Friday, November 6, 2020

Last Call For Biden, His Time

Claiming a "mandate for action" tonight but not victory, Joe Biden asked America to remain patient as the votes are counted and to come together to heal, and promised to start to work on the immediate problems in America, starting with the COVID-19 pandemic reaching yet another new daily case high of over 130,000.

Former Vice President Joe Biden urged the nation to remain patient as votes are tallied, saying he is confident of victory as he is pulling even further away from President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania, the state that may make him the 46th US president.

 In the latest batch of results from the Keystone State, Biden expanded his lead over Trump, which is now up to 28,833, meaning the President's already thin hopes of catching up are fast dwindling. Trump cannot win a second term without Pennsylvania, and if Biden captures its 20 electoral votes he cannot be stopped. 

Biden would not declare victory when he spoke to the nation late Friday night, but said he was confident in an impending victory. "The numbers tell us a clear and convincing story. We are going to win this race," Biden said. 

He added, "We are going to win this race with a clear majority of the nation behind us." 

Biden put on a show of confidence about the state of the race and also sought to present a picture of a new administration that is ready to get to work. He said that from his first day in the Oval Office he would launch a plan to control the pandemic, and he vowed to quickly enact an economic plan to speed the recovery. 

And noting political tensions stirred by the election, Biden said, "We have to remain calm, patient, let the process work out as we count all the votes."
Imagine that.  A normal, sane response to COVID-19, climate change, and a country in dire need of leadership during one of its darkest hours. This was a marked change from Trump's blithering idiocy earlier this week. 

And I'm glad for it.

Trump Voters Go Viral, Con't

In the counties hardest hit by COVID-19 in the days and weeks leading up to the election, most of them in rural parts of the country, they voted for Trump overwhelmingly, and not even a deadly pandemic was going to stop his cultists.

U.S. voters went to the polls starkly divided on how they see President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. But in places where the virus is most rampant now, Trump enjoyed enormous support.

An Associated Press analysis reveals that in 376 counties with the highest number of new cases per capita, the overwhelming majority — 93% of those counties — went for Trump, a rate above other less severely hit areas.

Most were rural counties in Montana, the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Wisconsin — the kinds of areas that often have lower rates of adherence to social distancing, mask-wearing and other public health measures, and have been a focal point for much of the latest surge in cases.

Taking note of the contrast, state health officials are pausing for a moment of introspection. Even as they worry about rising numbers of hospitalizations and deaths, they hope to reframe their messages and aim for a reset on public sentiment now that the election is over.

“Public health officials need to step back, listen to and understand the people who aren’t taking the same stance” on mask-wearing and other control measures, said Dr. Marcus Plescia of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

“I think there’s the potential for things to get less charged and divisive,” he said, adding that there’s a chance a retooled public health message might unify Americans around lowering case counts so hospitals won’t get swamped during the winter months.

The AP’s analysis was limited to counties in which at least 95% of precincts had reported results, and grouped counties into six categories based on the rates of COVID-19 cases they’d experienced per 100,000 residents.

Polling, too, shows voters who split on Republican Trump vs. Democrat Joe Biden differed on whether the pandemic is under control.

Thirty-six percent of Trump voters described the pandemic as completely or mostly under control, and another 47% said it was somewhat under control, according to AP VoteCast, a nationwide survey of more than 110,000 voters conducted for the AP by NORC at the University of Chicago. Meanwhile, 82% of Biden voters said the pandemic is not at all under control.

The pandemic was considered at least somewhat under control by slim majorities of voters in many red states, including Alabama (60%), Missouri ( 54%), Mississippi (58%), Kentucky (55%), Texas (55%), Tennessee (56%) and South Carolina (56%).

In Wisconsin, where the virus surged just before the election, 57% said the pandemic was not under control. In Washington state, where the virus is more in control now compared to earlier in the year, 55% said the same. Voters in New York and New Hampshire, where the virus is more controlled now after early surges, were roughly divided in their assessments, similar to voters nationwide.

Trump voters interviewed by AP reporters said they value individual freedom and believed the president was doing as well as anyone could in response to the coronavirus.
They believed his lies. They voted for him.
Now thousands of them will die for him

It was always a cult, and the cultists will be with us for a long, long time.

Well...most of them.

Orange Meltdown, Con't

So how does Trump spend his remaining 75 days before he's booted from the White House? Nobody really seems to know, and that's the problem when a malignant narcissist's entire paradigm collapses in on itself. The potential for catastrophic action designed to harm those who "wronged' him is ludicrously high right now.

Trump and his aides have settled on a plan for him to take full advantage of his existing perch at the White House to look as presidential as possible, according to three people briefed on the strategy. He may fire a few Cabinet members and top aides, including FBI Director Chris Wray and Defense Secretary Mark Esper. He could sign a slew of base-pleasing executive orders. He might even resume his travel schedule. Meanwhile, Trump’s team is planning to mount even more legal challenges and cast evidence-deficient aspersions on the integrity of ballots.

The president is frustrated by what he views as unfair election results in states like Arizona, and is steaming at the possibility of losing to a candidate he considers “weak,” Democratic nominee Joe Biden. The irritation is compounded by Biden’s moves to launch his presidential transition operation and signal confidence about ultimate victory in key states such as Arizona and Nevada, which have him close to clinching the presidential race.

Trump’s team “will flatly say they are wrong if the AP calls the race for Biden,” said former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a longtime Trump ally.

“We were at the White House until 3 a.m. on election night,” he added. “I was punchy physically, but I also could not get my head around what is going on until today. The president is going through something similar.”

Yet after two days of staying out of the public’s view, stewing over media coverage and feeling irritated with a handful of top advisers, Trump and his team have settled on the approach of barreling toward a second term — even if, during the final months of his campaign, Trump repeatedly failed to lay out any agenda for another four years.

Thursday night, Trump made his first public appearance since election night, expanding on the baseless claims of election fraud he has been spouting on Twitter. He made no mention of any governing moves, but did vow to fight the election results in court all the way to the Supreme Court — a proposition seen by most legal experts as unlikely and detached from the realities of a state-by-state electoral system.

"It’s going to end up perhaps at the highest court in the land, we’ll see," Trump said, before leaving without taking questions.

In the coming days, Trump's post-election governing agenda may kick off with firings of key aides who have long rankled the president, especially those within the intelligence and national security community. Those firings could happen within the next week, even if the results of the election favor Biden or remain unclear.

"The first thing is going to be: Who's left, who's been loyal and who's been competent?” said one Republican close to the White House. “That's going to be the first criteria. Who's been loyal and who's competent.”

Along with potential firings, Trump is also expected to spend the next week signing a flurry of executive orders on everything from trade to manufacturing to China as a way to show he is staying busy. He may also tackle a few executive orders on his favored cultural and social issues, according to two Republicans close to the White House.

“Just as he promised the American people, President Trump is fighting hard for a free and fair election while at the same time running the country and carrying out his duties to put America First,” White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said in a statement.

The Trump campaign is separately dispatching surrogates like David Bossie, Corey Lewandowski, Pam Bondi and Ric Grenell to battleground states like Arizona, Pennsylvania and Nevada to raise doubts about state election results and elicit local media coverage for the campaign’s spate of ongoing legal challenges, which Trump aides and advisers anticipate will last for the next several weeks.

“We are in this fight. We are going to stay in,” Trump deputy campaign manager, Justin Clark, told reporters on a call on Thursday.
So Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Kwanzaa, and a Happy New Year!

Along with, you know, COVID-19 now topping 100,000+ cases a day.

There will be no help from the White House for anyone but Trump helping himself stay out of prison.

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