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brooklynite

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Name: Chris Bastian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 65,286

Journal Archives

NYS begins Early Voting tomorrow

(first time we’ve done it at a General Election)

Polls open at 10 Am. I’ll be on line at 7:30.

New North Carolina Poll (Meredith Univ, B/C): Biden +4, Cunningham +5, Cooper +19

Our results indicate that Joe Biden has opened a slight lead over Donald Trump (48.1 to 44%) with a small number of voters undecided (4.4%) about two weeks before Election Day. This represents a slight increase in Biden’s lead. Both candidates have strong support of their party voters with Biden having the support of 91% of Democrats and Trump garnering support from 88% of Republicans. Unaffiliated voters are currently breaking almost 2-1 for Biden.


After a tumultuous period in the U.S. Senate race between incumbent Republican Thom Tillis and Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham, there appears to be little change since the October Poll. Cunningham maintains his modest lead (43.3%-38.2%) with a high number of respondents (14.1%) indicating they had not made up their mind.


In our survey, Roy Cooper has opened an almost twenty point lead (52.1%-33.7%) over Republican challenger Dan Forest. Although 12.6% of respondents indicated that they were undecided, Cooper is in a strong position for reelection.


https://www.meredith.edu/assets/images/content/Meredith_College_Poll_Report_October_2020.pdf

The Republican Identity Crisis After Trump

The New Yorker

Trump will not be President forever—he may be in the role for only a few more months. It’s hard to imagine that the Republican Party could come close to replicating him with another Presidential candidate, unless it’s Donald Trump, Jr. But is there a future in Trumpism? This is a live question for both parties. The major political development of the past decade, all over the world, has been a series of reactions against economic insecurity and inequality powerful enough to blow apart the boundaries of conventional politics. On the right, this can be seen in the regimes of Jair Bolsonaro, in Brazil; Narendra Modi, in India; Viktor Orbán, in Hungary; and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in Turkey. There are new nativist and nationalist parties across Western Europe, and movements like the ones that produced Brexit, in Britain, and the gilets jaunes, in France. An ambitious Republican can’t ignore Trumpism. Nor can an ambitious Democrat: the Democratic Party has also failed to address the deep economic discontent in this country. But is it possible to address it without opening a Pandora’s box of virulent rage and racism? Lisa McGirr, a historian at Harvard who often writes about conservatism, told me, “The component of both parties that did not grapple with the insecurity of many Americans—that created the opportunity for exclusionary politics. It’s not Trump. It’s an opportunity that Trump seized.”

The Republican Party has long had a significant nativist, isolationist element. In the Party’s collective memory, this faction was kept in check by “fusionism,” a grand entente between this element and the Party’s business establishment. The best-known promoter of fusionism is the late William F. Buckley, Jr., the theatrically patrician founder of National Review and an all-around conservative celebrity. Buckley tried to keep anti-Semites and conspiracy theorists out of the conservative movement, but he was not a standard Chamber of Commerce Republican. His first book attacked liberal universities, his second defended Joseph McCarthy, and in 1957, when Dwight Eisenhower was sending federal troops to integrate Little Rock Central High School, he wrote an article titled “why the south must prevail.” Buckley helped define American conservatism as a movement that supported free-market economics and internationalism and welcomed serious intellectuals, including former Communists such as James Burnham, Frank Meyer, and Whittaker Chambers.

Fusionism brought these views together into what seemed for a long time, at least from the outside, to be a relatively workable political coalition. Philip Zelikow, a veteran Republican foreign-policy official and one of hundreds of prominent members of the Party who vigorously opposed Trump in 2016, said, “World War II, followed by nearly World War III, brought the United States into an unprecedented world role. And a vocal minority didn’t accept it. They don’t like foreigners. They think they’re playing us for suckers. There were a lot of Pearl Harbor and Yalta conspiracy theories that we’ve forgotten about. This group concentrates overwhelmingly in the Republican Party.” For a long time, it was kept in check. Now, in Zelikow’s view, it has grown in prominence and become less deferential to the business wing of the Republican establishment, and is “close to being the most influential element in the Party.”

The Cold War made fusionism possible. In the name of helping capitalism defeat Communism, the movement allied Republicans who adored McCarthy with those who despised him, on the basis of a shared commitment to an aggressive American military stance and a super-empowerment of private business. But the isolationist impulse has deep roots in American political culture. It was clearly present during the red scare after the First World War, the repudiation of Woodrow Wilson and the League of Nations, and the passage of the 1924 law that severely restricted immigration. As Zelikow put it, “The isolationists believed the U.S. should be bristling with weapons. Foreigners are a viral pathology. The whole point is to keep foreigners away from us.” These attitudes were consistent with a high-alarm version of internationalism that focussed on the Soviet threat. Buckley-style conservatism went from being regularly dismissed as irrelevant, a creed whose following didn’t extend far beyond the small circulation of a political magazine, to being the core principle of Ronald Reagan’s Presidency.



Trump's Philanthropy: Big Tax Write-Offs and Claims That Don't Always Add Up

Source: New York Times

In President Trump’s telling, he is a committed philanthropist with strong ties to many charities. “If you don’t give back, you’re never ever going to be fulfilled in life,” he wrote in “Trump 101: The Way to Success,” published at the height of his “Apprentice” fame.

And according to his tax records, he has given back at least $130 million since 2005, his second year as a reality TV star.

But the long-hidden tax records, obtained by The New York Times, show that Mr. Trump did not have to reach into his wallet for most of that giving. The vast bulk of his charitable tax deductions, $119.3 million worth, came from simply agreeing not to develop land — in several cases, after he had shelved development plans.

Three of the agreements involved what are known as conservation easements — a maneuver, popular among wealthy Americans, that typically allows a landowner to keep a property’s title and receive a tax deduction equal to its appraised value. In the fourth land deal, Mr. Trump donated property for a state park.


Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/23/us/trump-taxes-philanthropy.html

Mnuchin downbeat on economic relief talks with Pelosi as clock runs out ahead of election

Source: Washington Post

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin delivered a downbeat assessment Friday about his economic stimulus talks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), saying the speaker had “dug in” and “significant differences” remain.

Mnuchin’s comments came at the end of a week Pelosi had established as an informal deadline for getting agreement on an approximately $2 trillion spending bill in order for legislation to pass before the election. There was no agreement in sight, although Pelosi insisted that she remained optimistic.

“You have to be optimistic in a negotiation,” the speaker said on MSNBC.

Later in the day, Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill wrote on Twitter that the Democratic leader and the Treasury secretary would “speak again once additional progress is made.” He said staff-level work would continue through the weekend.


Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2020/10/23/trump-congress-coronavirus-bailout/

America hits highest daily number of coronavirus cases since pandemic began

Source: Washington Post

America on Friday hit its highest daily number of coronavirus case since the pandemic began, recording at least 81,400 new infections and surpassing the previous record set during the summertime surge of cases across the Sun Belt.

The rising numbers puts the nation on the precipice of what could be its worst stretch to date in the pandemic with some hospitals in the West and Midwest already overwhelmed and deaths counts beginning to rise.

The current surge is considerably more widespread than the waves from last summer and spring. The unprecedented geographic spread of the current surge makes it more dangerous, with experts warning it could lead to dire shortages of medical staff and supplies. Already, hospitals are reporting shortfalls of basic drugs needed to treat covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

And it’s not simply a matter of increased testing identifying more cases. Covid-19 hospitalizations increased in 38 states over the past week and are rising so quickly that many facilities in the West and Midwest are already overwhelmed. The number of deaths nationally has crested above 1,000 in recent days.



Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/10/23/covid-us-spike-cases/



We're Number ONE!

Arizona Is Ready to Toss Trump -- and the Rest of the GOP

New York Magazine

“I always thought it would be difficult for him,” Jeff Flake, the former senator from Arizona, told me. “Before corona and before the economy went south with the coronavirus, I thought it would be difficult.” A Goldwater Republican and devout Mormon, Flake did not get along with the president for obvious reasons. Flake sees now in Hunter’s laptop the problem that Trump’s personality poses for his party. “Boy, it’s not broadening the base,” he said.

In the four years since his narrow defeat of Hillary Clinton in Arizona, Trump has suffered among regretful white suburban voters here as he has nationwide, throwing the state into play for Democrats as it hasn’t been since Bill Clinton beat Bob Dole by 31,215 votes in 1996. “If you go to a Trump rally, that’s what gets the applause lines, gets people chanting ‘Lock him up!’ or ‘Lock her up!’” Flake said, “That’s affirmation to the president, but it’s not appealing to people that they’re trying to move. This whole campaign just seems an exercise in affirmation.”

As far as demonstrations go, it wasn’t much, just three white women on the side of the road in Scottsdale, Arizona. One waved an American flag. One held nothing at all. But had Donald Trump asked God for a sign of encouragement, he couldn’t have done better than the third woman, who raised above her head a halo of red poster board on which she’d scrawled three words that, for the president and his supporters, amount to the most hopeful message of the campaign: “HUNTER’S LAPTOP MATTERS.”

If Trump is to win reelection, the three women of Scottsdale Road would have to represent an army of clones. There must exist beyond the reach of pollsters many more such voters in places like Maricopa County for whom Hunter’s laptop matters a great deal. The complex tale of Rudy Giuliani, the Democratic nominee’s son, and a device supposedly full of private photos and evidence of potential corruption or certain nepotism in Ukraine and China must outweigh in importance the pedestrian issues that tend to consume Americans as they consider the choice before them on November 3.


“I always thought it would be difficult for him,” Jeff Flake, the former senator from Arizona, told me. “Before corona and before the economy went south with the coronavirus, I thought it would be difficult.” A Goldwater Republican and devout Mormon, Flake did not get along with the president for obvious reasons. Flake sees now in Hunter’s laptop the problem that Trump’s personality poses for his party. “Boy, it’s not broadening the base,” he said.

In the four years since his narrow defeat of Hillary Clinton in Arizona, Trump has suffered among regretful white suburban voters here as he has nationwide, throwing the state into play for Democrats as it hasn’t been since Bill Clinton beat Bob Dole by 31,215 votes in 1996. “If you go to a Trump rally, that’s what gets the applause lines, gets people chanting ‘Lock him up!’ or ‘Lock her up!’” Flake said, “That’s affirmation to the president, but it’s not appealing to people that they’re trying to move. This whole campaign just seems an exercise in affirmation.”

Steve Schmidt agreed: “Trump’s coalition is in a state of collapse.” Schmidt advised the 2008 presidential campaign of the late John McCain, Goldwater’s successor as the senior senator from Arizona. More recently, Schmidt co-founded the Lincoln Project, the group formed by exiled Establishment Republicans to torment the president through brutal television advertisements. So he has plenty of reasons to root for a big Trump loss. “McCain had his enemies in Arizona for sure, but he was deeply admired in the state and reflexively, even for people who didn’t care for McCain and didn’t like him, there’s a sense of, ‘I can say that about him but you definitely can’t.’” When it comes to attacks on McCain’s valor, Schmidt said, it inspires particular “revulsion.” But on a less personal level, as a strategist, Schmidt is more awed than gleeful as he observes the reversal of Trump’s once remarkable political luck. “This is ending the only way it could end: in farcical tragedy,” he said. “All of his race-baiting and the appeals to non-college-educated white men, primarily targeted to voters in the upper Midwest where he’s behind, have turned off in profound numbers suburban women and Sun Belt voters in the New South.”

The Trump campaign’s path to a second Electoral College victory requires repeating the miracle he pulled off in 2016. Then, the race was closer and his opponent’s lead was less stable. Then, voters could think only of how he might govern or of what could go wrong, not of a pandemic yet untamed, not of jobs lost, not of 220,000 coronavirus deaths. It’s a record that no incumbent would want, that no marketing genius even of Trump’s skills could spin his way out of. Now, he must worry not only about the swing states where he barely won in 2016, including Arizona, but also about places like Texas and Iowa, where he won by almost ten points but now is just four points ahead and one point behind in polls, respectively.


Lou Dobbs: DON'T vote for Lindsey Graham...

...he isn't Trumpy enough.

https://twitter.com/JasonSCampbell/status/1319749236251070466

Biden says he will start working on coronavirus relief during transition if elected

Source: Politico

Joe Biden pledged Friday that if elected president he will begin reaching out to state and local leaders during the transition to begin crafting a coronavirus relief bill that he could sign by the end of January.

In remarks in Wilmington, Del., after the final presidential debate, the Democratic nominee said he would look to gauge “what support they need and how much of it they need.”

“I'll ask the new Congress to put a bill on my desk by the end of January with all the resources to see how both our public health and economic response can be seen through the end, what is needed,” he said.

Biden again skewered President Donald Trump’s handling of the virus, reprising key lines of attack he made during Thursday night’s debate. And in pledging to sign off on a relief bill within weeks of assuming office, he offered a contrast to the slow-going response of the Trump administration.


Read more: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/10/23/biden-coronavirus-relief-431847

'Warning flare': New swing-state data shows massive Democratic early-vote lead

Source: Politico

Democrats have opened up a yawning gap in early voting over Republicans in six of the most crucial battleground states — but that only begins to tell the story of their advantage heading into Election Day.

In a more worrisome sign for Republicans, Democrats are also turning out more low-frequency and newly registered voters than the GOP, according to internal data shared with POLITICO by Hawkfish, a new Democratic research firm, which was reviewed by Republicans and independent experts.

The turnout data does not mean Donald Trump will lose to Joe Biden. Both sides are bracing for a close race and a giant wave of Republicans to vote in person on Nov. 3. Yet the turnout disparity with new and less-reliable voters has forced Republican political operatives to take notice.

“It’s a warning flare,” said veteran Republican strategist Scott Reed.


Read more: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/10/23/early-voting-numbers-swing-states-431363
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