What Now?! – 9/1/2020

AP: “Declaring President Donald Trump a “toxic presence,” Joe Biden forcefully condemned the violence at recent protests while also blaming Trump for fomenting the divide that’s sparking it.

“He doesn’t want to shed light, he wants to generate heat, and he’s stoking violence in our cities,” Biden said Monday. “He can’t stop the violence because for years he’s fomented it.”

In one of his sharpest attacks on the president yet, Biden went on to call Trump a “toxic presence in this nation for four years” and accuse him of “poisoning the values this nation has always held dear, poisoning our very democracy.”

“In just a little over 60 days, we have a decision to make: Will we rid ourselves of this toxin? Or make it a permanent part of our nation’s character?” Biden asked.

The speech marked a new phase of the campaign as Biden steps up his travel after largely remaining near his home in Wilmington, Delaware, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. And, after centering his candidacy on accusing Trump of mishandling the pandemic, Biden is making a broader push to argue that Americans won’t be safe if Trump wins reelection.

Politico: “Donald Trump, who’s planning to visit Kenosha on Tuesday, is claiming the mantle of law and order even as he stokes conflict between protesters and his supporters. Trump is trying to take credit for restoring order by loudly calling for an influx of National Guard troops and painting Democrats as too fearful of alienating their base to denounce violence.”

“Do you seriously wonder, Mr. President, why this is the first time in decades that America has seen this level of violence? It’s you who have created the hate and division.” — Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D), quoted by The Atlantic.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) urged President Trump to “reconsider” his plans to visit Kenosha, Wis., which has been rocked by unrest for the past several nights following the shooting of Jacob Blake by police, The Hillreports.

Said Evers: “I am concerned your presence will only hinder our healing. I am concerned your presence will only delay our work to overcome division and move forward together.”

President Trump will meet with Attorney General Bill Barr and Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf on Monday ahead of his trip to Kenosha, Wisconsin on Tuesday, Bloomberg reports.

“Federal law enforcement personnel were deployed in Portland, Oregon, last month to try to suppress protests there, but Democratic state and city officials say the agents only heightened violence in the city’s streets and demanded they leave.”

“A federal appeals court on Monday dismissed a House lawsuit seeking to force President Trump’s former White House counsel Donald McGahn to comply with a Congressional subpoena, saying Congress has not passed a law expressly authorizing it to sue to enforce its subpoenas,” the Washington Post reports.

“The divided 2-1 ruling dealt a blow to Congressional oversight powers and came three weeks after the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed that Congress had standing to sue — that is, it had shown that the Trump administration’s refusal to allow to McGahn to testify harmed the House’s long-standing right to compel government officials’ testimony.”

One of the President’s supporters, who was actually filmed cheering him at a Trump rally, brought an AR-15 to a BLM protest and murdered two protestors and seriously injured a third. The President won’t condemn his actions.

“The president’s never seen that video.” — White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, quoted by the New York Times, referring to a video President Trump himself tweeted out.

“Current and former national security officials are raising concerns over Attorney General William Barr’s recent decision to remove the head of a Justice Department office that helps ensure federal counterterrorism and counterintelligence activities are legal – and replace him with a political appointee with relatively limited experience,” ABC News reports.

“The timing of the personnel change – coming just two months before the U.S. presidential election, and in the midst of a battle against domestic terrorism and foreign interference in the election – has worried current and former members of the national security community.”

“One of President Trump’s top medical advisers is urging the White House to embrace a controversial ‘herd immunity’ strategy to combat the pandemic, which would entail allowing the coronavirus to spread through most of the population to quickly build resistance to the virus, while taking steps to protect those in nursing homes and other vulnerable populations, according to five people familiar with the discussions,” the Washington Post reports.

“The administration has already begun to implement some policies along these lines, according to current and former officials as well as experts, particularly with regard to testing.”

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former friend and adviser to Melania Trump, told ABC News she is working with multiple prosecutors on investigations into potential financial crimes committed in connection with President Trump’s inauguration.

Said Wolkoff: “I’m working with three different prosecutors, and it’s taken over my life.” Wolkoff is the author of Melania and Me, a tell-all book about her relationship with the First Lady.

In newly-filed paperwork, USPS Board of Governors Chairman Robert Duncan is listed as Director of the Senate Leadership Fund, a $130 million super PAC backing  Sen. Mitch McConnell’s priorities.

White House documents show that senior Trump administration officials in June privately warned seven states about dangerous coronavirus outbreaks that put them in the highest risk “red zone” while publicly dismissing concerns about a second wave of Covid-19, Politico reports.

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has decided in an 8 to 2 ruling to keep former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s criminal case alive.

The Daily Beast runs an excerpt from Blood and Oil: Mohammed bin Salman’s Ruthless Quest for Global Power by Bradley Hope and Justin Scheck.

“Only months on the job, the upstart prince had figured out exactly what to do to get Mr. Trump’s attention: big deals, audacious praise, and treating the elected president of a republic like a visiting king.”

“In the nine weeks left in the 2020 campaign, President Trump has an especially daunting task: Convince a skeptical American public that the coronavirus-ravaged U.S. economy is actually roaring back and will soon return to the status he regularly calls the greatest in world history,” Politico reports.

“He faces serious obstacles. The U.S. economy pre-coronavirus was far from the greatest in history, leaving most Americans with little cushion for the latest plunge. Now Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and other senior White House officials risk sounding out of touch cheerleading a still-struggling economy with a jobless rate over 10 percent — above its peak during the Great Recession — and close to 30 million people getting some kind of unemployment assistance.”

“The Twitter account formerly used by the late Herman Cain fired off a head-scratching message on Sunday, insisting that the coronavirus ‘isn’t as deadly’ as once thought,” the HuffPost reports.

Cain died in July after being hospitalized for more than a month with COVID-19.

“One of the crazy nuggets in a deeply reported book by the N.Y. Times’ Michael Schmidt — Donald Trump v. the United States, out tomorrow — is that President Trump mulled the idea of ‘settling’ with special counsel Robert Mueller,” Axios reports.

Writes Schmidt: “At one point, as the investigation seemed to be intensifying,Trump told White House counsel Don McGahn that there was nothing to worry about because if it was zeroing in on him, he would simply settle with Mueller. He would settle the case, as if he were negotiating terms in a lawsuit.”

President Trump offered John Kelly the job of the head of the FBI, the day after he fired James Comey, according to Michael Schmidt’s writes new book, Donald Trump v. The United StatesAxios reports.

“But the president added something else­—if he became FBI director, Trump told him, Kelly needed to be loyal to him, and only him.”

” •Kelly immediately realized the problem with Trump’s request for loyalty, and he pushed back on the president’s demand. Kelly said that he would be loyal to the Constitution and the rule of law, but he refused to pledge his loyalty to Trump.”

Demoralized FDA staff say a misleading announcement last week on convalescent plasma undermined scientists’ credibility and turned the agency into a prop in the president’s reelection campaign, the Washington Post reports.

Many worry such incidents erode public trust before regulators make a sensitive and potentially fraught decision — deciding when a coronavirus vaccine is safe and effective.

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

1 comment on “What Now?! – 9/1/2020

  1. As we rocket towards 200,000 deaths from the virus Trump installs a “herd immunity” fan as an advisor, if we try that bet it hits one million deaths with no improvement. It failed in Sweden, it will fail even worse here.

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