Tag Archives: 2020 presidential campaigns

Documenting Trump’s insane comments and racist behavior in Kenosha

Trump flies to Kenosha but lands on Planet Zog

President Trump listens to officials during a roundtable discussion on community safety at Bradford High School in Kenosha, Wis., on Tuesday. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)
Washington Post, by Dana Milbank, September 1, 2020

President Trump took off on Air Force One on Tuesday morning on his way to Kenosha, Wis. He landed on Planet Zog.

In real life, protests (some peaceful, some violent) erupted after police shot Jacob Blake, a Black man, seven times in the back. A Trump-supporting militia member allegedly gunned down three of the protesters, killing two of them.

But in the imaginary Kenosha that Trump created Tuesday afternoon at an invitation-only “roundtable” — in a high school cafeteria serving as a government “command center” — things were quite different.

There was no pandemic in this Kenosha; at his suggestion, everybody in the roundtable took off their face masks. There was no right-wing violence. (I heard no mention of the killings by the Trump-backing extremist.) There was no such thing as police brutality (Trump quickly swept aside any such notion). And there were hardly any Black people (only two of the 23 in the room).

It quickly became clear that the pair, a pastor and his wife, were to be seen rather than heard. James Ward, who said he is the pastor to Blake’s mother, was asked by Trump to offer a prayer, then offered to discuss “the real pain that hurts Black Americans.” Trump wasn’t interested.

When Trump opened the roundtable to questions, a reporter asked the pastor whether he believed that there is systemic racism in law enforcement.

Before Ward could answer, Trump broke in to say there were only “some bad apples” among police, of which “I have the endorsement of so many, maybe everybody.”

The reporter tried again. “Could the pastor answer my question, please?”

Trump called on another questioner.

Then, shutting down the session, Trump turned to the muted pastor he had just used as a prop. “Fantastic job,” he said.

As the election gets closer and closer, Trump appears to be getting further and further from reality. Tuesday’s stagecraft in Kenosha was Trump’s most audacious attempt to rearrange reality since … well, since the night before. On Monday, he informed Fox News’s Laura Ingraham that Joe Biden is the victim of mind control by “people that you’ve never heard of, people that are in the dark shadows.” They are, he said, the same “people that are controlling the streets.” Trump further reported the existence of a plane, “almost completely loaded with thugs wearing these dark uniforms, black uniforms.” He said they “were on the plane to do big damage.”

Pressed for details, Trump said he could divulge no more. “I’ll tell you sometime, but it’s under investigation.” As NBC reported, Trump’s fantastical tale closely matched a two-month-old conspiracy theory making the rounds on Facebook.

By the time he arrived at Joint Base Andrews for his trip to Wisconsin, Trump had already developed more details about his new conspiracy theory. This time, “the entire plane filled up with the looters, the anarchists, the rioters.” And Trump said he has a firsthand account from a person on the plane. “Maybe they’ll speak to you and maybe they won’t,” he said. (They didn’t.)

Arriving in Kenosha, Trump toured a camera shop that had been damaged. There, he chose to speak about Portland, Ore. — about 2,000 miles away. Portland “has been terrible for a long time, for many decades, actually.” Portland is frequently ranked among the “most livable cities” in America.

Trump didn’t meet with the Blake family, instead moving on to the high school cafeteria, draped with blue curtains and decorated with flags.

“I feel so safe,” Trump remarked, after a tour in which he was protected by armored personnel carriers, military trucks and police in camouflage carrying automatic rifles.

He received thanks from a participant for “sending the National Guard.” (That was actually the work of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who, like Kenosha’s mayor, urged Trump not to visit.)

Trump reported that “there was love on the street, I can tell you, of Wisconsin when we were coming in … so many African Americans.” According to the “pool” reporters traveling in the president’s motorcade, he had been greeted by friends and foes alike, including one “large group protesting the president, their middle fingers pointed at motorcade.”

The two African Americans in the roundtable did their best to bring Trump around to reality. James Ward prayed for a restoration of “empathy and compassion.” Sharon Ward noted that “it’s important to have Black people at the table” and called it “a good opportunity for us really to solve the problem.”

But Trump would not be moved. Asked about nonviolent protests and structural racism, he answered with “anarchists,” “looters,” “rioters” and “agitators.” He said Democrats like riots and want to close prisons and end immigration enforcement. “The wall will be finished very shortly,” he added.

Maybe that’s true — on Planet Zog.

We turned the tv off on Trump – And here’s some of the reasons why…

Trump presented the mother of all fabrications on the White House lawn

This Washington Post video is sickening. 4 minutes of voices of RNC convention speakers, mostly Trump, with text that fact-checks their lies and misdirections. I’m not going to embed it here. If you REALLY want to listen, go to the WP website, linked below.
The Washington Post, by Dana Milbank, August 27, 2020

Four years ago, when the United States was in the eighth year of an economic expansion and enjoying a time of relative peace and prosperity, Donald Trump saw only carnage.

“Our convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation,” he told the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, describing a nation full of “death, destruction . . . and “weakness.”

Now, America actually is in crisis: a world’s worst 177,000 dead from the pandemic, nearly 6 million infected, 6 million net jobs lost during Trump’s presidency, nearly $7 trillion added to the debt, and racial violence in the streets.

And Trump, accepting the Republican Party’s nomination for a second term on Thursday night, offered a most counterintuitive assessment: Everything is awesome!

He declared himself “proud of the extraordinary progress . . . and brimming with confidence in the bright future.” He said he accepted the nomination “full of gratitude and boundless optimism.” He spoke of “new heights of national achievement,” a “new spirit of unity.”

“I say very modestly that I have done more for the African American community than any president since Abraham Lincoln,” he declared. He proclaimed that “the wall will soon be complete” along the Mexican border. Factories are booming! Workers are happy! “This towering American spirit,” he said, has “lifted us to the summit of human endeavor.” He boasted of creating 9 million jobs since the pandemic struck, leaving out the fact that he lost 22 million.

Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention. And Trump presented the mother of all fabrications Thursday night on the South Lawn of the White House. With the Truman Balcony as his backdrop and a massive convention stage erected outside the People’s House, he made only passing references to the pandemic that has disrupted our lives. And the 1,500 Republican lawmakers, party officials and others in the crowd sat cheek by jowl, for the most part without face masks, pretending there was no such thing as covid-19. Jumbo screens projecting “TRUMP/PENCE” lit up the South Lawn. And at 11:35 p.m., after Trump’s 70-minute speech, the extravaganza ended with fireworks lighting up the capital’s night sky.

Trump’s reading of his optimistic speech was, to coin a phrase, low-energy. He gave the slow, singsong delivery he has when using a teleprompter. He was clearly reading written words not his own, and he mispronounced — twice — the name of the Iranian official he had assassinated, Qasem Soleimani. Trump, who once bragged on a recording about sexually assaulting women, even sought to present his opponent as the sexual predator: “For 47 years, Joe Biden took the donations of blue-collar workers, gave them hugs and even kisses.” Trump raised his eyebrows as the crowd laughed.

As he portrayed the current era of recession and pandemic as good times, he warned voters not to return power to the people who presided when there actually were good times. He warned of a “socialist agenda to demolish our cherished destiny” and to “crush our industries.” He said Democrats would give “free rein to violent anarchists, agitators and criminals” and allow a “radical movement to completely dismantle and destroy” our way of life. In Trump’s telling, the violence in the streets occurring on his watch, which he foments and which his followers have engaged in, is the fault of Democrats who “stand with anarchists, agitators, rioters, looters and flag-burners.”

As the speech passed the 30-minute mark, Trump loosened up and strayed from his script, circling back repeatedly to denounce Democratic “radicals,” “anarchists,” “wild-eyed Marxists” and “cancel culture.” He returned to his familiar patter of insults: “China would own our country if Joe Biden got elected. . . . Joe Biden is weak.” He reported that Biden’s polling numbers were “going down like a rock in water. It’s too late, Joe.” As the speech hit the hour mark, he was rambling and railing in a familiar manner. “They spied on my campaign, and they got caught!” Referring to the building occupied by every president since John Adams, he boasted: “We’re here, and they’re not.”

It was a split-personality speech at the end of a whiplash week for Republicans, alternating between filling Americans with optimism and frightening them. Speakers before Trump on Thursday spoke of a “nightmare” in American cities, a “callous” indifference to human life, a “public safety disaster” and “vicious, brutal riots.” Then came Trump to declare America “the torch that enlightens the entire world” and say “the best is yet to come,” “we will reach stunning new heights” and “together, we are unstoppable.”

But however unconvincing Trump’s upbeat assessment of the current environment, it may be his only option. Back in 1980, when presidential candidate Ronald Reagan asked his famous question, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” he said, “If all of the unemployed today were in a single line allowing two feet for each of them, that line would reach from New York City to Los Angeles,California.”

If we made a similar line today of all those on some type of unemployment relief, that line would cross the country five times.

Trump can’t ask Americans whether they are better off than when he took over because we all know the answer. The best he can do is pretend everything is hunky-dory, and hope people fall for it.

Former Trump official: Trump is enabling white supremacists

Trump’s ‘Racist’ Actions ‘Gave Permission’ To White Supremacists, An Ex-DHS Official Now Says

Forbes, by Andrew Solender, August 26, 2020
TOPLINE

Elizabeth Neumann, a former Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Counterterrorism and Threat Prevention in the Trump administration who endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden last week, alleged Wednesday that President Trump enabled white supremacists and ignored pandemic warnings.

KEY FACTS

In a video for pro-Biden group Republican Voters Against Trump, Neumann says she is “first and foremost a follower of Jesus Christ” who voted for Trump in 2016 for his anti-abortion stance.

Noting the rise in white supremacy in the Trump era, Neumann said Trump’s rhetoric made her job more difficult, calling his language and actions “racist” and alleging he “gave permission” to white supremacists.

On the topic of the pandemic, Neumann says experts told her “we need to be executing on these plans,” but that Trump told officials to stop doing their jobs because “he didn’t want the economy to tank and he didn’t want a distraction from his campaign.”

In an interview with Politico, Neumann and several other former Trump Homeland Security officials alleged inaction on white supremacy by the administration, with Neumann asserting “there’s not going to be anything substantive done on domestic terrorism” and stating that Trump “botched” his response to Charlottesville by saying “you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides.”

CRUCIAL QUOTE

“I do not think that we can afford four more years of President Trump,” Neumann said, concluding, “We are less safe today because of his leadership. We will continue to be less safe as long as he is in control.”

KEY BACKGROUND

Before her time in the Trump administration, Neumann served on the Homeland Security Council in the Bush White House, a role in which she “tracked terrorist threats and developed domestic prevention and mitigation strategies and programs,” according to the DHS website. In the Trump administration, she worked as Deputy Chief of Staff of DHS and as a senior advisor to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Kirstjen Nielsen, and Acting Secretary Elaine Duke before serving as Assistant Secretary. She departed the administration in April, according to Politico, and endorsed Biden alongside over 70 other Republican security officials.

CHIEF CRITIC

“Our brave federal law enforcement, national security, and Intelligence officials work around the clock to monitor every range of threats facing our nation, including domestic terror,” White House spokesperson Alyssa Farah told Politico. The White House declined to comment further to Forbes.

SURPRISING FACT

Neumann is far from alone as a Republican backing Biden. Scores of Republican lawmakers and former executive branch officials have publicly endorsed him, including former Republican Senator and Defense Secretary Bill Cohen on Wednesday. Several other Trump administration officials have endorsed Biden as well, including former Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci and former DHS Chief of Staff Miles Taylor, who alleged Trump claimed “magical authorities” beyond the law.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Taylor predicts even more Trump officials will come forward before the election. “The president hasn’t heard the last of us,” Taylor told ABC News earlier this month, calling his allegations the “opening salvo.”

Here’s a fix for the one thing that could screw up your early mail-in ballot

Don’t let your outdated signature doom your vote!

It has become increasingly clear that everyone needs to VOTE EARLY as soon as mail-in ballots arrive in late September.

The one thing that has been worrying me is that the Solano County Registrar of Voters office plans to VERIFY MY SIGNATURE before counting my ballot.

What?  My signature has devolved into an indecipherable scrawl!  And it ain’t what it used to be!

Today I discovered that the Registrar has posted a form that allows us to UPDATE OUR SIGNATURE.  This could be important – and timely!

So check this out today.  Here’s the Registrar’s invitation and a link to the form you can fill out.  The form contains good instructions.

All vote by mail ballots are to be signed by the voter.  This signature must match your signature used when you registered to vote.  If you would like to update your signature, please fill out this form and return it to our office.  We will update your signature based on the information provided.
Drop the form off at Solano county Registrar of Voters Office, 675 Texas St., Suite 2600 (Map)OR… the form contains instructions for scanning and returning it by email attachment.  Or I suppose if you are really EARLY, you could mail it!
VOTE in EARLY OCTOBER!
Let’s elect Joe and Kamala BY A LANDSLIDE!