To be sure Trump has a losing hand and made it worse.
He probably will lose 3% in the polls and it is looking like a 57% to 43% popular loss in 5 weeks.
And yet, at this point Trump would be happy with that.
So now the media is talking about how rude, chaotic and racist Trump is.
Everyone already knew that.
This wasn't the "beginning of the end of the Trump campaign" it is very near the end of the Trump campaign.
Trump knows that and that isn't his main concern at this time.
On Sunday the New York Times outlined specific facts that outlined
1) An elaborate criminal conspiracy to commit tax fraud
2) The greatest national security danger in the history of the United States
3) Trump's overwhelming failure as a business leader
4) A complete con perpetuating a series of flimsy PR images that are no longer credible
5) Paying lower taxes than the lowest salaried members of his base.
Paying taxes is the most personal interaction most Americans have with the federal government. There is a widespread perception that it is basically unfair that people that work the hardest pay an unfair share.
It is the one and only thing that can split his base. It is likely that if the charges were widely documented and proved that Trump wouldn't lose 3% but 15 to 20%.
But more importantly, much more importantly is that it would become the dominate theme in the close out of the election and a call for a Special Prosecutor would become a major theme in the last weeks of the campaign and would be confirmed with a landslide loss.
So Trump is going to do everything to get the criminal tax story off the front pages.
He did that yesterday. The media is outraged and distracted.
And guess what, all of the Republican Senators running for re election are not being asked about their opinion of $ 70,000 hair cut deductions, and the clearly illegal $ 70 million refund on a debt where he retained value (which is clearly not allowed).
There are no published stories today about Trump's former campaign manager who appears to be a central figure in a $ 140 million scheme to skim money from the campaign. Oh and by the way this same individual was threatening to commit suicide and is under custody.
So yes it was a revolting shit show.
But it wasn't criminal, it distracted from a much more devastating story.
Yes the NYT will reheat the story but the momentum will not be the same. There is something about the life of an expose that has an organic heat when it starts that can reach a boiling point but if it is interrupted and reissued seems contrived and less powerful.
Yes Trump lost politically, yes he is going to lose by a landslide.
But what he was able to do was to take the clearly criminal charges off the front burner and right now that is his over riding concern.
In the meantime Trump still thinks he has a chance to win the election because there could be some terrible Biden gaffe or some outlandish rumor that takes off. But even if he loses his main concern is too try and minimize his criminal exposure.
All of his shit stirring is simply repeating what he did with his bankruptcies: He created such chaos that he could force the banks to accept his terms because to fight him would see him burn down the assets (figuratively) and cause further losses. Trump is trying to generate widespread violence and civil unrest so that he can negotiate a peaceful transition with a global "no prosecution" agreement.
People think that Trump is stupid. He is not. He understands numbers. His projections on the morbidity of Covid 19 to Woodward (about 5 times a flu season) is pretty much on the mark. He knows he is almost certainly going to lose but he wants to be able to lose without having any criminal prosecution for the crimes he knows he has committed.
A chaotic racist debate performance is much better than a detailed discussion of his criminal tax history and a listing of ridiculous payments on haircuts (and the rest) that even much of his base will start to question.
Mr. Takei is one of the great prophets of our age, he really is and his writings are thought provoking, humorous and kind.
Today Nevilledog posted this excellent thread which recounts his family's internment and the need for solidarity in opposing this administration. If you missed it please read and rec it.
But he is dead wrong on one point:
Today, I have no doubt that if something similar happened to one group of people, there would be massive protests and an upswell of support. From this I understand thatwWe have learned much as a country. But its also very easy for us to forget, to be misled, to diminish. /6
Today something very similar to the internment of 112,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese residents of three states (WA OR and CA) has happened.
Nearly 600,000 legal residents of the United States holding social security cards, living legally in the US for over 20 years will have their legal status taken away and can be forced out of the US without any further legal recourse.
A federal appeals court has upheld President Donald Trumps decision to take away legal protections for 400,000 immigrants, who could be deported next year if he wins reelection despite having put down roots in the US over years or even decades.
Citizens of El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan have been able to stay in the US through Temporary Protected Status (TPS), a protection typically offered to citizens of countries experiencing natural disasters or armed conflict that allows them to legally live and work in the US. Against the advice of senior State Department officials, Trump tried to end TPS for those countries starting in November 2017, arguing that conditions have improved enough that their citizens can now safely return.
The TPS system was initiated under the Bush Administration and continued and extended under the Obama Administration. The legislation was repeatedly passed by near unanimous bi partisan support. The reasoning was clear, if a country was destroyed by an earthquake, hurricane or civil war it was fruitless to try and send undocumented workers back where an economy didn't exist.
In the first case we need these workers. I know one TPS worker whose boss told me that if he were to leave he would have to hire 3 workers to replace him because he had over the years (he was hired when he was 16) gained a combination of skills no other worker has.
Beyond that it was good for rebuilding the broken economies because these workers send money back to their families.
They enrolled in the program under draconian, but fair, restrictions. You can't break any rule or you go home. I knew one fellow who went with friends to visit relatives in Toronto. He could not return to the US and was returned to El Salvador where he hadn't been in 15 years and had no connections.
I was walking with one TPS fellow near midnight in an urban area and with no cars within miles crossed the street. Reaching the other side I turned to see him waiting patiently for the "do not walk" sign to turn. Another fellow went to play soccer with some Mexican friends. When he saw that after the game they all had a single beer he refused the ride and walked 8 miles home because he didn't want to be in a car that might be pulled over for a DUI.
They have married American citizens and they are parents of American citizens.
They lived here legally for decades. Only one politician targeted them.
One of the elements that they agreed to was that they agreed that they would have no legal standing to sue if the TPS was revolked so today's ruling was not a surprise.
Over the years I have arranged to be added to the speakers list for the demonstrations for DACA or immigration reform. I got myself added to an AFL CIO state round table discussion of immigration issues (at least they knew about it at the AFL CIO). I have badgered a few TV appearances but there is no traction. These folks from Haiti, El Salvador, Nepal and elsewhere have no profile.
So today, George, a group of people 5 times larger than the odious internment of Japanese Americans and Japanese Residents just lost all of their legal standing. If one of them is involved in a traffic accident (like the SD Attorney General) they will be taken to jail and handled to ICE even though they never committed a crime and returned to a country they have not seen for decades, many leaving when they were children.
They will never appear before an Immigration Court.
Fascism doesn't require mass murder and ovens. It can be done with cages for children or by simply moving one group of people from the legal side of the ledger to the illegal side. Their lives can be destroyed in the same way that Dredd Scott's was with just a movement of a pen on paper.
So, I love you to death George and my daughter's initiative in getting your autograph consists of my entire collection of autographs but today 600,000 legal residents lives were put into jeopardy and there will be no demonstrations. It will not rise to be noticed even on MSNBC and even caring communities like DU will hardly notice.
This is how great countries are made into mean trivial pathetic embarrassments, one petty but devastating injustice at a time.
And no unfortunately the massive protests will not result in bodies in the streets but there might be some very eloquent tweets and facebook postings.
Background: Trump and McSally ads have vanished from the airwaves in AZ. We see lots of Kelly ads (very well done) and some Biden ads (also very well done). I think it is wise that both Trump and McSally save their money and not run ads because they were just terrible.
Now we know why Trump is going dark and not just in AZ:
TRUMP CAMPAIGN HAS MONEY PROBLEMS
Money concerns are very real for President Trumps campaign an unusual predicament for a sitting president, and one that worries veteran Republican operatives, with Trump so far behind in swing states as the race climaxes, Axios reports.
The campaigns view is that Trump will get his message out, and he depends less on paid media than normal politicians. But the number of states Trump has to worry about has actually grown, and Joe Bidens massive August fundraising haul has given his campaign a lift as early voting begins.
The AP reports the Trump campaign had pulled most TV ads over the previous week, ceding the airwaves to Biden, who was outspending Trump by more than 10 to 1.
New York Times: The light television spending and advertising blackouts in some key states have mystified allies.
Also gone are the ads on the electronic billboards.
So driving on freeways in Phoenix last week I was struck by a beautiful electronic ad that had a single word "BIDEN" against a deep blue background framed by the beautiful iconic sunset colors on the AZ state flag. Its a pretty standard format for candidates of both parties but when it is done on an electronic billboard it just projected a simple and surprisingly beautiful message. There were a couple of lines in small print but I couldn't read it but could see the simple message a couple of miles away.
It would rotate off the electronic billboard and then we get dozens of personal injury attorneys all with the same messages. No I didn't have a wreck but I still need a check and yes I know that you don't get paid until I get paid.
Eventually the Biden sign would rotate in view but now I was at an angle and couldn't see the small print.
Curious no other political advertising on the billboards but over the last week or so I kept my eye out for it.
Yesterday I was close enough and at the right angle that I could see the smaller print.
Its just a billboard but damn it, it choked me up.
I found a yard sign that has the same message and design but doesn't do justice to how it looks on a gigantic electronic billboard.
This is AZ and some Republicans here are financing their own campaign of hope and unity. President Biden will be able to bridge across America and build bridges and consensus with a sensible non Trump Republican remnant on the many things we do agree on, like NATO, refugees and the environment.
If AZ Republicans can join Democrats to elect Joe Biden President and send Mark Kelly to the Senate then we have reason to hope that this agonizing nightmarish experiment in authoritarian nihilism is coming to an end.
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