Friday, July 24, 2020

Last Call For Tales From The Trump Depression, Housing Edition

The racism dog whistles of "those people moving into the neighborhood" reminiscent of 60 years ago are Trump's greatest weapon to win the white vote in November, and the regime is now pulling out all the stops on that front.

President Trump moved Thursday to repeal a fair housing rule that he claimed would lead to “destruction” of the country’s suburbs, continuing an aggressive push that coincides with his campaign’s attempt to paint Democrats as angry mobs on the brink of upturning peaceful, mostly white neighborhoods.

Trump had telegraphed the Housing and Urban Development Department’s move against the Obama-administration rule in recent tweets and comments that made thinly veiled appeals to a key electoral constituency that has drifted away from him over the past four years: suburban white voters.

Trailing Democrat Joe Biden, the presumptive presidential nominee, in the polls just over 100 days before the election, Trump has shed much of the subtlety behind his pitch to skeptical voters. Increasingly, he is portraying himself as the only barrier between them and chaos.

“The Suburban Housewives of America must read this article,” Trump wrote Thursday on Twitter, linking to a New York Post op-ed by former New York lieutenant governor Betsy McCaughey that argued that Biden would ruin the country’s bedroom communities.

“Biden will destroy your neighborhood and your American Dream. I will preserve it, and make it even better!” Trump said in his tweet.

Political strategists say the overt appeals to racial fear and grievance are politically precarious at a time when much of the country is trying to reckon with issues such as systemic racism and discrimination.

“There seems to be a complete lack of understanding why he’s been getting drubbed in the suburbs,” said Brendan Buck, who was a top aide to Republican officials including Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) when Ryan was House speaker. “Educated suburban voters are not interested in — and are actually repelled by — his fearmongering and these racial dog whistles.”

I don't buy that at all.

Trump won college-educated white voters in 2016.

This plan worked perfectly four years ago, especially in the Rust Belt and Sun Belt states.  All Trump is doing now is dropping the pretense, and is straight up saying that he will work to preserve white neighborhoods and "property values" by ending housing desegregation.

Attitudes among white suburban voters have shifted somewhat, enough for Republicans to lose dozens of House districts in 2018, but let's also remember that Democrats lost several Senate seats regardless. It makes sense for Trump to go on the attack here, because it's an effective strategy that has worked in the past time and time again. The gains Trump has made by turning out rural white voters who never voted before was the key to his win then, and he's mashing on that button as hard as he can now.

What I'm saying is that college-educated white voters put Trump in power.

Don't depend on them taking him out of it.  He's playing to their weakness directly, and it's going to start tightening up the polls, especially if Trump can force armed confrontations in multiple major US cities.

Only Trump can save white America™

A hell of a motto for 2020, but one that's going to keep him close.

The State Of The Police State, Con't

Trump's illegal military invasion of Democrat-run cities is escalating quickly, as the regime is openly boasting that it will send in tens of thousands of troops to terrorize Biden voters this fall.

President Donald Trump said Thursday that he's willing to send as many as 75,000 federal agents into American cities to quell violent crime, a recent campaign theme for the President. 
Speaking in a telephone interview on Fox News, Trump began by saying he was ready to dispatch "50,000, 60,000 people" into American cities. 
But eventually he upped the figure to 75,000 -- but said it would require local authorities asking for help. 
"We have to be invited in. At some point we'll have to do something much stronger than being invited in," Trump said.

"We'll go into all of the cities, any of the cities. We're ready," he added. 
Deploying 75,000 officers would mark a significant portion of all federal officers in the country. According to a 2019 report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there were approximately 100,000 federal law enforcement officers in the entire United States in 2016, the last year for which data was available. 
Trump's comments come as he has tried to make federal policing a campaign issue, portraying cities as violent and out of control in an appeal to suburban residents. The President said Wednesday that he will "surge" federal law enforcement officers to Chicago and other American cities, despite resistance from local leaders, as he adopts a hardline "law and order" mantle ahead of November's election. 
Trump's campaign has increasingly turned to dark themes of violence and chaos as it seeks to falsely paint his Democratic rival Joe Biden as anti-police. Since protests spread throughout the country following the murder of George Floyd, Trump has worked to cultivate a tough-on-crime message that includes the federal law enforcement efforts now underway. 
Earlier on Thursday, Trump took to Twitter to address the "The Suburban Housewives of America," warning that "Biden will destroy your neighborhood and your American Dream. I will preserve it, and make it even better!"

He'll make it better even if you have to be gassed and shot.

Trump doesn't have the personnel to do this with existing federal agents, so he's turning to his old friend Erik Prince to make up the difference.

The Trump administration’s deployment of federal law enforcers in Portland, Oregon, as part of a supposed effort to protect government property has prompted at least two lawsuits alleging that their show of force has resulted in abuses of authority and the unnecessary use of violence against peaceful protesters, journalists and observers. 
What has not been reported widely in the media, however, is the fact that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) unit that is coordinating the “crowd control” effort — an agency called the Federal Protective Service (FPS) — is composed largely of contract security personnel. Those contractors are being furnished to FPS by major private-sector security companies like Blackwater corporate descendant Triple Canopy as well as dozens of other private security firms. 
In fact, FPS spends more than $1 billion a year on these contract security guards who are authorized to conduct crowd control at federal properties, such as those in Portland. And, based on available photographic and document evidence, it appears those private contractors are now part of the federal force arrayed in Portland and are likely to be part of the federal response President Trump has promised to stand up in multiple other cities, including Chicago, Detroit, New York, Philadelphia and other urban centers led by Democratic mayors across the country. 
There are some 13,000 security guards nationwide employed by FPS via contracts with private security firms, a figure that can be expanded through existing and future contracts. Via contracts with FPS, more than 50 private security firms provide guards — referred to as protective security officers (PSOs) — to the agency in the Washington, D.C., area alone. 
Among the responsibilities of these contract guards is to assist federal law enforcers with crowd control at federal properties as needed. 
“The most difficult tasks PSOs are called upon to perform include standing for prolonged periods of time and interacting with large volumes of people,” states a past interagency agreement involving FPS, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. “Other demanding, but less frequent, tasks include responding to medical emergencies, performing CPR, and performing crowd control [such as is occurring in Portland in recent weeks].” 
There is a major problem, however, with using these FPS contract guards — who are supposed to be limited to patrolling and securing federal facilities and grounds — in long-running “civil disturbances” like those unfolding now in Portland, and elsewhere around the country. The FPS has a long history of failing to properly vet and adequately monitor and ensure that these guards have proper training and certifications, including proper firearms training. 
That lack of training can pose a great risk to the safety of protesters and the law enforcers they work with alike should a situation become heated. 
As outlined in a prior story on Medium, U.S. Government Accountability Office reports published between 2009 and 2014 on the FPS security guard program have uncovered guards with felony convictions; a large percentage of guard files examined with at least one expired certification, including a declaration they have not been convicted of domestic violence; and multiple security-guard files that were missing documentation on weapons training and security clearances, among other issues. 
The role that these private contractors are playing in current crowd-control efforts in Portland, and the role they will play going forward if Trump does expand the federal intervention to other cities across the nation, is best described as opaque — seemingly on purpose. The danger, however, is that Trump and his attorney general, William Barr, will expand this private contractor force in extending the reach of the federal response to recent civil rights protests — creating what is essentially a national paramilitary police force.

I guarantee you Erik Prince is mixed up in all this, as sure as I am that water is wet and that the sun is a burny hot ball of mostly fusion.  Trump renting a paramilitary force of thousands of military contractors from Afghanistan and Iraq to "pacify" Portland and Chicago?

Believe it.  It's happening right now, and when this story breaks wide open it's going to be go time.

The story between now and November is whether Trump can convince suburban voters that America's cities need to be invaded by troops to restore order or not. If he can, he wins in a landslide and America is done.

A lot can happen between now and November.  This is Trump's major play to win.

Be ready.

Bluenami Tsunami, Con't

With just over 100 days until Election Day, the political climate appears dire for Republicans across the board. President Trump is the decided underdog against former Vice President Joe Biden in our Electoral College ratings and Democrats could end up expanding their House majority.

That leaves the Senate as Republicans' firewall—the final barrier to unified control for Democrats in 2021. While GOP incumbents are trying to run races independent of the president, if Trump’s polling numbers remain this dismal come November, that’s an unenviable and likely unsuccessful strategy, according to several top party strategists. As of now, Democrats are a slight favorite to win the Senate majority.

“Something remarkable would have to happen for Republicans to still have control of the Senate after November,” remarked one GOP pollster. “It’s grim. There’s just so many places where Democrats either have the upper hand or are competitive in states that six months ago we wouldn’t have considered at risk.”
“If you’re an incumbent in a bad environment sitting at 44 percent, you should be pretty damn scared,” another alarmed Republican strategist said. “The expanding map has made it really hard, and there’s just a lot of Democratic momentum right now."

We wrote four months ago that the worsening pandemic, along with Biden emerging as the Democratic nominee instead of Bernie Sanders, was the “perfect storm” Republicans feared. Now, with the death toll nearing 150,000, the environment has gotten even worse for the GOP, prodded along by Trump’s missteps. Racial injustice protests after the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery in early June further galvanized the nation, leading to rapid cultural shifts against Confederate monuments and even the long pushed for change of the Mississippi state flag, which still bore the Confederate battle flag emblem.

Taken together, that’s not just a perfect storm for Democrats, but perhaps a perfect tsunami. “The bottom fell out for us at the end of May and June,” with worsening numbers continuing into July now, one national GOP strategist looking at polls across the map bemoaned.

Ultimately, every day that Trump stubbornly refuses to change course is another day that it becomes increasingly likely he may not only tank his own re-election bid but could be on a kamikaze mission to take the Republican-held Senate down with him. At this point, a net gain of five to seven seats for Democrats looks far more probable than the one to three seat gain that would leave them shy of a majority.  
July Ratings Changes:

Arizona: Martha McSally (R) — Toss Up → Lean D
Iowa: Joni Ernst (R) — Lean R → Toss Up
Georgia: David Perdue (R) — Lean R → Toss Up
Minnesota: Tina Smith (D) — Likely D → Solid D
New Mexico: OPEN (Udall) — Likely D → Solid D

With McSally's loss now countering Doug Jones's uphill climb to keep his seat, Cook now has Republicans defending a whopping nine seats in November to Dems' two (the other being Gary Peters in Michigan, who is Lean D still). Six of those Republican seats are toss-ups now: Perdue in GA, Ernst in IA, Collins in ME, Daines in MT, Tillis in NC, and Gardner in CO, plus McSally now favored to lose in AZ.

It's entirely possible that Dems end up with a net gain of six seats and maybe, maybe eight or nine.

We'll see how this holds up.


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