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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#16621 User is online   cherdano 

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Posted 2020-October-27, 09:26

Quote

Kavanaugh: late ballots could “flip the results of an election”

Kagan: “there are no results to ‘flip’ until all valid votes are counted”


Around here, when we hold an election, we try to count all the votes. I guess you guys in the States have other priorities.
The easiest way to count losers is to line up the people who talk about loser count, and count them. -Kieran Dyke
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#16622 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-October-27, 09:57

View Postshyams, on 2020-October-27, 07:12, said:

If I may, the basic issue that will continue to dog the Dems is a misplaced sense of fairness. They will insist on playing by the Queensbury Rules even as the GOP legislators will engage in a dirty fight --- brass knuckles, eye gouging and all


Whether we speak of politics or street fights this is always an issue. The choice is not a simple one, not for me anyway. I very much like the posted thoughts of Jonathan Bernstein. First things first, we need Trump gone and we need enough seats in the Senate to at least partially cope with the Republican party as it is today. McConnell is who he is, it creates problems for any attempt at fairness and cooperation. . Assuming the election gives us some options, then we need a serious time of reflection on just what it is that matters.

Sample problem: I just went to https://www.medicaid.gov/ . For starters. I am really glad i do not have to read the whole thing and understand it. However: Being 80+ and having friends who are 80+ I am very aware of the fact that medical bills can run up fast and high. $100,000 is not at all out of the question. Some can afford it, some have good insurance that covers most of it. And some have very limited resources, but it is covered by medicaid. And some have limited resources, way to limited to be able to handle a 100K bill, and they are not covered by medicaid. As near as I can tell, for those of limited resources being covered or not covered by medicaid is at least partly a matter of dumb luck. It depends on just how limited your resources are and perhaps which state you live in .

My representative is Jamie Raskin, a liberal by most standards. I voted for him and I have been thinking f writing to him. I don't plan to tell him what to do, not in the sense of telling him exactly how to fix it.. But I do want him and others, I would hope that "others" incudes at least some Republicans, to sit down and say "This current situation is awful, we have to fix this." And then I would like them to think through, together, some reasonable fix. It is very unlikely (so I think) that the Supreme Court will rule that it is against the Constitution to fix this in any manner whatsoever. If there are some restrictions then I want Congress to find a way to work through those restrictions.

If I can tell Jamie Raskin that I expect him to work with reasonable people, including those far more conservative than he is, then I hope some voters who are more conservative than I am can tell their Representative that they expect him/her to work with Jamie. There are things that need to be fixed. That must be obvious to just about everyone. We need to insist that our elected representatives do their jobs.
Ken
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#16623 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-October-27, 10:16

Scientists from Ohio discover that bats are more intelligent than Republicans.
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Happy New Year everyone!
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#16624 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-October-27, 10:18

View Postcherdano, on 2020-October-27, 09:26, said:

Around here, when we hold an election, we try to count all the votes. I guess you guys in the States have other priorities.

I think it was already shown in the confirmation hearings that Kavanaugh's priorities are beer, pussy and political self-advancement.
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#16625 User is online   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-27, 11:15

Tom Hamburger and Devlin Barrett at WaPo said:

Former U.S. attorneys — all Republicans — back Biden, saying Trump threatens ‘the rule of law’

Twenty former U.S. attorneys — all of them Republicans — on Tuesday publicly called President Trump “a threat to the rule of law in our country,” and urged that he be replaced in November with his Democratic opponent, former vice president Joe Biden.

“The President has clearly conveyed that he expects his Justice Department appointees and prosecutors to serve his personal and political interests,” said the former prosecutors in an open letter. They accused Trump of taking “action against those who have stood up for the interests of justice.”

The letter, signed by prosecutors appointed by every GOP president from Eisenhower to Trump, is the latest instance of Republicans backing Biden. In August, dozens of GOP national security experts signed a full-page newspaper ad endorsing Biden over Trump.

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#16626 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-October-27, 14:32

Just in case there is someone on this thread who has not made up his/her mind (ok, the empty set) you might browse the simple article
https://www.washingt...-eight-reasons/

In particular:

Quote


Finally, Biden is a bit boring and doesn't spend a lot of time on social media. With him in the White House, we won't have to wake up every morning wondering what damn-fool thing the president just tweeted. Cable-news ratings might suffer, but America will be vastly better off with quiet competence instead of noisy chaos.


Good God I look forward to that!
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#16627 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-October-27, 15:41



Quote

In a startling moment during his Michigan rally Tuesday, President Donald Trump implied that the militia that attempted to kidnap and kill Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) was maybe or maybe not all that big of a problem.

“People are entitled to say maybe it was a problem, maybe it wasn’t,” Trump told his rally.





Defeat at the polls is not nearly enough punishment. This guy should never have stuck his nose into public discourse.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16628 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-October-27, 16:03

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-October-27, 15:41, said:

Defeat at the polls is not nearly enough punishment. This guy should never have stuck his nose into public discourse.

I actually disagree with you on that Winston. I may not like what he says but I will fight for his right to be able to say it. And I will fight for justice to be done and for the prosecutions of his crimes to be carried out after the presidency despite the calls that will obviously come of that being political prosecutions, a witch hunt, etc.

At the end of the day it might well end up being a positive thing for Americans to have gotten some of these subjects out in the open. If nothing else it has mobilised a large group of white folks to acknowledge some of the challenges faced by minority groups in the USA. It might lead to legislature to counter the over-politicisation of the SCOTUS, perhaps eventually even to a reduction in gerrymandering. And it has shown people all around the world how pre-election voting can potentially increase the participation of young voters, which has been a challenge in almost every democracy. These would all be positive outcomes from a presidency that is otherwise best forgotten.
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#16629 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2020-October-27, 18:17

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-October-27, 15:41, said:


Quote

In a startling moment during his Michigan rally Tuesday, President Donald Trump implied that the militia that attempted to kidnap and kill Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) was maybe or maybe not all that big of a problem. "People are entitled to say maybe it was a problem, maybe it wasn't," Trump told his rally.



Defeat at the polls is not nearly enough punishment. This guy should never have stuck his nose into public discourse.


I would only disagree with "In a startling moment". The sheer horror of it is that it is no longer the least bit startling for Donald Trump to say such a thing.
Ken
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#16630 User is online   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-28, 09:11

Trevor Noah said:

And you gotta admit, Trump’s comment about Barrett being the perfect replacement for RBG is grade A trolling. He knows what he’s doing because yes, RBG and Barrett are both women, but Barrett is going to dismantle all of RBG’s good work. So this would be like if the Lakers replaced LeBron with Ben Carson. Technically, yes, they’re swapping one Black man for another, but good luck on making the playoffs next season.

Seth Meyers said:

During a swearing-in ceremony for Judge Amy Coney Barrett last night at the White House, President Trump said, quote, ‘This is a momentous day for America, for the United States Constitution, and for the fair and impartial rule of law.’ Momentous in that it’s the last day for all of those things

Jimmy Fallon said:

I can’t believe it’s that soon. I mean, it feels like the last four years have just really flown by. Seriously, every morning since 2016, Democrats have been carving the days into the walls like they’re doing time at Rikers Island.

Jimmy Kimmel said:

I feel like I’m waiting for the results of a biopsy right now, that’s the mood I’m in.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#16631 User is online   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-28, 09:36

Jonathan Bernstein at Bloomberg said:

President Donald Trump’s chances of winning a second term continue to slip away.

With under a week to go, he’s still down about 9 percentage points nationally, and there’s little sign of any real movement in either direction. Early last week, I speculated that there was still enough time for significant changes to the race. That’s much less true now. With the debates over, it’s hard to imagine anything that would spark a shift of more than a percentage point or two. And not only is Trump is being badly outspent in the final days by former Vice President Joe Biden, the current spike in the coronavirus, an issue that plays very badly for the incumbent, is unlikely to help him as the few remaining undecided voters make up their minds.

As Nate Silver put it: “We’re sort of getting to the point where the only way Trump can win is with a major polling error, bigger than in 2016 (or if the election is stolen somehow).”

A Trump win is certainly not impossible. Silver’s model pegs the chances at about 12%, while the Economist model puts it at only about one in 20. The reason Trump still has any serious chance is because the Electoral College appears to be biased in favor of Republicans this year, as it was in 2016, and perhaps a little more so (FiveThirtyEight gives Trump a 4% chance of winning the most votes; the Economist thinks it’s almost a lock that Biden will do so). At least, that’s the case if the state polls are correct. As we saw in 2016, final state polling averages are more likely to be wrong — that is, several percentage points off the actual results — than the national average. That’s not surprising. There may be two or three top-quality polls in the battleground states over the next few days, but there will be half a dozen or more good national ones, and plenty of other useful surveys as well.

Right now, Trump’s best bet appears to be holding every state he won last time except for Michigan and Wisconsin. To do so, he’d need to take Pennsylvania, where he currently trails by a bit more than 5 percentage points. That’s not impossible; I’d bet that the results will reveal a polling error of at least six points in more than one state. But that’s less likely to happen in heavily polled Pennsylvania. And if it’s just a one-state problem, then Trump is still sunk, because he’s currently losing (according to the New York Times averages) in Arizona, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina and perhaps Georgia. So what Trump needs is for the national polls to be off (in his favor), and for Pennsylvania to be even more off (in his favor) without those other states being off in Biden’s favor.

We could go through that same exercise, carefully counting where the electoral votes fall, with Wisconsin or Michigan. Or perhaps with Nevada or Minnesota, both of which Hillary Clinton won in 2016. But Biden’s polling lead is even larger in those states, and while it’s certainly possible that errors could still turn them for Trump, it’s increasingly unlikely.

How probable is a larger-than-usual polling error this time around? No one knows for sure. But if pollsters did know that there was a particular likely error, they’d correct for it. That’s why I’m fairly skeptical that looking at the errors of 2016 or 2018 will tell us much about this time around. The main thing making such mistakes more likely this year is the pandemic and the resulting changes in how people vote, with way more voters casting ballots early either absentee or in person. Also different this time? What appears to be an unusually high turnout. Perhaps all that will make it harder to correctly estimate the pool of likely voters, which could cause larger-than-usual errors. That could be worsened by problems with mail delivery or (additional) efforts by the Trump campaign to knock out absentee ballots. Or perhaps the current virus flare-up will discourage people who planned to vote in-person on Election Day.

On the other hand? It’s possible that the unusual stability in preferences over the course of this year makes polling easier than normal. Similarly, both high turnout and early voting could, if pollsters understand what’s happening correctly, make the numbers more accurate than usual. And one more time: Any errors, should they happen, could be in either direction. At this point, if the polls are accurate or if Biden does even a little better than they say, Trump is in very deep trouble.

Of course, this is all assuming that we have a normal and more-or-less honest election. Trump has repeatedly threatened otherwise, by (for example) saying that the final result must be tallied by Election Day, despite laws and centuries of practice mandating that many ballots be counted over the next several days, or longer if necessary. Most likely, local officials will ignore Trump’s bluster and the count will go on as usual. Accuracy and a full count of all legitimate votes, after all, are far more important than speed. And if we’re lucky, and one of the candidates wins by a solid margin, we might still learn who won the election late Tuesday night after all.

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#16632 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2020-October-28, 11:14

View Postcherdano, on 2020-October-21, 16:42, said:

But SCOTUS interfering in a legal dispute within PA, essentially declaring that the PA legislature is not bound by the PA constitution, is a power grab that has no basis in the law or precedent, and can only be explained by highly motivated reasoning from justices who know which ruling "their" side would benefit from.

The US Constitution trumps state constitutions when there's a conflict.

#16633 User is online   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-28, 11:18

Shira Ovide at NYT said:

We need policy, not WrestleMania

One of the central questions for our elected representatives is how to exercise effective oversight over technology.

Some days, like when lawmakers ask whether the tech giants have become too powerful, I feel hopeful about government officials’ ability to do this. Right now … I’m not so sure.

The Senate on Wednesday is holding a hearing ostensibly about whether to revise or undo a bedrock law of the internet that made possible sites like Facebook and YouTube by providing a limited legal shield for what users post. It is in principle a worthwhile debate about how U.S. laws should balance protecting people from online horrors with providing room for expression online.

But the hearing is mostly a pointless circus.

I could already tell on Tuesday when a tweet from Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, portrayed the congressional hearing as a “free speech showdown” — essentially a verbal WrestleMania match with Twitter’s chief executive billed as the baddie and Senator Cruz as the hero. This is not the hallmark of a serious exercise in policymaking.

Somewhere in this waste of taxpayers’ dollars and our time is a meaty policy issue. The 1996 internet law under debate, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, allowed websites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to exist and grow without being sued out of existence for what users posted.

All kinds of people are now asking — for different reasons — whether the law needs revision. Many Democrats believe Section 230 lets sites like Facebook and YouTube avoid responsibility for incendiary, violent or misleading things that people post. Many Republicans — sometimes misrepresenting the law — say these companies should be more hands-off with what people can say online to avoid what they view as partisan censorship.

The heart of the matter is trying to balance competing interests. Section 230 does allow small websites to flourish without going broke defending defamation lawsuits. And it also gives huge internet sites an enormous amount of unchecked power. Can lawmakers preserve the good parts of the law while slicing out the bad parts?

There’s not a simple solution, but the job of U.S. Senators is to tackle complex problems in nuanced ways. Their job is not to stage a WrestleMania.


I won’t pick on Republicans only.

Democrats in the Senate also yelled that their counterparts’ decision to hold this hearing so close to Election Day was a way to make internet companies scared of aggressively fighting election-related misinformation. They’re not wrong, but again, it didn’t make for a worthwhile policy discussion.

The internet executives, including Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Jack Dorsey of Twitter, kept suggesting that they don’t referee online speech and that computers — not humans — make decisions about what people see online. This is also false. Everything you see or don’t see on sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are there because people at those companies made a choice. Humans program computers, after all. And they do referee speech.

If you want to better understand the important issues at play, I posted a Twitter thread of articles that discuss the trade-offs of this internet law and that suggest helpful ideas to reform it. Even Zuckerberg is almost begging (somewhat disingenuously) for the government to write laws laying out what should be classified as dangerous and impermissible online speech.

Senator Cory Gardner, Republican of Colorado, got at the tricky balancing act during the hearing. “I don’t like the idea of unelected elites in San Francisco or Silicon Valley deciding whether my speech is permissible on their platform,” he said, “but I like even less the idea of unelected Washington, D.C., bureaucrats trying to enforce some kind of politically neutral content moderation.”

Good point. But then what is the solution? The problem is that lawmakers aren’t showing that they’re grappling with the law.
Instead, they’re mostly just shouting.

Shira Ovide at NYT said:

Instead of watching the zoo of of today's Senate hearing, I will re-read this thoughtful interview with Sen. Wyden that gets into the worthy policy debate over Section 230.

Quote

“What Barr and Trump are doing is what, in basketball, is called ‘working the refs,’” Wyden (a star player on Palo Alto High School’s basketball team) said. “They just want to bully everybody into putting their stuff up. They know it’s not gonna happen.”

Quote

Before we finished our conversation, I asked the Senate’s biggest privacy hawk what measures he takes in his own internet life.

“My favorite is just to change your password all the time,” he said. Sound advice, indeed.

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#16634 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-October-28, 12:39

View Postkenberg, on 2020-October-27, 18:17, said:

I would only disagree with "In a startling moment". The sheer horror of it is that it is no longer the least bit startling for Donald Trump to say such a thing.


I agree. The word is not "startling" but "demoralizing". How this 3rd-world strongman wannabe is not forcibly removed by his own party is the great mystery of the American Republic.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16635 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2020-October-28, 12:49

View Postbarmar, on 2020-October-28, 11:14, said:

The US Constitution trumps state constitutions when there's a conflict.


Btw, there is another way to reign in the powers of the SCOTUS.

Article III of the U.S. Constitution provides that:

Quote

In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be party, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction. In all the other cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make.


What this means is that the SCOTUS has limited powers as to when it has "original jurisdiction". Other types of disputes are subject to appellate jurisdiction, meaning Congress can change and even forbid the SCOTUS from having appellate jurisdiction in certain types of cases.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#16636 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-October-28, 13:22

View Postbarmar, on 2020-October-28, 11:14, said:

The US Constitution trumps state constitutions when there's a conflict.

The fact that the US Constitution does not guarantee a person's right to vote does not make it unconstitutional for states to do so, as is the case for 49 of the 50, nor for elections to be "free and fair", as in around half.
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#16637 User is online   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-28, 13:23

View PostWinstonm, on 2020-October-28, 12:39, said:

I agree. The word is no "startling" but "demoralizing". How this 3rd-world strongman wannabe is not forcibly removed by his own party is the great mystery of the American Republic.

Fictitious principled republican: Trump must go.

Fictitious principled republican voters: See you in the primary.

Fictitious wc poster? You call that a great mystery?
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#16638 User is online   y66 

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Posted 2020-October-28, 13:38

Nathaniel Rackich at 538 said:

What To Make Of That New Wisconsin Poll That Has Biden Way Ahead

Once in a blue moon, you see a poll that makes you blink twice to make sure you’re not seeing things. This morning’s ABC News/The Washington Post survey of Wisconsin was just such a poll. It showed Joe Biden 17 points (not a typo) ahead of President Trump, 57 percent to 40 percent, among likely voters. To put it mildly, this is a stunning margin in what is supposed to be one of the most competitive swing states in the country — a place that Trump carried by less than 1 percentage point in 2016.

And this is not an easy poll to disregard. ABC News/Washington Post adheres to what we consider the gold-standard methodology (meaning they use live phone interviewers, call cell phones as well as landlines and participate in the American Association for Public Opinion Research’s Transparency Initiative or the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research archive) and earns an A+ grade in FiveThirtyEight’s pollster ratings database.1 The poll single-handedly increased Biden’s lead in our polling average of Wisconsin from 7.1 points to 9.0 points, and it is currently the most influential poll in our forecast of Wisconsin, where Biden’s chances of winning the state have reached a new high as a result — 93 in 100.

That said, ABC News/Washington Post is definitely an outlier; no other poll has shown Biden with that large a lead in Wisconsin since June. (Then, it was a Hodas & Associates poll sponsored by the conservative Restoration PAC that put Biden 17 points ahead.)

On the other hand, this poll doesn’t exactly exist in a vacuum. Biden has recently gotten a lot of very strong polls from some of the states that border Wisconsin. To wit:

  • RABA Research was out with a poll yesterday showing Biden at 50 percent and Trump at 46 percent in Iowa. Last week, the A+ pollsters Monmouth University and Siena College/The New York Times Upshot found similar margins. Iowa, remember, is a fairly red state that Trump carried by 9 points in 2016. And for the first time, our forecast now gives Biden a better chance than Trump of winning the state, although it’s still basically a coin flip (Biden’s odds are 51 in 100).
  • Yesterday, Gravis Marketing released a survey of Minnesota in which Biden led Trump by 14 points. Biden’s chances of winning Minnesota have now reached an all-time high of 94 in 100.
  • On Sunday, we also got a Gravis poll of Michigan that gave Biden a 13-point lead. That’s on top of last week’s Fox News poll of Michigan showing Biden 12 points ahead. And this morning, ABC News/Washington Post also released a Michigan poll giving Biden a smaller 7-point lead. Overall, our forecast gives Biden a 94 in 100 chance of winning the Wolverine State.

What might be going on here? Well, Biden has led in some of these states for a while, but it’s also possible that Trump could be losing support in the Midwest due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases there. Much of Wisconsin is currently a hot spot; on Tuesday, the state reported more new cases (5,262) and deaths (64) than any other day of the pandemic. The same day, Iowa and Minnesota announced a record number of hospitalizations, and cases are on the rise in Michigan as well.

Nationally, the coronavirus is a losing issue for Trump — 58 percent of Americans disapprove of his handling of the pandemic, on average, compared with just 40 percent who approve — and Wisconsin is no different. According to ABC News/Washington Post, Trump’s net disapproval rating on his handling of the coronavirus in Wisconsin is -20 percentage points — double what it was in mid-September. And 63 percent of registered voters there say they are worried about catching COVID-19. What’s more, Biden leads by a whopping 75 percent to 22 percent among members of this bloc who say they are likely to vote.

As recently as Saturday, Trump said at a rally in the Milwaukee suburbs that the pandemic was winding down. But that’s clearly not the case in Wisconsin, or in these other Midwestern states that Trump probably needs in order to win reelection. (There’s almost a 20 percent chance that one of Wisconsin, Michigan or Minnesota will provide the decisive electoral vote, and Trump has a less than 1 in 100 chance of winning if he fails to carry Iowa.) The surge of illness in the region is obviously bad news, first and foremost, for the impact it has on people’s lives. But for an incumbent president widely seen as having failed on the issue of the pandemic and facing reelection in less than one week, it’s also terrible timing politically.

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#16639 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-October-28, 15:24

Quote

Nationally, the coronavirus is a losing issue for Trump — 58 percent of Americans disapprove of his handling of the pandemic, on average, compared with just 40 percent who approve

This is one of the clearest examples of why the US is hopelessly broken.

The Manchurian President has the absolute worst response to the Trump Virus of any national leader in the world, including 3rd world country leaders who have exceptionally limited resources and infrastructure.

It would be one thing if the US had no money, a massive shortage of doctors and hospitals, sporadic electricity, no running water, no reliable way to communicate public health information to the public. No, the US is the richest country in the world, with every advantage a country needs to successfully fight COVID.

What's happened? The US has about 4% of the world's population but around 20% of the deaths from COVID and hospitals are overflowing with COVID patients. Unlike virtually every other country in the world, the US never really suppressed the first COVID spike even temporarily. At best, the infection rate only went down to around 20,000 per day. The US went from initial spike, a small decline and then plateau, then another spike, then another small decline and plateau, then a 3rd spike which doesn't seem to have an end in sight.

What has the Manchurian President done? Refused to back a national mask wearing mandate, actively undermined mask wearing by not wearing a mask in public and disparaging those who did, and spreading dangerous conspiracy theories that masks don't save lives. Failed to get the US personal protective equipment (PPE) manufacturing capabilities up to speed, played politics with the actual distribution of PPE, downplayed the threat of COVID at almost every turn, and watered down CDC and NIH health advisories to play down the dangers, put on superspreader events in the White House and across the country at rallies and photo ops.

And 40% of those polled think Typhoid Don has done a good job on the Trump Virus???

Now in any poll, you will rarely get 100% consensus because usually around 10% or more of those polled are in the bottom 10% of intelligence and/or knowledge or current events, or have absolutely no clue and no desire to know what's going on in the world, so it's unreasonable to expect 100%. But when almost all those who think Putin's Puppet is doing a good job on COVID are Republicans, that's a willful decision on their part to ignore reality and live in a Fox/OAN reality world.
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#16640 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-October-28, 16:30

Hacked?
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(-: Zel :-)

Happy New Year everyone!
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