Monday, August 31, 2020

THE LONG, HOT SUMMER

In Kenosha, a right wing activist kills two protesters. In Portland, apparently, it happens the other way around. This has the potential of spiraling out of control -- and it all helps Trump

https://crooksandliars.com/2020/08/arizona-student-conservative-group-raising

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/08/one-man-shot-dead-portland-protesters-clash-trump.html

Look back at the Watts riots in 1965, the "long, hot summer" of 1967, and the riots in the summer of 1968 after the assassination of Martin Luther King. These directly led to Nixon's"law and order" campaign which helped him win. Think it can't happen again?

https://ammo.com/articles/long-hot-summer-of-1967-riots-urban-unrest-across-america

https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/if-trumps-speech-sounded-familiar-thats-because-nixon-gave-it-first/

The Dems are blaming Trump for inflaming tensions ("when the looting starts, the shooting starts"), and that's true. But politically, Biden and the Dems need to find a better response. 

The more high-profile this issue is, the better for Trump -- and it just isn't enough to say "legitimate protesters aren't responsible for the actions of looters, rioters, and armed thugs." That's true, too, but it isn't enough. This has the potential to tilt the entire election

https://www.thedailybeast.com/cnn-host-dana-bash-confronts-gop-sen-ron-johnson-on-trump-agitating-violence-no-other-way-to-see-it

https://thehill.com/homenews/sunday-talk-shows/514312-biden-campaign-adviser-trump-has-been-trying-to-incite-violence

https://www.axios.com/karen-bass-trump-kenosha-cdea9b3d-3a5b-409c-822e-810589751ee5.html

https://thehill.com/homenews/sunday-talk-shows/514322-demings-portland-what-happens-when-homeland-security-is

More: https://www.axios.com/mark-meadows-trumps-america-peaceful-5c49a943-548d-488e-ae5f-18324af9fe8a.html
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows argued on Sunday that "most of Donald Trump's America is peaceful," and that the violence that the Trump campaign has so frequently highlighted as part of its "law and order" message is in "Democrat cities"...

https://www.vox.com/2020/8/30/21407435/trump-tweets-deadly-shooting-portland-democrats-national-guard
Trump responds to a deadly shooting in Portland by blaming Democrats — and calls for the National Guard . . . 

https://digbysblog.net/2020/08/more-incitement/
More incitement . . . 

Better. More like this, Joe

https://www.axios.com/biden-trump-condemns-portland-violence-861488d0-6f9b-4a6a-8f94-6f18c9a05381.html
Democratic nominee Joe Biden issued a statement unequivocally condemning violence on all sides after a man was fatally shot Saturday night during a clash between supporters of President Trump and anti-racism protesters. As Biden prepares to address civil unrest this week, he is looking to set a marker for Trump and put the burden on him to speak to all sides on an issue that is roiling America and the presidential campaign. . . .

More: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/08/30/biden-not-visit-kenosha-monday-405468
Joe Biden will travel to western Pennsylvania on Monday to give remarks focused on how President Donald Trump has made America less safe, forgoing the chance to deliver that message in Wisconsin, where the president is planning a Tuesday visit. . .

Trump wants to go to Kenosha, even though the mayor and governor have asked him not to come

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/08/kenosha-mayor-wisconsin-governor-trump-visit.html

https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/30/wisconsin-governor-tells-trump-not-to-come/

Here is the good news about the convention: Trump can read a speech, but Trump will always return to being Trump

https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/30/trump-claims-protests-are-an-organized-coup/
“President Trump unleashed an especially intense barrage of Twitter messages overnight and Sunday morning, embracing fringe conspiracy theories claiming that the coronavirus death toll has been exaggerated and that street protests are actually an organized coup d’├ętat against him” . . . “In the weekend blast of Twitter messages, Mr. Trump also embraced a call to imprison Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, threatened to use force against demonstrators outside the White House, attacked CNN and NPR, embraced a supporter charged with murder, mocked his challenger, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., and repeatedly assailed the mayor of Portland, even posting the mayor’s office telephone number so that supporters could call demanding his resignation.”

The FDA will definitely fast-track a vaccine, ready or not, before the election -- but says that politics has nothing to do with it

https://www.axios.com/fda-coronavirus-vaccine-fast-track-9c047fe0-a706-4c45-9e40-3ed6041c92ba.html

More: https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/30/inside-trumps-pressure-campaign-on-fda-scientists/
Demoralized FDA staff say a misleading announcement last week on convalescent plasma undermined scientists’ credibility and turned the agency into a prop in the president’s reelection campaign . . .

DHS Sect'y says he didn't know the naturalization ceremony where he presided would be used as a political stunt at the convention

https://thehill.com/homenews/sunday-talk-shows/514314-acting-dhs-secretary-said-he-didnt-know-naturalization-ceremony

In investigation news . . .   

Don't look if you don't want to find

https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/30/justice-dept-never-examined-trumps-ties-to-russia/
“The Justice Department secretly took steps in 2017 to narrow the investigation into Russian election interference and any links to the Trump campaign, keeping investigators from completing an examination of President Trump’s decades-long personal and business ties to Russia” . . .

More: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/8/30/1973600/-Rosenstein-blocked-FBI-from-probing-Trump-s-Russian-ties-then-ordered-Mueller-to-ignore-them-as-well

Kiss the ring, dammit! Kiss! The! Ring!

https://www.axios.com/trump-john-kelly-fbi-41678290-167a-44c2-a20a-377955485bc8.html
Trump offered FBI director job to John Kelly, asked for loyalty

Just one of those scandals that everyone has forgotten about

https://www.axios.com/jared-kushner-security-clearance-mcgahn-ecca918e-2685-473a-9504-cd412da301bf.html
Leaked McGahn memo reveals alarms about Kushner's security clearance

More: https://digbysblog.net/2020/08/what-was-the-matter-with-kushs-background-check/

Bygones

https://www.salon.com/2020/08/30/fbi-admits-it-may-have-destroyed-records-on-trumps-brother-robert_partner/
FBI admits it may have "destroyed" records on Trump’s brother Robert

In other news . . .    

Trump, in a series of hyperbolic tweets, claims a MASSIVE bounce from his convention, claiming a national lead and leads in all the battleground states (which does make you wonder about his claims to be leading in all of these BEFORE the convention). The fact is that any bump he got from from the convention is very small at best. But it's classic Trumpism: try to create a perception that gradually becomes a self-confirming reality

https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/30/trump-didnt-get-the-bounce-he-needed/

https://digbysblog.net/2020/08/hes-not-popular-not-popular-at-all/ 

More: https://www.axios.com/bidens-edge-trump-base-9366ee70-ba96-4dec-958a-9f58ccf726d4.html
The Cook Political Report's Amy Walter shows, in a piece that's well worth your time, that President Trump is trailing "not because he's losing his 2016 base, but because he has never expanded beyond it." . . .

Bonus item: John Oliver on GOP race-baiting

https://www.thedailybeast.com/john-oliver-rips-tucker-carlson-trump-and-the-mccloskeys-over-kenosha-shooting-suspect-kyle-rittenhouse

***If you enjoy Progressive Blog Digest and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sharing its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com) with others via email or social media. Thanks for helping to spread the word!  

I don’t get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don’t run ads, etc.). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a “mission,” it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Sunday, August 30, 2020

THE MAYOR OF SHARK CITY

https://crooksandliars.com/2020/08/re-nomination-mayor-shark-city

Trump escalates his rhetoric against protesters

https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/29/trump-escalates-rhetoric-on-unrest-in-cities/

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/8/29/1973315/-Trump-is-uniquely-nbsp-responsible-for-the-violence-erupting-on-his-watch-This-is-his-America

More: https://www.axios.com/democrats-protests-trump-biden-kenosha-74457d1c-e87b-47c1-b777-21c686e245c9.html
Democrats close to Joe Biden increasingly fear the looting and violence in cities could help President Trump, especially among the few undecided or wavering Americans. . . . 

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/514180-democrats-seek-balance-in-backing-protests-condemning-violence
Democrats are trying to find the right balance between their support for the racial justice protests and their opposition to the destructive elements of the demonstrations that President Trump has used to portray them as the party of rioters and looters. . .

Here it is

https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/29/bonus-quote-of-the-day-1382/
“If the election is about the pandemic, he’s going to lose. If the election is about who is better equipped to handle urban riots, you’ve got to like Trump’s chances.”
               — GOP strategist Alex Conant

More: https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/29/biden-hits-back-at-trump-attacks-on-crime/
“A Journal/NBC News survey this month found crime to be well behind the economy, coronavirus and other matters as a top concern for voters.”

Biden hits back

https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/29/biden-hits-back-at-trump-attacks-on-crime/
Biden, speaking to national guard troops, said: “I promise you, as president, I’ll never put you in the middle of politics, or personal vendettas. I’ll never use the military as a prop or as a private militia to violate rights of fellow citizens. That’s not law and order. You don’t deserve that.”

Trump wanted a military parade for his inauguration "like North Korea"

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/08/29/new-melania-trump-tell-all-book-404926

Trump said he would bring back manufacturing jobs. Guess what?

https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2020/08/fact-of-the-day-manufacturing-as-a-of-the-workforce-1985-2020/

Elizabeth Neumann, former DHS official, is still talking

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-dhs-official-of-course-there-are-racists-in-the-administration
Of Course There Are Racists in the Administration

In investigation news . . .   

Oh, good

https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/29/intelligence-office-wont-brief-on-election-security/
“The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has informed the House and Senate Select Committees on Intelligence that it’ll no longer be briefing on election security issues . . . It’ll provide written updates.” 

What's going on? https://www.axios.com/odni-cancels-in-person-election-security-briefings-congress-00b1ac4b-cf41-4f34-9457-8e58363d4237.html

https://thehill.com/homenews/house/514280-pelosi-schiff-pan-director-of-national-intelligence-for-cancelling-election

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/8/29/1973360/-Trump-moves-to-shut-Congress-out-of-intelligence-on-Russian-election-intereference
"With a written release or a written report, you avoid the back-and-forth of questions, some of which could be quite probing. And I think the DNI would like to avoid that and avoid the risk of saying something that might incur the wrath of the President" . . .

In other news . . .    

You just KNEW that Trump wouldn't let his ratings loss to Biden and the Democrats go without lying about it

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/8/29/1973301/-Donald-Trump-s-convention-lost-the-TV-ratings-war-so-naturally-he-s-lying-about-it

[NB: I visit his Twitter feed from time to time. When you do, videos launch automatically. I'm sure they count that as people "watching."]  

The problem, in a nutshell

https://digbysblog.net/2020/08/troll-in-chief/
Mr. Trump’s aides said he enjoyed the frustration and anger he caused by holding a political event on the South Lawn of the White House, shattering conventional norms and raising questions about ethics law violations. He relished the fact that no one could do anything to stop him. . . .

More: https://digbysblog.net/2020/08/the-dynasty/

Trump's goal: win back disaffected Repubs

https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/29/trump-aims-to-win-back-those-who-backed-him-in-2016/
“The GOP convention’s target audience, according to campaign officials, was mostly former Trump supporters, those Republicans or independents who may have backed him in 2016 but grew unhappy with his rhetoric or handling of the pandemic. The goal, by trying to humanize Trump and demonize Biden, was to set up a permission structure to make those voters feel comfortable enough to vote for Trump again, even if they cared for his policies far more than his personality.” “Officials believe they accomplished that over the four-day convention and are encouraged by internal numbers that show Trump had begun closing the gap on Biden even before the events of this week in Washington. The campaign’s theory of the election has long been to turn out Trump’s base — a smaller set of the electorate than which backs Biden, but more enthusiastic — while also trying to win over nonvoters and drive up negative impressions of Biden so that some of his possible backers stay home.” 

Wow, just. . . . wow

https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/29/trump-tells-officials-to-sell-his-autograph-on-ebay/
Trump Tells Officials to Sell His Autograph on eBay

Trump trashes his niece, who wrote a book about him

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/514267-trump-goes-after-niece-who-wrote-critical-book-unstable-and-shunned
" . . . an unstable niece, who was now rightfully shunned, scorned and mocked her entire life, and never even liked by her own very kind & caring grandfather!"
 

Kanye West's appeal of being left off the ballot in Wisconsin . . . comes from a Virginia state senator (and former chief counsel for the RNC)

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/kanye-west-wisconsin-ballot-lawsuit-linked-to-firm-of-former-rnc-chief-counsel

Biden will resume live campaigning

https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/29/biden-to-resume-in-person-campaigning/

Bonus item: Oh my

https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/29/why-melania-didnt-move-to-washington-right-away/
Stephanie Winston Wolkoff writes in her new book, Melania and Me, that Melania Trump didn’t want to move to the White House right away in part because she didn’t want to have to use the same shower and toilet as former First Lady Michelle Obama and was waiting for the bathroom to be renovated . . .

***If you enjoy Progressive Blog Digest and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sharing its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com) with others via email or social media. Thanks for helping to spread the word!  

I don’t get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don’t run ads, etc.). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a “mission,” it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Saturday, August 29, 2020

FIREWORKS


On day one, at his inauguration, Trump described an "American carnage," and boasted that "it stops right here and right now." Now, four years later, Trump still depicts an America torn apart by violence and discord. He blames the Dems, of course -- but isn't this HIS failure?

https://apnews.com/9dd40f7bd6f261291b17542f2620b782

Trump didn't even believe his own speech 

https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/28/did-trump-convince-anyone-with-his-speech/

Fact checks: https://www.vox.com/2020-presidential-election/2020/8/28/21405325/trump-rnc-speech-fact-check-cnn-daniel-dale

https://www.rollcall.com/2020/08/28/rnc-fact-check-trump-speech-filled-with-falsehoods/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/08/28/nearly-every-claim-trump-made-about-bidens-positions-was-false/
Nearly every claim Trump made about Biden’s positions was false. . . “Trump is instead running against a straw man whom he describes as a Trojan horse for socialists and communists. Trump is running against someone who holds positions that aren’t held by Biden himself — and if Trump convinces enough Americans that Biden and that straw man are one and the same, he might just win more votes.”

Fox World went wild over Trump using the White House as a campaign prop

https://crooksandliars.com/2020/08/fox-news-john-roberts-normalizes-trumps

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/brian-kilmeade-trump-white-hous-speech_n_5f493d68c5b6cf66b2b79160 

They are STILL minimizing the threat from COVID 

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/wh-brushes-off-covid-concerns-amid-trumps-maskless-crowd-in-game-of-make-believe
Thursday’s mask-flouting crowd that largely ignored social distancing guidelines has been estimated at 1,500 — a gathering far larger than health officials have recommended to curb the spread of the coronavirus. CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta reported that a senior White House official had swatted away concerns to him earlier in the evening about the lack of social distancing at the President’s acceptance speech, saying, “everybody is going to catch this thing eventually.” 

More: https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/28/four-people-at-rnc-in-charlotte-test-positive/
Four People at RNC In Charlotte Test Positive

Trump orders Federal forces to Portland -- where they are not wanted

https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/514209-portland-mayor-responds-to-trump-stay-away-please
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) fired back at President Trump after he suggested sending the National Guard to Oregon's largest city to deal with protests, pleading with him to “stay away, please.” “Yet again, you said you offered to aid Portland by sending in federal law enforcement to our city. On behalf of the City of Portland: No thanks” . . . “We don’t need your politics of division and demagoguery. Portlanders are onto you. We have already seen your reckless disregard for human life in your bumbling response to the COVID pandemic. And we know you’ve reached the conclusion that images of violence or vandalism are your only ticket to reelection,” he added.  

Why staffers have learned not to utter the words "white supremacists" around Trump

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-advisers-he-was-triggered-by-talk-of-white-supremacy

Once every four years, when they need votes from minority groups, the Repubs try to showcase a handful of people of color, ignoring the racist, anti-immigrant, and unjust consequences of their own rhetoric and policies -- ESPECIALLY Trump's rhetoric and policies. Is this fooling anybody?

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/08/diversity-performance-rnc.html

Biden's speech pulled in millions more viewers than Trump's. That will REALLY get under his skin

https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/28/biden-had-more-television-viewers-for-his-speech/

More: https://www.axios.com/biden-narrowly-beats-trump-in-convention-speech-ratings-c6fc0ed0-3c4c-4785-b4db-2a5f1f0ce497.html

Just can't do better than this

https://digbysblog.net/2020/08/make-america-great-again-again
If you think things are bad now under Donald Trump, vote for Donald Trump, who will fix things. The chaos will continue unless you vote for Donald Trump, who will bring needed change by serving another term as president.

Any bad things happening now were sent by Joe Biden, from the future. Do not be fooled by the fact that they are happening in the present, when Donald Trump is president. They are not happening now; they are a preview of what will happen when Joe Biden is president.

Joe Biden wants to destroy the suburbs; he wants, also, to put America’s great workers into houses and basements, where he will force unwanted government assistance on them. Joe Biden has controlled all of government for the past 47 years but, confusingly, he has never gotten through any of the radical policies he really wanted — until now, when he assuredly will. His first act will be to get rid of hamburgers and make cows illegal. 

Joe Biden is 40 feet tall, made of wood, hollow and filled with socialists. Joe Biden is also a puppet whose strings are pulled by China, and he would be a pushover to them, unlike Donald Trump, whom John Bolton remembered telling Chinese President Xi Jinping to “go ahead” building concentration camps for Uighurs because it was “exactly the right thing to do.” Joe Biden wants to defund the police, which is why he is advocating not defunding the police.

Most of all, Joe Biden wants to destroy America’s greatness. (Greatness is what we have right now, under Donald Trump, but also don’t have yet, but will definitely have in the future.) Joe Biden will never create jobs, the way Donald Trump has, by first presiding over the loss of millions of them. Under Donald Trump, America has never been safer. It has also never been more dangerous. We must elect Donald Trump to make us safe again, which he has already made us, never more than we are now, although we also aren’t, and won’t be, unless we elect him! If you see.

Donald Trump supports law and order, except the Hatch Act, which he doesn’t think Americans care about. He was briefly impeached, but it was a big misunderstanding and doesn’t indicate anything about his respect for rule of law, which is absolute. Also, impeachment is illegal (not many people know this), so the most respectful thing is to resist it and call it illegitimate. The fact that impeachment seems to be included in the Constitution is another paradox from the Joe Biden timeline, to be ignored.

Donald Trump is a crusader against nepotism, corruption and the abuse of power for personal gain, wherever it may lurk. The fact that four of the main speechmakers on the four nights of the convention were his children was simply because they were literally the best people in America. He despises people who profit from public office, and the times when he has urged people to stay at Trump properties were just because he gives and gives without thinking of himself. We will see his tax returns very soon.

Elect him and nobody will be canceled, except those of whom Donald Trump disapproves, but that is okay because they did something bad. He is not racist and his appeals contain no dog whistles, but you are racist for thinking so.

In conclusion, Donald Trump has accomplished more than any other president, ever, in his single term, including some accomplishments that did not even happen during his term, like his landmark achievement, the Veterans Choice Bill, passed in 2014 under President Barack Obama. There is no pandemic to speak of, or to put on a mask for; if there ever was one, it was someone else’s fault; also, Joe Biden did not take it seriously, unlike Donald Trump, who does, and is continuing to, at his large unmasked gatherings of supporters breathing and shouting together. Donald Trump does not look at America and see thousands of people needlessly dying and millions losing their jobs — this is what Joe Biden sees. Donald Trump sees greatness!

Donald Trump has made America great again, and he will make it great again, again, if reelected, but right now, Joe Biden and the Democrats are ruining America and filling it with chaos. So don’t you think it’s time for a change?

In investigation news . . .   

Why the Repubs want to talk about impeachment -- and the Dems don't

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/08/28/democratic-republican-conventions-trump-impeachment-404342

More: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/rnc-trump-impeachment_n_5f49541ec5b697186e35dcc2

In other news . . .    

Ha ha ha ha ha -- Trump's much-vaunted digital operation neglected to claim the "Keep America Great" domain name. So Biden swiped it up

https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/27/biden-snags-keep-america-great-domain/

More people who aren't even Trump supporters tricked into appearing in videos used at the convention

https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/28/tenants-were-tricked-into-appearing-in-rnc-video/

Trump describes his second-term agenda

https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/28/quote-of-the-day-2666/
“But so I think, I think it would be, I think it would be very, very, I think we’d have a very, very solid, we would continue what we’re doing, we’d solidify what we’ve done, and we have other things on our plate we want to get done.”

Biden and Trump: two visions of masculinity

https://www.vox.com/2020/8/28/21403866/trump-rnc-speech-biden-covid-19-2020

Penn wants to investigate Trump's admission, apparently based on falsified test results

https://thehill.com/homenews/news/514115-university-of-pennsylvania-professor-wants-to-investigate-claim-trump-faked 

When sports matter

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/8/28/1973107/-NBA-players-negotiate-return-to-playoffs-teams-agree-to-turn-arenas-into-voting-sites

Ivanka's smile

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/08/ivanka-trump-rnc-speech-smile.html

More: https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-says-ivanka-not-kamala-harris-should-be-the-first-female-president-3
Trump Suggests Ivanka, Not Kamala Harris, Should Be the First Female President

I know it's petty, but everyone says that Melania and Ivanka do not get along. This video offers a hint

https://crooksandliars.com/2020/08/melania-greets-ivanka

Some juicy background: https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/27/politics/melania-trump-ivanka-trump-wolkoff-book/index.html 

More from Trump's sister!

https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/28/new-audio-released-of-trumps-sister-bashing-family/

What the flurry of books from Trump insiders tells us

https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/28/why-do-trump-insiders-have-so-much-to-say/
“What has struck me most about these books is not what salacious stories they have to share, though the stories are delicious and damning as advertised. It’s that some of the people closest to the Trumps have felt so jilted by them, so burned, so wrung out, that they’re willing to spill their guts about their own family or closest friends. The only reason these books exist is because the Trumps created a climate of backbiting and mistrust that subsumed everyone around them—a climate in which things like recording run-of-the-mill conversations to cover their hides or protect themselves from criminal investigations became the norm. For three different sets of reasons, Mary Trump, Cohen, and Wolkoff had the same knee-jerk response. They felt like it was the only way. And an even wilder notion: they were right.” “That simple fact is more revealing than any leaked anecdote in any of these stories.”

This is what happens when you hire an OAN reporter as your press spokesperson

https://www.thedailybeast.com/ex-oann-reporter-emily-miller-fired-as-fda-spokeswoman-after-just-11-days-on-the-job

https://www.salon.com/2020/08/28/former-oan-correspondent-emily-miller-fired-at-fda-after-misleading-tweet-during-trumps-speech/

Bonus item: Thanks to CM for the link

***If you enjoy Progressive Blog Digest and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sharing its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com) with others via email or social media. Thanks for helping to spread the word!  

I don’t get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don’t run ads, etc.). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a “mission,” it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Friday, August 28, 2020

FLOODING THE ZONE

The essence of Trump's messaging is the sheer volume and constancy of distortions, distractions, BS, and lies. He throws lie after lie, tweet after tweet. Just recently, he has said Biden needs to take a cognitive function test. Then he says Biden needs to take a drug test. Next he will say Biden needs to take a paternity test. It's overwhelming.

Ironically, one big, prominent lie would be easier to identify and deal with (just as a single instance of documented corruption would be clearer to deal than a pervasive culture of corruption). This is key to Trump's survival. When you have told 20,000 lies, as he has, what is the point of a web site that lists and documents every single one? It wears you down. 

His big convention speech was a litany of lies from start to finish. . . . too long . . .  and boring

What happened to "optimistic and upbeat"?

https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/28/politics/donald-trump-speech-transcript/index.html
"This election will decide whether we SAVE the American Dream, or whether we allow a socialist agenda to DEMOLISH our cherished destiny. It will decide whether we rapidly create millions of high paying jobs, or whether we crush our industries and send millions of these jobs overseas, as has foolishly been done for many decades. Your vote will decide whether we protect law abiding Americans, or whether we give free reign to violent anarchists, agitators, and criminals who threaten our citizens. And this election will decide whether we will defend the American Way of Life, or whether we allow a radical movement to completely dismantle and destroy it. . . . Joe Biden is not the savior of America's soul -- he is the destroyer of America's Jobs, and if given the chance, he will be the destroyer of American Greatness. . . China supports Joe Biden and desperately wants him to win. China would own our country if Joe Biden got elected . . . If the left gains power, they will demolish the suburbs, confiscate your guns, and appoint justices who will wipe away your Second Amendment and other Constitutional freedoms. Biden is a Trojan horse for socialism. . . The Biden-Bernie Manifesto calls for Abolishing cash bail, immediately releasing 400,000 criminals onto your streets and into your neighborhoods. . . . Make no mistake, if you give power to Joe Biden, the radical left will Defund Police Departments all across America. They will pass federal legislation to reduce law enforcement nationwide. They will make every city look like Democrat-run Portland, Oregon. No one will be safe in Biden's America. . . ." 

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/08/trump-republican-national-convention-speech-lies-falsehoods.html
A Volcano of Lies  

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/trump-hijacked-white-house-for-rnc-speech-rehashing-his-same-tired-talking-points
Trump Hijacked White House For RNC Speech Rehashing His Same Tired Talking Points

https://www.vox.com/2020/8/28/21405150/trump-rnc-speech-optics-white-house-used-as-prop-hatch-act
This abomination may be the most visible misuse of official position for private gain in America’s history. It is an abuse of the power entrusted to this man, the breach of a sacred trust. . . [read on]

Fact checking the lies: https://thehill.com/homenews/media/514094-cnn-uses-new-chyron-to-fact-check-trumps-convention-speech

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/8/27/1972959/-Rachel-Maddow-delivers-blistering-fact-check-of-Trump-s-convention-speech-in-2-5-minutes

Winners and losers: https://www.vox.com/2020/8/28/21404956/winners-and-losers-rnc

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/chris-wallace-fox-news-trump-rnc_n_5f486c2dc5b697186e338947
Fox News’ Chris Wallace Trashes Trump’s ‘Surprisingly Flat’ RNC Speech

https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/28/trumps-speech-widely-panned/
Trump’s Speech Widely Panned

Trump asks 2000 people to risk their lives for the privilege of cheering him

https://www.thedailybeast.com/cnns-jake-tapper-denounces-trumps-rnc-super-spreader-event

https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/27/audience-for-trumps-speech-wont-be-tested/

Biden's rousing counter ad ran during the convention

https://crooksandliars.com/2020/08/two-minute-ad-joe-biden-running-during

Biden and Harris don't let Trump get the first punch in

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/514033-biden-tears-into-trump-ahead-of-gop-convention-speech
Biden tears into Trump ahead of GOP convention speech

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/8/27/1972874/-Harris-called-out-Trump-for-being-a-miserably-incompetent-failure-It-was-glorious
Harris called out Trump for being a miserably incompetent failure. It was glorious

Trump put more Black people on stage than he has put in his administration

https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/27/suddenly-trump-cares-about-diversity/

Why Biden is winning

https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/27/why-biden-is-leading/

More: https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/27/trump-makes-crucial-play-for-the-suburbs/
“Trump advisers said on Wednesday that they did not intend to change people’s minds about the president. Voter opinions about him have been remarkably impervious to the good and bad news about him, fluctuating little since he took office . . .”

The Cheerleader goes dark -- and Con-job gives away the game

https://thehill.com/homenews/media/513926-mcenany-accuses-media-democrats-aiding-abetting-violence-streets
McEnany accuses media, Democrats of 'aiding and abetting the violence in the streets'

[NB: There is no doubt that this will be a major theme throughout the campaign: the message from Trump is, "I may be a bastard, but it takes a bastard to keep you safe."] 

More: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/kellyanne-conway-trump-kenosha_n_5f47c8bfc5b697186e32821e
Outgoing White House adviser Kellyanne Conway spoke out Thursday about the protests that have rocked Kenosha, Wisconsin, following the police shooting of a Black man over the weekend. To Conway, the situation is a boost for President Donald Trump’s reelection prospects. “The more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns, the better it is for the very clear choice on who’s best on public safety and law and order,” she said.

[NB: Yes, she said that. Out loud.]

Biden hits back

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/513967-biden-trump-rooting-for-more-violence-amid-unrest-in-kenosha
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Thursday accused President Trump of "rooting" for violence amid the unrest in Kenosha, Wis., following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. "He views this as a political benefit to him. You know, he’s rooting for more violence, not less. And he’s clear about that. And what’s he doing, he’s pouring more gasoline on the fire," Biden said on MSNBC.

Of course

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/08/trumps-naturalization-stunt-white-house-unaware-rnc-gop-convention.html
New Citizens in Trump’s Naturalization Stunt Were Unaware It Would Be Used at RNC

More: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/8/27/1972737/-Immigrants-from-Trump-s-naturalization-stunt-say-they-didn-t-know-it-would-be-used-at-convention

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/homeland-security-chair-wants-hatch-act-probe-of-rnc-naturalization-ceremony-at-wh

Ha ha ha ha ha

https://www.axios.com/rep-dan-crenshaw-does-not-address-trump-by-name-during-rnc-speech-df34741a-82a5-4740-aff9-243cd2a2699b.html
Rep. Dan Crenshaw does not address Trump by name during RNC speech

Trump changes his excuses for why mail-in voting is a bad idea -- and they get sillier and sillier

https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/27/trump-shifts-focus-away-from-post-office/
“It’s not the post office … it has nothing to do with the post office.” He added: “The problem is when they dump all these ballots in front of a few people who are counting them, and they’re going to count them wrong. The post office is not to blame.”

[NB: Another way in which "mail-in voting" is no different from "absentee voting" (which Trump says he favors) -- if you can't count one properly, why is the other one safer?] 

More: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/trump-shifts-attack-on-mail-in-voting-away-from-usps-now-blames-election-officials

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/8/27/1972853/-US-Postal-Service-now-telling-customers-late-packages-were-delayed-at-their-own-request
U.S. Postal Service now telling customers late packages were delayed at their own 'request'

Louis DeJoy lied to Congress 

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/8/26/1972581/-Having-caught-DeJoy-in-a-lie-House-demands-details-of-his-contacts-with-the-Trump-campaign

1 million new unemployment claims -- and still no COVID bill

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/8/27/1972845/-With-1-million-new-unemployment-claims-White-House-refuses-to-budge-in-COVID-19-negotiations

Dr. Fauci was unconscious during surgery while the CDC weakened their testing requirements

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/fauci-was-in-surgery-as-feds-scaled-back-testing-guidelines-says-he-is-concerned-about-their-interpretation

WTF?

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/8/27/1972806/-Trump-administration-suggested-using-heat-ray-on-migrants-in-2018
Trump administration suggested using ‘heat ray’ on migrants in 2018

In investigation news . . .   

A new book by Melania's pal describes Trump's corrupt, incompetent inauguration 

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/new-book-by-melania-trump-friend-promises-a-look-at-trump-inaugural-finances

Trump gets recorded talking to his lawyer about the Trump University fraud

https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/27/trump-caught-on-hot-mic-talking-to-his-lawyer/

The Cesspool

https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/27/how-trumps-company-charged-the-government-more/
How Trump’s Company Charged the Government More

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/08/26/trump-dc-hotel-rnc-backdrop-social-hub-402845
For the well-connected, Trump’s D.C. hotel serves as convention backdrop and social hub

In other news . . .    

Hmmm . . . This sounds so . . . familiar. Authoritarian leader says he will send national troops into an autonomous region to quell unrest, if they can't handle it themselves. Where have we heard that before?

https://www.thedailybeast.com/putin-says-he-has-reserve-officers-ready-to-send-to-belarus

[NB: Of course, Belarus isn't a part of Russia -- it's a separate nation.]

Who's the boss?

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/trump-missing-putin-phone-call-public-freak-out_n_5f47e470c5b6cf66b2b4a9f9
Donald Trump once erupted into a fury after an aide told him he had missed a phone call with Vladimir Putin, an ex-adviser to former British Prime Minister Theresa May said on a podcast released Tuesday . . . “Somebody just mentioned in passing that Vladimir Putin had asked for a call with him, and right in front us, he absolutely shouted down Mike Flynn. Like, really shouted,” Timothy said. “This was at a formal dinner, with butlers and fancy crockery. ... [Trump] was properly shouting at him down the table, because ‘if Putin wants a call with me, you just put him through.’”

Kenosha

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trevor-noah-goes-off-on-kenosha-police-for-treating-kyle-rittenhouse-better-than-jacob-blake
Trevor Noah Goes Off on Kenosha Police for Treating Vigilante Better Than Jacob Blake

https://crooksandliars.com/2020/08/tucker-carlson
Tucker Carlson Lets His Viewers Know: It's Perfectly Understandable If You Kill People

Now Trump and the Boy Genius declare war on the NBA

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/513988-trump-rips-nba-calls-it-political-organization

https://www.salon.com/2020/08/27/jared-kushner-knocks-striking-nba-players-over-wealth-theyre-lucky-to-take-a-night-off-from-work/ 

I see a pattern here

https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/27/more-than-100-ex-mccain-staffers-endorse-biden/
More Than 100 Ex-McCain Staffers Endorse Biden 

https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/27/romney-2012-staffers-back-biden/
Romney 2012 Staffers Back Biden

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/513900-former-george-w-bush-alumni-endorse-biden
Former George W. Bush alumni endorse Biden

More: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/elizabeth-neumann-against-trump_n_5f4758cec5b697186e3114bc
Ex-Trump DHS Official Turns Against Him, Backs Biden In Damning New Ad

The Chamber of Commerce (!) is endorsing Democrats

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/08/27/chamber-of-commerce-turmoil-402837

What a surprise

https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/27/kanye-west-is-breaking-campaign-finance-law/
Kanye West Is Breaking Campaign Finance Law


Trump and Fox -- the thrill is gone

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/trump-oan-interview-chanel-rion-rnc_n_5f47e2d1c5b697186e32be69
Trump Gives Absurd Interview To Far-Right Conspiracy Network One America News

The Texas GOP embraces a QAnon slogan -- and then tries to claim that there is no connection. I call BS on that. What we are seeing from Trump on down is an active legitimation of QAnon and their insane conspiracies into the mainstream of Republicanism and Republican candidates. For shame

https://www.salon.com/2020/08/27/texas-gops-new-slogan-echoes-a-conspiracy-group-its-chair-says-theres-no-connection_partner/ 

The WH is compiling a "dossier" on a WP reporter who ticks them off

https://thehill.com/homenews/media/513969-white-house-compiling-dossier-on-wapo-reporters-work-about-trumps-businesses

Bonus item: The Daily Show!

https://thehill.com/homenews/media/513914-the-daily-show-taunts-trump-with-full-page-ad-directed-at-soon-to-be-ex





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Thursday, August 27, 2020

2024

The real key to the parade of prime time RNC speakers is their hopes to be the nominee in 2024 and so their need to establish credibility with the Trumpians. Mike Pence, Tim Scott, Nikki Haley, Mike Pompeo, Tom Cotton -- and, of course, Donald Junior -- are all giving their auditions

https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/26/mike-pence-can-see-2024/

Mike Pence: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/08/26/nation-of-miracles-pence-coronavirus-vaccine-rnc-402949

https://www.vox.com/2020/8/27/21403670/mike-pence-vice-president-boogaloo-boys-rnc-2020-dave-patrick-underwood

One last Con-job: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/08/26/kellyanne-conway-rnc-speech-402911

Winners and losers:  https://www.vox.com/2020/8/26/21403547/rnc-night-3-winners-losers-pence

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/republican-national-convention-third-night-takeaways_n_5f4735aac5b6cf66b2b2b91d

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/08/26/republican-convention-trump-pence-day-3-402705

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/08/26/rnc-convention-wednesday-key-moments-402904

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/rnc-pence-trump-night-three
RNC Night Three: Boring, But Still Crazy

We're at 180,000 deaths -- and the coronavirus lies just keep coming

https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/26/trump-rewrites-coronavirus-history/

More: https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/26/kudlow-referred-to-coronavirus-pandemic-in-past-tense/
Kudlow Refers to Coronavirus Pandemic in Past Tense

At my university we are doing 10,000 coronavirus tests a day. Everyone understands that frequent and repeated testing is crucial to tracking and getting on top of this epidemic. So WHY is the CDC calling for less testing? I think you know the answer 

https://www.vox.com/2020/8/26/21403000/trump-covid-coronavirus-testing-cdc-hhs

Two stories: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/hhs-denies-its-scaling-back-covid-testing-because-of-white-house-pressure
HHS Denies It’s Scaling Back COVID Testing Because Of White House Pressure

https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/26/white-house-forced-cdc-to-loosen-testing-standards/
White House Forced CDC to Loosen Testing Standards

The simple truth: https://digbysblog.net/2020/08/why-are-they-slowing-down-the-testing-uh
Why are they slowing down the testing? Uh…

Lies about the economy too

https://www.rollcall.com/2020/08/26/rnc-fact-check-questioning-economic-and-tax-claims/

More: https://www.axios.com/consumer-confidence-coronavirus-recession-ca3a0f14-5750-4a8c-b5da-21d9dd4eee8c.html
Consumer confidence is moving backwards as more companies announce layoffs, jobs get harder to find and the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the economy. . . .

It's Opposite Day!

https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/26/trump-tries-to-airbrush-his-tenure-in-office/
“At President Trump’s Republican convention, he is welcoming to immigrants, not the architect of some of the nation’s harshest anti-immigration policies,” the AP reports. “At Trump’s convention, the coronavirus pandemic has largely subsided, not continued to infect thousands of Americans a day. The economy is booming, not sputtering. Trump is a leader in healing racial strife, not stoking divisions.” [read on]

Trump keeps using WH officials as convention speakers -- which not only violates the Hatch Act but shows how hard it is for him to find people to speak for him who aren't (a) family members, (b) presidential aspirants with their own agendas, (c) fringe nuts from the GOP culture wars, or (d) people who work for him. I mean, really, think about it. Who else is speaking?

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/513705-white-house-spokesperson-to-speak-at-republican-convention

More: https://apnews.com/865136eb0e61e763b6780ba30cfa4dd6
Trump’s convention gives platform to some with fringe views

An intriguing defense for breaking the law

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/meadows-dismisses-hatch-act-concerns-nobody-outside-of-the-beltway-really-cares
Meadows Dismisses Hatch Act Concerns: ‘Nobody Outside Of The Beltway Really Cares’

More: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/8/26/1972472/-Team-Trump-sneers-at-violating-federal-law-Nobody-outside-of-the-Beltway-really-cares

https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/26/republicans-stage-a-norm-busting-convention/

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/fivepoints/white-house-hatch-act-rnc

[NB: Does it need to be said? It doesn't really matter whether people CARE or not --- though of course a big chunk of the country DOES care -- if it's illegal it's wrong. Then there is that little line in the Constitution that says that the president must "take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Why do we need to insist on that?]

"The subtle rot of Trump’s reality TV presidency"

https://www.vox.com/2020/8/26/21401970/rnc-2020-trump-naturalization-pardon

Why Nicolle Wallace thinks Trump's convention is failing

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/nicolle-wallace-trump-election-warning_n_5f45ddafc5b6cf66b2b0233c

The paradox: https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/26/the-contradiction-at-the-heart-of-the-gop-convention/
“The problem for Republicans is that the main thing Trump has told them to support is himself. There are no detailed policy proposals, much less a coherent ideology or set of governing principles. And so speech after speech followed the same template: How was America going to stop the coronavirus? By reelecting Donald Trump. How was it going to revive its economy? By reelecting Donald Trump. How was it going to ensure domestic harmony? By reelecting Donald Trump.” “The contradiction at the heart of the convention, of course, is that Donald Trump is currently president. I’m dead serious. How would reelecting Trump resolve these crises that Trump has proven unable to resolve — and has, in many cases, worsened — in office? No one even took a shot at that Rubik’s cube. Instead, the speakers awkwardly talked around the fact of Trump’s incumbency. He was presented, strangely, as both incumbent and challenger; the man who had fixed America’s problems, but also the man needed to fix an America beset by more problems than ever.”

Showing once again that women are smarter than men

https://www.salon.com/2020/08/27/suburban-women-are-rejecting-trumps-blatantly-racist-appeal-for-their-votes-report_partner/
Suburban women are rejecting Trump’s ‘"blatantly racist" appeal for their votes

In other news . . .    

Trump's visually boring convention

https://www.vox.com/culture/2020/8/26/21401155/rnc-2020-republican-national-convention-boring

RNC videos about America's booming industries actually use video footage . . . from outside the United States

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/8/26/1972452/-The-RNC-goes-on-a-world-tour-to-mine-video-clips-they-can-falsely-pretend-are-Trump-s-America 

More: https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/26/rnc-video-of-rioters-in-bidens-america-is-actually-spain/
RNC Video of Rioters In ‘Biden’s America’ Is Actually Spain

Trump is flooding social media with ads -- while ignoring TV

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/513347-trump-campaign-flooding-youtube-facebook-google-with-ads-during-convention

https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/26/trump-goes-dark-on-tv-as-early-voting-looms/  

We've talked about this before. Because Trump's appeals to racism, fear, and xenophobia are targeted to voters who often don't like to admit that they have these attitudes or feelings, polls probably undercount his actual support. How likely those people are to vote is a separate issue -- but therein, I think, lies the strategy of Trump's convention and advertising: creating a panic that Biden and the Dems want to turn loose "those people" to wreck our way of life. It's an old, old tactic, designed to create a sense of desperation that will drive turnout. And riots and looting in the cities don't help . . .

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/513820-lincoln-project-republican-says-polls-undercount-trump-support

No, there is no evidence that foreign nations are trying to hack mail-in voting -- or could even if they wanted to

https://www.axios.com/us-intelligence-foreign-election-mail-f0606c75-5209-43e4-ae63-62818b6d6780.html

Trump says Biden is on drugs, and demands drug testing before they debate

https://digbysblog.net/2020/08/trump-accuses-biden-of-being-on-drugs/  

Twitter responds: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/trump-biden-drug-test-debates-2020_n_5f46d0dfc5b6cf66b2b24985

Bonus item:  Just in time for the convention, a new (satirical) RNC web site

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/8/25/1972179/-The-N-is-for-Nationalist-in-brilliant-satirical-RNC-website-created-by-activists

More: https://politicalwire.com/2020/08/26/rnc-anagrams/
Andrew Slack notes if you rearrange the letters in “Republican National Convention” it also spells “Con Vulnerable Nation Into Panic.”

***If you enjoy Progressive Blog Digest and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sharing its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com) with others via email or social media. Thanks for helping to spread the word! 

I don’t get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don’t run ads, etc.). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a “mission,” it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***