GOP has become.”

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Trump’s Convention Flops Bigly As Biden DNC Drew 3 Million More Viewers

Mod: When it comes to grand national political conventions, insane people, wingnuts and useless spoiled trust fund children just don't attract the bigliest ratings.

Trump’s Convention Flops As Biden DNC Drew 3 Million More Viewers (PoliticusUSA link): Another troubling sign for Trump as night one of the Republican convention drew 3.2 million fewer viewers than night one of the DNC. The first night of the Republican National Convention averaged 15.8 million viewers on Monday, a sharp drop of 28% from 2016.

The audience figure from Nielsen was also below the opening night of last week’s Democratic National Convention which averaged 18.7 million viewers over the three major English language broadcast networks and three leading cable news channels. The audience for the Democrats on the first night of their convention was also down about 28% from 2016.

Trump demanded a blockbuster convention after seeing the wide praise that the Democratic Party earned, but instead, the first night of the Republican convention was an event that alternated between dull and insane.

Donald Trump has mythologized himself as a ratings draw, but almost half of his television viewership came from Fox News. The ratings showed that Trump has a death grip on the Fox News crowd, but the lack of enthusiasm from anywhere else is an ominous sign of looming defeat for Trump and his party.

Daily Beast: Stephen Colbert Brutally Mocks Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle’s RNC Speeches

Mod: So share with me. Did America's favorite second hand love bugs get Koo-Koo for Coca Puffs last night?

Stephen Colbert Brutally Mocks Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle’s RNC Speeches (Daily Beast link): After zooming in on Jr.’s “sweaty face and wet, bloodshot eyes,” Colbert added, “Either he’s high or that’s what happens when you live in the splash zone of Screamin’ Guilfoyle.” 

Stephen Colbert admittedly had some trouble making fun of the Democratic National Convention last week. Thankfully, the Republican National Convention delivered him the gifts of Kimberly Guilfoyle and Donald Trump Jr.

Going live after the RNC Monday night, The Late Show host began with the speech shouted into the void by “Trump Jr. girlfriend and vengeful banshee who will haunt your dreams, Kimberly Guilfoyle, who screamed this message of hope.”

“If you want to see the socialist Biden-Harris future for our country, just take a look at California!” Guilfoyle exclaimed in her unhinged address.

“I’m trying to look at California, but there’s fire everywhere because of climate change,” Colbert replied before pointing out that Guilfoyle’s ex-husband is current California Governor Gavin Newsom. “I’m guessing that was not an amicable split,” he added. “But I think I know who was awarded custody of the rage, because when it came to the president’s agenda, she had some very nuanced screams.”

When Colbert finally aired the dramatic conclusion of her six-minute speech, he ended up hiding under his chair. “Is the loud lady gone?” he asked. “I’m scared! This is the first time in my life I’ve had to turn down the volume on C-SPAN. I’m glad we already had our kids because I think if I was too close to the TV, I might have been sterilized by that.”

Soon, the host moved on to Donald Trump Jr.’s speech, which, like his girlfriend’s, was taped in advance. “According to one campaign aide, Don Jr. represents the emotional center of the MAGA universe,” he said. “Makes sense. He’s like a black hole in that he sucks.” Perhaps recognizing that that joke was a little soft, Colbert then added, “It was his keynote address, in that he looked like he had snorted a key.”

“So before I tell you what he said, can we zoom in on Junior’s sweaty face and wet, bloodshot eyes?” Colbert asked.

“Either he’s high or that’s what happens when you live in the splash zone of Screamin’ Guilfoyle. Just bring a poncho!”

Then, in response to Trump Jr. asking viewers to “imagine” a better life for themselves, Colbert added, “And you may tell yourself, this is not my beautiful house. And you may tell yourself, this is not my beautiful wife. And you may ask yourself, how did I get here? And why is my girlfriend screaming?”

Mod: The Colbert video can be seen here.

Monday, August 24, 2020

RNC Virus: As GOP re-nominates Trump, poll shows 68% in US disapprove of president’s pandemic response

Mod: Everything Trump touches dies. Literally. Especially Americans.

As GOP officially re-nominates Trump, poll shows 68 percent in US disapprove of president’s pandemic response (Raw Story link): The U.S. now has over 5.7 million confirmed Covid-19 infections and nearly 177,000 people have died nationwide. As the GOP’s 2020 convention kicked off Monday and Republicans officially nominated President Donald Trump for reelection, new polling revealed that a bipartisan majority of Americans disapprove of how the president and federal government are handling the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The poll results from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research also came as the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the United States topped 5.7 million and the nation’s death toll neared 177,000, according to Johns Hopkins University’s global tracker.

“This is the most important election in the history of our country,” Trump, who is slated to speak every night the convention, said in an unscheduled appearance Monday, accepting the nomination. “Our country can go in a horrible direction or in an even greater direction.”

The AP-NORC, which polled voters August 17–19, found that 75% of all respondents, including 87% of Democrats and 61% of Republicans, think that the country is currently heading in the wrong direction, compared with just 23% who think the country is heading in the right direction.