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Shelter From the Storm: One Last Chance to Blow it Out

Like many of you, I have been on edge for days. I don't know what is going to happen. No one does. Watching Donald Trump's rallies this weekend, with lie after lie on everything from COVID to the economy to why minorities should love him, and watching them mindlessly cheer him, leaves me little hope.

And there's Biden, with no charisma at all. Only die hard Democrats and Trump haters will come out for him.

I do believe one of them will win decisively and we will have a winner in short order, although perhaps not on Tuesday night.

And a special Bronx cheer for the idiot son of Donald Trump who said on Fox on Thursday that Covid-deaths have been declining to almost nothing. The very day he said that, more than 1,000 Americans died.

The horrendous storm created by Donald Trump in all his infamy better end soon. The toll to the United States if he is not dethroned decisively is unimaginable.

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Trump Chief of Staff: We Can't Control Coronavirus

Mark Meadows, Donald Trump's Chief of Staff, made quite the admission Sunday when he said during an interview that the U.S. can't control the coronavirus.

The numbers are getting grimmer by the day: Yesterday, the total number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. hit 8,575,000. Deaths now exceed 224,000.

Several states are running out of hospital rooms. More than 41,000 people are currently hospitalized for COVID-19.

Donald Trump has run this country into the ground with his ineffectiveness and lack of ability to prepare for and meet emergencies. If he is re-elected, Americans have only themselves to blame.

We get the government we elect. VOTE!

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Thursday Open Thread

I can't wait until Donald Trump is no longer headline news. I'd also like to believe that there will come a day when those over 65 are released from COVID-19 house arrest.

Here is a new open thread, all topics welcome.

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The Path to Victory: Biden v. Trump

95% of the time I think the election will be a slam-dunk for Biden and a decisive rejection of Donald Trump. But then, I think of all the millionaires and billionaires exercising their clout for Trump, and the unknown faction -- the number of marginalized, unhappy, under-informed lost souls out there somewhere in rural America, and I wonder, could they bring the election home for Trump?

The Wall St. Journal today has a "path to victory" chart in which you can move the battleground states into either candidate's column to see how they can reach 270 electoral votes. (Note: Paywall, but I think the NY Times had a similar feature a few weeks ago).

Biden starts way ahead of Trump with 226 electoral votes to Trump's 165. But, Florida is big, with 29 E.V. and Texas has 38. PA, Ohio and MI are next with 20, 18, and 16. Personally, I think Biden will take Florida, but even if he does, Trump could still win. For example, if the only undecideds Biden takes are FL, IA and NV.

Biden has the edge, and I hope he trounces Trump in a landslide, so Trump can never claim his legacy is anything but the failure that it is. [More...]

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Trump Loses Another Court Battle on Release of Taxes

Donald Trump loses once again, this time in the Second Circuit appeals court which upheld the refusal of the trail court to quash subpoenas in New York state investigation of Trump wronging.

The decision is Trump v. Cyrusr, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 31772 and is available free here.

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Debate: Grandpa vs the Grifter

CNN has the worst talking heads for the debate: Van Jones, former Republican Senator Rick Santorum. What hole did they find Santorum in?

I'm changing the channel.

I wonder who prepped Donald. If it's Jared , and Trump did as bad as he did in Tulsa, I wonder if he'll be sent packing finally.

Some other CNN commentator just said this will be an evenly matched debate. Seriously?

I'm going to listen in the car while getting groceries. I have three words for Donald Trump.


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R.I.P. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away today from complications of pancreatic cancer.

Ginsburg had experienced a series of health issues. In July she disclosed she had a recurrence of cancer after bouts with pancreatic cancer in 2019 and 2009. She also survived bouts with lung cancer in 2018 and colon cancer in 1999.

Tonight is the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. According to Jewish wisdom (called Midrash), a person who dies on Rosh Hashanah is a tzaddik, a person of great righteousness and justice.

when a tzaddik departs, then the "glory (hod), splendor (ziv), and beauty (hadar)" that infuse his being accompany him as he moves on. There is a profound feeling of gratitude for the gifts the tzaddik bestowed upon the community while he was present. At the same time, there is an unavoidable and genuine sense of loss that marks his departure.

The politics of replacement have already begun. But for today, let us all remember she was indeed a Champion of Justice. May she rest in peace.

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Labor Day Weekend Open Thread

The Rolling Stones and Axl Rose of Guns 'N Roses singing "Salt of the Earth." It's my favorite song for Labor Day.

Below is one of my favorite sculptures. It is in downtown Omaha, at the Lewis & Clark landing, along Omaha's Missouri River Walkway. Created by Matthew Placzek, it is the second-largest labor monument in the U.S.. Two-hundred-fifty tons of cement and 39,000 pounds of steel were used in its construction.

Larger version here. If you are ever in downtown Omaha, I highly recommend seeing it up close. The trail that leads to it is right by most of the major downtown hotels.

Enjoy the weekend everyone and if you are going out, please avoid large crowds.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Cocaine and RNC Are Trending on Twitter

The Talking Heads, Living in Wartime, 1983

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco,
This ain't no fooling around No time for dancing, or lovey dovey, I ain't got time for that now

Could have fooled me. Don, Jr and Kimberly were wound so tight last night, they could have jumped right into the video and given David Byrne and the Talking Heads a run for their money.

When was the last time you saw cocaine trending on Twitter? Answer: Last night, after the RNC aired the pre-taped speeches of Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend, Trump National Finance Committee chair Kimberly Guilfoyle (formerly Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsome, a San Francisco prosecutor, wife of Gavin Newsome and more recently Fox News legal analyst),. I didn't watch but the comments and reactions on Twitter are hilarious -- many are laugh out loud funny.

Kimberly shrieked out her speech to the empty hall at the top of her lung. Even Republicans were asking why she was hollering at them. And dozens or hundreds of people commented that Trump Jr.'s eyes and demeanor looked like he had snorted too much cocaine in before they took the stage. Both of their speeches were pretaped, and one does wonder, where were the editors and monitors? Why didn't they step in?

Check out this twitter feed of Brian Tyler Cohen. I had never heard of him before, but there's a blue check mark next to his name which means he is who he says he is -- a political host on You Tube and the former managing editor of Occupy Democrats. Here are three of his tweets with a lot of funny comments posted in response: [More...]

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KellyAnne and George Take a Break to Parent

KellyAnne Conway is leaving her job working for Donald Trump to attend to her children, one of whom announced on TikTok this weekend that she would be seeking early emancipation. The daughter cannot stand that her mother works for Donald Trump. But she says her father, for different reasons, is no better. Her father, George Conway, announced he will be stepping down from the Lincoln Project and from Twitter. [More...]

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Steve Bannon and Others Charged In Border Wall Funding Scheme

Steve Bannon, Brian Kolfage, an Iraq war vet who happens to be a triple amputee, a man named Timothy Shea from Castle Rock, Colorado and a man named Andrew Badolato have been charged in federal court in Manhattan with fraud offenses and money laundering for a scheme to raise funds for a privately built section of Trump's border wall, during which they collected millions of dollars.

“As alleged, the defendants defrauded hundreds of thousands of donors, capitalizing on their interest in funding a border wall to raise millions of dollars, under the false pretense that all of that money would be spent on construction. While repeatedly assuring donors that Brian Kolfage, the founder and public face of We Build the Wall, would not be paid a cent, the defendants secretly schemed to pass hundreds of thousands of dollars to Kolfage, which he used to fund his lavish lifestyle. ....

“The defendants allegedly engaged in fraud when they misrepresented the true use of donated funds. As alleged, not only did they lie to donors, they schemed to hide their misappropriation of funds by creating sham invoices and accounts to launder donations and cover up their crimes, showing no regard for the law or the truth.

This case should serve as a warning to other fraudsters that no one is above the law, not even a disabled war veteran or a millionaire political strategist.”

The Indictment is here. [More...]

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Obama and Kamala Score Huge

President Obama was terrific for his take-down of Donald Trump.

But Kamala Harris was the star of the night. Her demeanor was impeccable. With her facial expressions, she made us feel like she was talking to each one of us. She was so believable, so self-assured, so happy to be there, so (justly) proud.

Kudos, Kamala. I hope you win.

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Herman Cain Dies of CoronaVirus

Herman Cain got the "Tulsa Virus" two weeks after attending Trump's rally in Tulsa. After a month in the hospital, he has died. RIP, Mr. Cain.

Cain did not wear a mask at the rally. Masks and sanitizers were reportedly available but not mandatory. The article has a photo he posted on his Twitter feed sitting with a group of people, smiling, and none are wearing masks.

Cain was a four time cancer survivor and former contender for the Republican nomination for President.

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Thursday Open Thread

There's Covid, Covid and Covid news, never-ending, always spreading. California has not outpaced New York as the state with the largest number of infections.

Michael Cohen will be going home to be placed on home confinement again. The judge in his ruled the book restriction was retaliation.

Hellerstein in ordering Cohen’s release, said that he found that “the purpose of transferring Mr. Cohen from furlough and home confinement to jail is retaliatory, and it’s retaliatory because of his desire to exercise his First Amendment rights to publish a book and discuss anything about the book or anything else he wants on social media and others.”

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Trump Interview on Coronavirus, Schools and More

Fox News' Chris Wallace interviewed Donald Trump today. Here are the top 4 minutes.

Here's the Washington Post's account of the entire interview

Trump says he is implementing a new health care plan within two weeks, and an immigration plan as the Supreme Court gave him the authorization.

He also would not commit to accepting the election results if Biden won.

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