Tuesday, September 1, 2020

-Donald Trump, failing to explain how Powell's is still there

Sure, it was pretty frightening when the president refused to condemn violence and, in fact, explicitly defended a right-wing supporter who killed two people, but would it make you feel better to know that he’s also spouting unhinged conspiracy theories dredged from the dank swamps of Facebook? ...No? 

  • In a Fox News interview with Laura Ingraham on Monday night, President Trump suggested that Joe Biden’s campaign is controlled by “people that you’ve never heard of, people that are in the dark shadows,” which was either a very rude way to refer to Ron Klain, or patently nuts. Trump went on to regale Ingraham with a vague, baseless story about an Antifa Plane that tried to disrupt the GOP convention: “We had somebody get on a plane from a certain city this weekend. And in the plane, it was almost completely loaded with thugs, wearing these dark uniforms, black uniforms, with gear and this and that.”
  • Trump promoted the plane thing again this morning on his way to Kenosha, WI, (changing the direction the plane was flying from inbound to outbound, lest we forget that this guy is just, so dumb). There’s no evidence that such a flight of leftist cat burglars (?) existed, but there is a nearly identical, months-old Facebook rumor. A viral post from June 1 falsely claimed that “at least a dozen males got off the plane in Boise from Seattle, dressed head to toe in black,” and that one passenger had  “a tattoo that said Antifa America on his arm.” It was one of a spate of viral rumors that inspired armed far-right militias and vigilantes to take to the streets in June. Seems like a great time to rile up those guys!
  • Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf threw his own bucket of gasoline on the fascism fire, telling Fox News domestic-terrorism-apologist Tucker Carlson that the Justice Department was “working on” arresting “the leaders of antifa and BLM” on conspiracy charges. Wolf said that Attorney General Bill Barr was “targeting and investigating the heads of those organizations” as well as those “paying for those individuals to move across the country.” There is zero indication that anyone is paying anti-racist protesters (we certainly haven’t gotten our checks), but that idea sure is a core pillar of the QAnon cult ideology that Trump has increasingly encouraged.

Having thoroughly fanned the flames of unrest from the White House, Trump arrived in Kenosha today, over the objections of local leaders, to fan them up close.

  • Trump made no pretense of calling for healing or unity and made no plans to meet with Jacob Blake’s family. Instead, Trump toured sites of property damage and held a roundtable discussion with law-enforcement officers during which he suggested attendees take their masks off, blamed “political violence” on “radical ideology” pushed by “reckless far-left politicians,” and had this take on systemic police violence: “They call it choking. It happens.” (This was an improvement, if you can believe it, over his Laura Ingraham interview on Monday, in which Trump compared police officers who shoot unarmed people to golfers who miss a three-foot putt.)
  • All of this bullshit is what Trump thinks will win over Wisconsin, which could very well be the pivotal swing state in November. Kenosha specifically is one of the purplest parts of the state—Trump won it by just 238 votes in 2016. The good news is, his horrifying approach doesn’t seem to be working. Support for Black Lives Matter has fallen some in Wisconsin, but voters’ approval for Trump’s handling of the protests went from 30 percent in June to a whopping 32 percent in August. The unrest may have upset some Wisconsin voters, but so far, they haven’t embraced Trump as the solution. 

We’re in the homestretch of the election and things are predictably getting uglier, but Donald Trump has now saddled himself with the notoriously unpopular position that people shooting each other in the street is good, actually. This can be over in two months. This must be over in two months

Today is National Poll Worker Recruitment Day, and of all the fake holidays to exist, this might be one of the most important. When polling places don’t have enough poll workers, those polling places close, which leaves voters with less options, and leaves many unheard. In an election year where voting has already become more complicated by this pandemic, we can’t risk losing the votes we need. Vote Save America is working to recruit 10,000 poll workers—if you are healthy and able, sign up to be trained and work as a poll worker at your polling location, Find more info on 

Remember last November, when President Trump was rushed to Walter Reed for an unscheduled visit and the White House pretended he was getting a head start on his annual physical? Have your fainting couch at the ready: this was a lie. According to New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt in his upcoming book, Vice President Mike Pence was put on standby to temporarily assume the powers of the presidency if Trump had to be anesthetized—y’know, before getting his reflexes checked with the little hammer. This morning, Trump responded to the news by accidentally breaking more news: “It never ends! Now they are trying to say that your favorite President, me, went to Walter Reed Medical Center, having suffered a series of mini-strokes. Never happened to THIS candidate - FAKE NEWS. Perhaps they are referring to another candidate from another Party!” No media outlet reported anything about “a series of mini-strokes,” so, uh, there you have it.

Top White House officials acknowledged on a call to governors that sending students back to college was an incredibly dangerous move. Dr. Deborah Birx urged governors to advise college presidents in their states to keep COVID-infected students isolated on campus, or risk sparking another uncontrolled national outbreak: “Sending these individuals back home in their asymptomatic state to spread the virus in their home town or among their vulnerable households could really recreate what we experienced over the June time frame in the South.” This is, of course, what public health experts were warning while the White House was downplaying the risks of transmission among young people and pressuring schools to reopen for in-person classes. Anyway, the University of Alabama system alone has now reported over 1,300 cases, but good thing we gave this the ol’ college try.

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Joe Biden raised over $300 million in August, shattering the all-time record.

A large study in Iceland found that coronavirus antibodies last for at least four months after infection, which is very good news for vaccine efforts.

The residents of Holyoke, CO, raised $93,592 by donating their stimulus checks and personal funds, enough to help every business in town impacted by the March shutdown. 

Here's what else happened in Kenosha today.

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