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News & Politics Thread (Part 5)

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    mellobruce
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    Putin Hints at Another Term If Constitutional Changes Approved

    Russia’s President Vladimir Putin says he doesn’t “rule out the possibility” of running for a 5th term if voters approve changes to the constitution later this summer.

    In truth, Putin is pushing the changes solely so that he can run for 2 more 6-year terms.

    Putin has an interesting argument for the voters to approve the changes to the constitution.

    Putin, who has been in power for two decades and is now 67, suggested the hunt for a candidate to succeed him could become a distraction if he does not run again.

    “If this doesn’t happen, then in about two years – and I know this from personal experience – the normal rhythm of work of many parts of government will be replaced by a search for possible successors,” Interfax news agency cited him as saying.  “We must be working, not looking for successors,” he said.

    The outcome of the vote for constitutional changes has already been tabulated. A bookstore in Moscow is selling copies of the constitution with the changes already written in.

    Hopefully Donald Trump does the same thing, and extends his rule at least 12 years.  Americans clearly cannot govern themselves and require a benign dictatorship.  Seriously.  The unhinged Left has exposed itself and has been found inadequate, useless, ridiculous and without merit.

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    DS0816
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    ‘Trump increasingly preoccupied with defending his physical and mental health’

    By Ashley Parker and Josh Dawsey | June 22, 2020
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-increasingly-preoccupied-with-defending-his-physical-and-mental-health/2020/06/22/c7e0a95c-b3ed-11ea-9b0f-c797548c1154_story.html?utm_campaign=wp_politics&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=rss

    The early June meeting in the Cabinet Room was intended as a general update on President Trump’s reelection campaign, but the president had other topics on his mind.
    Trump had taken a cognitive screening test as part of his 2018 physical, and now, more than two years later, he brought up the 10-minute exam. He waxed on about how he’d dazzled the proctors with his stellar performance, according to two people familiar with his comments. He walked the room of about two dozen White House and reelection officials through some of the questions he said he’d aced, such as being able to repeat five words in order.

    At the time, the Montreal Cognitive Assessment — which includes animal pictures and other simple queries aimed at detecting mild cognitive impairment such as dementia — was intended to quell questions about Trump’s mental fitness. But in recalling it, Trump said he thought presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden would never be able to pass it and suggested challenging him to take the test, said the people familiar with Trump’s comments, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share private details.

    The seeming non sequitur was part of Trump’s growing preoccupation in recent weeks over perceptions of his mental and physical health, at a time when critics have mocked him for episodes in which they say he has appeared frail or confused. The attacks Trump has previously levied against Biden — dismissing the former vice president as “Sleepy Joe,” secreted away in his basement and enfeebled — have boomeranged back on him, as opponents have seized on Trump’s own missteps to raise concerns.

    Another sign of Trump’s unease came Saturday night in Tulsa, when the president devoted more than 14 minutes to regaling a campaign rally crowd with the tale of “the ramp and the water.” Eager to dismiss questions about his fitness after he struggled with a glass of water and walked unsteadily down a ramp following his June 13 commencement address at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Trump offered a revisionist history.
    The ramp on that sunny day, Trump asserted, was as slippery as “an ice-skating rink.” But he “ran down” it nonetheless, he claimed, despite video evidence showing him shuffling down the incline haltingly. As for the water, Trump said, he used two hands to drink because he didn’t want to spill on his expensive silk tie.

    “Anyway, that’s a long story, but here’s the story,” the president said, finally winding down. “I’ve lived with the ramp and the water since I left West Point.”
    He had previously obsessed about the episode to aides in private and during a Wall Street Journal interview, when he brought the incident up unprompted and offered to produce the leather-bottom shoes he had been wearing that day, which he said were “not good” for ramps.

    “In the middle of the worst economy in a century and with more than a hundred thousand Americans dead this guy is primarily concerned with not looking weak,” said Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), referring to the death toll from the coronavirus pandemic. “And his endless, bottomless insecurity was onstage, in three dimensions, during that storytelling moment, for everyone to see. I’ve seen a lot of crazy things in the last four years but that display of juvenile behavior and self-regard will go in the Trump time capsule.”

    In recent weeks, Trump has fixated on Biden’s physical and mental acuity, aides said, casting about for ways to attack his Democratic rival and stewing over media coverage that he believes makes him look weak or feeble.
    Last week, Trump and his campaign team lobbied the presidential debate commission to have four debates, because they believe Biden will look weaker and will make more mistakes than Trump on the debate stage.
    The president has encouraged advisers to attack Biden over his mental acuity, White House officials said, but some worry that doing so too aggressively could backfire and hurt him among senior citizens.
    “For someone so obsessed with appearing strong, Donald Trump shows us every day just how weak he is,” Biden press secretary TJ Ducklo said in a statement Monday. “ … Donald Trump doesn’t care about the health or economic prosperity of the American people. He only cares about himself.”
    Trump is attuned to any portrayal of him as weak. He was furious earlier this month after news leaked that he and his family were rushed to a secure underground bunker as protesters converged on the White House in the wake of the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man killed in Minneapolis police custody. He initially falsely claimed that he had simply visited the bunker to inspect it.

    Trump has also refused to wear a mask during the coronavirus pandemic, despite his own government’s guidelines, and has regularly suggested that Biden and others who wear them are showing weakness or fear.

    Flying to Tulsa on Air Force One Saturday, the president was fuming to aides about the small crowd size of his rally — about 6,000 people in a 19,000-seat arena — another form of weakness in his mind.
    Trump’s critics have seized on his agita, taking every opportunity to needle him publicly. Last week, the Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump Republican group, launched a new 45-second ad that begins, “Something’s wrong with Donald Trump.”
    “He’s shaky, weak, trouble speaking, trouble walking,” the narrator continues as grainy images flash by, including of Trump at West Point. “The most powerful office in the world needs more than a weak, unfit, shaky president.”

    Less than 24-hours after the Tulsa rally, the group pushed out another video, mocking his smaller-than-expected turnout, and hitting similar themes: “Sad, weak, low-energy,” says the narrator. “Just like your presidency, just like you.”
    Mike Murphy, a vocal Trump critic who is now a strategic adviser to Republican Voters Against Trump, said Trump’s obsession with never seeming weak belies a deeper insecurity, making this particular line of attack particularly devastating.
    “And now the strong guy — the strength image — is melting and we found out how weak and needy he is,” Murphy said. “If it’s ‘Sleepy Joe,’ we have ‘Weak, Needy Donald’ and that is his kryptonite.”

    The Trump campaign, meanwhile, has been running a similar playbook against Biden. The campaign released an ad last week called “Fortitude” that mocked some of Biden’s missteps.
    “Joe Biden is slipping . . . Biden is clearly diminished,” the narrator says, against the backdrop of Biden seeming to stumble through remarks. “Joe Biden does not have the strength, the stamina and mental fortitude required to lead this country.”
    White House spokeswoman Sarah Matthews rejected the idea that Trump shares any of the physical or mental weaknesses that he accuses Biden of possessing.
    “I challenge anyone who absurdly questions this president’s health to spend one day trying to keep up with his rigorous schedule,” Matthews said in an email statement. “This president never stops — whether it’s working early in the morning or late into the evening.”

    Doug Heye, a Republican strategist, said the challenge for the Trump team now is that they “always put themselves into this everything is the biggest ever, the greatest ever” box, making it difficult for Trump to countenance even the slight hint of weakness on his part. “What we’re seeing over the past few weeks is really the issue of what gets under his skin.”

    Heye said that while he didn’t think the initial coverage of the West Point ramp or water drinking was particularly problematic, the president clearly did. “He has been rattled by the reaction to it, and it’s because it speaks to that issue of strength,” Heye said.

    Reaching under his lectern in Tulsa during his reenactment episode Saturday, the president pulled out a glass of water and brought it to his lips with one hand, raising it to the crowd between sips as if toasting an achievement. Then he tossed it away to his side as his supporters roared with delight.

    “Trump! Trump!” the crowd chanted in response. “Four more years! Four more years!”

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    ‘Trump’s re-election strategy is all wrong — and his staffers know it’

    By Andrew Feinberg | June 23, 2020
    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/trump-2020-election-campaign-reelection-joe-biden-a9581541.html

    With just over 130 days remaining until the jury that is the American electorate renders a verdict on the previous 1,383 days of Donald Trump’s presidency, his campaign for reelection has backed itself into a corner.

    The presumptive Democratic nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, has opened up a national polling lead that a recent Fox News poll estimates could be as large as 12 percentage points among registered voters.

    In the state-by-state polling that can forecast the winner of the Electoral College, Biden leads in nearly all the so-called battleground states (including Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.) He’s also polling within the margin of error in solidly Republican states like Arkansas, Iowa, Georgia, and Texas. And all these numbers came in before Americans saw how Donald Trump could only draw a paltry crowd of just 6,200 people in Tulsa, Oklahoma (after predicting an audience of millions in a state he carried with over 65 percent of the vote four years ago) to watch him deliver a rambling, disjointed speech to a mostly empty arena, outside of which a construction crew was breaking down an outdoor stage that the Trump campaign had built for overflow crowds who simply turned out not to exist.

    For just under two hours, the President of the United States put on a show that The Recount editor-in-chief compared to an overweight, drugged-out Elvis Presley in his final years. And while Trump got the familiar cheers for all the familiar hits — attacks on “crooked Hillary,” Barack Obama, and “fake news,” plus “build the wall” and “lock her up” chants, complaints about so-called sanctuary cities and rants about NFL players kneeling during the national anthem — his attempts to introduce new material into his act generally fell flat.

    Instead of making the case for his reelection — and against electing Biden — Trump spent most of the time attacking old enemies and airing grievances both old and new. At one point, he devoted a full 16 minutes to explaining why it was that he appeared to have serious trouble descending a ramp during an appearance at West Point the previous week. At another, he crossed from dog-whistles into out-and-out racism with an attack on Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar, who, he said, “would like to make the government of our country just like the country from where she came, Somalia”.

    Trump went on to lament that Omar, a sitting member of Congress who came to the US as a refugee after her family fled Somalia, is “telling us how to run our country”.

    And to the extent he previewed his case against Biden, Trump largely stuck to the now-familiar claims that the former Vice President is too feeble or senile to lead the country — a claim which, judging from Biden’s seven-point lead in Florida, appears to be falling flat with senior citizens.

    That Saturday’s trip to Tulsa was a disaster for Trump and a boost for Biden was not lost on members of the president’s team. When your intrepid correspondent texted a Trump campaign staffer to ask their opinion of the night’s events, the staffer replied: “Biden should have to report our costs to the [Federal Election Commission] as a campaign contribution”.

    According to a report in Vanity Fair, Trump is now considering a campaign shake-up that would make a scapegoat of campaign manager Brad Parscale, the political neophyte who was his 2016 campaign’s digital director, and potentially elevate veteran Trumpworlders Bill Stepien and Jason Miller. And the Trump campaign is also doubling down on the “Biden is senile” messaging with a now-failed attempt to goad Biden into agreeing to add an extra debate to the three-night schedule of debates organized by a bipartisan commission.

    But veterans of past presidential campaigns from both parties are not sure anything the campaign can do will make a difference at this point.

    Stuart Stevens, the veteran GOP strategist who advised Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign, said it won’t matter who is nominally in charge of the campaign because the only people Trump will ultimately listen to are his sons, his daughter, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

    “Trump is Tony Soprano: He’s ultimately only gonna trust the family, and they have no idea what they’re doing,” Stevens said. “The whole campaign reminds me of somebody goes to a cocktail party, has some drinks, drives home safely, and decides that alcohol helps you drive.”

    Stevens explained that Trump and his team have learned all the wrong lessons from his narrow 2016 victory.

    “On a basic level, Trump won because he ran in a year in which a Republican could win with 46.1 percent of the vote, when third-party votes increased, and the non-white vote declined for the first time in 20 years. Trump has always had a very small margin that they took as a mandate and they never tried to expand their electorate,” he said, adding that the massive Black Lives Matter protests that have swept across the country could also be considered get-out-the-vote rallies for Biden, particularly since Trump is running as a “white grievance candidate”.

    Trump’s Tulsa debacle, he said, shows the folly of running a campaign based more on mechanics — large rallies, data collection, digital metrics, turnout operations — than on message.

    “It’s not that that stuff doesn’t matter, but it’s a lot less important than overall messaging,” he said, adding that Trump’s recent embrace of a “law and order” message in the mould of Richard Nixon is doomed to fail because the demographics of 2020 are not close to what they were in previous years.

    “In 1980, Ronald Reagan wins a 44-state sweeping landslide, with 55 percent of the white vote, but in 2008, John McCain lost with 55 percent of the white vote. So it’s a very different country,” he said. “They’re looking at the 1960’s model with Nixon, but Trump isn’t Nixon, the country is different, and they seem unable to embrace that reality,” he went on, adding that it was unlikely that Trump would be able to attract any top-tier talent to replace Parscale or anyone else he might get rid of in a staff shake-up: “Why would you want to do that [work for Trump] — who has benefited from any association with Donald Trump? You’re just being brought in there as a scapegoat.”

    It’s unlikely that the campaign will succeed as long as Trump’s son-in-law remains involved, Stevens said: “Jared Kushner, maybe he’ll reach 27 books on how to run campaigns instead of the 26 he read on the Mideast. As far as I know, he has singularly failed at everything he’s attempted in government.”

    Former Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele said Trump’s campaign appears to relying on a message that activates the most partisan of his supporters by arguing that electing Biden — and Democrats in general — would be worse than anything that could happen during a second Trump term, but he cautioned that circumstances have undermined that message.

    “Trump has been trying to ignite that passion that flame again, but the problem — the cold water on that — is Covid-19, a poor economy, and now, bad race relations,” he said. “None of these voters want to be sick. They’ve either lost a job or been furloughed, so they’ve been impacted by the economy, and none of them wants to be called a racist. So the narrative that Trump is trying to push is running up against a very hard reality, and that’s the great irony here, that reality is smacking up against the reality TV presidency.”

    “You’ve got a 133-day window now,” he continued. “In politics, that’s a lifetime… but the reality for the campaign is, given the way the President has refused to dial back the stuff that’s drawing that’s moving people off of him and dial back into things that could strengthen his hand, the window to turn things around keeps narrowing.”

    Like Stevens, Steele said Trump and his team have learned all the wrong lessons from his narrow victory four years ago.

    “Trump does not realize the source of his win in 2016, and does not fully appreciate that that election was less about him and more about Hillary, and now when given an opportunity to evaluate… his leadership, his temperament, his demeanor, and his policies… against a Joe Biden, they’re not afraid of Biden the way they were afraid of Hillary Clinton,” he said.

    And as for the Trump campaign’s demands for an additional debate and their attempts to define Biden as a mentally deficient, debilitated shadow of a figure, Steele said such a strategy was not one devised by people who are operating in reality.

    “They’re not working in a real world — they’re working in Trump’s world, so everybody has to pretend that what the President is thinking and feeling about this is exactly how it is or how it’s going to play out,” he said, adding that Biden would be “very well prepared” for this fall’s debates.

    Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Philippe Reines, a longtime Hillary Clinton aide who played Trump during her 2016 debate preparations, called Trumpworld’s apparent hope that Biden would implode during debates “magical thinking with a Hail Mary,” and said that such a belief was ironic, given Trump’s tendency to damage himself every time he opens his mouth.

    “I don’t know why you would look at his primary performances and think people are going to be left with a bad taste in their mouth, because irrespective of how you want to grade his performances, he went on to win the nomination in resounding form,” he added.

    Reines called the Trump campaign’s attempts to define Biden as senile and unfit as a “caricature” that “is not anywhere near reality,” and predicted that voters watching Biden and Trump side-by-side on a debate stage would come away with a favorable impression of Biden and questions about whether Trump was suffering from significant health issues.

    “It’s strange, given the particular vulnerabilities of Donald Trump and the particular strengths of Joe Biden, that they think putting [them side-by-side] somehow benefits Trump. If anything, it reinforces the very attributes and behavior that have created the problem he is in,” he said. “What Trump is suffering from, with every day that goes by, there are more and more people trusting their own two eyes. And maybe that’s his own doing because he’s told them not to trust anything and that’s all they’re left with, but in that calculus, Joe Biden is the winner.”

    Steele, too, panned the idea that a single Biden gaffe made during a debate would somehow reverse Trump’s fortunes, noting that the reason Biden’s lead has been so consistent despite previous a reputation as a self-described “gaffe machine” is because people know and like him.

    Biden, he said, is the uncle who everyone wants to be at Thanksgiving dinner, even if he might say some off-color or confusing things, while Trump is the uncle who everyone wants to leave after he shows up late and gets drunk.

    “With Uncle Joe, they’re like: ‘I’m glad he’s here,’ but with Uncle Trump, it’s, ‘When does he go? When does he leave?’” he said. “So that’s the selection, and if you don’t appreciate how that impacts the way voters look at this, you’re going to make some dumb mistakes.”

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    ‘The Sun Belt Spikes Could Be a Disaster for Trump’

    Democrats were already gaining ground in the region before the pandemic hit.

    By Ronald Brownstein | June 25, 2020
    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/06/coronavirus-surge-sun-belt-could-doom-trump/613495/

    The wildfire of coronavirus cases burning through the Sun Belt’s largest cities and suburbs could accelerate their movement away from President Donald Trump and the GOP—a dynamic with the potential to tip the balance in national elections not only in 2020, but for years to come.

    Until the 2016 election, Republicans had maintained a consistent advantage in the region’s big metros—including Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, and Phoenix—even as Democrats took hold of comparable urban centers in other parts of the country. But under Trump, the GOP has lost ground in these diverse and economically thriving communities. And now, a ferocious upsurge of COVID-19 across the Sun Belt’s population hubs—including major cities in Florida and North Carolina where Democrats are already more competitive—is adding a new threat to the traditional Republican hold on these places.

    “There’s a lag between the trends that we have seen in some of these big northern metropolitan areas and the southern metros,” Alan Abramowitz, a political scientist at Emory University, told me. “But they are definitely going in that same direction.”

    In 2016, Trump won all five of the large Sun Belt states that could be battlegrounds in November. But the improving Democratic performance in the big metros provides Joe Biden a beachhead to contest each of them. Polls consistently give the former vice president a lead in Arizona and Florida, show him and Trump locked closely in North Carolina, and provide the president only a small edge (at best) in Texas and Georgia. New York Times/Siena College polls released today give Biden solid leads in Arizona, Florida, and North Carolina, and commanding advantages in the major population centers of each state, including Phoenix, Miami, Charlotte, and Raleigh. Fox News polls also released today show Biden leading Trump narrowly in North Carolina, Georgia, and (even) Texas, while opening up a comfortable 9-point advantage in Florida. Among suburban voters, Biden led by 20 percentage points or more in each of those states except Texas, where suburbanites still preferred him by 9 points.

    After winning one Arizona Senate seat in 2018, Democrats are also pressing to capture Republican-held Senate seats in Arizona, North Carolina, and Georgia, and more suburban House seats near Raleigh, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, and Tampa, among others.

    Even the Republicans relatively confident that Trump’s grip on rural voters will allow him to hold most, if not all, of these states recognize the implications of a trend that has them losing ground in the communities that are preponderantly driving economic and population growth.

    “The trends of 2016, ’17, ’18 are continuing apace, with continuing weakness of the Republican brand in suburban areas that had traditionally voted Republican, coupled with strengthening of the Republican brand in rural areas that had traditionally voted Democrat,” Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster who has long specialized in southern suburbs, told me. “The problem, of course, is that the Republicans are trading larger, faster-growing areas for smaller, slower-growing areas, and the math does not work out in the long run with that sort of trade.”

    The new twist in this ongoing reconfiguration is the coronavirus. After weeks in which the outbreak did not hit the southern metropolitan areas nearly as hard as major northern cities, the number of new cases in and around Sun Belt cities is exploding. “If we stay on this current trajectory, then we will overwhelm our hospitals” in July, Steve Adler, the mayor of Austin, Texas, told me yesterday, echoing the public alarms of many mayors across the region.

    The trend lines are daunting. From May 23 through Tuesday [June 23], the total number of confirmed cases more than doubled in the counties centered on Austin (Travis), Houston (Harris), and Dallas; nearly doubled in Fort Worth (Tarrant); and roughly tripled in San Antonio (Bexar). In Maricopa County, Arizona, which comprises Phoenix and its sprawling suburbs, the total number of cases more than quadrupled from 8,151 on May 23 to 34,992 yesterday. In Florida, daily new cases in Miami-Dade County rose from 113 on May 24 to 947 on June 22. The map of cumulative cases maintained by the Georgia Department of Public Health is a soothing shade of blue across most of the state—except for the bright red marking Atlanta and its sizable surrounding suburbs of DeKalb, Cobb, and Gwinnett counties. Statewide, both Florida and Texas announced more than 5,500 new cases yesterday, a record for each. (California, the largest Sun Belt state, is also suffering a surge, but it is not politically competitive, with Biden enjoying a huge lead there.)

    Public-health experts expect the numbers to continue rising for weeks. In Arizona, “we are experiencing a second surge after an early-May plateau,” Joe Gerald, a professor at the University of Arizona College of Public Health, told me. “This surge is much larger than the first one and basically our foot is still on the accelerator. It is going to get worse before it gets better.”

    In Texas, Peter Hotez, the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, described the situation in equally ominous terms. “I’m extremely worried,” he told me. “I sometimes use the word dire because the numbers are just accelerating so dramatically. If you look at the curve [of case growth], it’s very much an exponential curve.”

    Both Gerald and Hotez, like Adler, told me that if the current trend is not slowed, hospitals’ capacity in their areas will be overwhelmed in the next few weeks. “The implications are: We’ll see in Houston what we saw in New York City in the spring, which is a surge on intensive-care units and hospitalizations, and we’ll reach or exceed capacity,” Hotez said. “You don’t want to do that, because that’s when the mortality rates start to climb.” Yesterday, Houston’s massive Texas Medical Center projected it could exceed its intensive-care capacity by as soon as today. Coronavirus hospitalizations in the Houston area have nearly tripled since Memorial Day, the Houston Chronicle has reported.

    Likewise, the number of coronavirus patients hospitalized in Maricopa has more than doubled since late May, and just 12 percent of the state’s intensive-care-unit beds were available as of yesterday. The pressure on local medical workers is growing so intense that Ross Goldberg, the president of the Arizona Medical Association, told me the state may soon need to ask for volunteer health-care professionals from other states, as New York did earlier this year. “Obviously there is going to be a finite amount of space and a finite amount of staff,” Goldberg, a surgeon in Phoenix, said. “Is this a time where we start looking for help elsewhere? That is something we need to be considering.”

    Across almost all of the Sun Belt states, the spikes are exacerbating tensions between Republican governors who rely mostly on suburban and rural areas for their votes, and Democratic local officials in the most populous cities and counties. Taking cues from Trump, Republican Governors Ron DeSantis in Florida, Brian Kemp in Georgia, Greg Abbott in Texas, and Doug Ducey in Arizona have all moved aggressively to reopen their state economies; refused to deviate from that course as the caseloads have increased; and blocked municipal officials from reversing or even slowing the pace of the reopening.

    The one concession from DeSantis, Abbott, and Ducey has been to allow local governments to require some degree of mask wearing. But experts say that requirement alone, especially given the uncertainties of compliance and enforcement, cannot stop the rapidly rising caseload in these states. “I don’t think [masks] are going to be sufficient to slow the spread or prevent us from exceeding our hospital capacity,” Gerard told me.

    Very little polling is available to show how voters across these Sun Belt states are reacting to the surge in new cases or the determination of the GOP governors to plow forward despite them. Mike Noble, who polls for nonpartisan clients in Arizona, told me that in his surveys this year, most residents have consistently worried more about reopening too quickly than too slowly—though with a sharp partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans. He told me that he expects his next survey in early July to show heightened anxiety and diminished confidence in Ducey’s handling of the outbreak.

    “I assume voters will be souring,” Noble said. “We thought originally that here in the desert, we’re not going to be affected.”

    The core political question in the large Sun Belt metro areas may be whether residents are grateful that their governors have given them more freedom to resume daily activities or resentful that they have put them at greater risk by reopening so widely. Ayres said the answer is likely some of both. “I really think there’s a limit to how long you can enforce a rigid lockdown in a country where freedom and liberty are core values,” he told me. “That said, it is now impossible to dismiss this pandemic as a hoax or just the flu or any of the other dismissive appellations that have been applied to it.”

    For Trump and the GOP, an urban/suburban backlash against these Republican governors—combined with a broader negative verdict on the federal pandemic response—risks accelerating the trends reshaping metropolitan politics across the Sun Belt.

    After advancing in the populous white-collar suburban areas in the Northeast, the Midwest, and California during the 1990s, followed by gains in the metros of Virginia, Colorado, and North Carolina starting around 2004, Democrats are now finally seeing the same trends fortify their position in the Sun Belt population centers.

    Take Gwinnett and Cobb counties, outside Atlanta. In 2014, Republican Senator David Perdue, who’s up for reelection in November, won comfortable margins of about 55 percent in each. In 2016, though, Hillary Clinton won both by relatively narrow margins against Trump, and in 2018, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee, Stacey Abrams, carried them more resoundingly. Abramowitz expects them to continue moving toward the Democrats in 2020, with margins sufficient enough to give Biden and Perdue’s Democratic opponent, Jon Ossoff, a competitive shot at the state, and also to flip an open U.S. House seat in Gwinnett.

    In Texas, the arc looks similar. The University of Houston political scientist Richard Murray has charted a clear blue bend in voters’ political preferences in the 27 counties that comprise the state’s four huge metro areas—Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin—which together account for about 70 percent of the state’s votes and jobs. As recently as 2012, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney won 55 percent of the vote across them. But in 2016, Trump fell just under 50 percent, the first GOP nominee to lose them since Barry Goldwater running against native son Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. In 2018, Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke carried all four of those metros with 54 percent of the vote.

    Murray said he expects Biden to capture as much as 58 percent in November. With the higher presidential-year turnout, he predicts, that could produce an advantage of more than 1 million votes for Biden in and around those four cities. Murray said there is no guarantee Trump can squeeze out enough rural votes to hold Texas. But even if he does, the GOP faces some brutal arithmetic: As Ayres and Murray both noted, it’s relying more and more on the places that are shrinking or stagnant in population while retreating in the growing places. This problem is especially acute in Texas, Murray said, because the metropolitan areas are among the nation’s fastest growing, and they are becoming much more racially diverse as they expand.

    Paul Begala, the veteran Democratic strategist and a Houston native, predicts this realignment will be on hyperdrive because of the pandemic. “People in the suburbs today more readily identify with their neighbors in the city than they do with folks 100 miles away who refuse to wear a mask,” he told me. “That’s a tectonic change. The suburbs exist because people there didn’t want to be around people in the cities. But the shift has been happening for quite some time, and this COVID makes it worse.”

    Gains for Democrats in the Texas suburbs sufficient to allow them to win statewide would likely qualify as the most significant political development of the 2020s. But for November, Arizona is the state where these dynamics may matter most. Many Democrats see Arizona, which Democrats have carried only once since 1948, as Biden’s best chance to reach 270 Electoral College votes if he can’t dislodge Trump’s hold on either Wisconsin or Florida.

    Maricopa County is the key to those hopes. It was the biggest county in America that Trump won in 2016, when he carried it by almost 45,000 votes. But in 2018, it propelled the Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema to her victory when she took it by about 60,000 votes. Noble’s recent polls have consistently found both Biden and Democratic Senate candidate Mark Kelly leading their respective Republican opponents by roughly double digits in the sprawling county—unprecedented in recent years for Democrats. As Noble noted, only one Republican (a superintendent of public instruction, in 2014) has recently won a statewide race while losing Maricopa, no matter how much Republicans run up the score, as Trump is likely to do, in the state’s rural regions. “They are still in trouble in Maricopa County,” he said.

    Both a precinct-by-precinct analysis of the 2018 results that Noble conducted and his monthly polling this year have convinced him that Republicans are leaking support from two groups in Maricopa: college-educated white voters (especially women) and seniors. Both populations are among those who have expressed the most concern about the coronavirus, even before the fearsome surge now buffeting the area.

    Trump’s response? When he stopped in Maricopa for a rally in north Phoenix on Tuesday, he did not wear a mask or require one for those attending the event, despite public pleas to do so from Mayor Kate Gallego. He barely mentioned the outbreak in his 90-minute speech. In other words, even while visiting metropolitan Phoenix, Trump’s focus seemed to be on his preponderantly white base in the exurban and rural communities beyond it. Across the Sun Belt, November will test whether Trump’s base-first strategy can overcome the resistance that’s coalescing against him in the population centers now confronting the full force of the coronavirus outbreak.

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    Nightmare Time—

    What If Joe Biden Wins?

    What are we to do if the unthinkable happens and that drooling idiot Joe Biden is actually elected president?

    It’s not really out of the realm of possibility; do remember that more than half of this country was paste-eatingly dumb enough to vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016. They call it a “popular victory”

    and we call it a “national embarrassment.”

    The worst-case scenario:

    Biden wins.

    This abomination is unthinkable.  Sickening. Reprehensible.

    Most of us (rational people) do believe that the current polling is, put mildly, completely full of crap. Still, we have to prepare for the outside chance that the polls may be right. A very outside chance, I know, but preparation is always a good thing.

    Sadly, I do believe there are enough remarkably stupid people to elect Crazy Joe the Wonder Veep president.

     

     

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    “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

    George Orwell – 1984

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    Atypical
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    John Roberts sides with liberals on Supreme Court to block controversial Louisiana abortion law

    (CNN) Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the liberal justices on the Supreme Court on Monday to block a controversial Louisiana abortion law that critics said would have closed nearly every clinic in the state.

    The 5-4 ruling is a win for supporters of abortion rights who argued that the law was not medically necessary and amounted to a veiled attempt to restrict abortion. The law barred doctors from performing the procedure unless they had admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

    The majority opinion was penned by Justice Stephen Breyer, who wrote that the majority “consequently hold that the Louisiana statute is unconstitutional.”
    Breyer added later: “The evidence also shows that opposition to abortion played a significant role in some hospitals’ decisions to deny admitting privileges.”

    The ruling continues a trend of Roberts siding with liberals in major cases. He previously has upheld the program allowing undocumented immigrants who came into the US as children to remain and sided with opinion that extended anti-discrimination protections to LGBTQ workers.

    Four years ago, when Justice Anthony Kennedy was still on the bench, the court struck down a similar law out of Texas.

    Much has changed since then, however, as Kennedy has been replaced by Brett Kavanaugh, who is considered more conservative on the issue. Supporters of abortion rights feared not only that recent precedent would be in jeopardy, but that the strengthened conservative majority might begin to chip away at landmark opinions like “Roe v. Wade” and “Planned Parenthood v. Casey,” which upheld a woman’s right to have an abortion.

    Roberts wrote a separate concurring opinion also citing the Texas law.

    “The Louisiana law imposes a burden on access to abortion just as severe as that imposed by the Texas law, for the same reasons. Therefore Louisiana’s law cannot stand under our precedents,” the chief justice wrote.

    In a dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas again said “Roe” should be revisited.

    “Roe is grievously wrong for many reasons,” Thomas wrote, but the most fundamental is that its core holding–that the Constitution protects a woman’s right to abort her unborn child–finds no support in the text of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany blasted the ruling as “unfortunate,” and took aim at the justices who sided with the majority.

    “Instead of valuing fundamental democratic principles, unelected Justices have intruded on the sovereign prerogatives of state governments by imposing their own policy preference in favor of abortion to override legitimate abortion safety regulations,” McEnany said in a statement.

    The case has been closely watched as multiple largely red states continue to advance abortion restrictions and largely blue states move to protect access.

    None of the nine so-called gestational bans — which bar abortions past a certain point in pregnancy — passed last year have gone into effect, after most of them have been blocked by courts.

    Roberts’ footnotes leave an opening

    Abortion rights supporters were fearful that the Louisiana case marked the first of what could be a growing number of opportunities for the court’s new conservative majority to offer a blueprint for states to continue to chip away at abortion rights.

    But while Roberts upheld the law, in a concurring opinion the chief justice left open the door that other states might be able to pursue similar restrictions.

    In a footnote, he said that the “validity of admitting privileges law depends on numerous factors that may differ from state to state.”

    CNN Supreme Court analyst and professor at the University of Texas School of Law Stephen Vladeck said that Roberts suggested that he did not necessarily endorse the analysis of the 2016 decision, which focused as much on whether the restrictions actually provided benefits to pregnant women as on whether they imposed an undue burden.

    “In the process, Vladeck said, “the chief justice’s narrower opinion implies that states making different arguments in different cases might be able to justify similar restrictions going forward. In that respect, the chief justice may have sided with abortion supporters today, but their victory may be short-lived.”

    While supporters of abortion rights will be pleased that the court preserved access to abortion in Louisiana, such language has already caused concern.

    The Center for Reproductive Rights, which brought the case, addressed the looming possibility it allowed for further state regulations similar to Louisiana’s in a statement Monday morning.

    “We’re relieved that the Louisiana law has been blocked today but we’re concerned about tomorrow,” said Nancy Northup, the group’s president and CEO.

    “(The) Court’s decision could embolden states to pass even more restrictive laws when clarity is needed if abortion rights are to be protected,” Northup said.

    Anti-abortion groups decried the decision and warned of its implications energizing anti-abortion voters in November.

    Jeanne Mancini, the president of March for Life, defended the Louisiana law as “designed to safeguard women’s health and safety” and promised a strong showing from anti-abortion voters over the decision.

    “No abortion facility should receive a free pass to provide substandard care,” she added. “This decision underscores the importance of nominating and confirming judges who refrain from legislating from the bench, something pro-life voters will certainly remember come November.”

    The law’s impact

    Louisiana’s Unsafe Abortion Protection Act, is an effort, state officials argued, to “improve abortion safety by means of doctor credentialing.”

    Louisiana Solicitor General Elizabeth B. Murrill said that clinics in the state have a “long disturbing” history of serious health and safety problems, that abortion carries “known risks for serious complications,” although it is largely considered a safe procedure, as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted during oral arguments, and that the act would bring abortion practice “into conformity” with the privilege requirements for doctors performing other outpatient surgeries. The penalty for violating the law is not more than $4,000 per violation.

    The Trump administration sided with Louisiana. The law “would not create a substantial obstacle to obtaining an abortion for a large fraction of Louisiana women seeking one — let alone all such women,” Principal Deputy Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall argued in court.

    The claims were rejected by lawyers for the Center for Reproductive Rights, which represented two doctors and an abortion clinic in the state who claimed that if the law had been able to go into effect when it passed, it would have forced the closure of two of the state’s three remaining clinics and left only one doctor with the ability to provide abortions.

    Louisiana also argued that the justices shouldn’t consider the constitutionality of the law because the doctors and the clinics bringing the case don’t have the legal right — or “standing” — to be in court. Murrill said that Louisiana women can challenge abortion regulations if they wish to do so — “as individual women have done in numerous other abortion cases across the country” — but that the clinics and doctors can’t stand in their place. She said that’s because the interests of a for-profit business that provides medical services for a fee might not align with those of patients seeking abortions.

    Julie Rikelman, an attorney with the Center for Reproductive Rights, rejected the notion that only women seeking abortions could challenge the law in court, noting that a woman would have only a narrow time frame to bring such a suit and such litigation often lasts for years.

    Rikelman prevailed when a district court ruled in her favor after a trial, but then a panel of judges on the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision. The appeals court concluded that the doctors had not made a good faith effort to get the credentials.

    “Instead of demonstrating an undue burden on a large fraction of women,” the appeals court said, the law “at most shows an insubstantial burden on a small fraction of women.”

    This story has been updated with details of the ruling.

    CNN’s Betsy Klein contributed to this report.

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    Russia Secretly Offered Afghan Militants Bounties to Kill U.S. Troops, Intelligence Says

    The Trump administration has been deliberating for months about what to do about a stunning intelligence assessment.

    by Charlie Savage, Eric Schmitt, and Michael Schwirtz
    Published June 26, 2020
    The New York Times

    WASHINGTON — American intelligence officials have concluded that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan — including targeting American troops — amid the peace talks to end the long-running war there, according to officials briefed on the matter.

    The United States concluded months ago that the Russian unit, which has been linked to assassination attempts and other covert operations in Europe intended to destabilize the West or take revenge on turncoats, had covertly offered rewards for successful attacks last year.

    Islamist militants, or armed criminal elements closely associated with them, are believed to have collected some bounty money, the officials said. Twenty Americans were killed in combat in Afghanistan in 2019, but it was not clear which killings were under suspicion.

    The intelligence finding was briefed to President Trump, and the White House’s National Security Council discussed the problem at an interagency meeting in late March, the officials said. Officials developed a menu of potential options — starting with making a diplomatic complaint to Moscow and a demand that it stop, along with an escalating series of sanctions and other possible responses, but the White House has yet to authorize any step, the officials said.

    An operation to incentivize the killing of American and other NATO troops would be a significant and provocative escalation of what American and Afghan officials have said is Russian support for the Taliban, and it would be the first time the Russian spy unit was known to have orchestrated attacks on Western troops.

    Any involvement with the Taliban that resulted in the deaths of American troops would also be a huge escalation of Russia’s so-called hybrid war against the United States, a strategy of destabilizing adversaries through a combination of such tactics as cyberattacks, the spread of fake news and covert and deniable military operations.

    The Kremlin had not been made aware of the accusations, said Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary for President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. “If someone makes them, we’ll respond,” Mr. Peskov said.

    Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, denied that the insurgents have “any such relations with any intelligence agency” and called the report an attempt to defame them.

    “These kinds of deals with the Russian intelligence agency are baseless — our target killings and assassinations were ongoing in years before, and we did it on our own resources,” he said. “That changed after our deal with the Americans, and their lives are secure and we don’t attack them.”

    Spokespeople at the National Security Council, the Pentagon, the State Department and the C.I.A. declined to comment.

    The officials familiar with the intelligence did not explain the White House delay in deciding how to respond to the intelligence about Russia.

    While some of his closest advisers, like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have counseled more hawkish policies toward Russia, Mr. Trump has adopted an accommodating stance toward Moscow.

    At a summit in 2018 in Helsinki, Finland, Mr. Trump strongly suggested that he believed Mr. Putin’s denial that the Kremlin interfered in the 2016 presidential election, despite broad agreement within the American intelligence establishment that it did. Mr. Trump criticized a bill imposing sanctions on Russia when he signed it into law after Congress passed it by veto-proof majorities. And he has repeatedly made statements that undermined the NATO alliance as a bulwark against Russian aggression in Europe.

    The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the delicate intelligence and internal deliberations. They said the intelligence had been treated as a closely held secret, but the administration expanded briefings about it this week — including sharing information about it with the British government, whose forces are among those said to have been targeted.

    President Trump has suggested he believed a denial by President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia of Kremlin interference in the 2016 election.

    The intelligence assessment is said to be based at least in part on interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals. The officials did not describe the mechanics of the Russian operation, such as how targets were picked or how money changed hands. It is also not clear whether Russian operatives had deployed inside Afghanistan or met with their Taliban counterparts elsewhere.

    The revelations came into focus inside the Trump administration at a delicate and distracted time. Although officials collected the intelligence earlier in the year, the interagency meeting at the White House took place as the coronavirus pandemic was becoming a crisis and parts of the country were shutting down.

    Moreover, as Mr. Trump seeks re-election in November, he wants to strike a peace deal with the Taliban to end the Afghanistan war.

    Both American and Afghan officials have previously accused Russia of providing small arms and other support to the Taliban that amounts to destabilizing activity, although Russian government officials have dismissed such claims as “idle gossip” and baseless.

    “We share some interests with Russia in Afghanistan, and clearly they’re acting to undermine our interests as well,” Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr., the commander of American forces in Afghanistan at the time, said in a 2018 interview with the BBC.

    Though coalition troops suffered a spate of combat casualties last summer and early fall, only a few have since been killed. Four Americans were killed in combat in early 2020, but the Taliban have not attacked American positions since a February agreement.

    American troops have also sharply reduced their movement outside military bases because of the coronavirus, reducing their exposure to attack.

    While officials were said to be confident about the intelligence that Russian operatives offered and paid bounties to Afghan militants for killing Americans, they have greater uncertainty about how high in the Russian government the covert operation was authorized and what its aim may be.

    Some officials have theorized that the Russians may be seeking revenge on NATO forces for a 2018 battle in Syria in which the American military killed several hundred pro-Syrian forces, including numerous Russian mercenaries, as they advanced on an American outpost. Officials have also suggested that the Russians may have been trying to derail peace talks to keep the United States bogged down in Afghanistan. But the motivation remains murky.

    The officials briefed on the matter said the government had assessed the operation to be the handiwork of Unit 29155, an arm of Russia’s military intelligence agency, known widely as the G.R.U. The unit is linked to the March 2018 nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury, England, of Sergei Skripal, a former G.R.U. officer who had worked for British intelligence and then defected, and his daughter.

    Western intelligence officials say the unit, which has operated for more than a decade, has been charged by the Kremlin with carrying out a campaign to destabilize the West through subversion, sabotage and assassination. In addition to the 2018 poisoning, the unit was behind an attempted coup in Montenegro in 2016 and the poisoning of an arms manufacturer in Bulgaria a year earlier.

    American intelligence officials say the G.R.U. was at the center of Moscow’s covert efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. In the months before that election, American officials say, two G.R.U. cyberunits, known as 26165 and 74455, hacked into Democratic Party servers and then used WikiLeaks to publish embarrassing internal communications.

    In part because those efforts were aimed at helping tilt the election in Mr. Trump’s favor, his handling of issues related to Russia and Mr. Putin has come under particular scrutiny. The special counsel investigation found that the Trump campaign welcomed Russia’s intervention and expected to benefit from it, but found insufficient evidence to establish that his associates had engaged in any criminal conspiracy with Moscow.

    Operations involving Unit 29155 tend to be much more violent than those involving the cyberunits. Its officers are often decorated military veterans with years of service, in some cases dating to the Soviet Union’s failed war in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Never before has the unit been accused of orchestrating attacks on Western soldiers, but officials briefed on its operations say it has been active in Afghanistan for many years.

    Though Russia declared the Taliban a terrorist organization in 2003, relations between them have been warming in recent years. Taliban officials have traveled to Moscow for peace talks with other prominent Afghans, including the former president, Hamid Karzai. The talks have excluded representatives from the current Afghan government as well as anyone from the United States, and at times they have seemed to work at crosscurrents with American efforts to bring an end to the conflict.

    The disclosure comes at a time when Mr. Trump has said he would invite Mr. Putin to an expanded meeting of the Group of 7 nations, but tensions between American and Russian militaries are running high.

    In several recent episodes, in international territory and airspace from off the coast of Alaska to the Black and Mediterranean Seas, combat planes from each country have scrambled to intercept military aircraft from the other.

    Mujib Mashal contributed reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan.

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    Vatican Rejects Gender Fluidity in New Catechetical Text

    ROME — People’s “gender identity” is given to them by God and is directly tied to their biological sex, the Vatican has declared in a major catechetical text published this week.

    A fundamental problem with modern gender theory is that it denies a core biblical truth, namely that God creates human beings “male and female,” states the new, 300-page Directory for Catechesis published by the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization.

    “Gender identity, according to this position, is no longer an original fact that the person must embrace and fill with meaning, but a social construction that is decided independently, totally detached from biological sex,” the document warns.

    A sound anthropology is based on a recognition of the truth of human nature, the text insists, which is not the product of human will but of divine creation.
    In modern gender theory, the person “denies his nature and decides that he creates it himself,” the text continues. “According to the biblical account of creation, however, man was created by God as male and female.”

    This does not negate real psychological problems of gender dysphoria, the Vatican acknowledges, but these issues should not lead to a denial of human nature.

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    They always talk about new COVID “cases,” not deaths.
    The true death statistics do not justify the economic devastation.

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    AGENDA 21 PRIMER

    What Is Agenda 21?

    Depopulation of 95% of the World By 2030

    Most people are unaware that one of the greatest threats to their freedom may be a United Nations program which plans to depopulate 95% of the world.

    The name of this plan is Agenda 21, and it was developed by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Sustainable Development, as part of a sustainability policy.

    According to the United Nations website, Agenda 21 is a “comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations system, government, and major groups, in every area in which humans have impact on the environment”.

    In a nutshell, the plan calls for governments to take control of all land use and not leave any of the decision making in the hands of private property owners.

    It is assumed that people are not good stewards of their land and the government will do a better job if they are in control.

    Individual rights in general are to give way to the needs of communities as determined by the governing body.

    Moreover, people should be rounded up off the land and packed into human settlements, or islands of human habitation, close to employment centers and transportation. Another program, called the Wildlands Project spells out how most of the land is to be set aside for non-humans.

    Agenda 21 policies date back to the 1970’s but it got its real start in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro when President Bush signed onto it. President Clinton signed it later and continued the program in the United States.

    Agenda 21 is ‘soft-law’ and did not have to be voted on by the Congress. A non-governmental organization called the International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives, ICLEI, is tasked with carrying out the goals of Agenda 21.

    Over 600 cities in the U.S. are members, and that number is growing. The costs are paid by taxpayers.

    A recent add-on is Agenda 2030…

    The key word is sustainability.  If we are not sustainable, we are gone.  (like in China)

    The true face of ‘socialism’ is truly ugly.  Machiavelli would be proud.

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    Historic USMCA Trade Deal Takes Effect

    The United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) goes into effect on Wednesday, marking a win for the Trump administration. The deal replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). President Trump called NAFTA a “disastrous trade deal,” after building a substantial portion of his presidential campaign around replacing it. Previous presidents talked about replacing the decades-old deal, but President Trump is the first to sign a substantive replacement into law.

    The USMCA will incentivize production at home by implementing regulations surrounding digital trade, altering rules for trade across borders without tariffs and restructuring labor enforcement systems. In particular, USMCA will bolster job growth in the agriculture sector and auto industry.

    President Trump touted USMCA as the “fairest and most balanced” trade deal negotiated thus far.

    Steve Scalise @SteveScalise

    BIG DAY → @realDonaldTrump’s America-First #USMCA trade deal officially goes into effect.

    Winners:

    American workers

    American manufacturers

    American farmers

    American business owners

    American families

    American consumers

    Loser:   China,

    but not Mexico or Canada.  Thank you President Trump

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    Voice of Europe

    Dear Followers,

    The editorial staff at Voice of Europe’s regrets to inform you, our readers, that we will be ceasing our news publishing operations indefinitely. Our decision, of course, comes with the heaviest of hearts and follows months of increased censorship from Google, Facebook, and Twitter. Furthermore, our ability to monetize our content, which had already been greatly diminished as a result of the virus’s economic effects, was recently taken away completely when our ad platforms banned us outright. Unfortunately, we do not receive nearly enough financial support from you, the readers, to cover the costs of our operation. For all of these reasons, we’ve decided to end Voice of Europe.

    Like you, we at Voice of Europe are also deeply concerned about the dark place that our society seems to be headed. We have clearly entered a time where sharing facts which aren’t in line with the mainstream narrative is no longer tolerated.

    We are grateful for the support that you’ve shown us over the years.

    Farewell.
    VoE Team

    chinga madre

    This beautiful world has turned to shit.

     

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    The Pandemic of 2020 is over – but don’t expect media to cover it

    In the most recent week tracked by the CDC, overall deaths were actually lower than average. For all the media’s hand-wringing about the “worsening” of the pandemic, it currently isn’t producing any excess mortality at all!

    Needless to say, this is a story that you will see nowhere in the U.S. news media. After all, no one tunes in to the nightly news to learn that it was just another typical day in terms of illness and death. The narrative the gentlemen (and ladies) of the press prefer is that the sky is falling, that we’re all going to die, and that Donald Trump, super-villain, made it so.

    The truth, however, is that, in the only sense that really matters – the ability of the disease to kill more people than would otherwise die in its absence – COVID-19 has already been beaten. The Great Pandemic of 2020 is over.

    Thanks to the mainstream media, you simply were never informed.

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    The Man who Correctly Predicted President Trump’s 2016 Win Predicts President Trump has a 91% Chance of Being Reelected in 2020

    Professor Helmut Norpoth from Stony Brook University told Lou Dobbs on August 16th, 2016, that Donald Trump had an 87% chance of winning the 2016 Presidential election.

    Helmut joined Lou Dobbs again tonight to discuss the 2020 election. He gives President Trump a 91% chance of winning the 2020 Presidential election.

    Helmut said that he never saw an individual win an election who placed 5th in New Hampshire (Biden). He also said that President Trump did very well in the primaries this year while Biden didn’t do anything until he won South Carolina.

     

     

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