Wednesday, September 30, 2020

WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?


What it wasn't was a debate. A debate is a more or less orderly exchange of positions, structured by simple rules like "two minute uninterrupted opening statements" that both parties agree to abide by. From the very outset Trump never let Biden get through his statements -- he spoke over him, cut him off, shouted disagreements and insults as Biden was speaking, constantly attributed to Biden positions that he does not actually hold, and threw back questions that HE wanted Biden to answer. Moderator Chris Wallace lost control of this travesty at the start and never got it back: Trump often talked over and interrupted him too.

Biden, openly frustrated, generally kept his cool, though in time he got caught up in the dynamic and interrupted Trump at times too -- which allowed Wallace to say, "Gentlemen, will you both stop." But it was clear who created this chaotic, angry atmosphere.

Trump generally repeated all of his favorite points and lies, ignoring the actual question he was asked to say what he wanted to say -- often on entirely different topics. Biden's best moments were when he spoke directly to the camera and tried to show that he was thinking about what people needed to hear: reassurances about COVID, about racial divisions, about economic fairness, and about the voting process itself.

Trump left a trail of broken rules and procedural norms, a steaming pile of bullshit answers, and an unmistakable sense that he has given up on democracy itself. He didn't want a real debate and didn't come prepared for anything that would actually clarify and defend his positions.

The reviews

The Worst Presidential Debate In Living Memory 

An Epic Moment of National Shame

CNN Absolutely Shreds ‘Shitshow’ Debate: ‘Hot Mess Inside a Dumpster Fire’

"Would you shut up, man": First Trump-Biden debate a disastrous, chaotic, nearly unwatchable mess

‘An Avalanche Of Lying’
 
A Bad Night for the President 

We Counted Every Single Time Trump Interrupted During the First Presidential Debate

Some of the worst moments

“If I may ask my question, sir,” Wallace, the Fox News journalist, pressed as Trump kept cutting him off as he tried to ask the question. “First of all, I guess I’m debating you, not him,” Trump shot back at Wallace. “I’m not surprised.” . . .
 
“He said he went to Delaware State, but you forgot the name of your college. You didn’t go to Delaware State,” Trump said. “He graduated the lowest or almost the lowest in your class. Don’t ever use the word ‘smart’ with me.”  . . .
 
Trump dodged calls from Wallace and Biden to publicly condemn white supremacists.  Trump avoided answering for a few moments, blaming recent violence on left-wing rioters instead. When he finally addressed their requests, his response was: “Proud boys, stand back and stand by." . . .
 
Trump interrupted Biden when the former vice president was talking about his late son’s military career, shifting the subject to the business ties of Biden’s other son. . . .
 
The president refused to commit to urging his supporters to stay calm and not engage in civil unrest if the election results are drawn out, instead doubling down on his claims of mass voter fraud.  “I am urging my supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully,” he said. “If I see tens of thousands of ballots being manipulated, I cannot go along with that.” . . .

5 Racist Trump Moments From The First 2020 Presidential Debate

3 debate moments that showed how unsuited Trump is for the presidency

3 winners and 4 losers from the first 2020 presidential debate

Biden's best moments

 

In Fox World

Sean Hannity Calls Debate ‘Refreshing’: Let Them Go at It Like ‘Gladiators’

The post-debate polls 

The first post-debate polls say Biden won
 
GOP Pollster Asks For 1-Word Reviews Of Trump’s Debating. The Answers Are Wild. 
 
In Cleveland, the president yelled, threatened, interrupted—and changed nothing. He’s losing. . . . [read on] 

In fact, it may have the rare consequence of shrinking the actual pool of voters overall — Republican pollster Frank Luntz, conducting a virtual focus group during the debate, said some of the undecided voters on his panel said they had decided not to vote. “I’ve never seen a debate cause this reaction,” Luntz said on Twitter. . . [read on]

Rasmussen is the most Trump-friendly poll. Now Rasmussen says the tax fraud story is cutting into Trump's support

[T]here was quiet concern within the campaign, where aides took note of daily tracking numbers from Rasmussen Reports, a typically rosy assessment of how the president is faring, that showed support falling after the tax report. Among Mr. Trump’s circle, there was finger-pointing about how the issue was handled and a hesitancy to discuss with him an issue they know he is sensitive about. . . .
OF COURSE he does. And OF COURSE they won't believe it
 
Trump Secretly Mocks His Christian Supporters
 
[NB: And that's WHY he has such contempt for them.]
 
Trump attacks Biden's faith while using Barrett's faith to try to win Catholic voters
 
How Scott Atlas became Trump's favorite health advisor
 
 
[NB: Because he tells him what he wants to hear, naturally.]
 

White House Overruled CDC on Cruise Ship Ban . . . “Public health officials have privately complained that the thwarting of Redfield on the cruise ship ban is politically motivated because the industry is a major economic presence in Florida — a key battleground state . . .” 

Amy Barrett says she won't recuse from election-related cases on the Supreme Court


In investigation news . . .  
 
Trump's incredible record of financial mismanagement, lies, and failure
 
 
 
“In the mid-1970s, the Trump family set out to sell the world on a character of its own creation: Donald J. Trump, dashing and brilliant business genius. The story’s protagonist was the child of multimillionaire developer Fred Trump, a son who had accomplished almost nothing in business, and whose taxable income was under $25,000. The trick was quite simple: young Donald would squire reporters around his father’s business empire and claim he had built it himself.” “In reality, Donald Trump was in the money-inheriting business…”
 
“The strategy was to convert Fred Trump’s fortune into publicity, which Donald could then monetize. The lies used to construct Trump’s image were massive. In 1984, Donald concocted a series of lies to persuade Forbes he was worth $900 million. Its reporter, Jonathan Greenberg, diligently unraveled every exaggeration and reduced the published sum to $100 million, only to discover decades later that the actual amount was a mere $5 million . . . .” 
 
Buried in Trump's taxes, what's going on at his golf resorts makes no sense ... unless it's a lie

Trump could be in a lot of legal hot water if he loses the election . . . tax fraud, campaign finance violations, obstruction, and more. 
 
Trump calls the tax story totally "fake news." But now his minions are calling for a criminal investigation of the NYT for revealing his tax information. Uh, guys. . . .

 
Don't get confused. Trump defenders say Trump paid "millions" in taxes -- by which they mean payroll taxes, property taxes, and real estate taxes. But of course, that is not the same as paying federal INCOME taxes on money earned, which comes out of YOUR OWN pocket


Trump's massive debt is a counterintelligence risk


Trump, for some reason, wants to bring up the "Russia, if you're listening" comment again, insisting that it was obviously said as a joke and people laughed. Just roll the tape . . .

 
How AG Bill Barr has turned the DOJ into a branch of Trump's campaign committee
 
 
“The defense lawyer for Michael Flynn told a judge on Tuesday that she talked about his criminal case in a meeting with President Trump, who has been highly critical of the prosecution of his former national security advisor for lying to FBI agents”

And ANOTHER branch of Trump's campaign committee
 
Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe released Russian disinformation hours before the presidential debate Tuesday, declassifying the information without vetting or disavowing it. . . . [T]he information had previously been rejected by both Democratic and Republican members of the Senate Intelligence Committee because it lacked any factual basis. 

"There are allegations from the CIA that the Clinton campaign was involved in Russia. I don't know if that is true,” Graham said. “It's not about whether it is true. . ."
 
In other news . . .    
 
Trump says it is "totally ridiculous" to think that he wanted Ivanka as his VP. I agree that it's totally ridiculous, but it's still true. Remember that HE described her as his "heir apparent"

 
 
More on former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale, recently hospitalized and on suicide watch
 
“Donald Trump’s demoted campaign boss Brad Parscale is under investigation for ‘stealing’ between $25-$40 million from Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign,” the Daily Mail reports. “The 44-year-old is also being investigated for ‘pocketing’ nearly another $10 million from the Republican National Committee.”

I know the Supreme Court doesn't follow polls. But they should pay attention to this

Support for Obamacare Hits New High
 
Biden is holding his national lead. When you look at it state by state, more states are moving from Trump's category into "competitive" -- and none are moving the other way
 
Trump's playing defense almost everywhere
 
Rudy -- too crazy even for Fox World
 
‘Fox & Friends’ Hosts Look On in Horror as Rudy Giuliani Blurts Out Biden Dementia Conspiracy Theory
 
[NB: Of course, all you need to do is Google to find serious people saying Rudy has dementia himself.]
 
David French is a conservative thinker who, long ago, took the time to write something critical of me for something I had said here at the University of Illinois. Who knew? Here he has some pretty interesting things to say about the rise of hate in our political discourse

“Something bothers me about the most common explanations for why conspiracy theories are spreading on the American right. When trying to account for the rise of the Q-Anon movement, for example, pundits and social scientists tend to use terms like ‘distrust.’ But to understand how so many Americans can believe that ‘they’ have dark and evil designs, we need to resort to a more primal emotion: hate.” [read on]
 
Guess which network uses the word "hate" most often?

 
[NB: Five times more often.]
 
Bonus item: Drug tests!


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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

A ONE-TRICK PONY

There's only one way Trump knows how to run. It worked for him once, but it's working against him this time
 
 
Trump Has Nothing Else Up His Sleeve
 
First Fauci, then Birx, now Redfield, the head of the CDC: no more tolerance for BS and lies about the coronavirus

“Everything he says is false.” 

White House Pressured CDC on School Openings

Coronavirus cases are surging again -- and we could be at a quarter million deaths by the time of the election

 
It is terrible that Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, and it is infuriating that Trump is going to get another far-right Supreme Court appointment. But the net effect politically may be good, sealing his fate and that of the Senate Republicans

 

Steady as we go. . .
 
 
With just five weeks until Election Day, the FiveThirtyEight forecast gets slightly better for Joe Biden, now giving him a 78% chance to win the presidency. The Economist forecast gives Biden an 85% chance.
 
Let's all keep an eye on Pennsylvania shall we?
 
5 Points On Why Pennsylvania Could Become An Election Flashpoint
 
GOP asks Supreme Court to halt mail voting extension in Pennsylvania
 
New poll shows Biden up nine points in Pennsylvania

In investigation news . . .   
 
We will learn even more about Trump's massive tax fraud in the days to come. He can call it "fake news," but the NYT has the documents. What happens when they start releasing them?

The investigation also raised questions about Trump's self-proclaimed business genius. The tax returns obtained by the Times show that he declared more than $315 million in losses from his 15 golf courses in the U.S. and overseas. . . .

Trump Mocked ‘F**king Stupid’ IRS After Reaping Huge Refund: Michael Cohen

Trump Just Lost Control of the Game . . .  First, it melts Trump’s support a little more. Trump’s hopes for 2020 depended on fantastic overperformance with white voters without college degrees. He’s lost so much support elsewhere that he must hold every last member of his core group. He doesn’t need to decline much among these voters to convert any faint hope of success into certainty of disaster. Second, and perhaps more important, the ink-on-paper confirmation of Trump’s indebtedness, tax dodging, and all-around crookedness will get into Trump’s head. . . . [read on]

How a smart money guy reads the tax story: Trump owes over $1 billion . . . and it's coming due very soon


Michael Cohen: Trump's 'biggest fear' is 'a massive tax bill,' possible fraud charges 

Five Points On The Many Questions Raised By Trump’s Tax Returns
 
Trump's massive debt: Who does he owe the money to? And is this a national security problem?
 

 
[NB: There are more stories to come, and I am waiting to hear that much of his debt is to Russian sources, directly or indirectly via Deutsche Bank.] 
 
 
Michael Cohen told MSNBC that President Trump could be “very realistically facing a potential bankruptcy” but “the more likely scenario that I see is that he’ll find some corrupt foreign entity to help him out of the situation.” 

The Trump tax story, in one glorious tweet

To summarize the NYT story: Trump got a bunch of $ from his daddy. He lost it all, but then he got paid hundreds of millions to play a billionaire on TV. He tried to use that $ to become a real billionaire, but he lost it all again. . . . [read on] 

The Trump campaign is accused of money laundering

 
Now we know why Trump is fighting so hard to stay in office
 

In other news . . .    
 
How nice
 
Trump Suggested Ivanka as His Running Mate . . . “In Gates’s telling, Trump’s suggestion of naming to the ticket his then-34-year-old daughter — a fashion and real estate executive who had never held elected office — was no passing fancy.” “Instead, he brought up the idea repeatedly over the following weeks, trying to sell his campaign staff on the idea, insisting she would be embraced by the Republican base . . .” 

 
This is where we are now: even satirical comedy is hard to distinguish from the Trump true believers
 
 
We still have courts
 
DeJoy and Trump lose a third time in federal court as Postal Service works to undo sabotage 

Remember when a judge told the US census that they couldn't quit early, and stop counting?

The Census Bureau said Monday that Secretary Wilbur Ross had set Oct. 5 as a “target date” for finishing the data collection for 2020’s count — an announcement that seems to fly in the face of a federal judge’s order that those operations continue through the end of October. . . .

In 2016, there was a specific plan to block black voting

 
 
The upcoming debate: lessons for Biden
 
Biden’s imperative: Don’t play Trump’s game . . . [read on]
 
Why the First Debate Could Be Important
 
[NB: Biden has the simpler task -- he doesn't need to "win," he doesn't need the zinger of the night, he only needs to avoid a gaffe or other senior moment that could trigger concerns about his state of mind. Trump will attack because that's what he does, and because he is losing and desperate. If Biden can be the one who is unflappable and more likable, he can just about wrap this up.]
 
Secret footage from Trump's debate prep
 

Cindy McCain joins Biden's transition team

 
Twenty-four QAnon candidates -- and the insanity of our national politics gets worse

 
Bonus item: Trump angry. Do not make Trump angry!
 
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Monday, September 28, 2020

GET READY

The legal fight to come
 
How the Supreme Court could decide the election
 
A year before President Donald Trump alarmed Americans with talk of disputing elections last week, his team started building a massive legal network to do just that. . . .
 
Republicans are also recruiting and training thousands of poll watchers, who don’t need law degrees. The RNC is able to take a role in coordinating Election Day poll monitoring this year following the lifting of a 1982 court settlement that had forbidden them from doing so after the party faced accusations it was discouraging African Americans from voting. . . .
 
[NB: Nope, no danger they would ever do THAT again.] 
 
Trump keeps making it clear that all he wants to do is fire up his base, even at the cost of energizing the Dems
 
Trump suggests Supreme Court nominee would tip panel to overturn Roe v. Wade
 
[NB: 60% of voters want to protect abortion rights.]
 
Trump says Supreme Court ending Obamacare would be "a big WIN"
 
[NB: This is his brand, and this is his big problem. His ego and persona need "wins," and he seems to believe that winning cultivates winning -- it's a self-fulfilling prophesy, he thinks, that if people see you as a winner they will accede to the inevitable, and then you do in fact win. He seems convinced that getting his way on this Supreme Court seat, despite all the reasons why he shouldn't, will demoralize his opposition. The Dems will gnash their teeth but can't stop it. 
 
From our standpoint, these "wins" have to come with a real cost. Most people do not want to give up the right to have an abortion, they do not want to give up the ACA and coverage for pre-existing conditions. Most people do not want Trump. We can't "accept the inevitable," we can't just lie back and take it -- his triumphalism is not a strength, but a political weakness if we can channel it into outrage and a redoubled effort to get rid of him.]

Trump's former campaign manager
 
Deposed Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale has been hospitalized on a psychiatric hold after barricading himself in his Ft. Lauderdale home and threatening to harm himself with a firearm. According to a local press report, “Fort Lauderdale Police responded to a home in reference to an armed male attempting suicide Sunday afternoon. When officers arrived on the scene, they made contact with the wife of the man who told them her husband was armed, had access to multiple firearms inside the house and was threatening to harm himself.” . . .
 
Why Trump doesn't want to talk about tax policy, and Biden does
 
 
In investigation news . . .   
 
Finally, FINALLY, some of Trump's tax information leaks out -- and it's appalling

The New York Times obtained President Trump’s tax information “extending over more than two decades, revealing struggling properties, vast write-offs, an audit battle and hundreds of millions in debt coming due.” “He had paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years — largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.” . . . “[H]is finances are under stress, beset by losses and hundreds of millions of dollars in debt coming due that he has personally guaranteed. Also hanging over him is a decade-long audit battle with the Internal Revenue Service over the legitimacy of a $72.9 million tax refund that he claimed, and received, after declaring huge losses. An adverse ruling could cost him more than $100 million.”
 
“The tax returns that Mr. Trump has long fought to keep private tell a story fundamentally different from the one he has sold to the American public. His reports to the I.R.S. portray a businessman who takes in hundreds of millions of dollars a year yet racks up chronic losses that he aggressively employs to avoid paying taxes. . . .” 
 
The other big reason Trump was probably reluctant to release the returns is that there’s clearly some legally questionable stuff in there.  For instance, the records obtained by Buettner, Craig, and McIntire show that Trump wrote off $26 million in supposed consulting fees as a business expense between 2011 and 2018. But the reporters took the added step of uncovering where some of that money was going — and they figured out that some of those write-offs matched payments to Trump’s daughter Ivanka, as revealed on her own financial disclosure forms. Now, Ivanka was an executive vice president of the Trump Organization — not some outside consultant. And sources told the Times that there were no outside consultants involved in certain of the projects for which Trump’s businesses wrote-off consulting fees. The Times story also mentions other questionable practices — Trump dubbed a Westchester, New York mansion an “investment property” so he could write-off property taxes on it, but Eric Trump called it “our compound.” The Trump Organization also wrote off Donald Trump Jr.’s legal fees for the lawyer who represented Don Jr. in the Russia investigation. This is probably just scratching the surface — the Times reporters say they have more stories coming. . . . 

Donald Trump paid only $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and again in 2017, and none in 10 of the 15 years before that, according to two decades of tax returns obtained by The New York Times . . . [read on]
 
Trump Holds $421 Million In Debt, Could Owe IRS $100 Million In Penalties . . . [read on]
 
Even as he was struggling financially, Trump was able to maintain a lavish lifestyle and classify it as a business expense. Things that most classify as personal expenses have been classified as necessary for his business. Haircuts are a business expense to Trump, for example. Properties are often classified as businesses even if they are used as personal residences. . . . Family members are often consultants [read on]
 
"... the cost of haircuts, including the more than $70,000 paid to style his hair during “The Apprentice.” Together, nine Trump entities have written off at least $95,464 paid to a favorite hair and makeup artist of Ivanka Trump" [read on]
 

‘Freeloader-In-Chief’: Twitter Afire Over Explosive Trump Tax Return Report
 
Trump’s Old Tweet About Obama’s Taxes Is Looking Super Awkward Now 
 
Biden campaign sells 'I paid more income taxes than Trump' stickers 
 
According to Fox News, there will be no Durham report or indictments before the election
 
 
In other news . . .    
 
I don't know why this should make us feel any better, but Trump treats his own family the way he treats the rest of us
 
 
Trump 101

Trump Says He Will Demand Biden Take A Drug Test Ahead Of Debate 

“People say he was on performance-enhancing drugs. A lot of people say that,” Trump said, without naming specific people. He directed reporters to look on the internet. 

Another major Republican endorses Biden
 
Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge (R)  . . .
 
[NB: This is huge in PA. Ridge is also a former head of Homeland Security.] 
 
H.R. McMaster speaks
 
Former White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster said the military will not be involved in a potential transfer of power in 2021, calling it “irresponsible” to discuss. “The military will have no role in a transition. In fact, to even talk about it, I think is irresponsible” . . . “If you detect some reticence on the part of senior military leaders or people in the Pentagon to talk about it, it’s because it shouldn’t even be a topic for discussion.” “Our Founders were very concerned about this,” he added 
 
More to come?
 
Ex-Aides Weigh Speaking Out Against Trump
 
Debate advice for Biden: don't bother trying to call out and correct every Trump lie
 
 
Why are the worst examples of voter suppression in potential swing states? I think you know why
 
 
 
Bonus item: John Oliver is depressed
 
 
***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, September 27, 2020

A TRUE BELIEVER


The glaring question, once Amy Coney Barrett is added to the Supreme Court, is will it intervene in the election to help save Trump? But there are other things to watch out for, too
 
  • Health care: She wrote in 2017 that Chief Justice John Roberts betrayed the tenets of conservative legal analysis when he upheld the Affordable Care Act. The law will be back before the court in November.
  • Guns: She said in a dissenting opinion in 2019 that she would have struck down the federal law that bars all felons, including non-violent felons, from owning guns.
  • Immigration: In another dissenting opinion, Barrett voted to let the Trump administration implement rules making it harder for immigrants to get green cards if they’re likely to rely on public programs like Medicaid or food stamps.
  • Abortion rights are a massive issue in any Supreme Court confirmation. While Barrett has not ruled directly on abortion, abortion-rights opponents have plenty of good reasons to believe she’s on their side:  She said all the things nominees always say about honoring precedent during her 7th Circuit confirmation hearings in 2017, and will surely do so again in her Supreme Court confirmation. Barrett, a devout Catholic, has signed public letters describing the “value of human life from conception to natural death” and sharply criticizing the way the Obama administration handled the ACA's contraception mandate. 
Maybe you never wondered if there was a brand of religious zealotry out there that includes all the secretive ultra-conservative Catholicism of Opus Dei, then slathers on the anti-rationality, ready condemnation, and baked-in misogyny of extreme fundamentalist evangelicism. It doesn’t matter if you’ve thought about this worst-of-both-worlds stew, because exactly that combination seems set to remold American law for a generation or more. . . . Barrett is a lifelong member of “People of Praise.” This group, springing from a Catholic charismatic movement of the 1970s which seemed intent on capturing the energy Catholics saw in the surging fundamentalist movement, has, among other things, a very strict view of gender roles. Not only does this include refusing to allow women to hold positions of leadership in the church, it strictly confines the role of women in the workplace and the home. And it called women who do things correctly “handmaids.” . . . [read on] 

Why Trump's expected Supreme Court nominee believes all Civil Rights legislation is 'illegitimate'

As has been noted many times over this past week, the GOP has lost the popular vote in six of the last seven elections and yet appointed 15 out of the last 19 justices. Barrett would make that 16 out of 20 seats.  . . . But minority rule is on the ballot. It may well be the only thing on the ballot. Because if, as the president promises, his independent justice needs to be seated to decide whose ballots count, this isn’t merely a commitment to entrench unpopular, dangerous, and partisan policies into constitutional law. It’s also a commitment to commandeering the high court itself into deciding whether and how to count votes, in an election in which a sitting president has already pledged that only some voters will be allowed to pick the winner.
The Dems can't block her, but they can highlight the policy consequences of Trump and the Repubs forcing her through
 
Democrats are increasingly focusing on health care in pushing back on President Trump's expected Supreme Court nominee, with Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair Tom Perez warning Saturday that a bolstered conservative majority on the court could vote to overturn ObamaCare. . . . "Health care is on the ballot on Nov. 3. Health care is on the docket on Nov. 10. And we are going to remind voters every single day," Perez said. 

[NB: I know I am a broken record on this, but one last time -- what if the 2016 vote had highlighted, "Who do you want to give the next three Supreme Court replacements to?" Then we'd be talking about a 6-3 majority the other way. It's enough to make you weep.]
 
The Supreme Court Fight Is Energizing Democrats More Than Republicans 

Again. And again. And again. . .
 
Harris slams Trump's Supreme Court pick as an attempt to 'destroy the Affordable Care Act' 
 
Pelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick 'threatens' Affordable Care Act

Who will make the final decision on releasing a vaccine? WE DON'T KNOW

Whitley leads a small, secret panel of experts tasked with reviewing crucial data on the safety and effectiveness of coronavirus vaccines that U.S. taxpayers have helped fund, including products from Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and others. The data and safety monitoring board — known as a DSMB — is supposed to make sure the medicine is safe and it works. It has the power to halt a clinical trial or fast-track it. . . .

In what way is this a "concession"?

Eric Trump Says Father Would Concede Landslide 

Why doesn't Trump talk any more about his Big Tax Cut?

 
John Yoo, father of the U.S. torture regime under Bush, is still destroying what America stands for

https://digbysblog.net/2020/09/the-presidents-grey-eminence/

A former Trump intelligence advisor tells what it is like to try to brief him
 
I have briefed him up close — and I have seen and felt the effect of his faults on our nation’s security.  Out of respect for the confidential nature of Oval Office conversations, I will not provide details. Suffice to say that the person you see presiding over COVID-19 press conferences is the same one in the privacy of his office. He has little patience for facts or data that do not comport with his personal world view. Thus, the conversations are erratic and less than fully thoughtful. . .
 
In investigation news . . .   
 
"The Comey Rule"
 
'The Comey Rule' Is Most Important Drama Of 2020 

Trump's "Trump University" deposition

Watch what happens when he's asked if a false statement used to sell the course was indeed inaccurate. He says, "It depends on how you're talking about 'accurate.'" . . .

In other news . . .    
 
All eyes on Pennsylvania
 
 
How Biden and Trump are preparing for the debates
 
 
 
“With days to go the debate, Trump has carried out conflicting and confounding strategies both repeatedly targeting Biden’s mental acuity, claiming at a recent rally he doesn’t know he’s alive, while also making passing attempts to boost the former vice president as a seasoned debater who could outshine him.” “At a campaign rally Saturday night in Pennsylvania, the president both attacked Biden as ‘dumb’ before immediately lauding him as an experienced debater.” 
 
Trump keeps comparing himself to Lincoln, which is ridiculous. But this is just . . . bizarre
 
Trump Says Abraham Lincoln ‘Wasn’t Big’ on Hispanics
 
Two former GOP congressmen endorse Biden, say Trump is no Republican
 
 
Another phony story meant to deflect from Trump's "loser troops" comment -- and meanwhile the person(s) he said it to refuse to come forward. Are they waiting?


Lindsey F. Graham is being outraised in South Carolina and is now begging for money. He's locked in an unexpectedly close race. That creates the opportunity for a truly funny ad

https://digbysblog.net/2020/09/for-just-two-pennies-a-day/

Bonus item: "Friends of Hamilton" sing out how to get your vote in

 
***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.***