Tuesday, September 8, 2020

-Donald Trump to his beloved namesake, according to Michael Cohen

One of the drawbacks of lying to the American people every day for three and a half years is that when it’s time for your administration to deny an incredibly damaging news story, no one has any particular reason to believe you. This is, of course, the moral of that classic children’s fable, The Asshole Who Cried Bullshit.

  • If you were wise enough to unplug over the long weekend, you might have missed the revelation that the commander in chief straight up disdains the troops. A Thursday report in The Atlantic recounted Trump’s references to fallen soldiers as “losers” and “suckers,” his fury that flags were lowered to half-mast after John McCain died, and his total incomprehension of military service. On Memorial Day in 2017, Trump reportedly turned to then-DHS secretary John Kelly as they stood at the grave of Kelly’s son, a Marine who was killed in Afghanistan, and said, “I don’t get it. What was in it for them?”
  • Jeffrey Goldberg’s reporting has been corroborated by the Associated Press, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and even Fox News. Michael Cohen mentioned Trump’s dismissive attitude toward military service in his 2018 testimony, Trump’s niece Mary said in a previously recorded interview that Trump had threatened to disown Don Jr. if he enlisted in the military, and Trump himself has laid a solid foundation for the story with his many disparaging public comments about John McCain, including calling him a “loser” on tape.
  • It remains to be seen whether any of this will sway voters, but the White House’s response suggests the Trump team is worried. Trump has strenuously denied the claims in tweets and remarks sprinkled with demonstrable lies—always a good start when attacking someone else’s credibility. A number of current and former officials have stepped forward to issue their own denials, with varying degrees of specificity, and even Melania took the unusual step of weighing in. Kelly, notably, has said nothing. True to form, Trump crashed through his hastily constructed pro-military facade like the Kool-Aid Man on Monday when he accused military leadership of wanting to start wars to boost the profits of defense manufacturing companies, all to explain why military officers disapprove of him in polls. 

While Trump was implausibly denying the Atlantic story, the unsettling new glimpses into his psyche continued. 

  • On the same 2018 visit to Paris during which Trump canceled a trip to a cemetery for fallen soldiers, he reportedly commandeered $750,000 worth of art from the U.S. ambassador’s residence, all of which later turned out to be replicas. Less whimsically, Michael Cohen alleges in his new book that before he ran for office, Trump’s racist fixation on Barack Obama was so extreme that he hired a look-alike (or, “faux-Bama”) to “ritualistically belittle” and pretend to fire on camera.
  • In between trying to convince Americans that contrary to all evidence he is not an irredeemable monster, Trump continued to crank up the racism, misinformation, and calls for violence that make up the sum total of his campaign strategy. Over the weekend Trump tweeted out violent footage from protests, and on Monday retweeted a prediction that political unrest “could lead to ‘rise of citizen militias around the country.’” 

No news article is as revealing of Trump’s unfitness for office as the fact that his bid for a second term rests entirely on trying to terrify voters with the prospect of violence that he himself fomented. We have 56 days to prove it a losing strategy. 

It’s Get (Your Sh)it Together Day! What does that mean? Each state has different voting options and deadlines ahead of Election Day—and things may have changed in the past few months, or even weeks. The team at Vote Save America combed through all 50 states to compile all the information about your different voting options, specific deadlines, and frequently asked questions (everything from what to do if your vote by mail ballot doesn’t show up, to when you need to get registered by).

Take some time today, visit, learn your state’s voting options and deadlines, and get your shit together. 

Donald Trump has emerged as an inspirational cult figure in Germany’s far-right scene, which seems good. While Trump is wildly unpopular with the vast majority of Germans, his nationalism, flirtations with white supremacy, and coronavirus skepticism have made him a hero among extremist fringe groups. Germany’s QAnon community, which barely existed before the pandemic hit in March, may now be the biggest outside of the U.S. Several German celebrities have promoted the QAnon conspiracy, including celebrity-chef-turned-far-right-influencer Attila Hildmann, who has appealed to Trump to “liberate Germany from the Merkel corona regime” so that “the German Reich is reactivated.” So, great news for everyone who was worried that Trump was inspired by Nazis—it’s...the opposite? 

The Trump campaign has blown through a staggering amount of cash, losing a nearly $200 million advantage over the Biden campaign in the span of five months. The campaign and party committee have already spent over $800 million of the $1.1 billion they raised over the last 18 months. Part of the problem might be that Trump has dipped deeply into those funds to pay his many legal bills, which is allowed under campaign-finance law but unprecedented on the scale Trump has established. Then there are the millions of dollars spent on TV ads in Washington, DC, to flatter Trump’s ego, the millions spent on Trump properties, the funds funneled through Brad Parscale’s private firm to Trump’s family members: all very compelling reasons to believe Trump when he talks about putting $100 million of his own money into the campaign

Do you have any idea what your state senator does all day? Have you ever wondered just how far the President’s emergency powers reach? Maybe you’ve only been pretending you know what a superdelegate is. You’re not alone. From the hosts of New Hampshire Public Radio’s Civics 101 podcast and New Yorker cartoonist Tom Toro, A User's Guide to Democracy is a lively crash course in everything you should know about how the U.S. government works.

Now is the time to finally understand who does what, how they do it, and the best way to get them to listen to you. Before you vote this November, make sure you read this book!


Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) announced he’ll sign an executive order allowing New Yorkers to return their absentee ballots at hundreds of drop box locations.

A three-judge panel has blocked North Carolina from enforcing part of a law that prevents people with felony convictions from voting while on probation or parole. 

A federal judge has temporarily blocked the Trump administration from winding down in-person counting for the Census a month early.

Some very buff mice have provided hope for a drug that could help human astronauts stay healthy during years-long voyages. 

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