43 thoughts on “News/Politics 10-31-20

  1. There they go again….


    “Merkel Puts Germany Into Second Coronavirus Lockdown

    Merkel: “We are in a very serious situation.”

    “German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday imposed a four-week Wuhan coronavirus lockdown across the country, claiming “human lives depend on it.” Germany’s state media described the move as “lockdown-lite” in which schools shall remain open, but restaurants would be closed and public event banned. The measures, set to take effect on Monday, are the toughest since Germany began easing the lockdown in May.

    The announcement comes as Germany, along with many European countries, saw a resurgence of the Chinese virus in recent weeks. On Thursday, the country reported more than 16,700 news cases of the pandemic, setting a daily record since the virus first appeared late last year. “We are in a very serious situation,” Merkel told reporters. “We must act, and now, to avoid an acute national health emergency.””


    New Germany is threatening to do the same.


    “NJ governor on coronavirus lockdown: ‘If we have to shut the whole place down we will'”

    “As COVID-19 numbers continue to spike across the U.S., New Jersey became the first state to mandate safety protocols to protect workers from the coronavirus.

    “We can’t wait any longer,” New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy tells Yahoo Finance. “We’re doing it now, frankly, because the federal government should be doing it, and they haven’t done it.”

    The executive order goes into effect at 6 a.m. on Nov. 5. It requires employers in both the public and private sector to, among other things, conduct daily health checks of workers, such as temperature screenings and visual symptom checking. Employers must also notify workers when there is possible exposure to the virus and provide them with breaks throughout the day to wash their hands.

    A rise of coronavirus cases in some of New Jersey’s most densely populated cities has pushed the state total to over 236,000 cases and 16,332 deaths. Newark, Hoboken and Paterson have issued curfews for non-essential businesses to close early each day.”


    Note that this spike is worldwide, so Dem efforts to tie the increase here to Trump ring hollow.


  2. Oh goody.


    “Study finds brain abnormalities ‘common’ in COVID-19 patients”

    “A new study is shedding light on how COVID-19 is disrupting normal brain function in infected patients.

    Researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine reviewed 84 studies involving more than 600 patients who had been diagnosed with COVID-19. The median age was 61, and two-thirds of the patients were men, while one-third were women. The study’s authors examined the results of patients’ electroencephalograms — known as EEGs, the tests detect abnormalities in brain waves, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine — and found that brain abnormalities in COVID-19 patients were “common.”

    “Diffuse slowing of the brainwaves was the most common finding, which suggests that the brain is not working as good as it usually does,” Dr. Zulfi Haneef, co-author of the study and an assistant professor of neurology and neurophysiology at Baylor College of Medicine, tells Yahoo Life.

    In addition, “older males seem more susceptible to brainwave changes,” says Haneef. This dovetails with recent research that reveals the virus is more deadly in older populations and in men.

    The most common reason doctors in the studies ordered EEGs was for COVID-19 patients with “altered mental capacity,” explains Haneef, such as not being “fully conscious, not answering appropriately, or general slowness” of mental activity, followed by seizure-like events.”


  3. Not. Going. Away.


    “TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: It’s been obvious for decades now that the Biden family has gotten rich from selling influence abroad. Joe Biden held a series of high level jobs in the U.S. government. Based on that fact and that fact alone, Biden’s son and brother approached foreign governments and companies, sovereign wealth funds, energy conglomerates, Third World oligarchs and dictators, and they offered to exchange favors from Joe Biden for cash.

    The polite term for that practice is influence-peddling. Sometimes it is legal under American law, sometimes it is not. But it has always been the economic engine of the Biden family. They’ve never done anything else. Until recently, no one debated this fact. Several liberal news organizations, in fact, have written detailed stories about the Biden secret business dealings over the years. Look them up, assuming you still can.

    It’s only since Joe Biden received the Democratic nomination that anyone in the media has claimed otherwise. This week, we introduced you to one of the Biden family’s former business partners, a man called Tony Bobulinski. Bobulinski confirmed more conclusively than anyone ever has what the Bidens have been doing.”


    Not only have at least 4 people verified some of the emails they were on did come from Hunter, at least one Dem is standing up for the whistleblower.


  4. More….


    “Democratic congressman tells ex-Hunter Biden associate Bobulinski he’d defend him over ‘partisan hack’ claim

    Donor records show that Bobulinski has contributed money to Democrats — including Rep. Ro Khanna”

    “Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna told Hunter Biden’s former business associate Tony Bobulinski in a new message that he would defend him against claims that he is a “partisan hack” in the wake of his claims about the Biden family’s business ventures, according to an email obtained by Fox News.

    Bobulinski — who says he was once involved in a joint-business venture with Hunter Biden and Jim Biden — has come forward with documents, including emails and text messages, claiming that he met twice with former Vice President Joe Biden. Those claims conflict with the Democratic nominee’s statements that he has had no involvement with, or discussions about, his family’s overseas business ventures.

    Critics have slammed Bobulinski for going public with the accusations and documents — with some accusing him of being a partisan of trying to take down Biden — but the businessman has maintained that the “American people should be demanding that this is investigated.”

    Donor records show that Bobulinski has contributed money to Democrats — including multiple times to Khanna, a California lawmaker, since 2013.”


  5. What a joke.

    Set up a false straw man story, then knock it down. This is NBC journalism 2020.

    They just want to confuse easily confused Democrats.


    “NBC News debunks old Hunter Biden non-story to distract from real story of influence peddling

    NBC News playing the equivalent of three-card monte.”


    “The document, a 64-page composition that was later disseminated by close associates of President Donald Trump, appears to be the work of a fake “intelligence firm” called Typhoon Investigations, according to researchers and public documents.

    The author of the document, a self-identified Swiss security analyst named Martin Aspen, is a fabricated identity, according to analysis by disinformation researchers, who also concluded that Aspen’s profile picture was created with an artificial intelligence face generator. The intelligence firm that Aspen lists as his previous employer said that no one by that name had ever worked for the company and that no one by that name lives in Switzerland, according to public records and social media searches.

    My first reaction was that I had never heard of the 64-page document, which is strange since I follow these things and it supposedly went viral. I also picked up on the detail that this document was a month before the Hunter Biden documents from the laptop which is what we are all focused on.

    Deeper down in the story, if you read that far, NBC News made clear that this dossier has nothing to do with the Hunter Biden laptop story, other than both could hurt Joe Biden:

    The document and its spread have become part of a wider effort to smear Hunter Biden and weaken Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, which moved from the fringes of the internet to more mainstream conservative news outlets.

    An unverified leak of documents — including salacious pictures from what President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and a Delaware Apple repair store owner claimed to be Hunter Biden’s hard drive — were published in the New York Post on Oct. 14. Associates close to Trump, including Giuliani and former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, have promised more blockbuster leaks and secrets, which have yet to materialize.

    The fake intelligence document, however, preceded the leak by months, and it helped lay the groundwork among right-wing media for what would become a failed October surprise: a viral pile-on of conspiracy theories about Hunter Biden.

    Others who perhaps don’t follow the story closely, or who only read the headline, could reasonably conclude that the documents in question were the laptop documents. And that clearly was NBC News’ purpose — distracting people by focusing on a document no one was talking about and which never, as far as I can tell, actually went viral, in order to create the misimpression that the Hunter Biden laptop and Tony Bobulinski stories were disinformation.

    This is how dishonest NBC News is, debunking a non-story to distract from a real story of Biden family influence peddling.”


  6. ———-

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The campaign to neuter the WSJ Opinion Page.


    “Earlier this year, newsroom employees at the New York Times went to war with the paper’s opinion section for publishing an edgy op-ed by a Republican senator. Now the furor over coverage of the Joe Biden October surprise has many worried that a similar civil war between news and editorial is brewing at America’s largest, and arguably most respected, paper, The Wall Street Journal. The stakes are high. If the Journal’s conservative op-ed page is unable to hold out, it may be the death knell of conservative opinion in legacy media.

    By the time Americans first heard the name Tony Bobulinski last week, reporters at the Journal had been sitting on a trove of documents from him for 10 days. It was an open secret that a damaging Biden expose was in the works – President Trump tweeted about it – but then it never came.

    After days of waiting, Bobulinski, who was partnered with Hunter and Jim Biden in a 2016 prospective business deal with a Chinese conglomerate, started blasting out the documents purporting to support his claim Joe Biden was lying when he said he was unaware of his son and brother’s shady foreign dealings. Not only had Bobulinski met with Joe Biden to discuss these things, he said, he provided texts, emails, voicemails, and other evidence supporting his claims. Hunter Biden purportedly insisted on his father being cut in on the deal in the form of a financial stake that Hunter would secretly hold for him.

    Bobulinski gave a remarkable televised press conference detailing these accusations, and then the stories, mostly in the conservative press, started dropping. Perhaps the most notable one on the Bobulinski claims was written by WSJ opinion columnist Kim Strassel. Strassel noted that the allegations looked very bad for Biden, but her story was typically detailed and careful.

    A few hours after Bobulinski’s presser and Strassel’s story started making waves, however, the WSJ newsroom made the curious decision to finally publish its story on the matter, well after the exclusive had been squandered. To hear the mainstream media tell it, the WSJ news story on Bobulinski was a triumph of fact-based reporting over blinkered partisan spin.

    The headline at Business Insider read, “No evidence for Trump claim that Joe Biden earned money in China, according to the Wall Street Journal, contradicting its editorial section.” Jennifer Epstein, Bloomberg’s political reporter covering the Biden campaign, tweeted, “This article will run in tomorrow’s print WSJ, as will an opinion piece making claims that the article debunks.”

    Except the news story in no way contradicted or debunked Strassel’s column. The framing of the news story, however, was odd given the specific nature of the allegations. The subhead to the story read, “Former vice president says he had no involvement; corporate records reviewed by The Wall Street Journal show no role for Joe Biden.”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s always one sided.


    “Facebook is Making it Difficult for Pennsylvania Trump Supporters to Organize

    It’s *almost* like they want Trump to lose”

    “In case there was still any question as to where Big Tech’s loyalty lies…

    Not only is Silicon Valley dumping major dough into the 2020 election in the hopes of ousting Trump, but according to at least one report, social media behemoth Facebook has made it difficult for Trump supporters in Pennsylvania to organize. Coincidentally, Pennsylvania could be key in the upcoming election.

    Byron York reports at the Washington Examiner:

    It is hard to imagine the level of organizing that is currently going on without the social media giant.

    Yet, at the same time, the very people who are using Facebook to organize pro-Trump events in Pennsylvania are also chafing under Facebook’s restrictions on their ability to discuss politics with like-minded people in their own state and around the country.

    “Facebook shut me down twice in two days,” said Ed Kroupa of Penn Township, who is organizing Sunday’s turnpike rally. “They disabled my ability to share and post in other groups.” The Facebook crackdown happened after Kroupa posted articles that did not meet the approval of Facebook’s censors. And when, because of that, he was denied access to the site, that meant he was also denied the ability to organize as well. And that means there are times when he has no access to his main organizing tool. When I asked about events coming up in the next couple of days, Kroupa said, “I don’t know, I can’t get on Facebook right now.”

    Mike Destro and his friend Dan Sudsina organized the September rally, which attracted about 1,200 vehicles. They created a Facebook page called the Pro-Trump NHT Rally, with NHT standing for North Huntingdon Township. “Facebook was huge in [organizing] that,” Destro told me. “We would not have been able to get that many people involved in it if we had not had a platform like Facebook.”

    Now, Destro wants to keep the page going — it is a private group with 3,488 members — as a place where people can discuss the news. But he is constantly running into Facebook’s censorship. “I would love to go in there and start a discussion about the Hunter Biden emails,” Destro told me. “But Facebook is going to take those pages down.” Destro has also found that his members cannot mention the name of the man widely discussed as being the whistleblower in the complaint that led to President Trump’s impeachment. “You still can’t say it on Facebook,” Destro said.”


  9. AJ — Trafalgar wasn’t right in 2016. They actually overestimated Trump’s support. In Michigan they predicted Trump would win by 2.5%, he won by 0.3%. The RCP average in 2016 was 3.4% — there were individual pollsters who were closer to the actual results. In assessing their performance in 2016. most pollsters added level of education to the composition of their representative sample. Trafalgar and Susquehanna are still using the same “who is your neighbour voting for” as a corrective tool. They haven’t tried to improve their sampling from 4 years ago. And they work with agencies such as American Greatness and OAN who are biased toward Trump.

    Some polls tend to be Republican leaning (Rasmussen) and others lean Democratic (PPP), but there are others (FOX, NYT) who tend to be accurate. In Michigan PPP has Biden up by 10% and Trafalgar is 3% Trump. More reputable polls have Biden at 5-8%. The RCP average is 6%…if you apply the same error as 2016 you still have Biden winning by about 3%. In North Carolina, Rasmussen is polling at 1% for Trump — a pollster that is almost always 2-2.5% overestimating Republican votes. Reputable polls have Biden around 2-3%. Meanwhile in Texas, PPP has Biden at 2% but NYT has Trump at 4% — the latter is more accurate. PPP has a democratic bias.

    Trafalgar tends to survey older white rural voters over younger urban voters. Previous elections would lead pollsters to sample in favour of older voters but 2018 and 2020 has seen a rise in younger voting.


  10. If I understand it right, spreading false rumors for years has limited the right wing’s ability to appear truthful — ie they called wolf too many times and its now held against them. You can only point at squirrels for so long.

    Big Tech has no political aspirations other than to keep the gov’t away from their monopoly. Zuckerburg for one is an economic conservative. However, social media companies will take down anything they feel will harm their “brand” and as its their property, its their right. Hence the algorithms that flag accounts are strict. WWII Historians who share videos on Youtube will use the German Empire flag of WWI instead of the Nazi flag to avoid being flagged and shut down. With Facebook, people who administer a page need to be delete anything that will alert an algorithm as soon as possible.My guess in the case cited, the admin was too tolerate of messages left by members — thinking he would stand for free speech not realizing its private property and the owner can shut him down anytime.


  11. HRW, maybe you can answer this question. If a teacher had COVID and came through okay, should the school allow classes to start on campus if the teacher was willing to return to school to teach?

    You don’t have to personally answer this question, but to me, this seems like a reasonable way to handle education and the virus. Studies show kids generally fare okay if they get it. They stay home if they’re sick, just as with any other flu, and go to school when they’re well again.

    If the teacher is recovered, who is harmed? What is the issue?


  12. “If I understand it right, spreading false rumors for years has limited the right wing’s ability to appear truthful ”

    You obviously understand nothing. The ones lying and spreading false rumors for 4 years are Democrats. We didn’t forget who did what already.

    And you demonstrate that untruthfulness by even attempting that lie. We know who lied about what. Have you leftists no shame? The obvious answer is no, none.

    Stop gaslighting us. We know the truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Nice to see we’re no longer leave American hostages to die in 3rd world @#$%holes.


    “American hostage Philip Walton rescued in dramatic military operation: Officials

    Walton was abducted recently in Niger, where he had been living.”

    “An American citizen abducted last week in Niger has been rescued during a high-risk U.S. military raid in neighboring Nigeria, officials told ABC News early Saturday.

    The mission was undertaken by elite commandos as part of a major effort to free the U.S. citizen, Philip Walton, 27, before his abductors could get far after taking him captive in Niger on Oct. 26, counterterrorism officials told ABC News.

    The operation involved the governments of the U.S., Niger and Nigeria working together to rescue Walton quickly, sources said. The CIA provided intelligence leading to Walton’s whereabouts and Marine Special Operations elements in Africa helped locate him, a former U.S. official said.

    Then the elite SEAL Team Six carried out a “precision” hostage rescue mission and killed all but one of the seven captors, according to officials with direct knowledge about the operation.

    “They were all dead before they knew what happened,” another counterterrorism source with knowledge told ABC News.

    President Donald Trump called the rescue mission a “big win for our very elite U.S. Special Forces” in a tweet and the Pentagon lauded the rescue mission in a statement.

    “U.S. forces conducted a hostage rescue operation during the early hours of 31 October in Northern Nigeria to recover an American citizen held hostage by a group of armed men,” said Pentagon chief spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman. “This American citizen is safe and is now in the care of the U.S. Department of State. No U.S military personnel were injured during the operation.

    “We appreciate the support of our international partners in conducting this operation.”

    And Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: “Thanks to the extraordinary courage and capabilities of our military, the support of our intelligence professionals, and our diplomatic efforts, the hostage will be reunited with his family. We will never abandon any American taken hostage.””


    Thankfully, these aren’t the Obama years any longer. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Saw the same thing happening in DC and Chicago.

    No self control among the rioting crowd.


    “NYC businesses board up windows ahead of 2020 presidential election”

    “Manhattan business owners including Chanel and Levi’s boarded up their storefronts with plywood on Friday afternoon — as the NYPD warned of potential unrest as the presidential election draws near.

    Workers at retail shops in Soho, which were targeted by looters during unrest this summer, as well as shopkeepers near Washington Square Park were nailing up the wooden panels Friday afternoon.

    Police had warned shopkeepers in neighborhoods that are usual protest hotspots to take extra precautions before the election, a police official said.

    “The NYPD talked to many segments of the business community this week and advised that businesses in or in the area of location that have historically been protest targets, Washington Square and Union Square for example, and gave them advice to take extra precaution,” the official said.”


  15. You mad, Bro? 🤣😂🤣

    Some bad language in this….



  16. Poor Frank tripped over himself….



  17. Texas Republicans are running scared…apparently they have no shame trying to violently intimidate the other side. And in Harris County (Houston) they want to throw out 100, 000 votes cast in a drive through advance poll. If they are so confident…why the threat of violence and attempts at voter suppression? Do you really think trying to.intimidate an opponent is funny or ok? Thus isnt funny its bullying and close to.terrorism

    Meanwhile in North Carolina it looked like the 1950s as police pepper sprayed people marching to the polls

    In Colombus Ohio lines stretched for over a mile in African American neighbourhoods yet in white neighbourhoods voting took.only 5-10 mins. Voter suppression at its finest.

    If Republican pollsters are correct and the party so confident why the violence and suppression.


  18. The difference between Europe/Canada and the US in terms of the coronavirus is the US is in the middle of the third wave while the rest of the West is on the second wave. And of course their leaders aren’t holding mass rallies spreading the virus. Stanford Univ estimates 30, 000 cases and 700.deaths can be traced to.Trump rallies.


  19. AJ — my point was simple. The Republicans and the right have peddled in conspiracy stories for years. Currently NBC is accused of perhaps purposely confusing an already debunked right wing conspiracy story with current Hunter Biden email story. After crying wolf for so many years, the right is upset when their previously faked stories are confused with their yet to be debunked and perhaps truthful email story. You can’t make up stories and then expect the media to not only believe you later but also not use your fake stories against you. Whether this happens in reverse ie left wing conspiracy stories is beside the point. The right cried wolf so often that even FOX and the Wall Street Journal don’t believe them.


  20. Michelle,

    My board’s policy is fairly confusing so I hope it never applies to me. But as I understand it, if I have symptoms I am to stay home and arrange for a test (I have paid sick days so not a problem) . If I test negative and no longer have symptoms for 24 hours I can return to school. If a student has symptoms they are to stay home until they no longer have symptoms for 24 hours,

    If a student tests positive, the class continues to meet but if two students test positive, the class is closed and students and teacher are sent home. They can return after testing negative. The teacher is expected to continue teaching online with his/her class. (This is elementary policy)

    The beneficial thing I see is children staying home. In past years, parents would give their kids a Tylenol which would keep the fever etc down til noon and sent them to school, This allowed them to go to work. Smart parents gave their kids a second Tylenol in their lunch. Right now, parents are being more cautious and their employers are more lenient with the sick leave.

    the long term effects of Covid are still being debated — is it just the flu or are there some long term effects?


  21. HRW….

    Well, move when ordered to by police. Simple, and nobody gets tear gassed.


    “Do you really think trying to.intimidate an opponent is funny or ok? Thus isnt funny its bullying and close to.terrorism”

    Now suddenly this woories you? Where was your outrage as Trump supporters were beaten and bludgeoned all summer long? How about the intimidation of diners just trying to have a meal? No outrage for that?

    No, because your outrage is selective, and it’s phony.

    Joe best run back to his basement to hide. If 50 Trump supporters in pick up trucks can throw him off his game like this, he stands no chance against real bad guys. Wuss.


  22. AJ, you haven’t posted a link to those CDC numbers, so I can’t readily check them out, but clearly they don’t make sense. Is the 99.99% figure in a certain limited time period and for a certain age range (say the month of September for those under 50)? Obviously if all people are included in the first number, it is an actual contradiction with the second number (unless old people are being shielded from getting the virus at all). In addition, a 1/10,000 death rate is so low as to be highly improbable based on the severity of the illness for so many people.


  23. Cheryl,

    The CDC web site is a jumble of info. You’re welcome to search it out on their site if you like.


    Other sources back the numbers above.


    “CDC shows COVID-19 has high survival rate; doctor still wants to see precautions taken
    A CDC update Wednesday says individuals are more likely to survive the coronavirus after contracting it. The health agency says if you have the virus between the ages of 0 to 70, you have a 99% survival rate. And if you’re over 70, the survival rate is nearly 95%.

    While this CDC update is a relief for many, doctors are extremely worried, and an NCH Healthcare System doctor hopes you still take precautions.

    “My first thoughts are, ‘This is what I thought all along,’” said Pam Pischner, the owner of Grouper and Chips.

    Pischner says she’s glad the CDC released the percentages.

    “It will make people not so fearful,” Pischner said. “Get over the fear.”

    Gov. Ron DeSantis also tweeted about the update, saying people in the age groups of 0 to 19 have a 99.997% chance of survival if they contract COVID-19, the age group of 20 to 49 a 99.98% chance, 50 to 69 years old 99.5% and 70 years old and above a 94.6% chance.”


  24. “Move when ordered by police…..” sounds familiar, did they say that in Selma or Little Rock?

    Trump supporters were beaten and bludgeoned all summer?? I must have missed it amid all the riots and police brutality of the summer. The only Trump supporters I saw this summer were armed men trying to instigate confrontations between police and demonstrators — including the man who started a fire at a Minneapolis police station.

    Admittedly annoying people at a restaurant is improper but its not in the same league as threatening to ram people with a truck with armed passengers. Nor is this a tactic encouraged by the Democratic leadership Armed intimidation is a third world electoral tactic not usually encouraged or sanctioned in western first world democracy.

    “Wuss” — is this professional wrestling? In the real adult world strength is projected in a far different manner.


  25. Do the math.

    230thousand deaths out of 9.2million cases. That’s .025, or 2.5%. That’s it. Across all age groups, the average would be 2.5%, so the numbers above certainly appear to be accurate. When broken down by age groups, it’s actually less than a %, unless you’re over 70.


  26. An interesting editorial … my conservative editor friend now thinks Trump will/may pull it out.



    The man and the record

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette logo
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    “He’s unpresidential.”

    “He’s crude and unkind.”

    “He’s just not a good man.”

    These things, and much worse, are commonly said of President Donald Trump. His personality totally eclipses his record.

    So we, seemingly, have him on the dunk tank, ready for a very cold bath.

    Let’s play dump the lout.

    But is this really what it’s about?

    Isn’t the real question whether he has been taking the country, and the economy of this region, in the right direction these last four years?

    Can we separate the man from the record?

    We share the embarrassment of millions of Americans who are disturbed by the president’s unpresidential manners and character — his rudeness and put-downs and bragging and bending of the truth.

    None of this can be justified. The president’s behavior often has diminished his presidency, and the presidency. Most Americans want a president who makes them proud.

    We too prefer the first-class temperament and demeanor of a Winston Churchill, a Dwight Eisenhower, a Franklin Roosevelt, a Ronald Reagan, or a Barack Obama (whom this newspaper enthusiastically supported in 2008 and 2012). None of them are on the ballot this year. …

    … Under Donald Trump the economy, pre-COVID, boomed, like no time since the 1950s. Look at your 401(k) over the past three years.

    Unemployment for Black Americans is lower than it has ever been, under any president of either party.

    Under Mr. Trump, our trade relationships have vastly improved and our trade deals have been rewritten. Thanks to him, middle America is on the map again and the Appalachian and hourly worker has some hope.

    Has Mr. Trump done enough for these struggling fellow citizens? No. But he recognized them. Maybe he was not articulate, but he recognized their pain.

    No one ever asked the American people, or the people in “flyover,” country, if they wanted to send their jobs abroad — until Mr. Trump. He has moved the debate, in both parties, from free trade, totally unfettered, to managed, or fair, trade. He has put America first, just as he said he would.

    He also kept his promise to appoint originalists to the Supreme Court of the United States. His third appointment, Amy Coney Barrett, is the best of all — a jurist whose mind and character and scholarship ARE first class. We hope she stands against both judicial and executive excess. …

    … He is not a unifier. He often acts like the president of his base, not the whole country. He has done nothing to lessen our divisions and has, in fact, often deepened them. The convictions and intellect of all Americans should be respected by ALL Americans, especially the president.

    Has Mr. Trump handled the pandemic perfectly? No. But no one masters a pandemic. And the president was and is right that we must not cower before the disease and we have to keep America open and working.

    He has not listened well to people who could have helped him. He has not learned government, or shown interest in doing so.

    But the Biden-Harris ticket offers us higher taxes and a nanny state that will bow to the bullies and the woke who would tear down history rather than learning from history and building up the country. …

    … Mr. Biden is too old for the job, and fragile. There is a very real chance he will not make it through the term. Mr. Trump is also too old but seemingly robust. But in Mike Pence, Mr. Trump has a vice president ready to take over, if need be. He is a safe pair of hands. Sen. Kamala Harris gives no evidence of being ready to be president.

    This newspaper has not supported a Republican for president since 1972. But we believe Mr. Trump, for all his faults, is the better choice this year. We respect and understand those who feel otherwise. We wish that we could be more enthusiastic and we hope the president can become more dignified and statesmanlike. Each American must make up his or her own mind and do what he or she thinks is best for the community and the republic. Vote your conscience. And, whatever happens, believe in the country.


  27. The PPG Editorial Board sure mischaracterizes the character of one Barack Obama. However, kudos to them for seeing the handwriting on the wall.

    The popular vote will be fairly close, but it will be an electoral landslide for President Trump…


  28. I usually look at this site https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ for covid numbers. They have an overall death rate at 3% and at 4% for the US. This is based on cases with an outcome — 6 million cases with 230 000 deaths. US death rates are higher than most of the western world (outside of Spain and Belgium). I wonder how much Trump rallies are responsible for the extra 1%. As I posted earlier, Trump rallies are said to be responsible for 30 000 cases and 700 deaths.


  29. Interesting editorial; not sure how important newspaper endorsements are these days esp with young people and advance voting. Not sure their record of endorsing democrats means anything if the editorial board has changed in the last four years.

    DJ, curious — In recent Canadian elections editorial independence has disappeared and the major corporations — PostMedia and Quebecor — who own almost all major dailies have forced editors to endorse the Conservative party. I know the Sinclair group in the US has similar policies — how free are editors in their endorsement?

    They could’ve given Obama more credit for the economy that Trump inherited. Trump’s economic and trade policies have had mixed results. Perhaps Pittsburgh has benefited but in Iowa its been the opposite — the Midwest Republican vote has become weak — Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, and especially Iowa (soybeans and corn) have seen a decline in Republican support because of a decline in farming income.

    They admit he’s decisive — shouldn’t that be enough to dismiss him. A president who has no interest in half the nation is probably not a good canidate.

    As for Harris vs Pence, I’m not sure how Pence comes out ahead. Both are heavily experienced but Harris appears to a more take charge and get things done person. She’s too right wing for me but I’ve been impressed with her knowledge and leadership.

    Finally — a historian rant— Winston Churchill did not have temperament and demeanor as the others mentioned. Prior to WWII, Churchill was known as a brash, xenophobic alcoholic who was rejected by both Liberals and Conservatives and exiled to the backbenches. Australia and NZ still haven’t forgotten how his incompetence led to unnecessary troop deaths in WWI. WWII historians are divided on Churchill’s role — was he an orator, strategic mastermind, etc or a loudmouth drunk who rambled and was ignored by the generals due to some off beat ideas. For one thing, his speeches were long winded drunk rambling and ignored until they were edited and rerun during the news; the editing made him famous as an orator.


  30. Tychicus,

    There’s no doubt Biden will win the popular vote — Clinton won by 3 million votes, with increased turnout and a more likable candidate Biden could double that. As for the electoral college I have Biden 261 to Trump 120 with 157 toss ups. Its tightened up in Penn but also in Montana. The numbers are exactly the same but reversed — 5% lead with Biden or Trump at 50%. Its local party officials ability to get out the vote which will make the difference. In Butler, Penn, and Omaha, local Republican organizers didnt organize shuttle buses to parking lots after rallies leaving Trump supporters to freeze for hours and in Nebraska some even suffered frostbit. If that is an example of local organizing ability the Republicans will be in trouble.

    btw Reald Clear no toss up map is 368 to 170; I think it will be closer — can’t see Georgia and Ohio going for Biden and I wouldn’t predict Florida for anyone.


  31. Michelle — actually studies have been done. They have found that BLM protests either had no effect on covid spread or actually had a lowered effect on overall covid spread.

    They cite outdoor weather, constant marching/movement, high majority of participants wearing masks, and little interaction outside of the march. Since BLM protests and riots scared others to stay inside at home, the protests may have lowered the spread.

    The difference between BLM and Trump rallies —

    movement and spaced apart vs stationary closely packed audiences
    outdoor in the street vs outdoor seating or cordoned areas
    mask wearing vs very little mask wearing

    no indoor activities (unless arrested and jails were superspreader events)

    vs indoor facilities ie washrooms, snack bar and kiosks (even if located
    outside it encourages standing still, and shared use; porta-potties are
    diseased infected at the best of times)

    Here’s the studies I found ( I didn’t read them just the summaries and scrolled through to the graphs);

    Click to access w27408.pdf

    Click to access COVID19%20CONSORTIUM%20REPORT%2010%20PROTEST%20AUGUST%202020.pdf

    In comparing these two we must also take into consideration we are comparing the behavior of a political party and its candidate to the behavior of street protesters. Biden has been far more responsible than Trump in terms of keeping his supporters healthy.


  32. Wow — I’m sorry. Did not mean for that to happen. AJ if you can delete the links.
    Here’s the articles where I found the links to the studies

    Scroll down to you find a link that says “paper” — about a third of the way in the article


    The first link in the article will bring you to the study


  33. Haha, wow HRW, that’s longer than my post a couple months ago that unintentionally printed out all 10 or so pages of our pastor’s sermon notes that week. Very impressive.

    I wouldn’t say “papers” (or news-site) editorials so much influence voters with editorials as they may be reflecting some trends which this one, being something of an outlier to say the least, may be forecasting. I think the editorial may hold some sway in PA.

    My former editor who is a close political trend-watcher, for one, believes the tide may be turning this weekend in favor of Trump, that “if trump takes Pennsylvania, it’s probably over. He already has Ohio and Iowa. Florida and NC and Arizona are swinging his way. He looks better in Michigan, but doesn’t even need it if he takes Pennsylvania.”


  34. And I’ll say also that I know quite a few conservatives who express pretty much the same view about Trump as does that editorial.

    He’s a blowhard, is annoyingly obnoxious, he’s not a ‘good’ or admirable person. But on the issues he’s been a reliable friend on some key issues — while the other side, this time, represents what could be a radical departure that would push the country significantly to the left.


  35. DJ — I don’t see Biden/Harris as a move left. Both are fairly centrists — will there some influence from the Sanders/Warren faction? perhaps but not much different than Tea Party in the Republican party. Look at it as balancing the political spectrum.

    Pennsylvania has been the key state ever since the race began. Right now its 4-5% in favor of Biden — this is about 2-3% less than a month ago but still above the margin of error and also above the poll error in 2016. Biden should win Penn along with the rest of the rust belt. The level of committed voters is higher than 2016 — polls indicate over 50% are committed to vote for Biden in all rust belt states. There’s not enough undecided voters for Trump.

    Trump needs to win all the toss up states plus Penn — ie Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, Iowa, Texas, and Arizona. That would be an incredible run. I see Biden winning Arizona and North Carolina with the rest going to Trump (Voter suppression will be a factor in Georgia, Florida and Texas). If Biden wins Penn he doesn’t need any of the toss up states.

    The latest rumor on the Internet has Trump declaring victory as soon as he is in the lead. Its quite possible he will be leading early as rural votes tend to be counted quicker than urban votes and Republicans will vote on election day and will be counted quicker than Democrats who voted by mail or in advance polls. I find it strange that some states won’t start counting the mail in and advance votes until the polls closed, however it appears thats the case.


  36. Its interesting to see Biden’s lead shrink to 4% in Penn giving right wing pundits confidence yet the fact the polls show Trump only at 1.25 % in Texas is not a reason to panic. Over 1.4 million early votes were cast in Houston — poll watchers have said if 1.5 million Houston residents vote, Biden may win Texas, only 100K to go. Do I think Biden will win Texas; no but I think its more likely than Trump winning Penn. And I would be vastly amused to see Trump win Penn and lose Texas


  37. Biden used to be a centrist. lol once upon a time. He’s moved left for this race, as he’s had to in order to ensure the backing of the more-left field he managed to defeat in the primaries.

    Perspective counts so I’d guess your perspective starts at a much further left point on the political spectrum than that in the US


  38. HRW, Biden is a bit of a centrist, but he’s definitely moved left in some respects, and Harris is frighteningly far left.

    I read an article a couple of weeks ago that I should have linked on here that said Trump will shock everyone and win because of the minority vote. Democrats don’t have nearly as tight a chokehold on the black vote, and the Hispanic vote is moving way more strongly pro-Trump than pundits expect. I’m not a prophet, but incumbents tend to win unless they’re really inept and/or running against an especially strong candidate (e.g., inept Carter being replaced by strong candidate Reagan). Bush Sr. didn’t win a second term because he was a weak president and he was in effect Reagan’s third term, but he wasn’t Reagan and he didn’t win another. Trump isn’t likable, but Biden is inept and weak and not a serious candidate, and Biden’s running mate is a weak candidate. Trump has done a good job as president, especially for minority voters, so replacing him seems unlikely.

    People sometimes vote “for” a candidate and they sometimes vote “against” the other candidate. My hunch is that voting “against” isn’t enough to get most people to the polls. Trump haters really despise him, so that will bring more turnout than a usual “against” vote. But Biden is such a weak candidate that I suspect the “anti-Trump” vote has squandered its chance. The pro-Trump vote is astronomically stronger than the pro-Biden vote. The only question is whether the anti-Trump vote is big enough, and strong enough, to get people to the polls in spite of the Democrats having the biggest non-candidate ever (or at least in my lifetime), and I suspect it isn’t. Since historically the sitting president is most likely to get a second term, his run for re-election is the right time to field a weak candidate and not “waste” a strong candidate. That was definitely done this time, but the anti-Trump crowd mistakenly thinks that Trump is a weak candidate too, and that they’ll win in spite of not having a real candidate. And both sides also expect Biden not to be the actual president, but for Harris to be (after she was already rejected by Democrat voters, and when she is seriously anathema to Republican ones). I predict either a Trump win or fraud, but maybe both. (Trump may pull off a win in spite of massive fraud.)


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