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'He's a con man': Trump brought out the worst in us when we needed the best

October 12, 2020 in Blogs

By Tom Conway

Jackie Anklam realized that Donald Trump was failing the American people when her father died of complications of COVID-19 in a Michigan hospital that ran short of personal protective equipment (PPE) for its workers.

What outrages her more is that, several months later, Trump not only refuses to learn from his early blunders but blithely flouts the safety measures critical to slowing the virus.

Instead of leading the nation to safety, Trump downplays the pandemic for personal political gain and divides Americans when they most need to pull together.

“He doesn’t care about getting a grip on this. He doesn’t even care about giving it to someone,” said Anklam, noting Trump refused to wear a mask and defied social distancing requirements while health experts warned that such reckless behavior contributed to the rising death toll.

After seeking treatment for his own infection, Anklam observed, Trump took a joyride outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, potentially exposing the Secret Service agents in his SUV to COVID-19 just so he could wave to supporters. And after cutting short his hospital stay and returning to the White House, Trump still refused to wear a mask even though he risked infecting everyone who came into contact with him, including the photographer forced to snap his picture while he posed on a balcony.

“The president is supposed to put the American people first. He has done everything except that. He has put every American at risk,” said Anklam, president of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 9899, who believes her father contracted pneumonia and died because of PPE shortages and infection-control problems in the hospital treating him for COVID-19.

Nearly 10 months after the pandemic hit the United States, hospitals and other health care facilities continue to struggle with chronic, drastic shortages of respirators, gloves, gowns and other safety equipment.

Trump never worked to repair broken supply chains. He never used emergency powers that would have forced factories to retool and produce critical supplies.

And he failed to deliver a comprehensive plan for reinvigorating America’s manufacturing base and averting future shortages of essential goods.

Because Trump abandoned his duty, a coalition of organizations, including the USW, filed a federal lawsuit on October 8 demanding the government immediately harness …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Election expert warns of a 'major red flag' in the Democrats' fight to take the Senate

October 12, 2020 in Blogs

By The New Civil Rights Movement

A political expert is pointing to the latest New York Times/ Sienna poll that puts incumbent U.S. Senator Gary Peters, Democrat of Michigan, just one point above his challenger, Republican John James, a West Point grad.

“A major red flag for Democrats,” tweets Daniel Nichanian, an expert on local elections and voting rights, who is the founder and editorial director of The Appeal: Political Report.

“NYT/Siena has Senator Gary Peters leading GOP challenger John James by just 1% (43/42), even as Biden leads 48/40 in the same sample,” Nichanian adds.

“A loss for Dems here would be a major blow to their quest for a Senate majority, effectively requiring them to pick-up 5 GOP seats instead of 4 just to get to 50/50,” he says.

For reasons unknown, Sen. Peters is apparently facing fundraising issues, he says, despite many Democratic candidates raising huge troves of cash to fight Republicans this year.

“Part of Mr. Peters’s weakness,” The New York Times says, “is that he has thus far failed to match Mr. Biden’s tallies among nonwhite voters, who disproportionately remain undecided. It remains to be seen whether Mr. James, who is Black, will ultimately make significant inroads among these voters.”

The Detroit Free Press last month called the Peters-James battle “one of the nastier races” this election cycle, blaming James for “one of the more negative campaigns for statewide office in recent memory.”

The paper calls Senator Peters “one of the more productive and bipartisan senators in a Senate riven by partisanship.”

“They’re kicking the living hell out of each other with negative ads,” said Bernie Porn, pollster for EPIC-MRA of Lansing, who said there is an outside chance James could upset Peters if trends that have seen the incumbent’s lead in the polls shrink don’t change.

Peters’ fellow Senate Democrats have been trying to help.

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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The Trump campaign's bizarre attempt to hold a 'Pride' event is actually just offensive

October 12, 2020 in Blogs

By The New Civil Rights Movement

The Trump campaign knows it’s in trouble, as Joe Biden is beating the incumbent president by an average of more than ten points in the polls. On Tuesday, the campaign will hold a “pride” event (in the middle of October, despite the president refusing to honor LGBTQ pride month in June.)

But, as veteran journalist and SiriusXM host Michelangelo Signorile points out, the event doesn’t even mention LGBTQ people. It doesn’t say “gay,” it says absolutely nothing to celebrate or even acknowledge the LGBTQ community other than printing the word “pride” in rainbow colors.

He’s calling it a “closeted event.”

“They’ve not announced this anywhere, lest the religious right find out,” Signorile adds. “Meanwhile, they’re trying to put a woman on the Supreme Court who will destroy marriage equality.”

The Trump campaign even has a “Trump Pride” page, falsely claiming “President Donald J. Trump is the only President to openly support the LGBT community since his first day in office.”

That’s false.

“President Trump stands in solidarity with LGBT citizens by supporting and enacting policies and initiatives that protect the wellbeing and prosperity of all gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans.”

That’s false.

“TRUMP PRIDE is a diverse coalition dedicated to re-electing President Trump, the first President to begin his presidency in support of marriage equality. Through his bold plan to end the HIV epidemic to his global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality in the 69 nations where it is illegal, President Trump has proven himself to be a strong advocate for the LGBT community both at home and abroad.”

Trump, when asked about the “global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality” admitted he had never heard of it. “I don’t know which report you’re talking about,” he told reporters when asked.

The Trump campaign is, however, selling Trump LGBTQ -themed t-shirts (photo.)

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Amy Coney Barrett is the least popular modern Supreme Court nominee

October 12, 2020 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson

On Monday, Senate confirmation hearings began for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump’s nominee to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court. Some Barrett critics, in Washington D.C., staged a nonviolent sit-in to protest Barrett’s nomination, and 21 of them were arrested. But those protesters are not alone in their opposition to Barrett’s nomination: according to polling data compiled by The Economist, Barrett is the least popular Supreme Court nominee of the last 27 years.

Only 42 percent of Americans support her appointment to the court, while 46 percent disapprove of the nomination. With a net -4 points of support, she faces the most public opposition of any recent nominee.

That’s probably bad news for the Republican Party, which was facing strong headwinds going into the November election even without a controversial Supreme Court fight.

The Economist lists nine Supreme Court nominees, going back to Ginsburg in 1993 under President Bill Clinton. The least popular of the nine, The Economist reports, is Barrett — and the second least popular is Justice Brett Kavanuagh, nominated by Trump in 2018. The third least popular, according to The Economist, is another Trump nominee: Justice Neil Gorsuch, who Trump nominated in 2017 to fill the seat once held by the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

The polling data that The Economist used for its list came not only from its own polling, but also, from polling by Gallup and CNN. All of that polling showed that Trump’s three nominees have been the least popular.

The most popular of the nine, according to The Economist, is Ginsburg — with Justice Steven Breyer, another Clinton nominee, in second place and Chief Justice John Roberts (who was nominated by President George W. Bush in 2005) in third place. The fourth most popular, conservative Justice Samuel Alito, was nominated by Bush in 2006, and the fifth most popular, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, was nominated by President Barack Obama in 2009. The six most popular was Justice Elena Kagan, another Obama nominee.

The list only takes into account nominees of the last four presidents: Trump, Obama, George W. Bush and Clinton. Therefore, Justice Clarence Thomas, nominated by President George H.W. Bush in 1991, is not on the list.

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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This journalist explains why Trump's fundraising emails reveal his barely concealed desperation

October 12, 2020 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson

For all the criticism that former Vice President Joe Biden received from the liberal/progressive wing of the Democratic Party during the presidential primary, he has had no problem with fundraising in recent months. Biden has donors all over the political spectrum, from allies of Sen. Bernie Sanders to right-wing Never Trump conservatives. President Donald Trump’s campaign is well-aware of all the money that Biden’s campaign has been bringing in, and a Washington Post op-ed by journalist Ben Adler describes some of the “desperate” extremes that Trump has been going to in the hope of increasing his fundraising.

“Trump’s campaign blew through a once-massive fundraising advantage, spending more than $800 million of its $1.1 billion haul before early September,” Adler explains. “In August, the last month for which data is available, former Vice President Joe Biden outraised Trump by $155 million. By late September, Biden had $141 million more in the bank than the president did. Not coincidentally, Trump’s fundraising entreaties are becoming increasingly implausible and desperate.”

Trump’s fundraising pitches via e-mail, Adler notes, have been “alternating between flattery and abuse.” For example, one of the president’s fundraising e-mails read, “I’ve asked my team to pull the records of my BEST donors – our most loyal Patriots who I can always count on when I need them the most. I’m disappointed to say that when I asked for your file, they told me you showed up in the BOTTOM 1% of all Trump Supporters.”

Trump’s campaign, according to Adler, has been sending out that e-mail to some voters who have never supported Trump — and they can’t be in the “bottom 1% of all Trump supporters” if they were never Trump supporters to begin with.

Another Trump “fundraising gimmick,” according to Adler, is trying to entice voters with an “opportunity to win a free trip to meet the president.” One of the Trump campaign’s e-mails read, “Why haven’t you entered to win a chance to meet President Trump yet? The President saw the list of Patriots who have already entered and he noticed that your name was MISSING.’”

Adler says of that e-mail, “For an all-expenses paid vacation, all you needed to do was donate — except the fine print at the bottom said you could enter the competition without donating. More important, perhaps, is that it’s possible the sweepstakes will never occur, and no one will win.”

Certainly, Biden’s campaign hasn’t been shy about …read more

Source: ALTERNET