Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Last Call For USA Today, All The Way

Four years after USA Today endorsed voting against Trump, and third parties got enough of the anti-Trump vote for him to win the Electoral College, the national newspaper finally gets around to doing the actual right thing and endorsing Joe Biden

Four years ago, the Editorial Board — an ideologically and demographically diverse group of journalists that is separate from the news staff and operates by consensus — broke with tradition and took sides in the presidential race for the first time since USA TODAY was founded in 1982. We urged readers not to vote for Donald Trump, calling the Republican nominee unfit for office because he lacked the “temperament, knowledge, steadiness and honesty that America needs from its presidents.” We stopped short, however, of an outright endorsement of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee. This year, the Editorial Board unanimously supports the election of Joe Biden, who offers a shaken nation a harbor of calm and competence.

Recent polls show that more than 90% of voters have decided between Biden and Trump, and nothing at this point will change their minds. This editorial is for those of you who are still uncertain about which candidate to vote for, or whether to vote at all. It’s also for those who settled on Trump but might be having last-minute doubts.

Maybe you backed Trump the last time around because you hoped he’d shake things up in Washington or bring back blue-collar jobs. Maybe you liked his populist, anti-elitist message. Maybe you couldn’t stomach the idea of supporting a Democrat as polarizing as Clinton. Maybe you cast a ballot for a minor party candidate, or just stayed home.

Now, two weeks until Election Day, we suggest you consider a variation of the question Republican Ronald Reagan asked voters when he ran for president in 1980: Is America better off now than it was four years ago?

Beset by disease, economic suffering, a racial reckoning and natural disasters fueled by a changing climate, the nation is dangerously off course. We spoke to dozens of people in Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin, battleground states that helped propel Trump into the White House in 2016. Many declined to comment, citing a general disgust with the election or fear of speaking out publicly. While some said they were personally better off, most of those willing to talk on camera expressed anguish and dismay about the nation's direction
I am definitely not better off today than I was four years ago. I think America in general is much worse off today now that Donald Trump has unhooked us from so many of our traditions and our safeguards. … He is trying to tear down the Affordable Care Act, which is criminal.
Anita Giltner of Holland, Michigan
The way (Trump) has handled (COVID-19) so far has just been gross mismanagement. … Trump has repealed a bunch of environmental restrictions, which is really important to me because my age group and my demographic are the ones that are going to inherit the Earth.
Daniel Viar, of Rochester Hills, Michigan, who didn’t vote in 2016

It's getting worse. … There’s not a lot of food around, there’s not a lot of money around, people are getting evicted. … I just wish the United States could pull together. … Why do we got to fight against each other? It’s too much.
Lucinda Young of Toledo, Ohio
You have a president who is … mocking people, attacking people on Twitter. … We’re dealing with diversity and racism right now in our country, and we need a new leader who stands up and faces these challenges, like Joe Biden. ... I think it’s time for a change.
Mecca Vaughn of Milwaukee 


It doesn't look good for Trump any way you slice it, and with two weeks to go, the final push to unseat him is on.


Mitch Better Have My Money, Con't

Mitch McConnell now believes he has the votes for another doomed Senate GOP Covid-19 package that prioritizes only what Republicans want: more money for businesses and COVID-19 liability shields, and he's expecting our broken media to give him a last-minute win that saves his Senate control.
The Senate will hold two votes next week on a Payroll Protection Program bill and $500 billion coronavirus relief package, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Saturday.

Why it matters: Hopes for a broader stimulus deal before November's election are fading as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary remain deadlocked in negotiations on a potential package that McConnell has said his caucus has no appetite for. 
President Trump said last week he would "absolutely" go higher than a $1.8 trillion offer, and that he has directed Mnuchin to do so. But McConnell said he would not put such a deal on the floor, saying on Thursday, "My members think half a trillion dollars, highly targeted is the best way to go." 
Pelosi said Friday that she and Mnuchin would likely continue negotiations over the weekend, per Reuters. The House passed Democrats' revised $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill earlier this month.

Details: The Senate will first vote on Tuesday on the PPP measure, before voting Wednesday on a $500 billion stimulus bill that is nearly identical to the one that Democrats blocked in Sept. The stimulus package includes additional unemployment benefits, more than $100 billion for schools, and additional funding for testing, contact tracing and Operation Warp Speed.

What he's saying: "Working families have spent months waiting for Speaker Pelosi’s Marie Antoinette act to stop. They should not have to wait any longer," McConnell said in a statement Saturday.
This kabuki act failed last month, so I don't see why McConnell thinks Pelosi will take all the blame now, but that's what our broken media is for, I guess. 

The reality is that McConnell only cares about liability protections for corporations from COVID-19, and once he gets that, there won't be a dime coming for anything else heading into a Biden administration. McConnell will gleefully let the country rot in a depression if he maintains control of the Senate, and there won't be enough Democratic votes to change the filibuster rules even if the Democrats do win the Senate back.

I wish voters here in Kentucky would put an end to his career, but they never will.

Vote Like Your Job Depends On It (Because It Does)

A Florida company is under fire for including a letter in their recent pay stubs to employees stating that if Biden wins, plant layoffs may have to begin immediately.

Some employees at a Florida manufacturing company feel they were threatened with being laid off if they did not support President Donald Trump.

Daniels Manufacturing Corporation is based in Orlando. Its office displays a large Trump flag on the flag pole outside the building.

According to campaign finance reports obtained by WESH, the company and its president George Daniels has contributed more than $600,000 in this election cycle to President Donald Trump and groups supporting other Republican candidates for office.

While there's nothing inherently wrong with companies supporting political parties or candidates, some employees think what Daniels Manufacturing Corporation did in a recent paystub went too far.

Their paystubs included a letter from Daniels himself warning them that their jobs could be in danger.

"If Trump and the Republicans win the election, DMC will hopefully be able to continue operating, more or less as it has been operating lately," the letter read. "However, if Biden and the Democrats win, DMC could be forced to begin permanent layoffs in late 2020 and/or early 2021."

Stan Smith is a DMC employee, but after getting that letter, he said he's planning to quit.

"Everybody has a choice to make their own decision," Smith said.

Some workers told WESH they were too afraid to speak about the incident for fear they would lose their jobs. Still, others said they supported the president and didn't find the letter offensive or threatening.

"I don't feel like it was correct, to do something like that," Smith said. "That's like me coming to work--because we had all these black killings--and I should come in here and I should wear a Black Lives Matter shirt and bring out hats and pass them out to everyone. I felt like it was unfair."

Daniels declined to be interviewed on camera about the letter, but he issued the following statement:

"I have been doing this for years. I have an obligation to let workers know what could happen, based on the outcome of an election. They certainly should vote for the candidate they want."

Sure. Vote for whomever you like, also if the person your boss hasn't given $600,000 to loses, you might be laid off immediately. But vote for whomever you like.

If this somehow isn't flamingly illegal, certainly nobody in Florida or the Barr Justice Department is going to look into it anyhow. But if you don't think letters like this are going out this week to employees all over the country, you haven't been paying attention.


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