Friday, May 01, 2020

Donald J. Trump, Bringer Of Death And Destruction


The Dakotas are Trump country. Both states are red hellholes-- 2 right-wing Republican senators each, one at-large right-wing House member each, and each has a crackpot Trumpist governor and a sociopathic state legislature controlled by the GOP. In 2016, North Dakota gave Trump a 216,133 (64.1%) to 93,526 (27.8%) landslide over Hillary. He won 51 of North Dakota's 53 counties. The two he lost, Sioux and Rolette counties are around 80% Native American. The 2016 picture in South Dakota wasn't much different. Trump beat Hillary 227,701 (61.5%) to 117,442 (31.7%). He won all but 5 of the state's 66 counties.

The biggest county in South Dakota, Minnehaha-- the closest thing to an urban center in the state-- went to Trump by a smaller margin, 53.7% to 39.1%. Today Minnehaha County is one of the worst hit COVID-county hotspots in America. Murderess Kristi Noem, playing at being governor, seemed determined to show how ideologically pure she was by refusing to recognize the coronavirus. As of Monday, the state had 2,245 confirmed cases with 150 in the hospital. 11 had died from COVID-19. Two days later there were 6 more dead and the case load had risen to 2,449. There were 2,834 cases per million, worse than France, Britain, Sweden, Germany, Canada... More than 80% of the state's cases have been tied to a local outbreak at the Smithfield pork processing plant in Sioux Falls (Minnehaha County)-- 1,880 positive tests and six deaths.

Monday North Dakota was reporting 991 cases (79 in hospital) and 19 deaths. That's 1,373 cases per million. Gov. Doug Burgum isn't considered quite as insane as Noem, but the difference is barely detectable. Yesterday the case load had risen to 1,067-- and 1,419 cases per million.

Neither of the Dakotas will be contested in November. It doesn't matter how many Dakotans become infected or die. Those are both Trump states. Yes, his job approval has waned-- but not nearly as much in most red states. According to the Morning Consult Trump Tracker, Trump's net approval since his inauguration had decreased by 14 points in North Dakota and by 11 points in South Dakota. As of February 20th, 53% approved and 44% disapproved in North Dakota and 54% approved with 44% disapproving in South Dakota. Democrats have no viable candidates for any statewide office and a pointless state Democratic Party that has long since given up the ghost in all but name.

It's not as dire in other states Trump won in 2016. Trump is a distinct underdog in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. And he is fighting for survival in states he never imagined would be up for grabs in November. Here's the net approval for 10 battleground states-- listed by the number of COVID-19 cases per million:
Michigan- 4,057 per million-- Net approval- minus 10
Pennsylvania- 3,586 per million-- Net approval- minus 1
Georgia- 2,528 per million-- Net approval- +2
Iowa- 2,281 per million-- Net approval- minus 5
Florida- 1,636 per million-- Net approval- +3
Ohio- 1,486 per million-- Net approval- even
Wisconsin- 1,186 per million-- Net approval- minus 10
Arizona- 1,101 per million-- Net approval- +1
North Carolina- 1,035 per million-- Net approval- +4
Texas- 1,007 per million-- Net approval- +7
Those approval ratings, were before the pandemic struck. Local polls show Trump's approval ratings have sunk in every swing state since then-- even Texas, where the crackpot Trumpist governor has virtually removed effective social distancing rules just as the pandemic is seriously getting started. Trump's approval in Texas is now underwater-- 46% approving and 49% disapproving. A Fox News poll of Florida voters last week shows Trump's unfavorables at 49% with his favorables at 48%. The most recent Arizona poll looks absolutely catastrophic for Trump:

Yesterday, Washington Post reporter Toluse Olorunnipa seemed to indicate that the only positive strategy Trump has left is to use his signature lies to persuade voters they are not worse off but better off-- or soon will be. "Before the coronavirus pandemic ravaged the country," he wrote, "President Trump’s campaign had a simple, economy-focused reelection pitch: 'Keep America Great.' Now, with the economy in free-fall less than six months before voters cast their ballots and daily life disrupted, Trump is trying a new tact: making bold new promises about a swift economic rebound that experts and even members of his own party say are unrealistic." Are Trump's supporters that simpleminded? Is the average IQ of a Trump voter significantly below 85? Well... There were substantial reporters of Trump supporters drinking bleach and other disinfectants in the last week or two-- Trump voters in New York City, in Maryland and especially in red states like Kansas and Georgia.
The president and his allies have embraced optimism as a central part of his new reelection push, offering a rosy message about a swift return to normal life despite the rising death toll and jobless claims resulting from the outbreak.

Vice President Pence predicted the virus’s impact will be largely over by Memorial Day. Much of the country will be back to normal by June, Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and a key campaign and White House adviser, told Fox News on Wednesday.

“The hope is that by July, the country’s really rocking again,” Kushner said.

For his part, Trump has already declared that the economy has begun a “comeback,” predicting “phenomenal” growth in the fourth quarter and arguing that he will quickly reconstruct what he describes as history’s “greatest

economy.” It’s a high-risk strategy that will require Trump to evade the political ramifications of a health crisis and a steep recession with the same sense of invulnerability that has kept his presidency afloat through numerous other controversies. As economists and health experts warn that this crisis is likely to linger longer and have a more severe impact than anything in recent memory, Trump is essentially risking his reelection on proving them wrong.

“The economists said a lot of things before Trump got elected-- and he proved all of them wrong,” said Bryan Lanza, who advised Trump’s 2016 campaign and transition. “The good news is that President Trump doesn’t give a rip about what economists think.”

But economists from his own party and within his own administration are offering sober assessments that are at odds with the lofty projections from Trump and his top aides about a year-end resurgence. On Wednesday, the Commerce Department reported that the U.S. economy contracted at a 4.8 percent pace from January through March, and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell indicated that the second quarter would see even steeper declines.

Even some Trump allies agree that more economic pain is ahead.

“I don’t see a quick recovery,” said Stephen Moore, a conservative writer and activist who advised Trump’s 2016 campaign. “I think it’s going to take longer than most people seem to think it will.”

Moore, who serves on the White House council to reopen the country, added that it was “perfectly appropriate” for the president to put forward an optimistic message, and said voters would be willing to back him if the economy has emerged from the deep recession and things are trending in the right direction by November.

Trump’s willingness to personalize the economy-- and the broader pandemic response-- has opened him up to criticism from Democrats, who are more than willing to draw a link between the president’s performance and the country’s struggles.

“As Trump downplayed the threat of the coronavirus, his White House was caught flat-footed by the economic fallout that resulted from his complete mismanagement of this crisis,” Democratic National Committee spokesman Daniel Wessel said Wednesday.

The White House has increasingly formed the backdrop for the president’s positive messaging campaign. In recent days, Trump has reconfigured his daily appearances at the White House to focus more on the economy than the ongoing health crisis that has killed more than 60,000 Americans and continues apace. He has hosted dozens of CEOs and small business owners, holding celebratory news conferences to tout the federal aid that has been distributed so far.

As Trump has shifted his focus toward reopening the economy, the health experts on the White House’s coronavirus task force have taken on a less prominent public role, even as their warnings about a lingering crisis have become more direct.

Dr. Deborah Birx, the task force’s coordinator, predicted Sunday that social distancing will continue for months, undercutting more optimistic messaging from Trump and his allies.

“Social distancing will be with us through the summer to really ensure that we protect one another,” she said Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press.
Trump counts on them to not pay any attention to the mass media, which he has worked hard to discredit from the moment he occupied the White House. It's always what fascists and authoritarians do. Matt Kiser's report yesterday would be devastating to Trump if Trump supporters read it and understood it. Top points:
U.S. GDP contradicted 4.8% in the first quarter-- the first negative reading since the first quarter of 2014 and the worst result on record since the Great Recession of 2009. Economists say the first quarter is a precursor to a far grimmer report to come on the April-June period, with business shutdowns and layoffs striking with devastating force. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that economic activity will plunge this quarter at a 40% annual rate.
Trump said existing coronavirus social distancing guidelines-- set to expire with the end of April-- will not be extended further. The administration said the existing social distancing recommendations will “be fading out, because now the governors are doing it.”
Millions of municipal workers could find themselves out of a job or without pay as cities and states face an urgent financial crisis, according to a new estimate from the National League of Cities. The reductions in staffing could affect education, sanitation, safety and health, and more.
Several states warned residents who are called back to work that they may be cut off from unemployment benefits if they refuse to return because they don’t feel safe. Concern about exposure to coronavirus is typically not a sufficient enough reason to stay home and continue collecting benefits, according to a recent guidance from the US Department of Labor.
Jared Kushner called the coronavirus crisis “a great success story” as the U.S. death toll crossed 60,000, with more than one million COVID-19 cases confirmed. “We’re on the other side of the medical aspect of this,” Kushner claimed in an interview with Fox News without citing evidence. “We’ve achieved all the different milestones that are needed. The federal government rose to the challenge.” Kushner also promised that that much of the country could be “back to normal” by June and for the nation to be “really rocking again” by July. [Editor’s note: Jared Kushner is a shithead.]

Moron by Chip Proser

Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that a second round of the coronavirus is “inevitable.” He added that “we have put into place all of the countermeasures” to address the pandemic, but “If we don’t do that successfully, we could be in for a bad fall and a bad winter.” If states begin lifting restrictions too early, Fauci said the country could see a rebound of the virus that would “get us right back in the same boat that we were a few weeks ago.”
Trump-- providing no evidence-- promised that the U.S. will be able to carry out more than five million coronavirus tests per day “very soon” after a Harvard University study said the U.S. needed to be capable of carrying out at least 5 million tests a day by early June-- and 20 million per day by late July-- in order to safely reopen the economy. He later claimed that he never said that, blaming it on a “media trap.” Since the beginning of the year, however, the Trump administration has conducted 5.7 million tests in total. And, the largest number of tests conducted by the U.S. in a single day was 314,182. Trump didn’t offer how his administration was going to account for the 1,500% increase in testing, but assured those at the briefing: “If you look at the numbers, it could be that we’re getting very close,” adding “I don’t know that all of that’s even necessary.” Trump also credited expanded testing for the 1 million confirmed cases of coronavirus that the U.S. has reported, saying “It’s a number that in one way sounds bad but in another is an indication our testing is more superior.” On March 6, Trump said that anyone who wanted a coronavirus test could get one. Dr. Fauci, however, said Tuesday that “Hopefully, we should see that as we get towards the end of May, the beginning of June.”
85% of Americans said it was a bad idea to have students return to schools without adequate testing, a vaccine or medications to treat coronavirus. Americans also said it was a bad idea to have people return to work (65%), allow large groups of people to attend sporting events (91%), and reopen restaurants (80%).
MAGA by Chip Proser

Amanda Mull had a smart way of explaining the rush to reopen businesses before health concerns warrant it: an experiment in human sacrifice. Georgia's extreme right-wing Trumpist governor, Brian Kemp, seems to want to be the first to open up, despite the disaster his orders are causing. Yesterday saw 246 new cases in Georgia, bringing the total to 25,897 (2,515 per million) and over 1,100 deaths. "For weeks," wrote Mull, "Americans have watched the coronavirus sweep from city to city, overwhelming hospitals, traumatizing health-care workers, and leaving tens of thousands of bodies in makeshift morgues. Georgia has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic, and the state’s testing efforts have provided an incomplete look at how far the virus continues to spread. That testing capacity-- which public-health leaders consider necessary for safely ending lockdowns-- has lagged behind the nation’s for much of the past two months. Kemp’s move to reopen was condemned by scientists, high-ranking Republicans from his own state, and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms; it even drew a public rebuke from President Donald Trump, who had reportedly approved the measures before distancing himself from the governor amid the backlash... By acting with particular haste in what he calls a crucial move to restore economic stability, Kemp has positioned Georgia at the center of a national fight over whether to stay the course with social distancing or try to return to some semblance of normalcy... Georgia’s brash reopening puts much of the state’s working class in an impossible bind: risk death at work, or risk ruining yourself financially at home. In the grips of a pandemic, the approach is a morbid experiment in just how far states can push their people. Georgians are now the largely unwilling canaries in an invisible coal mine, sent to find out just how many individuals need to lose their job or their life for a state to work through a plague."

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At 6:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joseph R. Biden: Nothing will significantly change.

If in the future -should humanity survive- and some historian actually reads this, I want to say that the real election was between two criminal gangs whose veniality differed only in who benefited. I neither case did the victimized populace have a chance of survival.

At 6:58 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

Too bad Biden is just so awful! The Dems could not have picked a worse candidate. Not that he campaigned or actually got anywhere until the Dem party and the black big shots stepped in and threw the primaries his way. Looking at you Obama. And now he has the Me2's after him. Not a good look. His history with women is not good - remember Anita Hill?

Biden will NOT be good for black America. Not at all. If he wins he will be disastrous in his own way, the way of the corporate Dems, who have been inching us away from FDR's policies for decades and will continue to do so. I recall why I disliked Hillary so much, even though she looks so much better in that rear view mirror, compared to Trump AND Biden. Biden is so much worse than she was. Including being dumb.

Bernie was the only one who offered something truly different and FDR like, which is what we really need. Anyone watching the documentary about The Roosevelts lately? FDR was AMAZING. Imagine if he rose up now.

At 7:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

With a racist "president", a racist SCrOTUS, and a Racist Senate dominating a lickspittle House, watch for the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to be repealed to restore Slavery.

The South Will Have Arisen Again.

At 10:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The donor class doesn't care about repealing Amendments. They will just do their usual run around the law with the government and judicial systems already in their pockets. The owners no longer care about the color of their chattel. Full on slavery requires too much effort and expense compared to the system they have today. The Democrats have run a nice rearguard action with their emphasis on id-pol while demonizing class consciousness as somehow racist.

At 11:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hone, if FDR arose, he'd be ratfucked and shunned and marginalized; the party collaborating with the media to just make him go away -- exactly what they've done to Bernie twice.

The only difference might be that FDR would maybe not just lay down and take it like Bernie has. But FDR WAS a loyal party man. So who knows.

Not only the party and media, but today's voters are far too stupid to support FDR should he arise. The black demo would still do what they are told by all the uncle-toms. And the old white demo will still support whomever the party oligarchs tell them to support.

And the young, who seem to know more than the rest, will be disenfranchised just like today. And a massive number will just not participate.

So, hone, still waiting for you to vow fealty to biden so that trump can be defeated... just like last time (followed by shock at trump's win again, just like last time). When is that coming? soon?

Since you're going to vote for the pos regardless, it seems pointless to express such disgust at how horrible he is... does it not?

At 11:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:33, the American government, courts and people haven't bothered to repeal ANY of the constitution. Yet I can name 20 clauses in it that have been ignored and/or are regularly violated (by both parties) with ZERO consequences.

They won't bother to repeal pieces. They're almost certain to just suspend it in total.

and nobody will give a shit.

At 11:49 AM, Blogger Cugel said...

It would hardly matter who the Democratic candidate was. EVERY Presidential election for a second term is ALWAYS a referendum on the incumbent president.

This was true for FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush, and Obama.

Every single time a President convinced a majority of voters that he had things basically under control, they re-elected him.

It didn't matter who the opponent was. Only during crises where the President showed a lack of leadership ability did the incumbent lose.

Only if Trump could sail through without any crises would he be re-elected. But, we are now in a profound crisis where Trump would have to exercise real leadership to convince the country that they could trust him in a crisis.

Even an idiot like George Bush II convinced enough fools during the 9-11 crisis to get narrowly reelected in 2004.

But, Trump can't govern. He can only rant, do corrupt branding deals, attack his enemies and rail at the media, and everybody else he doesn't like.

His re-election would take a complete reversal of the current economic crisis. And that can only happen by accident, since he's incapable of doing anything constructive.

At 4:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:49, it won't even take a complete reversal. If it even starts to get better, trump wins, and it won't be close.

these are not normal times. trump is the worst, by far, but he's been the worst, by far, for years. Americans, congenital idiots that they are, are getting used to it. If the U4 comes in at under 20% by September, trump wins. The rest is background noise.

wanna know why? because the democraps nominated joe fucking biden, a lifelong racist misogynist corrupt neoliberal fascist who almost surely raped someone years ago and has gotten away with it. Had the democraps nominated someone only as bad as, say, $hillbillary, the democraps win, and it won't be close. But the democraps and their WORSE than brain dead voters decided the retarded trump the lesser was their best bet.

Biden will create an anti-blue concurrent with trump's anti-red... all trump needs is one... ANY sign of non-negative news... and he wins... bigly.

At 7:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...the American government, courts and people haven't bothered to repeal ANY of the constitution."

I WAS wondering why Prohibitiion was still in effect!


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