Eight Hours Till the Debate: Some Helpful Afternoon Hints for Bed Wetters and Garment Renders

Sounds About Right to Me

Greg Sargent, When Trump attacks Biden at the debate, his scam will hit rock bottom

Well, we havew about seven hours to go, and we shall see what we shall see. But my life experience tells me that

  • lying and bluster are not effective life strategies, and that
  • for people who pursue lying and bluster as their only life strategies, the string will run out sooner or later, and that,
  • with Orange Man, the string is rapidly running out.

Biden is on a Roll

N.Y. Times, Biden leads by enough to withstand a polling misfire. New Pennsylvania polls give Biden a significant lead.

Key differences from 2016, according to the Noo Yak Times:

  • pollsters have mostly corrected their overweighting of people with college degrees,
  • there are far fewer undecided voters in 2020 than in 2016, 
  • the 2020 race is much more stable than in 2016.

How Fortunate that the N.Y. Times Tax Story is Totally Fake News!

The Times claims that it got the documents from a person “with legal access” to them, a person who then turned the tax returns over to the Times. If that’s true, then maybe a great bloody big investigation would be in order—to find the person who coughed up the documents to the Fourth Estate, and to discover how many laws she violated when she did the coughing.

Fortunately, however, Dear Leader has roundly assured us that the documents are bogus, and that the Times just created them out of whole cloth.

That being the case, no need to investigate.

If no one robbed the bank, there’s no need to go looking for the bank robber.

Suicide is Painless

Former Trump Campaign Manager, and Current Senior Adviser, Attempts to Do Himself In

Channel 10 News, Former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale, armed, barricades self in Fort Lauderdale home, police called

N.Y. Times, Brad Parscale, Ex-Campaign Manager for Trump, Is Hospitalized in Florida: The Fort Lauderdale police said that Mr. Parscale’s wife called the authorities to their home because he was armed and threatening to hurt himself.

Sorry, Garment Renders, No Good News for You this Morning: The Women are on the March

WaPo, Post-ABC poll: Biden maintains lead over Trump nationally in stable presidential race

Here are some highlight, with emphasis added:

Biden and vice-presidential nominee Sen. Kamala D. Harris (Calif.) lead Trump and Vice President Pence by 53 percent to 43 percent among registered voters, statistically unchanged from the 12-point margin in a poll taken in August just before Democrats and Republicans held their conventions. Biden and Harris also have a 10-point advantage among likely voters, 54 percent to 44 percent. …

A sizable gender gap continues to fuel Biden’s lead, with women making the difference in the current state of the race. Trump has a lead of 55 percent to 42 percent among male likely voters, but Biden has an even larger 65 percent to 34 percent advantage among female likely voters. Trump’s lead among men is about the same as his margin over Hillary Clinton in 2016, but Biden’s lead among women is more than twice as large as Clinton’s was then. …

Post-ABC polls released during the week found very tight races in Florida and Arizona, while polls the previous week found Biden with a slight lead in Wisconsin and a large lead in Minnesota. Averages of battleground-state polls generally find a closer race than in the country overall, a sign of Trump’s continued competitiveness.

Interest in the election has climbed to near-record levels, with nearly 6 in 10 registered voters saying they are following the election “very closely,” higher than any in other presidential election at this time in the cycle dating back to 2000. …

Enthusiasm among Trump supporters is higher than among Biden supporters, a pattern that has been seen throughout this election year. Among registered voters, 65 percent of those currently favoring Trump say they are very enthusiastic about that support. Among those backing Biden, 47 percent of registered voters say they are very enthusiastic about their support for him.

Despite lacking fervor for Biden, the former vice president’s supporters are intensely concerned about Trump winning a second term, with a 70 percent majority of Biden voters saying Trump’s reelection would be “a crisis for the country.” By comparison, 59 percent of Trump voters say a Biden victory by would result in such a crisis. Among voters who support Biden but are “somewhat enthusiastic” or less about his candidacy, 56 percent say a Trump victory would mark a crisis.

The poll was conducted after the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg but before Trump’s Saturday nomination of federal Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the high court. But it finds that 64 percent of Biden supporters say the court vacancy makes it “more important” that he win the election, compared with 37 percent of Trump supporters who say the same about their candidate. Among all adults, Biden holds an eight-point advantage over Trump on whom Americans trust to handle the Supreme Court appointment.


Two Questions for Today

  1. What is the worst case scenario?

    2. Is Amy Coney Barrett too Christian?

No, the problem is that she is not Christian enough.

In the next few days and weeks, you will see what I mean.

But remember to keep the eyes on the prize: preventing Trump from stealing the election, as he has repeatedly promised to do.


It’s Morning, September 25; Time to Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

Margin of Error

Trump and his enablers may take comfort that he is still within the margin of error in Georgia, Iowa, Ohio, and Texas. Very minimal comfort. Because last time around he was way ahead in those states.

Cause, Meet Effect: Part the First

Trump is telling everyone who will listen that mail-in ballots are a scam and that the election is rigged against him.

Democrats understand that every sentence out of his mouth is a lie. They understand that the election is no longer the proverbial CHOICE between Biden and Trump, nor is it the proverbial REFERENDUM on Trump alone.

No, Trump has made the election about a different CHOICE: either Trump or democracy.

This will give Democrats an additional incentive to show up and vote.

Republicans, who still believe Trump, will understand that it makes little difference whether they vote or not, because the election is already rigged; that they should not vote by mail; and that they should not vote in person, either, because of the medical risk. Therefore, Trump’s repeated statements should serve to depress the Republican vote.

Those Pro-Choice Trump Voters

This morning, the talking heads were telling us that about 20 percent of Trump voters in states like Iowa are pro-choice. These folks are probably not going to like what they will hear on Saturday afternoon.

What Could Stop Biden?

Right now, pretty much all the evidence points to Biden’s having the Big Mo. What could stop the forward momentum? Nothing readily foreseeable, I submit, except possibly a poor debate performance. Let’s all watch on Tuesday night and cheer him on.

Cause, Meet Effect: Part the Second

Orange Man seems determined to go on with the big superspreader Nuremberg rallies. Plenty of time for folks to get very sick. Plenty of time for lots of news coverage.

A Slow Rolling Constitutional Crisis, Ginned Up by President Turmpashenko

I stand by what I have said in recent posts. In essence, (1) shit-faced panic is pretty much never a useful response in any situation, especially a situation where panic is actually justified. And besides, (2) in our present proto-crisis, panic is not justified. Because President Trumpashenko is a dummkopf, and because the good guys hold many more cards than the bad guys.

As to the second point, for example, you will note that, before he rigged the recent election in Belarus, President Lukashenko did not declare repeatedly that he was going to rig the election—thus giving his opponents ample time to take protective action.

That said, it is becoming clear that the last few days have seen the beginning of a slow-motion constitutional crisis, that will reach a head in November. See, for example, Washington Post, Trump’s escalating attacks on election prompt fears of a constitutional crisis.

Grant us wisdom,

Grant us courage,

For the facing of this hour,

For the facing of this hour.

All’s Well That Ends Well

Michelle Goldberg is a Rock

Michelle Goldberg, Trump Wants You to Think You Can’t Get Rid of Him: His strongman threats are scary. But don’t forget that he’s weak:

As terrifying as all this is, it’s important to remember that Trump and his campaign are trying to undermine the election because right now they appear to be losing it.

Trump is down in most swing state polls, tied in Georgia and barely ahead in Texas. His most sycophantic enabler, Lindsey Graham, is neck-and-neck in South Carolina. The president is counting on his new Supreme Court nominee to save his presidency, and she may, if the vote count gets to the Supreme Court. But a rushed confirmation is unlikely to help Trump electorally, because in polls a majority of Americans say the winner of the election should make the appointment.

Trump may be behaving like a strongman, but he is weaker than he’d like us all to believe. Autocrats who actually have the power to fix elections don’t announce their plans to do it; they just pretend to have gotten 99 percent of the vote. It’s crucial that Trump’s opponents emphasize this, because unlike rage, excessive fear can be demobilizing. There’s a reason TV villains like to say, “Resistance is futile.”

“We cannot allow Trump’s constant threats to undermine voters’ confidence that their ballots will be counted or discredit the outcome in advance,” Michael Podhorzer of the A.F.L.-C.I.O. recently wrote in a memo to allies. Podhorzer said that the organization’s polling suggests that “this close to the election, we do Trump’s work for him when we respond to his threats rather than remind voters that they will decide who the next president will be if they vote.”

This doesn’t mean people shouldn’t be alarmed. I’m alarmed every minute of every day. Trump is an aspiring fascist who would burn democracy to the ground to salve his diseased ego. His willingness to break the rules that bind others gives him power out of proportion to his dismal approval ratings. He blithely incites violence by his supporters, some of whom have already tried to intimidate voters in Virginia.

Yet part of the reason he won in 2016 is that so few of his opponents thought it possible. That is no longer a problem. Since then, when voters have had the chance to render a verdict on Trump and his allies, they’ve often rejected them overwhelmingly. Under Trump, Democrats have made inroads into Texas, Arizona, even Oklahoma. They won a Senate seat in Alabama. (Granted, the Republican was accused of being a child molester.) Much attention is paid to Trump’s fanatical supporters, but far more people hate him than love him. …

Still, Trump can be defeated, along with the rotten and squalid party that is enabling him. Doing so will require being cleareyed about the danger Trump poses, but also hopeful about the fact that we could soon be rid of him. …

Shortly after Trump was elected, the Russian-born journalist Masha Gessen published an important essay called “Autocracy: Rules for Survival.” Gessen laid out six such rules, each incredibly prescient. The one I most often hear repeated is the first, “Believe the autocrat,” which said, “Whenever you find yourself thinking, or hear others claiming, that he is exaggerating, that is our innate tendency to reach for a rationalization.”

Right now, though, I find myself thinking about the last of Gessen’s rules: “Remember the future.” There is a world after Trump. A plurality of Americans, if not an outright majority, want that world to start in January. And whatever he says, if enough of us stand up to him, it can.

Couldn’t Happen to a Nicer Guy, But, Ya Know, It is What it IS

Associated Press, Missouri governor, opponent of mandatory masks, has COVID-19:

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican who has steadfastly refused to require residents to wear masks, tested positive for the coronavirus, his office said Wednesday. …

On Friday, he and several other Missouri Republican candidates appeared together at an event called the “TARGET BBQ” in Springfield. A photo posted on Parson’s Twitter pages shows Parson on a stage with four other statewide officeholders seeking reelection: Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick, Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft and Attorney General Eric Schmitt. They appear to be a few feet apart from each other, but none are wearing masks.

No Peaceful Transition of Power

There is a difference of opinion on whether progressives and other anti-Trumpers ought to be peeing in our pants and pulling our hair about yesterday’s press conference remarks indicating Trump opposes the peaceful transition of power.

As Dear Leader observed yesterday, “Get rid of the ballots, there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation.”

Trump’s views on ballots seem to be a perfect match for his views on covid tests. No tests, not disease. No ballots, no one votes against me.

It is a strikingly childlike, and a strikingly weird, view of how things work.

As Greg Sargent lucidly observes this morning, Trump openly told us exactly what he intends to do.

How to react?

On the one hand, folks with my temperate views are mocked and ridiculed in Jonathan V. Last, The Strongman Cometh.

On the other hand, Politico reassures us that Republicans brush aside Trump’s dismissal of a peaceful transfer of power: “There will be an orderly transition just as there has been every four years since 1792,” said Mitch McConnell. See also, from the N.Y. Times, After Trump refuses to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, McConnell promises ‘an orderly transition’ (going into more detail about Republican politicos’ statements) and Trump shifts the 2020 focus with his refusal to commot to accepting the election results.

My conclusion—and do please feel free to mock and ridicule me on this: everything is connected to everything else, and the empty-suited Republican politicians have concluded, correctly, that, on balance, net-net, it’s a losing political proposition to promise that you will end democracy and deep-six the American experiment.

And then there’s this: WaPo, Nearly 500 former senior military, civilian leaders signal support for Biden.

Ladies and gentlemen, if there ever was a time to see clearly, to keep our heads, and to be calm and resolute, this is it.

A Wall of Opposition from Women

The N.Y. Times reports,

President Trump is on the defensive in three red states he carried in 2016, narrowly trailing Joseph R. Biden Jr. in Iowa and battling to stay ahead of him in Georgia and Texas, as Mr. Trump continues to face a wall of opposition from women that has also endangered his party’s control of the Senate, according to a poll conducted by The New York Times and Siena College.

Just 40 Bottles of Beer on the Wall, Only 40 Bottles of Beer

For those of us concerned with how to improve the shining hour as we wait for election day, the song has many helpful suggestions. Here is one more.

I have just finished Carl Hiassen’s Squeeze Me—a humorous fictional look at life in a post-pandemic second Trump term.

If you know Mr. Hiassen’s oeuvre—and for shame if you don’t—this will be one more chance to meet Clinton Tyree, former governor of Florida, chased from office because he was the only honest politician in the state, now living on roadkill and revenge. In the new novel, you will learn all about what happens at Trump’s Florida resort, Casa Bellicosa, and how ex-Governor Tyree brings it about.

Spoiler: it all has something to do with Burmese pythons.

The Perfect Storm for White Anxiety

Nancy LeTourneau, Can Democracy Survive the Demise of the GOP? Republicans refuse to adapt to a changing America and are threatening to take the country down with them.

I’m not going to quote the prescient Ms. LeTourneau here, but I think her views are definitely worth a read.

In the immediately preceding post, I made my predictions about election day, which some of you will think are overly optimistic. But, even if Trump manages to leave office without succeeding in creating a constitutional crisis—a best case scenario—he is still going to leave a very large number of hopped up White people, continuing to suffer from the perfect storm for White anxiety.

Rather than conjuring up nightmare scenario after nightmare scenario for election day, our time might be better spent, IMHO, thinking about what will happen with all those embittered melanin-deprived voters in 2021 and 2022.

Who will represent them—because there surely are enough of them that they will demand and receive significant political representation?

How will their political representatives interact with the political representatives of the plutocracy? Will they all try to stay in one political party, or will there be a split between a rightwing White grievance party and a rightwing pro-plutocrat party?

And, very importantly, is there anything that progressives like us can reasonably, and effectively, do to get some of our rabid brethren and sistern to back off their White anxiety hysteria?

Order Ethiopian takeout, and invite them over to savor a delicious taste they had not previously experienced?

Join them for yoga class?