I see political science professor Helmut Norpoth — who has correctly predicted five out of six elections since 1996 — gives Trump a 91% shot at winning in November. (The model places an emphasis on how much enthusiasm candidates were able to generate early in the nominating process, and Joe Biden did particularly poorly in the early Democratic primaries. The Cult of Trump barely had any opposition in the Republican primaries).
Hey, professor: add in 11% unemployment/ 40 million still out of work by Nov., and therefore tens of millions withno health insurance in a pandemic, 250,000 lives lost in preventable deaths, and 4x more people needing housing & help with meals than before the pandemic.
Trump is holding another (stupid, insane) political rally today, this time at Mt Rushmore in South Dakota. In the middle of an epidemic spiraling out of control in many states, there is no social distancing and no mandatory mask wearing at his event.
Besides, noted a political commentator: Trump’s politics of hate and division must fly in those faces of Presidents Roosevelt, Jefferson, Lincoln, Washington, carved out of the granite.
I learned today that there is another giant granite carve-out that has already been many decades in the making, just 17 miles from Mt Rushmore: the unfinished memorial dedicated to the Sioux leader Crazy Horse.
Here is a 2019 write-up about it from Business Insider.
Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which had become official January 1, 1863.
The Trump campaign did good work (unintentionally) by initially scheduling his stupid rally in Tulsa, OK for today. Oh! It’s Juneteenth, had no idea (I’m parapharasing), said he, we will move it. (Moved it by one day, to Saturday). So now many millions more Americans — at long last — know what Juneteenth is, and there will be a push from Congress to make it a federal holiday.
As for Saturday’s rally, there is the reality of Oklahoma being in the middle of a spike in Covid-19 cases. No matter. Deaf to Oklahoma public health officials, the Trump 2020 campaign will pack 20,000 adulating Trump barbarians into the Bank of Oklahoma Center. They will not be required to wear masks. Tulsa Mayor, and Oklahoma Governor — the consequences will be on you.
Sat. Jun 20: Trump delivered his usual disjointed speech; told the thin crowd he ‘wanted to slow testing down’, and called the corona virus Kung Flu.
His appearance at the outside overflow area was cancelled. The overflow area was empty.
I walked by the section of Pine Street between 10th Ave & 11the Ave today, called the Capitol Hill ‘Autonomous Zone’ by the protesters. (How long it will remain ‘autonomous’ — occupying the city streets, unchallenged by the Seattle Police Department— is unclear).
Three intersections on Pine street are blocked off, and a little ‘protest village’ of sorts have sprung up all around it. There are tents, stalls that sell water and food, and other trinkets to protesters.
It was beautiful outside, this afternoon as I walked down to Madison Park .. but tonight there was trouble again in Capitol Hill, Seattle, with the protests.
A madman drove towards the crowds and shot a 27-year old guy. He then got out of his car and brandished his gun. He is now in custody and the wounded man is in stable condition.
As I write here it’s after midnight (into Monday morning), and I can hear the popping sounds of the flash-bangs as police are trying to disperse the crowds, telling them to go home.
Long past midnight last night, I could still hear the police helicopter hover over the protesters here in Seattle’s Capitol Hill. It is less than a mile from my house, as the crow flies.
The protesters are out there again tonight. A curfew that had been in place, was lifted, though. I really hope the ugly scenes of Saturday night are behind us.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has upgraded the charge against former police officer Chauvin to second-degree murder. The other three officers that had been with him, have now been charged as well — of aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter.
On Monday evening, federal authorities used tear gas to clear Lafayette Square of peaceful protestors, so President Trump could pose for a photo while holding a Bible in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church.
It wasn’t the first time Trump has used the word of God as a political prop. But it was obscene, even for him.
– William J. Barber II and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, The Washington Post
You know it has to be bad when multiple emergency alert messages pop up on your phone.
In downtown Seattle today, a peaceful protest march was turned into a destructive riot, with evil-doers throwing Molotov cocktails and other objects at police, breaking storefront windows, looting them, and setting three or four vehicles on fire.
Seasoned reporters say this one was the worst since the 1999 World Trade Organization protests here in the city.
A curfew is now in place for tonight & tomorrow night, and the National Guard has been called in by the governor.
‘White people, by and large, do not know what it is like to be occupied by a police force. They don’t understand it because it is not the type of policing they experience. Because they are treated like individuals, they believe that if ‘I am not breaking the law, I will never be abused.’
– Khalil Muhammad, author of The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America
There is a lot of trouble in Minneapolis over the police brutality that led to George Floyd’s death on Monday.
President Obama made welcome and rare appearance on national television tonight, delivering two virtual commencement addresses to the Class of 2020 high school graduates.
His main messages:
1. Don’t be afraid.
2. Do what’s right.
3. Build a community.
He commented on the pandemic as well, and criticized the handling of the outbreak that has now killed more than 87,000 Americans, and crippled much of the economy. “More than anything, this pandemic has fully, finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many of the folks in charge, know what they’re doing. A lot of them aren’t even pretending to be in charge.’
gerund or present participle: gas·lighting
1. manipulate (someone) by psychological means into questioning their own sanity.
2. Trump & his White House staff, talking about the corona virus pandemic.
Jared Kushner had the ba*** to say today that the federal government’s response to the corona virus outbreak is ‘a great success story’. That is a vile and infame lie.
Anyone that knows anything, knows the response can only be described as an abysmal failure. Obama’s team (that had sent 10,000 troops to contain the Ebola pandemic in Africa in 2014), briefed them in 2017 at the hand-over. What did Trump do? He dismantled the pandemic agencies in the federal government.
Trump wasbriefed extensively in January & February 2020 by the intelligence agencies about the coming pandemic. He dismissed their concerns. At least – what? 50%? of the 60,000 deaths that have now been recorded, could have been prevented. More Americans have now died of the virus in three months, than the casualties of the Vietnam War. That war ended after three decades on Apr. 30, 1975.
I saw this YouTube clip from a 2018 Jimmy Kimmel Live show for the first time today. Several people are shown a big world map with the countries outlined.
Were they going to be asked to point out an obscure country such as Nepal, on the map? Maybe a more obvious one such as – uh – Australia? China? Canada? No. Four or five people were asked to choose and correctly point out any one country whatsoever on the world map. Couldn’t do it.
To save Kimmel’s audience from utter despair, the clip ends with a young boy ticking off the countries in South America, on to Mexico, USA, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Australia, New Zealand and .. correctly pointing out Papua New Guinea.
The stock market was down today by ‘only’ – what? 4% or so, I think. I am not even looking anymore. Congress is still trying to pass a $2 trillion economic package. (That’s a 2 with 18 zeros; about 10% of the entire US Gross Domestic Product). As the New York Times says: Republicans insist that we should fight a plague with trickle-down economics and crony capitalism. Democrats, for some reason, don’t agree, and think we should focus on directly helping Americans in need.
There was Trump today, again at the podium with the daily press conference, his tedious self. He has done very little to stop or slow the pandemic. He now tries to claim, that it is going to be possible to resume business as usual in another week or so. (Unbelievable. And good luck with that). The press conference today went on so long, and so off the rails, that it was abandoned by the three national TV networks.
Gov. Jay Inslee expanded school closures and prohibited large gatherings across all of Washington State on Friday, in an effort to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. Health officials reported at least five new deaths, and more than 560 people have now tested positive.
– Associated Press
Trump finally announced today — some 30 minutes before Wall Street closed for the week— that he declares a National Emergency* over the coronavirus. He shook hands with at least three Fortune 500 executives (a bad example in the time of coronavirus), and proceeded to exchange barbs with the press. ‘Such a nasty question’ he said, without answering, when asked why he disbanded the pandemic response team when he took office.
Panic buying erupted on Wall Street, pushing the Dow Jones Industrial Average and other indexes up almost 10%.
Okaayy .. but there is going to be a recession. How can there not be? The world is grinding to a halt. The three largest cruise ship lines have announced a suspension in cruising for 30 days. Delta Airlines says the drop-off in business is worse than after 9/11. If any number of states is like Washington State or the State of New York, the national economic impact will be significant.
*The Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act of 1987 is activated. When the Stafford Act is activated to deal with a pandemic, the federal government can begin providing direct emergency medical care to citizens throughout the country. This could include the establishment of temporary hospitals, for example, to ease the nation’s projected shortage of intensive care beds. The government could also use the act to provide food, water, medicine and other supplies to Americans. [Source: USA Today].
More cancellations today: the entire NBA season cancelled — and the NCAA’s March Madness games, as well (Madness? No, necessary).
Trump’s muddled speech about banning travel from Europe to ‘stop the spread of the coronavirus’ landed with a thud in the financial markets, as did the Federal Reserve’s announcement today, that they will intervene in the markets and pump in more than $1.5 trillion (yes, trillion with a T).
The United States is having a crisis of confidence in the President, and the White House, during this nationwide public health emergency.
I sent my vote in today. It’s so easy in Washington State: you get your paper ballot in the mail, you fill it out, the mailman picks it up. No stamp needed.
As someone said on Twitter about voters in California and Texas that had to wait in line for 4 hours or more on a Tuesday workday, at a polling station: that is not ‘democracy in action, in America’. That is voter suppression.
Here’s the pledged delegate count, as reported late on Tuesday night by the New York Times. Biden 228, Sanders 211, Warren 13, Bloomberg 8. It sure seems to be down to a two-person race (first to 1,191 delegates wins). And it seems Bloomberg’s campaign has to do some introspection.
Super Tuesday turned out to be a momentous day for the Joe Biden campaign, and the tide seems to have turned in his favor.
Biden won in at least 9 of the 14 contested primaries. Texas was too close to call by late Tuesday night. Biden will likely lose California to Bernie Sanders, but he will probably make the 15% cut-off, to still garner some of the state’s huge number of 415 pledged delegates.
Update Wed 3/4: Michael Bloomberg announced that he is dropping out of the race, and endorsing Joe Biden. By now the delegate count is Biden 432-Sanders 388.