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Biden says it's 'a battle for the soul of the nation,' while Trump's America has no soul

Daily Kos - Sat, 07/11/2020 - 10:59

This July 4 weekend inspired a lot of talk about U.S. history from the two men vying for the presidency. The way each candidate spoke about the past tells us everything we need to know about the kind of future he wants for America. This rhetorical skirmish over where we’ve been is, in reality, a battle over where the nation will go.

President Charlottesville has been spewing racist rhetoric long before last weekend. After all, as Ta-Nehisi Coates declared in 2017, "(Donald Trump's) ideology is white supremacy, in all its truculent and sanctimonious power." Nevertheless, Independence Day brought out some of Donald Trump’s worst bile. At Mt. Rushmore on July 3, he spoke about America in a way that, for the sake of our country, I hope no other president ever does again.

Categories: Politics

Coronavirus Growth in Western Countries: July 10 Update

Kevin Drum - Sat, 07/11/2020 - 10:41

Here’s the coronavirus death toll through July 10. We are now on our fourth day of rising mortality in the US and it’s now looking like a genuine upturn. The lag time between the rise in cases and the rise in deaths appears to be four weeks this time around, as you can see in this Washington Post chart:

If this chart is any indication, four weeks of rising cases means we’re now in for four weeks of rising deaths. And if the rise in deaths matches the rise in cases, our mortality rate won’t plateau until we hit about three times our current death rate.

On the other hand, it’s still true that COVID-19 is now targeting younger people, who are less likely to die from it, and that our hospitals have gotten better at treating it. So even if deaths rise for the next few weeks, they may never get as high as 3x our current rate. We’ll just have to wait and see.

The raw data from Johns Hopkins is here. The Public Health Agency of Sweden is here.

Categories: Politics

Sending International Students Home Saps US Influence And Hurts US Economy

Crooks and Liars - Sat, 07/11/2020 - 10:18

David L. Di Maria, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, made a decision on July 6 regarding international students in the U.S. that will affect far more than just the roughly 870,000 international students themselves.

Based on what I know about the power and influence of higher education in the U.S., this decision could increase the tuition American students pay, cost thousands of jobs throughout the nation and erode America’s stature in the world.

Under this new rule, international students may stay in the country only if they attend a college or university offering in-person classes this fall. Otherwise, they won’t be able to get visas, enter the country or stay here if they plan to attend one of the many schools that are teaching students entirely online.

read more

Categories: Politics

San Francisco council member proposes CAREN ordinance, consequences for the Karens calling the cops

Daily Kos - Sat, 07/11/2020 - 10:00

If a San Francisco lawmaker has his way, making racially motivated 911 calls will be against the law in that city. San Francisco Supervisor Shamann Walton has introduced an ordinance called the Caution Against Racially Exploitative Non-Emergencies Act. Yes, it's the CAREN Act. And it answers the problem of who calls the cops because they see a person with melanin in their vicinity and can't deal with it.

"Racist 911 calls are unacceptable that's why I'm introducing the CAREN Act at today's SF Board of Supervisors meeting," Walton tweeted Tuesday. "This is the CAREN we need." He said that his ordinance is "part of a larger nationwide movement to address racial biases and implement consequences for weaponizing emergency resources with racist intentions." In a supervisors meeting, Walton said "911 calls and emergency reports are not customer service lines for racist behavior, and using these for fraudulent reports based on the perceived threats of someone's race takes away emergency resources from actual emergencies. […] Fraudulent emergency calls against people of color are a form of racial violence and should not be tolerated."

Support organizations that are fighting for Black lives and racial justice.

Categories: Politics

Will Reporters Ask If Barron Trump Is Returning To Rapidly Reopened Schools?

Crooks and Liars - Sat, 07/11/2020 - 09:30

Published with permission of PRESS RUN, Eric Boehlert’s new must-read media newsletter. Subscribe here.

Trump, Fox News, and the entire conservative movement are moving aggressively to politicize the re-opening of America's schools during the pandemic. Trying to turn the topic into a partisan one, they're demanding schools across the country not only open for in-person education, but that 50-plus million American students be forced to sit should-to-shoulder in classrooms. "We're very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools," Trump said on Tuesday, standing alongside his wife, Melania. He then threatened to cut off federal funding if schools don't fill their classrooms with students.The push is part of the right wing's deeply misguided crusade to "re-open" America at a time when Covid-19 is not only not under control, it's raging across the country. The move is also plainly tied to Trump's re-election campaign, and the GOP fear of him running against the cultural backdrop of shuttered schools across the country. "SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!" he shrieked on Twitter.

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Categories: Politics

Trump demonstrates utter contempt for justice in commuting Roger Stone's sentence

Daily Kos - Sat, 07/11/2020 - 09:07

In case there was still someone in America who hadn’t noticed that Donald Trump has nothing but contempt for the idea that everyone is equal under the law, Trump underlined that scorn, then run over it with a big yellow highlighter, by commuting the sentence of Roger Stone. Stone was convicted on seven felony counts, and faced a sentence of 40 months in federal prison. What’s more, Stone’s conviction was directly due to actions he took as a campaign adviser to Trump.

Trump has never hesitated to demonstrate that he’s willing to pardon people that he knows personally. That includes racist sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was handed a pass on contempt of court; Republican fairy tale author Dinesh D'Souza, who was relieved of doing community service (horrors) after making illegal campaign contributions; conservative talk show host Conrad Black, whose convictions on mail fraud and obstruction of justice had been appealed all the way to the Supreme Court (he lost); junk bond king Michael Milken, convicted on a near infinite list of tax fraud, mail fraud, obstruction, and conspiracy; and Rudy Giuliani’s old pal Bernard Kerik, for the familiar mix of tax fraud, bank fraud, and obstruction. Trump has never made any effort to pretend that justice applies to people he knows. 

Categories: Politics

Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: The pandemic still dominates everything

Daily Kos - Sat, 07/11/2020 - 07:30

Several things are coming together this week:

  • the realization that Biden might win in a landslide
  • the realization that Trump is a failure on coronavirus policy
  • the realization that Trump is a failure on race relations
  • the realization that Trump is starting his last minute pardon binge

We’ll cover them all, but check out this “must read” from Sarah Longwell/Bulwark:

What Women Want

Here’s what women who voted for Trump in 2016 are saying about him now.

Many observers were doubly confused because they had expected Hillary Clinton, as the first major party female nominee, to be especially strong with women. And she wasn’t. Trump did poorly with African-American and Hispanic women, because he did poorly with all African-Americans and Hispanics. But he managed to actually win a narrow plurality among white women.

But that mystery has been easy to solve. Over the last three years I conducted dozens of focus groups with both college-educated and non-college-educated female Trump voters. And the answer given most commonly for why they voted for Donald Trump is “I didn’t vote for Donald Trump. I voted against Hillary Clinton.”

In 2016, Democrats understood that Hillary Clinton was a deeply polarizing candidate. But even they didn’t grasp the full magnitude of it. Right-leaning and Republican female voters had spent more than a decade hating both Clintons, and they didn’t stop just because Hillary’s opponent was an unrepentant misogynist.

Categories: Politics

Late Night Open Thread: Flailing Luzer ‘Postpones’ Portsmouth Rally

Balloon Juice - Fri, 07/10/2020 - 23:51

Be nice if he’d done it before the DeathCult-heads brought their plague caravan to New England, but he didn’t have a fresh reason to avoid reporters until after Roger Stone’s commutation was announced. From the local NH television station, WMUR:

Tropical Storm Fay is headed toward the Northeast and is expected to bring heavy rains before it moves out Saturday by late morning or early afternoon. Although the rally was scheduled for the evening, the campaign said the storm was enough to have them reschedule the outdoor event.

With the rally postponed, the days are flying off the calendar until Election Day. Even though Portsmouth is one of New Hampshire’s liberal bastions, Trump has had some memorable rallies there…

The planned rally at Portsmouth International Airport at Pease promised more memorable moments for the president’s supporters, but the Trump base will have to wait. The campaign said it plans to reschedule within the next couple weeks…

Gonna be a tough few months for the advance team. The Squatter-in-Chief is desperate for more & bigger in-person hits of slavish adoration from his cultists… but they don’t dare expose him to long periods of public scrutiny, especially when there’s a new outrage against law and decency that might incite aggressive questioning. We can only suppose that the grift, in cash or contacts, is worth the increasingly futile effort.

Much safer to stick with “rallies” like this one:


Well before the call was made to postpone President Donald Trump’s Saturday re-election rally in New Hampshire, the warning lights were flashing red.

There were no signs of the typical throngs of supporters camped out days in advance for a good spot; the Republican governor said he would skip it, advising anyone at high risk to stay home over coronavirus concerns; fears of a repeat of Tulsa’s disappointing turnout weighed heavily; and then came the stormy weather reports, which could have further stifled attendance…

The coastal town is not currently expected to be hit directly by the storm, but the decision to reschedule over bad weather is a “convenient excuse” for the Trump 2020 team, one outside adviser told NBC News.

“It’s the perfect timing. The weather may have been dissuading people to attend, but many weren’t coming to begin with because of the virus,” this person said.

It all came as expectations for the campaign’s second attempt at rebooting the president’s 2020 rallies were as low they’ve ever been….

If the Oval Office Occupant isn’t already in a bad patch of cognitive-decline anger/aggression, an underattended rally would most certainly send him into one.

The post Late Night Open Thread: Flailing Luzer ‘Postpones’ Portsmouth Rally appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

The Fearless Flyers With Chris Thile: "Daddy, He Got a Cessna"

Little Green Footballs - Fri, 07/10/2020 - 23:45

buy vinyl →

Chris Thile — small guitar
Nate Smith — drums
Joe Dart — big guitar
Cory Wong — guitar
Mark Lettieri — medium guitar
Jack Stratton — mixing, steadicam
Ryan Lerman — engineer

Categories: Politics

Of Course He Fucking Pardoned Stone

Balloon Juice - Fri, 07/10/2020 - 23:04

I am not even remotely surprised he did. You shouldn’t be either. Donald Trump is a criminal and a fraud, and those aren’t just words or heated political rhetoric. He’s a fucking mob boss, and of course he rewarded the guy who didn’t snitch. I’m not happy about it, but there is the slight silver lining that he is just too fucking stupid and too impatient to wait until Barr can finish his dirty work for him, and now this shit is on Trump and the Republicans, who stand by him. And I, for one, intend to never let them forget about it.

In other news, I don’t give a fuck of that CEO of Goya apologizes. If he did, he wouldn’t mean it. It’s 2020- everybody knows who Trump is, so he didn’t misspeak of get excited and have a bout of logorrhea. He said what he meant. He’s just like Trump- the failchild of billionaires who thinks the world owes him everything, and he and Trump are in the same fucking club. So fuck him and fuck Goya brands.

Speaking of Goya, I used my last back of kidney beans tonight making chili out of the brisket left over from last weekend, and god damned it was good. I didn’t know what to do with the leftovers, and then it was 100 fucking degrees for the last three days so I figured I might as well eat like a Texan.

That’s it from home crap home. Starting my first run of kraut and pickles tomorrow. Excited about that. Gotta be prepared for when the supply chains and economy collapse in a couple months.

The post Of Course He Fucking Pardoned Stone appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

Dean Of Canterbury's Cat Interrupts Online Prayer Service

Crooks and Liars - Fri, 07/10/2020 - 23:00

(h/t Capper) Tiger owns all the milk at the Deanery. The Independent (UK):

A cat has been caught on camera drinking some of a vicar’s milk during an online prayer service...

Dr Willis ignored Tiger for the first few seconds until interrupting his service to apologize to viewers.

“Sorry, we’ve acquired a friend this morning,” he said.

Tiger is one of four cats at the Deanery.

Of COURSE he is. And it's not the first time a cat has interrupted the online services...

[embed eid="41237" /]

Open thread below...

Categories: Politics

Why Did Trump Commute Roger Stone’s Sentence Instead of Pardoning Him?

Kevin Drum - Fri, 07/10/2020 - 22:17

President Trump has come through for his crooked pal Roger Stone:

President Trump commuted the sentence of his longtime confidant Roger Stone on Friday, using the extensive powers of the presidency to protect a felon and political ally while also lashing out against a years-long probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

….While the 643-word statement recited a litany of Trump supporters’ complaints about Stone’s “unfair prosecution, arrest, and trial” — including several complaints about the media — the commutation leaves Stone’s conviction standing. Unlike a pardon, which would have absolved the GOP operative of any wrongdoing, the White House action only lifted Stone’s punishment, a 40-month prison sentence set to begin Tuesday.

That’s kind of a drag for Stone. Why the second-class treatment of a commutation instead of a pardon? Wasn’t Stone important enough for a pardon?

But wait. Someone who gets a pardon can no longer invoke the Fifth Amendment as a justification for refusing to testify in court. If Stone were called in some other case, he’d be required to spill any beans he had. But if I understand the law correctly, a commutation is more limited. The conviction stands, and the possibility of putting yourself in further jeopardy remains. Thus your Fifth Amendment rights stand.

So if you wanted to help out a buddy, but you also wanted to make sure he couldn’t be forced to provide dangerous testimony in the future, commutation sure seems like the best bet, doesn’t it?

Categories: Politics

On The Road After Dark – otmar – Festung Hohensalzburg (2/2)

Balloon Juice - Fri, 07/10/2020 - 22:00

As you will see, otmar appears to be a man of few words in his introduction this evening :-) but Part 1 was just this morning, so hopefully we all remember where we are!

It’s the end of our first of two weeks of On the Road After Dark, where we are catching up on some of the submissions that were waiting in the wings during On the Road Virgins week. (Perpetual h/t Baud.)  Once you’ve finished talking about the photos, I would love to hear your thoughts about After Dark.

Is it too much having two OTRs in a day, or is this a good way to handle the scheduling delays when we have On the Road Virgins week?  Personally, I have loved the submissions from new people and I’m thinking that I’d like to do a regular Virgins week once a month to encourage new people to submit.  All feedback welcome, once you have given otmar and his photos their due. ~WaterGirl


This continues my last submission.

The post On The Road After Dark – otmar – Festung Hohensalzburg (2/2) appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

Roger Stone Sentence Commuted

Balloon Juice - Fri, 07/10/2020 - 20:24

By request.  I just got a phone call – Trump Commuted Roger Stone’s sentence.

Is this the mother of all Friday night news dumps?

Trump commutes sentence of confidant Roger Stone. He was set to go to prison July 14 for lying to Congress and witness tampering.

The post Roger Stone Sentence Commuted appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

BREAKING: Donald 'Law And Order' Trump Commutes Roger Stone's Sentence

Crooks and Liars - Fri, 07/10/2020 - 20:18

We all knew it was coming.

Donald Trump, the most vile, despicable, most corrupt person to ever hold the office of the Presidency did it - he used the power of his office to reward a political ally in the most grotestque and reprehensible way possible.

At 8pm on Friday night Donald Trump officially commuted the 40 month prison sentence of Roger Stone, his long time friend and political ally.

Here is the tweet with the grant of clemency:

Twitter BLEW UP, as did we all:

Categories: Politics

Voting Rights Roundup: Conservative judges deal twin setbacks to democracy in two Wisconsin cases

Daily Kos - Fri, 07/10/2020 - 19:53
Leading Off

Wisconsin: Conservative judges in two separate Wisconsin cases decided in the last two weeks have handed down decisions reinforcing Republican efforts to entrench themselves in power and leaving Democrats with little recourse to reform the status quo.

On Thursday, Wisconsin's conservative-dominated Supreme Court ruled largely along ideological lines to uphold nearly all of the power grabs that Republican legislators passed in a 2018 lame-duck session to strip Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and state Attorney General Josh Kaul of their powers before they took office after they defeated Republican incumbents that year. Because GOP gerrymandering resulted in Republicans winning sizable legislative majorities in the midterms even though Democrats won more votes, Democrats were unable to repeal these power grabs under Evers.

A week earlier, a panel of three judges on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a challenge to the GOP's voter ID law, reinstated cuts to early voting, and reactivated multiple other voting restrictions that Republican legislators had passed earlier this past decade that lower courts had suspended. The judges took more than three years since the case was argued to release their decision, giving no explanation for a delay that legal experts called "shocking."

Categories: Politics

Cheers and Jeers: Rum and Social Distancing FRIDAY!

Daily Kos - Fri, 07/10/2020 - 19:35

Late Night Snark: 

"Donald Trump's niece Mary Trump is releasing a tell-all book about the president which is already selling very well. And she just announced that she's working on a series of children's books about the president, including Horton Withdraws from W.H.O.,  The Taking Tree, Cloudy with a Chance of White Supremacy, and Goodnight, Mooch."
—Billy Eichner, guest hosting on Jimmy Kimmel Live

"Hug your kids. Learn from Fred Trump’s mistakes."
—Samantha Bee


Categories: Politics

Mass Outbreak At Christian Summer Camp

Crooks and Liars - Fri, 07/10/2020 - 19:00

I guess none of us should be surprised this happened at a Christian Academy.

Source: NBC News

When Kanakuk Kamps, a prominent network of Christian camps in Missouri, opened their five overnight camps on May 30, parents could feel assured by what they read in camp materials that protocols were organized, and in place, to keep children and staff safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Then, on June 26, families were notified by mass-email that the camp known as “K-2,” in Lampe, had two positive cases. Two days later the number was 42. Then 82. The Stone County Health Department is monitoring the outbreak, but the people really forced to deal with the fallout are the families themselves.

Like other sleep-away camps around the country still open this summer, Kanakuk had recommended pre-camp quarantine, a form of social distancing on site, enhanced sanitation practices, daily temperature checks and custom face coverings provided for campers. But it’s impossible to plan for a cluster. In Texas, the Pine Cove Camp also experienced a smaller outbreak this week and announced it would be closing for some sessions.

Categories: Politics

Now This Is A Job Eval…

Balloon Juice - Fri, 07/10/2020 - 18:45

How about a guy officially deemed “unreliable, irresponsible, immature, unwilling to accept authority…[who] has evidenced no  desire…to be assigned to any specific job assignment…?”

Which is to say thanks to old friend and lovely (and important) science writer Steve Silberman, I was led to a genuinely tasty military file, of which this is a sample:

The Patron Saint of Jackalry...

And who is this recruit Jerome?

That would be this guy:

Can you imagine being Jerry Garcia’s drill sergeant?

This thread: it is open.


The post Now This Is A Job Eval… appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

The biggest problem with reopening schools safely is we don't actually know what's safe

Daily Kos - Fri, 07/10/2020 - 18:31

As Donald Trump makes his relentlessly uninformed push to reopen schools at any cost, one of the biggest problems facing school communities and parents who will be making those decisions is the lack of "gold standard" research on how coronavirus affects kids.

As Jackie Flynn Mogensen of Mother Jones points out, a plethora of questions remain unanswered about kids' transmissibility of the virus (are they as easily infected and are they as infectious as adults?), how COVID-19 ultimately manifests in kids, and why a small number of children have developed a potentially deadly inflammatory disease after contracting the virus. 

Categories: Politics