Delaware

What Now?! – June 9, 2020

“Drawing on footage captured from dozens of cameras, as well as police radio communications and other records, the Washington Post reconstructed the events of this latest remarkable hour of Trump’s presidency, including of the roles of the agencies involved and the tactics and weaponry they used.”

The National Bureau of Economic Research has determined that a recession began in the United States in February 2020.

“The peak marks the end of the expansion that began in June 2009 and the beginning of a recession. The expansion lasted 128 months, the longest in the history of U.S. business cycles dating back to 1854.”

Axios: “There was no doubt the U.S. was in the midst of a recession, given the shelter-in-place measures that brought economic activity to a near halt and caused millions of layoffs — but this is their fastest call yet, as it’s sometimes taken as long as a year to make such calls in the past.”

It is worth noting that we were in a recession BEFORE the Covid-19 economic shutdowns hit. The shutdown started on March 13. The Recession began in February, which tells me economic conditions were already on a downward spiral before the pandemic, and without it, we still would be in a recession today.

John Oliver: “Our whole show is actually going to be about one thing, and you probably know what, and you probably know why.”

A must-watch episode.

“Two law enforcement agencies acknowledged Monday that officers patrolling Minneapolis during the height of recent protests knifed the tires of numerous vehicles parked and unoccupied in at least two locations in the midst of the unrest,” the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

Video and photo images posted by Mother Jones show officers in military-style uniforms puncturing tires in the Kmart parking lot at Lake Street and Nicollet Avenue on May 30.

After a new CNN poll came out showing Donald Trump trailing Joe Biden by 14 percentage points, the president announced he has retained Republican pollster John McLaughlin to write a memo denouncing the poll.

However, Jonathan Chait points out McLaughlin is “a laughingstock within the profession.”

“McLaughlin is notorious for producing rosy polling data on behalf of his clients. (Or, at least, purportedly on behalf of his clients, who often find themselves unpleasantly surprised on election night.) A lengthy stream of overly optimistic polls culminated in McLaughlin convincing his client, Eric Cantor, that he was leading primary challenger David Brat by 34 points in 2014. Cantor lost by 11, at which point leading Republicans began begging their party not to hire him.”

McLaughlin has a FiveThirtyEight pollster rating of C/D and is one of the lowest-rated polls in their database.

Gabriel Sherman: “Over the weekend, Trump called around to New York friends and outside advisers in hopes they would validate Trump’s belief that the polls are wrong. “He’s asking people to agree with him that the polls are biased. But no one is telling him what he wants to hear,” said a Republican briefed on the calls.”

“Republicans know how bad things are, but the party still believes sticking with Trump is the best bet for holding the Senate. Last week, Mitch McConnell told Republican senators on a call that they couldn’t abandon Trump, according to a source. McConnell reminded Republicans that former New Hampshire senator Kelly Ayotte lost her 2016 reelection bid after breaking with Trump over the Access Hollywood video.”

Gabriel Sherman: “In Donald Trump’s West Wing, being a member of the Trump family has historically been the ultimate job security. But that truism is being stress-tested after a run of polls consistently show Trump losing to Joe Biden at this stage of the race—a CNN poll this morning has him down 14 points. According to a source close to the White House, Trump has mulled taking oversight of the campaign away from his son-in-law Jared Kushner.”

Said a former West Wing official: “Trump is malignantly crazy about the bad poll numbers. He’s going to broom Kushner and Parscale—the numbers are not getting better.”

“Long before the reelection campaign went sideways, Trump frequently blew up at Kushner. For instance, former West Wing officials recall how Trump hated when Kushner received too much positive press.”

Max Boot: “In 2014, Tom Cotton ran for the U.S. Senate proclaiming: “I believe in less government and more freedom.” Seven days ago, amid massive anti-racism protests accompanied by scattered looting, the Republican senator from Arkansas demanded the deployment of at least five Army divisions to the streets.”

“There was no conceivable justification for such a draconian move. But Cotton’s panicky, premature demand is symbolic of the Republican Party’s transition from tea party libertarianism to Trumpian authoritarianism.”

“When President Barack Obama was in office, Republicans fulminated against executive orders and government spending. Now, they’ve learned to stop worrying and embrace both at unprecedented levels. (The budget deficit is projected to be $3.8 trillion this year, more than six times higher than when Obama left office.) The rejection of libertarianism isn’t necessarily a bad thing. What’s worrying is that the Republican Party has become increasingly hostile toward liberal democracy.”

Former U.S. Ambassador to the EU Anthony Gardner told Politico that President Trump “evokes memories of Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini and that former Trump officials who are now criticizing the president, like ex-Defense Secretary James Mattis, are ‘collaborators’ who should have spoken out sooner or never joined the administration in the first place.”

Said Gardner: “You know I am glad that these people are speaking out, but I’ll be very honest here, and undiplomatic: I don’t welcome those statements in the sense that those people served this president. And to me quite bluntly they are accomplices … So when you choose to work for this kind of administration, which showed its true colors very early on, at some point you abet the policies even if afterwards you decide that they’re terrible, that the man you were serving is a terrible person. So while I am glad they are saying what they are saying, it comes too late.”

Congressional Democrats unveiled sweeping police reform legislation in response to protests after the killing of George Floyd, the Washington Postreports.

“The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 would ban chokeholds, establish a national database to track police misconduct and prohibit certain no-knock warrants, among a range of steps.Democratic leaders of the House and Senate released the legislation that had been drafted by members of the Congressional Black Caucus.”

powerful photo shows the most senior Democrats in government kneeling in the Capitol, minutes before introducing the bill.

The Biden campaign released a statement: “As his criminal justice proposal made clear months ago, Vice President Biden does not believe that police should be defunded. He hears and shares the deep grief and frustration of those calling out for change, and is driven to ensure that justice is done and that we put a stop to this terrible pain.”

Axios reports the statement dropped immediately after the Trump campaign held a call with reporters that stressed the president opposes calls to defund the police and called on Biden to clarify his position.

“This powerful, good nation is in trouble. The root cause is division and anger purposely created by Trump. The next President will need four years of national reconciliation. We need to restore American values. We need to address racial injustice.” — Retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, on Twitter.

“President Trump traveled to Maine Friday to tour a facility that makes medical swabs used for coronavirus testing, but the swabs manufactured in the background during his visit will ultimately be thrown in the trash,” USA Today reports.

“Puritan Medical Products said it will have to discard the swabs… It is not clear why the swabs will be scrapped, or how many.”

“Workers in white lab coats, hair nets and plastic booties worked at machines making swabs while the president walked through the room. Trump, who did not wear a mask for the visit, stopped at one point to talk with some of the workers.”

“Nearly three months since the U.S. declared a national emergency over the new coronavirus, some states are reporting a rise in new cases as they lift restrictions meant to slow the virus’s spread,” the Wall Street Journalreports.

“California, Utah, Arizona, North Carolina, Florida, Arkansas and Texas, among others, have all logged rises in confirmed cases… Meantime, New York City, the U.S. area hit hardest by the pandemic, has seen a drop in cases and deaths and plans to begin reopening its economy Monday.”

A Virginia man charged with intentionally driving his car into a group of protesters this weekend is the head of the Virginia Ku Klux Klan, the Richmond Times Dispatch reports.

“Shutdown orders prevented about 60 million novel coronavirus infections in the United States and 285 million in China, according to a research study published Monday that examined how stay-at-home orders and other restrictions limited the spread of the contagion,” the Washington Post reports.

“A separate study from epidemiologists at Imperial College London estimated that the shutdowns saved about 3.1 million lives in 11 European countries, including 500,000 in the United Kingdom, and dropped infection rates by an average of 82 percent, sufficient to drive the contagion well below epidemic levels.”

“President Trump is facing more delays to his nominees than any previous president. And if Joe Biden beats him, the former vice president might get it even worse,” Politico reports.

“The Senate’s confirmation process is nearly broken, and the numbers show it’s a race to the bottom. George W. Bush faced the most procedural hurdles and filibusters to his nominees until Barack Obama was elected and faced historic blockades. Then Trump came along and became the record holder in just part of a term.”

“It’s the latest glaring sign of Senate dysfunction, showing just how difficult it has become to staff up an administration. And it’s hard to imagine that Republicans will go easy on Biden if he wins, even as both parties decry the trend.”

“New Zealand appears to have completely eradicated the coronavirus — at least for now — after health officials said Monday the last known infected person had recovered,” the AP reports.

“The announcement was greeted with joy around the country and means the nation of 5 million people will be among the first to welcome throngs of fans back into sports stadiums, embrace crowded concerts and remove seating restrictions from flights.”

“More cases are likely to be imported as people enter the country. For now, the border remains shut to all but citizens and residents, with some limited exceptions. Everybody who does enter has to go into quarantine. Ardern announced that the Cabinet had agreed to remove almost all remaining virus restrictions from midnight, with the exception of the border strictures.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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