Thursday, August 13, 2020

Last Call For Orange Meltdown, Con't

Eventually, Trump always gives away his own con because he's impatient and undisciplined, and his efforts to destroy the US Postal Service in order to disenfranchise tens of millions of Democratic mail ballots is no exception.

President Trump said Thursday that he does not want to fund the U.S. Postal Service because Democrats are seeking to expand mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic, making explicit the reason he has declined to approve $25 billion in emergency funding for the cash-strapped agency.

“Now, they need that money in order to make the Post Office work, so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” Trump said in an interview on Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo. He added: “Now, if we don’t make a deal, that means they don’t get the money. That means they can’t have universal mail-in voting, they just can’t have it.

Trump has railed against mail-in balloting for months, and at a White House briefing Wednesday, he argued without evidence that USPS’s enlarged role in the November election would perpetuate “one of the greatest frauds in history.”

During the Wednesday briefing, Trump told reporters he would not approve the $25 billion in emergency funding for the Postal Service, or $3.5 billion in supplemental funding for election resources, citing prohibitively high costs. But he went further in remarks Thursday morning, blaming Democrats’ efforts to make it easier for Americans to vote amid the pandemic.

“There’s nothing wrong with getting out and voting. … They voted during World War I and World War II,” Trump told Bartiromo.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pushed back Thursday in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“In the legislation we had $25 billion,” Pelosi said. “That is the number that is recommended by the Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service. … In earlier covid bills, the president has stood in the way of any money for the Postal Service.”

Pelosi noted that the among other things, the Postal Service delivers many prescriptions, which is particularly important in pandemic times.

“So they’re hurting seniors; it’s a health issue. … So, when the president goes after the Postal Service, he’s going after an all-American, highly approved-by-the-public institution,” she said.

The campaign of presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden criticized Trump’s statement, saying Trump was “sabotaging a basic service that hundreds of millions of people rely upon.”

“This is an assault on our democracy and economy by a desperate man who’s terrified that the American people will force him to confront what he’s done everything in his power to escape for months -- responsibility for his own actions,” Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement.

The US Postal Service is one of those constitutionally required things, and Trump is happy to destroy it if it keeps him in power. That's literally all that matters to him. He doesn't care how many of his own voters are hurt by the destruction of mail delivery in America.

And again, Trump wouldn't be saying this if he believed for a second that he hasn't already won this battle, and that the rest of the GOP will now be forced to go along with wrecking the Postal Service. He now expects the GOP to be in lockstep attacking your local Post Office, and the consequences will be political annihilation for those who don't play along.

President Trump on Thursday warned that GOP Senate candidates who don't fully embrace him will lose their elections, a warning shot to some moderates who have kept their distance from the president.

Trump called into Maria Bartiromo's show on Fox Business Network, where he predicted Republicans would take back control of the House despite little polling to support that argument. But he acknowledged it may be more difficult for the GOP to maintain its slim majority in the Senate.

"We’re fighting very hard in the Senate. I’ll be honest, the Senate is tough," Trump said. "We have a couple of people that aren’t as supportive of Trump as they should be, and those people are going to lose their elections."

"The ones that don’t support, and I’m just talking, take a look ... you have a few people that want to be cute, and those people are going to lose their elections," Trump added. "And that’s a problem for the Senate."

Trump is getting more and more desperate, more and more overt in his authoritarianism and anti-democratic actions. We're going to have to defeat him both because of these actions and in spite of them.

The Election Projection Connection

Nate Silver is once again reminding us that Donald Trump has a legitimate chance of winning, at about 30%, and won with similar odds four years ago. Take nothing for granted and fight for every vote in every state.

Joe Biden currently has a robust lead in polls. If the election were held today, he might even win in a landslide, carrying not only traditional swing states such as Florida and Pennsylvania but potentially adding new states such as Georgia and Texas to the Democratic coalition.

But the election is not being held today. While the polls have been stable so far this year, it’s still only August. The debates and the conventions have yet to occur. Biden only named his running mate yesterday. And the campaign is being conducted amidst a pandemic the likes of which the United States has not seen in more than 100 years, which is also causing an unprecedented and volatile economy.
Nor has it been that uncommon, historically, for polls to shift fairly radically from mid-August until Election Day. Furthermore, there are some reasons to think the election will tighten, and President Trump is likely to have an advantage in a close election because of the Electoral College.

That, in a nutshell, is why the FiveThirtyEight presidential election forecast, which we launched today, still has Trump with a 29 percent chance of winning the Electoral College, despite his current deficit in the polls. This is considerably higher than some other forecasts, which put Trump’s chances at around 10 percent. Biden’s chances are 71 percent in the FiveThirtyEight forecast, conversely.1

If these numbers give you a sense of deja vu, it may be because they’re very similar to our final forecast in 2016 … when Trump also had a 29 percent chance of winning! (And Hillary Clinton had a 71 percent chance.) So if you’re not taking a 29 percent chance as a serious possibility, I’m not sure there’s much we can say at this point, although there’s a Zoom poker game that I’d be happy to invite you to.

One last parallel to 2016 — when some models gave Clinton as high as a 99 percent chance of winning — is that FiveThirtyEight’s forecast tends to be more conservative than others. (For a more complete description of our model, including how it is handling some complications related to COVID-19, please see our methodology guide.)

With that said, one shouldn’t get too carried away with the comparisons to four years ago. In 2016, the reason Trump had a pretty decent chance in our final forecast was mostly just because the polls were fairly close (despite the media narrative to the contrary), close enough that even a modest-sized polling error in the right group of states could be enough to give Trump a victory in the Electoral College.

The uncertainty in our current 2020 forecast, conversely, stems mostly from the fact that there’s still a long way to go until the election. Take what happens if we lie to our model and tell it that the election is going to be held today. It spits out that Biden has a 93 percent chance of winning. In other words, a Trump victory would require a much bigger polling error than what we saw in 2016.

The good news is if Biden;s current lead holds up for another 80 days, he has an extremely good chance of winning. I'd take 93 out of 100 any day of the week.

The bad news is Trump will absolutely find a way to change this current situation, and I don't know how much better or how much worse he will make it. But it will change, weekly if not daily.

Remember, 93% odds are pretty good in elections.  They're terrible in say, odds of your airplane landing in one piece. Anything can and most likely will happen between now and whenever the election results are finalized. Odds are very good we're going to be in for a long, long Election Month in November.

A Conspiracy Of Dunces, Con't

The Republican party is the white supremacist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic bigot party of Donald Trump. As of Tuesday night, it's officially the party of tinfoil hat lunatic and equally white supremacist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic bigot Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia.

Many top Georgia Republicans have watched with dread – but took little action – as Marjorie Taylor Greene rose from longshot candidate to the cusp of Congress. Shortly after her victory in Tuesday’s nationally-watched runoff, Greene showed why she made them so anxious.

In a hotel ballroom crowded with about 100 supporters, Greene promised to be the “worst nightmare” to the liberal left and news media that “hates my guts.” Then she turned her focus on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a way that went beyond the usual red-meat rhetoric.

“She’s a hypocrite. She’s anti-American. And we’re going to kick that bitch out of Congress.”

Greene’s runoff win over John Cowan, a Rome neurosurgeon, virtually assures that she’ll represent the deeply-conservative northwest Georgia district in the U.S. House. And it means Democrats have a new favorite target: A believer in the convoluted QAnon theory who has expressed anti-Semitic, racist and xenophobic views. 
With tight races up and down the ballot, Democrats quickly tried to brand her as the face of the Georgia GOP – and tie her to more vulnerable Republicans running for office in November. 
U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, chair of the political arm of House Democrats, called Greene a “next-generation Steve King” after the ousted Iowa Republican with a history of anti-immigrant and racist remarks. Scott Hogan, the executive director of Georgia Democrats, said “Republican extremism” won the night. 
“Georgia Republicans own this crisis,” he said, “and their mealy-mouthed statements can’t hide the fact that Marjorie Taylor Greene’s nomination is a stain on their party.” 
President Donald Trump offered a different assessment in a post-runoff tweet, calling Greene a “future Republican Star” who is “strong on everything and never gives up - a real WINNER!”

Democrats in Georgia don't have to lift a finger to brand Greene as the face of the Georgia GOP. Greene and Trump are doing all the work for them.

Never forget thought that the GOP is the party of white supremacy, a party that sees diversity as a sin and efforts to expand diversity as nothing less than a conspiracy to obliterate White Americans.


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