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Milwaukee’s Own Shepard Fairey
– Secretary of Wisconsin Tourism Sara Meaney
One Year Anniversary
Dueling Town Halls: Mr. Rogers vs. Crazy Uncle
“Why, Guthrie asked the President, had he chosen to tweet out a wild conspiracy theory earlier this week, suggesting that President Obama had killed the Navy’s seal Team Six in order to cover up the fake death of Osama bin Laden?
But, of course, that is exactly what Trump is, and his combative performance was no accident: it was just what the President wanted and, indeed, what he had planned for his encounter with “fake” NBC News, an insult that he tweeted hours before taking NBC’s stage. Trump, win or lose, will end the race as he began it, in a blaze of name-calling and narcissism.Trump might not even be entirely wrong in pursuing his theory of the case. He did not need a winsome personality to win the Presidency four years ago, a miracle that, for Trump, offers an all-purpose justification for whatever political folly he is currently engaging in. And the truth is that he does still have a chance of beating Biden, remote as it seems. On October 15, 2016, the Web site FiveThirtyEight gave Clinton an 85% chance of winning the election. On October 15, 2020, the same Web site gave Biden an 87% chance of winning. Both nationally and in a few battleground states, the polls are better today for Biden than they were for Clinton, but only marginally so.Still, somehow, this time feels different … After four years of Trump, many Americans are exhausted by it all, and particularly by the President’s relentless, polarizing, inescapable presence in their lives. They could use a little nice.
…After listening to Trump, the Biden show sounded soothing, and even a bit boring. Turning the channel to the former Vice-President exchanging civilized words with George Stephanopoulos and an auditorium full of earnest Pennsylvanians was like stumbling into a meditation room after being trapped at a barroom brawl.
AND THIS … Minutes into the two town halls the Trump campaign aide Mercedes Schlapp tweeted that Biden sounded like the late children’s-television host Mister Rogers, of zippered-cardigan fame. She clearly meant it as an insult. But who doesn’t like Mister Rogers?
To sum it up, @Pete Buttigieg “Just imagine turning on the TV, seeing your president, and feeling your blood pressure go down instead of up.”
.. During her nearly 20 hours of testimony over two days, Barrett declined to share her legal views on abortion rights, health care, voting rights, immigration, presidential power and climate change, seeking to separate her academic writings from how she might rule if confirmed. In rebuffing Democrats, she left them exasperated.
“I’d be afraid to ask her about the presence of gravity on Earth,” Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) said Thursday.
HISTORY OF HEARINGS “Public confirmation hearings have only been around for a century, starting with Louis Brandeis’s nomination in 1916, which was contentious because he was Jewish and a progressive crusader. But Brandeis didn’t testify at his own hearing — that was seen as unseemly. The first time a nominee took unrestricted questions in an open hearing was Felix Frankfurter in 1938. It simply wasn’t regular practice until the 1950s. At that point, the hearings became an opportunity for southern Democrats to rail against Brown v. Board of Education. Few senators other than the segregationists even asked the nominees questions.
Otherwise, hearings became perfunctory discussions of biography, as with Byron White in 1962, who was questioned for about 15 minutes, mostly about his football career. John Paul Stevens, the first nominee after Roe v. Wade, wasn’t even asked about that case. The focus in that post‐Watergate time was on ethics.
Things changed in the 1980s, not coincidentally when the hearings began to be televised. Now all senators ask questions, especially about key controversies and fundamental issues, but nominees refuse to answer, creating what then‐professor Elena Kagan called a “vapid and hollow charade. But even with this conventional narrative, there has been a subtle shift; from Robert Bork in 1987 through Stephen Breyer in 1994, nominees went into some detail about doctrine.
Intelligence Agencies Warned Trump About Rudy
WaPost “U.S. intelligence agencies warned the White House last year that President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani was the target of an influence operation by Russian intelligence. The warnings were based on multiple sources, including intercepted communications, that showed Giuliani was interacting with people tied to Russian intelligence during a December 2019 trip to Ukraine, where he was gathering information that he thought would expose corrupt acts by former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
“The intelligence raised concerns that Giuliani was being used to feed Russian misinformation to the president, the former officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive information and conversations.”
Inside the Fall Of the Center For Disease Control & Prevention
DEEP DIVE: Propublica “How the world’s greatest public health organization was brought to its knees by a virus, the president and the capitulation of its own leaders, causing damage that could last much longer than the coronavirus.”
… When the next history of the CDC is written, 2020 will emerge as perhaps the darkest chapter in its 74 years, rivaled only by its involvement in the infamous Tuskegee experiment, in which federal doctors withheld medicine from poor Black men with syphilis, then tracked their descent into blindness, insanity and death. With more than 216,000 people dead this year, most Americans know the low points of the current chapter already. A vaunted agency that was once the global gold standard of public health has, with breathtaking speed, become a target of anger, scorn and even pity.
How could an agency that eradicated smallpox globally and wiped out polio in the United States have fallen so far?
Some of the key wounds were self-inflicted. Records obtained by ProPublica detail for the first time the cataclysmic chain of mistakes and disputes inside the CDC labs making the first U.S. test for COVID-19. … Even when the CDC was not to blame, the Trump administration exploited events to take control of the agency’s messaging. As a historically lethal pandemic raged, the White House turned the CDC into a political bludgeon to advance Trump’s agenda, alternately blocking the agency’s leaders from using their quarantine powers or forcing them to assert those powers over the objections of CDC scientists.
Once seen as an apolitical bulwark, the CDC endured meddling on multiple fronts by officials with little or no public health experience, from Trump’s daughter Ivanka to Stephen Miller, the architect of the president’s immigration crackdown. A shifting and mysterious cast of political aides and private contractors — what one scientist described as young protégés of Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, “wearing blue suits with red ties and beards” — crowded into important meetings about key policy decisions. … It’s a long read, but so worthwhile. CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE
REVEALED … AP “The Trump White House installed two political operatives at the nation’s top public health agency to try to control the information it releases about the coronavirus pandemic as the administration seeks to paint a positive outlook, sometimes at odds with the scientific evidence. The two appointees assigned to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Atlanta headquarters in June have no public health background. They have instead been tasked with keeping an eye on Dr. Robert Redfield, the agency director, as well as scientists, according to a half-dozen CDC and administration officials who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal government affairs.”
Irony, It Had A Good Run
Dems Financial Dominance
Biden raised $383 million in September, with $432 million cash-on-hand.
Despite A Sexting Scandal …
FiveThirtyEight “When the polls don’t change after a scandal happens, what do we make of it? That’s the question we’re asking after news broke on Friday, Oct. 2, that North Carolina Democratic Senate nominee Cal Cunningham had been sexting a woman who wasn’t his wife. This development seemingly presented an opening for embattled Republican Sen. Thom Tillis, who has trailed Cunningham in most polls in one of the most important Senate contests on the ballot this November.
But despite concentrated Republican attacks over Cunningham’s extramarital affair, there’s little evidence that the trajectory of the race has changed — at least so far. On Oct. 2, Cunningham had a 67 in 100 shot of winning; today, Cunningham has a 67 in 100 chance, according FiveThirtyEight’s Senate forecast.