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Friday, August 28, 2020
BY SARAH LAZARUS, BRIAN BEUTLER, & CROOKED MEDIA

-Dr. Deborah Birx, two weeks before Donald's No-Mask Fascist Backyard Bash

The best news about the GOP convention is that it’s finally behind us: The alarming violations of election law, a possible coronavirus superspreading event, the worst address in convention history. Don’t smile because it’s over, cry because it happened!
 

  • For all the lies, propaganda, and snuff, the 2020 GOP convention will probably be remembered for the stomach-turning image of the White House as the backdrop for Donald Trump’s renomination speech, completing his years-long effort to turn the U.S. government into an arm of his campaign. Knowing it was coming didn’t make it any less shocking to see, and the Trump-branded fireworks display he commandeered the National Mall for only added to the awfulness. The spectacle has people wondering if there will be any consequences for the White House officials who illegally helped orchestrate the event—and, if not, what will stop future presidents from going even further than Trump. (Our guess: not the new normal.)
     
  • The good news is that Trump made the least of the corrupt setting by delivering an absolute flop of a speech. Fox News’s Chris Wallace, who called Joe Biden’s speech last week “enormously effective” described Trump’s as “surprisingly flat.” Trump droned on well past primetime, struggling every few paragraphs to read his teleprompter, which gave us fun lines like, “I profoundly accept this nomination for president,” and “we have pioneered the fatality rate.” The rest of the speech was far less memorable, a familiar litany of smears, disinformation, and racism. If you have well over an hour to spare, you can watch the whole thing, but we wouldn’t recommend it.
     
  • What might make the night even more controversial is if people get COVID-19 from it. Trump crammed over 1000 untested loyalists into a tight seating space on the South Lawn, where mask wearing appeared to be actively discouraged. Four participants in the Charlotte, NC, portion of the convention (two attendees and two participants) have already tested positive, and it’s statistically unlikely that nobody in attendance at the White House Thursday had coronavirus. The recklessness has already caused political problems for Republicans in attendance, including vulnerable incumbent Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), who admitted he “fell short of his own standard.” The White House’s response to the blowback? “Everybody is going to catch this thing eventually.” That’s right: “It is what it is” as federal policy.

Now that this most recent nightmare is over, we can focus on things that truly matter, such as hOw It WiLl PlAy WiTh VoTeRs?
 

  • It’s too early to know whether Trump will get a bounce in the polls from the convention, which wouldn’t be shocking given how low his average levels of support are. But the early indications aren’t great for him. Fewer people watched the GOP convention than the Democratic convention every night, including last night, and those viewers were overwhelmingly watching on Fox News, suggesting Trump and the other participants were preaching to the converted. 
     
  • Moreover, ratings and immediate polling won’t matter if the grossness of the convention becomes a longer-term liability. Democrats across the spectrum have condemned Trump for trying to claim the White House for one of the country’s two parties. And Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) has opened an investigation of Secretary of State Mike Pomeop’s illegal, taxpayer-funded junket to endorse Trump from Jerusalem. 
 

Trump’s big nepotism and crime party has apparently opened up family wounds, but we should hope it opens up political wounds as well. We should never accept the sight of a lawless president claiming the White House and broad government powers as campaigning tools, because the kind of president who would do that is also the kind of president who would order the state to retaliate against a journalist for reporting on his for-profit businesses. And if we don’t do our part, we may be living with it for years to come. 

There are only a few weekends left between now and the election, so make them count. This weekend our Adopt A State program is hosting a special weekend of action to help Democrats take back the Senate. Sign up to adopt a state at votesaveamerica.com/adopt and we’ll send you details about what you can do to help from home 

The Trump campaign just scored a victory in one of its many lawsuits aimed at suppressing mail-in voting. A judge has ordered Iowa’s second largest county to invalidate 50,000 absentee ballot requests, agreeing with Trump’s challenge that Linn County’s elections commissioner overstepped by pre-filling the requests with voters’ personal information, including their four-digit voting-identification numbers. He and two other commissioners (whom Trump also sued) did so because Iowa’s GOP-controlled legislature passed a law blocking auditors from filling in those numbers, which most voters don’t know and leave blank, as a way to make voting harder. Meanwhile, Iowa’s Republican Secretary of State has blocked counties from setting up drop boxes for absentee ballots. Not great! Here’s how to fight back

Here’s a fun potential election scenario. Polling suggests that a record number of Americans will vote by mail in November—somewhere around one third of all voters. But Democrats are much likelier than Republicans to say they’ll vote by mail: According to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 47 percent of Biden supporters plan to vote by mail, while 26 percent said they plan to vote in person. Among Trump supporters, only 11 percent said they’ll vote by mail (we can’t imagine why), with 66 percent intending to vote in person. If that all holds true, we could see election-night results that skew overwhelmingly towards Trump, with days of lag time before all the Biden ballots get counted. It’s a possibility that journalists should be prepared for, in the event that Trump tries to claim victory based on incomplete returns. The rest of us should focus on making sure those Biden votes arrive.

#FREERAYSHAWN from Quibi is now Emmy nominated for Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series, Jasmine Cephas Jones, and Outstanding Actor in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series, Laurence Fishburne and Stephan James.

On a remote street in the outskirts of New Orleans, a botched entrapment leaves a police officer dead and an innocent man named Rayshawn (Stephan James) on the run.  Rayshawn escapes a breathless pursuit and barricades himself in his home with his girlfriend (Jasmine Cephas Jones) and young son.  Citing the senseless end of countless Black lives, Rayshawn documents the ensuing standoff on social media, building a fleet of witnesses who share his desire for respect, accountability, and social justice.  As the SWAT team encroaches and #FREERAYSHAWN trends, Rayshawn places his trust in Lt. Steven Poincy (Laurence Fishburne) to find the evidence that will exonerate him.  Poincy works against time as both negotiator and lifeline, while perception and procedure block the path to the truth… 

Download the Quibi app to watch #FREERAYSHAWN now with your two week free trial.

The NBA announced that it will turn its arenas into polling places for the November election, as part of an agreement with the players’ union after players went on strike to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

Utah Jazz player Donovan Mitchell pledged to donate $45,000 towards the education of Jacob Blake’s children, and will be matched by Adidas.

New Jersey is on the verge of passing legislation that would release thousands of incarcerated people with less than eight months left on their sentences, to slow the spread of the virus in correctional facilities. 

Jim Gaffigan has been activated

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