Sunday 24th of January 2021

a bad hair day...


(CNN)   Joe Biden's advantage over President Donald Trump has expanded and the former vice president now holds his widest lead of the cycle with less than a month remaining before Election Day, according to a new nationwide CNN Poll conducted by SSRS.

Among likely voters, 57% say they back Biden and 41% Trump in the poll that was conducted entirely after the first debate and mostly after the President's coronavirus infection was made public.

Regardless of Biden's national lead, the race for the White House will ultimately come down to a handful of swing states that will drive the outcome in the Electoral College. The former vice president leads in several of those critical battlegrounds, but by more narrow margins than his national advantage. A poll is not a prediction of how the election will ultimately turn out but instead is a snapshot of the race as it currently stands.

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america divided by plexiglass...

2020 Election Live Updates: Pence Camp Objects to Plexiglass Ahead of V.P. Debate

Joe Biden gave a forceful call for national unity at Gettysburg, saying ‘we need to revive the spirit of bipartisanship in this country.’ A Monmouth poll found Mr. Biden expanding his lead in Pennsylvania. Florida extended its voter registration deadline after its website crashed repeatedly.


Biden says what ‘we’re experiencing today is not good or normal’ as he calls for national unity in a speech at Gettysburg.




After the Commission on Presidential Debates announced plans for Senator Kamala Harris of California and Vice President Mike Pence to debate Wednesday while sitting more than a dozen feet apart and behind plexiglass dividers to prevent any viral transmission, aides to Mr. Pence said that they felt the barriers were unnecessary.

“We don’t think it’s needed,” said Marc Short, Mr. Pence’s chief of staff. “There’s no science to support it. The tables are 12 feet apart and each participant is tested. It’s important for the American people that the debate go forward, and if she’s more comfortable with plexiglass then that’s fine.”

The Biden campaign was on board with the precautions. “Senator Harris will be at the debate, respecting the protections that the Cleveland Clinic has put in place to promote safety for all concerned,” said Sabrina Singh, a spokeswoman for Ms. Harris. “If the Trump administration’s war on masks has now become a war on safety shields, that tells you everything you need to know about why their Covid response is a failure.”

The back and forth came as much of official Washington has been upended by a coronavirus outbreak that sent President Trump to the hospital, infected several senators and sent top military leaders into quarantine. The spread through officialdom has injected new uncertainty into the question of whether the debates can be held safely.

The vice-presidential candidates will be kept 12 feet, three inches apart at the debate, the sole vice-presidential debate, organizers said. The gap is actually five inches shorter than the distance that separated President Trump and Joseph R. Biden Jr. last Tuesday in Cleveland.

The commission also pledged to eject any audience members who decline to wear a face mask, an obvious response to last week’s event in Cleveland, where President Trump’s family and aides removed their masks in the debate hall in defiance of rules set by the host, the Cleveland Clinic.

“If anyone does not wear a mask, they will be escorted out,” the debate commission said, although organizers did not specify exactly how that policy might be enforced.

Chris Wallace, the Fox News anchor who moderated the Cleveland debate, said last week that Mr. Trump was not tested by the Cleveland Clinic before taking the stage, with organizers relying on an “honor system” by which campaigns were expected to report on their own candidate’s health.

For the vice-presidential debate, the commission said that Ms. Harris and Mr. Pence “will be Covid tested prior to the debate,” but which entity would oversee that testing remained unclear.

The use of plexiglass, a precaution intended to keep the candidates and moderator safe, also prompted a disdainful response from Mr. Pence’s camp. “If Senator Harris wants to use a fortress around herself, have at it,” Katie Miller, a spokeswoman for the vice president, said in a statement.

Unlike at the presidential debate, the moderator — Susan Page, the Washington bureau chief of USA Today — will not announce her question topics ahead of time. Ms. Page is also expected to be seated 12 feet, 3 inches from the two candidates.

The vice-presidential debate, to be held at Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah, begins on Wednesday at 9 p.m. Eastern and will last for 90 minutes, divided into nine segments of 10 minutes apiece.

The debate commission said there would be no handshake “or physical greeting” between Ms. Harris and Mr. Pence, and no opening or closing statements.


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all clear...

US President Donald Trump is no longer a Covid transmission risk to others, the White House physician has said.

Sean Conley's memo is the first update on Mr Trump's health since Thursday.

Earlier on Saturday the president delivered a speech in front of cheering supporters at the White House in his first public appearance since being hospitalised with the virus.

There had been concerns that he might still be contagious following his three-day hospital stay.

The doctor's memo said the latest tests on the president revealed there was "no longer evidence of actively replicating virus", and that his viral load was "decreasing".


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What has not been mentioned so far is that the hydroxychloroquine self-treatment used by Trump may have helped him recover faster than any other old kook, even with the best hospital treatment...

CBS can't get it right...

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has rubbished the CBS News interpretation of his words. The network provoked uproar claiming that the militant group wants Trump to win the election and withdraw troops from Afghanistan.

The “clarification” from the Taliban spokesman came hours after a report that the militant group threw its weight behind Trump set Twitter alight, with the president's detractors seizing upon the unusual endorsement to tear into the Trump administration.

“US news outlet @CBSNews has interpreted & published my remarks incorrectly. Nothing of the sort has been communicated as publicized by them,” Mujahid tweeted. 


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the end of trumpism in south carolina?...

Harrison, 44, rose from a mobile home to college at Yale, law school at Georgetown and the distinction of being the first Black chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party. He also worked for Representative James Clyburn, the South Carolina lawmaker who played a key role in salvaging Joe Biden’s beleaguered presidential bid by rallying Black voters to the former vice president.


South Carolina turned Biden’s campaign around. Is it about to set the national tone again?“If Jaime is to win, then this is the most thorough rebuke of Trumpism that we’ve seen,” Bakari Sellers, a former state legislator in South Carolina, told me. “It also restores a lot of people’s faith in the basic humanity of this country.”


And it’s no pipe dream. While I wouldn’t bet on a Harrison victory — not in a state that Trump won by 14 points in 2016 and that still seems to be safely in his column — some political handicappers now consider the Harrison-Graham race a tossup. Several recent polls show the men effectively tied. Harrison’s financial advantage is overwhelming.


And he has been able to blanket the state in ads — excellent ones at that — while Graham has struggled to keep up.

Harrison said that while Graham hasn’t done a traditional, in-person town hall with voters in South Carolina in years, “You can find him on Sean Hannity every other night begging for money.”


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according to some, trump has given up...

Trump Is Giving Up


Against both the coronavirus and Joe Biden, the president’s strategy increasingly accepts defeat.



By Ross Douthat


Donald Trump can still win the 2020 presidential election; something that has a 10 percent or 15 percent chance of happening can certainly transpire. But even more than in 2016, if the president wins this time, we will have to attribute his victory to the workings of divine providence (don’t worry, I have that column pre-written), because what we’re watching is an incumbent doing everything in his power to run up his own margin of defeat.

Start with his re-election messaging, to the extent that you can discern such a thing. In 2016, Trump’s campaign was shambolic and punctuated by self-inflicted disasters, but his message against Hillary Clinton, like his message against the Republican establishment in the primaries, had a simplicity and consistency: She supported bad trade deals; she supported stupid wars; she sold the country out to special interests and foreign governments; vote for her and you get more closed factories, more soldiers dead or crippled, more illegal immigration, more power to Wall Street and Washington, D.C.

In 2020, on the other hand, the Trump campaign has been stuck toggling back and forth between two very different narratives. One seeks to replay the last campaign, portraying Joe Biden as the embodiment of a failed establishment (hence all the references to his 47 years in Washington) who will sell out American interests to China as soon as he’s back in power (hence the attempts to elevate Hunter Biden’s influence-peddling).

But the other narrative goes after Biden as though the Democrats had actually nominated Bernie Sanders, insisting that his advancing age makes him a decrepit vessel for the radical left, a stalking horse not just for Kamala Harris but also for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and antifa.

A truly brilliant campaigner might be able to weave these two narratives together, but on the lips of Donald Trump their contradictions are evident. The resulting incoherence just feeds his tendency to return to old grudges and very online grievances, as though he’s running for the presidency of talk radio or his own Twitter feed. Without Steve Bannon to keep him grounded or Clinton to keep him focused, he’s making a closing “argument” that’s indistinguishable from a sales pitch for a TV show or a newsletter — suggesting that even more than four years ago, the president assumes he’ll be in the media business as soon as the election returns come in.

But the messaging failure is just the surface; it’s on policy where Trump has really acted like a Black Sox ballplayer trying to throw the World Series. There are two major issues for voters in this election: the pandemic and the economy. Trump’s numbers on handling the virus are lousy, but his numbers on handling the economy are still pretty good, presumably thanks to both the memory of where the unemployment rate stood before the coronavirus hit and the fact that the flood of Covid-19 relief spending kept people’s disposable income up.

This context suggested an obvious fall campaign strategy: Push more relief money into the economy, try to ostentatiously take the pandemic seriously and promise the country that mask-wearing and relief dollars are a bridge to a vaccine and normalcy in 2021.

Instead Trump has ended up with the opposite approach. He mostly ignored the negotiations over relief money for months, engaging only at a point where he had become so politically weak that both Republican deficit hawks (or the born-again variety, at least) and Democratic free-spenders assume he’ll soon be gone. And meanwhile he’s let himself be drawn ever deeper — especially since his own encounter with the disease — into the libertarian style of Covid-19 contrarianism, which argues that we’re overtesting, overreacting and probably close to herd immunity anyway.

There is a mild contrarianism that makes important points: The lockdown approach wasn’t sustainable and can’t be reimposed, most elementary schools should be open because the risks of spread seem pretty low, the virus is less deadly than the initial worst-case projections suggested, and deaths as a share of cases are going down with better treatment.

But the strong version keeps being wrong. First, the past two months have made it clear that herd immunity is a moving target: You can achieve it provisionally under social-distancing conditions, but once people relax and start socializing again, the threshold changes, and suddenly you get a renewed spike. This is what happened across Europe, which crushed its case rates in the late spring, returned to more normal life in the summer — and then reaped an early-fall wave that’s now fully out of control, including in countries like Belgium that were hit intensely in the first go-round.


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nothing to see in a country of people raised on big bird, marvel comics and the simpsons...



"I've never called Trump an idiot"...



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destroying his remaining good will...

As Donald Trump’s presidency winds down, his administration is ratcheting up the pace of federal executions despite a surge of coronavirus cases in prisons, announcing plans for five starting Thursday and concluding just days before the 20 January inauguration of the president-elect, Joe Biden.

If the five go off as planned, it will make 13 executions since July when the Republican administration resumed putting inmates to death after a 17-year hiatus and will cement Trump’s legacy as the most prolific execution president in over 130 years.


Trump will leave office having executed about a quarter of all federal death-row prisoners, despite waning support for capital punishment among both Democrats and Republicans.

In a recent interview with the Associated Press, William Barr defended the extension of executions into the post-election period, saying he will probably schedule more before he departs the justice department. A Biden administration, the attorney general said, should keep it up.

“I think the way to stop the death penalty is to repeal the death penalty,” Barr said. “But if you ask juries to impose and juries impose it, then it should be carried out.”


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Yep... Donald is about to destroy the last remnants of his little goodness... Read from top.