It’s Stupidity That’s Spreading The Virus And The Stupidity Has To Stop.

              The picture above was taken last night during the speech given at Fort McHenry by Mike Pence. Note how many people are wearing masks. Note how they are all sitting 6 feet away from each other. In other words, note how the GOP is now dealing with the pandemic which is still killing nearly 1,000 Americans every day. 

              Maybe there was a pandemic at some point, and maybe it was just awful when it occurred. But to paraphrase Larry Kudlow, the Administration’s chief TV-spieler turned economist, that was then and this is now. And now is when the pandemic is over and finished, so why bother to keep your distance from others or wear a mask?

              Predictably, the descent of the GOP into never-never land when it comes to the talking about the virus has become grist for the mill of our liberal media friends. Take our friend Nick Kristof whose op-ed in today’s (failing) New York Times starts off with the following question: “So why does the United States have 4 percent of the world’s population and 22 percent of coronavirus deaths?” He then goes on to quote this expert and that expert to explain for the umpteenth time why the Trump Administration’s response to the virus was way too little and way too late. Fine. That’s just great.

              And the reason I’m being sarcastic about the endless cavalcade of liberal denunciations of Trump’s handling of the virus is because these opinion pieces don’t do anything to help us get past this horrific mess. I don’t need yet another reminder of how and why Trump is the most anti-science President of all time; folks who read The (failing) New York Times don’t need more lessons about the fact that we are still facing what could be an even worse health situation once the real flu season arrives.

              This morning I walked into the Town Hall where I live to vote early for the primary election which is scheduled for next week. As I walked into the Town Clerk’s office, she and another woman hastily put on their masks. When I asked them why they weren’t wearing the masks before I walked in, nor were they sitting 6 feet apart, the Clerk brightly said to me, “Oh, we are only required to wear the mask when someone from outside the office comes in.”

              So here we have two women who are making sure that they don’t behave in a proper way during a pandemic because they aren’t ‘required’ to behave that way. Of course they both know ‘for a fact’ that neither of them might have picked up the virus in the last couple of days. And since they aren’t ‘required’ to wear masks because they certainly wouldn’t infect each other, they can just put on their masks when someone like me walks through the door.

              These two women are simply dumb. And yet their stupidity seems to be shared by a lot of Americans who also know ‘for a fact’ that they don’t need to be immunized because those shots don’t do anything for you at all. In fact, the immunization may make you sick.

The numbers may not be exact, but in 2019 roughly half of adults in this country said they didn’t need to be immunized against the flu. That’s the same percentage of people who said in June that they didn’t need to be immunized against Covid-19. Another poll in August found that ‘only’ one-third of respondents said they wouldn’t get an anti-virus shot.

              How do you deal with such errant stupidity? If you’re Donald Trump you can take advantage of that collective brain dump to promote the idea that science is nothing more than a Democrat-Socialist-Deep State plot. If you’re a liberal editorialist writing for The (failing) New York Times, you can ignore this exercise in mass ignorance even if such views only serve to make the pandemic much worse.

              Please do me a favor. Please read Nick’s column (here it is again) and then do what I did this morning, which was to write him a note saying that he and his editorial colleagues would be doing us all a very important task by figuring out how to explain to the average American the dangers of not doing everything possible to reduce the Covid-19 threat.

              Thank you in advance for your help in this respect.

Day 2 Was More Boring Than Day 1.

When I was a kid (this was the 1950’s) the biggest revenue sport for television wasn’t baseball, wasn’t football, it was – bowling!  Why? Because all you needed to televise bowling was one camera located behind the lane being used for that match. You didn’t need producers, you didn’t need a big trailer sitting outside the bowling alley, you didn’t even need an announcer. So the whole thing, financially peaking, was net-net.

I was reminded of how the networks used to show bowling when I watched the RNC shindig the last two nights. Virtually the entire program consisted of one camera facing one speaker who stood in front of a completely empty room and talked for a couple of minutes about whatever they wanted to talk about. Which means that if you need 20 speakers every night for 4 nights, you’re going to hit the bottom of the barrel, speaker-wise, pretty fast.

The bottom of the barrel was almost scraped last night in spades when the program listed a speaker named Mary Anne Mendoza whose appearance was cancelled at the last minute after her role as a promoter of QAnon conspiracy theories started getting around. The particulars involved the pushing of the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ about how a Jewish cabal controls the world banking system and is currently following orders from George Soros and God knows who else.

This QAnon nonsense has been floating around for a couple of years and is used by the alt-left in the same way that the so-called Antifa conspiracy is used by the alt-right; namely, to create the impression of a really dangerous group whose existence threatens the very foundations of our country if not the whole of Western civilization itself.

In fact (note the word ‘fact’) the Antifa thing started in a coffee shop adjacent to the Berkeley campus and has never been anything more than a few college-age kids who dress up in silly costumes and go wandering around. As for QAnon, this is nothing more than some internet tweets which would have never been noticed had Trump not sent a positive comment to a QAnon follower in Georgia who won a Congressional primary contest last week. The QAnon ‘movement’ has more than a million followers on various Facebook groups. Good for them.

Sooner or later groups like Antifa and QAnon end up on some FBI terrorist list because this gives the FBI something to do besides wandering around airport long-term parking lots looking for stolen cars. The so-called ‘threat’ represented by these websites also gives groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League an opportunity to raise some cash. The bottom line is that these ‘movements’ are websites and if I wanted to, I could promote my website as a ‘movement’ too.

Know who has spent the last four years promoting another phony ‘movement?’  The President of the United States. His so-called ‘movement’ was invented by Steve Bannon, who first began filling Trump’s head with a whole lot of racist nonsense combining alt-right conspiracy theories about Muslim threats with populist anger towards the Deep State.

You would think that with all the internet messaging done by these groups that they would spend some time huckstering various products like extra-strength vitamins, freeze-dried foods, portable air-raid shelters, and other necessities to prepare for the coming collapse. The best they seem able to come up with are those ugly, MAGA hats, which are now selling on Amazon for ten bucks or less.

I can’t believe that Trump is getting free television coverage from every network four nights in a row and isn’t trying at least one time to sell his hats, his neckties, his daughter’s jewelry line or something else. You show me any kind of political ‘movement’ that doesn’t peddle some kind of consumer crap, and I’ll show you a ‘movement’ that either doesn’t really exist or still hasn’t figured itself out.

Meanwhile, TV viewership for this year’s GOP convention is down 30% from 2016.

Donald Trump Commits The Biggest Crime Of All.

              Back in 2016 as I recovered from the shock of Trump becoming the 45th President, it occurred to me that his electoral victory was all the more traumatic because his campaign used strategies never seen before. There were those huge, raucous rallies, often held in multiple states on the same day. There was the speaking style of the candidate himself – loud, profane, insulting and completely devoid of any concern about the facts. Finally, there was social media and the banging out of daily, mostly illiterate tweets.

              The campaign didn’t end the day his Administration began. If anything, Trump increased the intensity and tempo of his media and verbal assaults, going after anyone and everyone who disagreed with anything he said or did.

              The one group, however, who were largely spared being the victims of his anger were his various friends, associates and staffers who were indicted and convicted of crimes. I’m thinking of Flynn, Manafort, Gates, Representatives Collins, and Hunter, and now Bannon, the biggest fish of them all. And let’s not forget Trump’s good buddy Jerry Falwell, Jr., who hasn’t been indicted yet but who knows?

              I watched the first 90 minutes of the GOP convention last night, which when the show first started up there was a banner running on the bottom of the screen announcing that the evening’s program was going to contain some big ‘surprise.’ The big surprise was that I didn’t fall asleep twenty minutes or so into the program – the whole thing was really that boring and slow.

              Most of the program took place in the rotunda of the Mellon Gallery, which is a large space that can easily contain hundreds of people at the same time. How many people were in the room besides the speakers? Not one. Of course the camera stayed right on the speaker, you were never shown the empty room. But it was empty, and for all the talk about how the GOP convention was going to be a ‘live’ event that would contrast favorably with the made-for-TV video event held by the Democrats, there was almost a ghoulish quality about the whole affair.

              What the GOP convention underscored more than anything else, however, was the fact that with all the criminality that has been associated with the Trump Administration, the biggest crime is being committed by Trump himself every day. What’s his crime? To paraphrase my dear, late friend Jimmy Breslin, Trump has become a bore. He’s lost the shock value of Twitter, nobody really cares when he refers to his opponent as ‘sleepy Joe,’ and his brief appearance last night in the East Room of the White House when he re-told the same, endless lies about his response to Covid-19 really did put me to sleep.

              As of this morning, Joe now holds a 9.3 lead over Trump in Nate Silver’s aggregate, national poll. This is the widest gap between the two campaigns since July 12th. In all three states that Joe needs to get to 270 electoral votes – Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania – he has hit the 50% mark and is ahead of Trump by 7-8 points. Joe is also 6 points up on Trump in Florida, in mid-June they were basically tied.

              Know why Biden is beating the pants off of Trump right now? Precisely because everyone’s sick and tired of Trump’s lying, whining, and insulting while, meanwhile, the virus keeps killing 1,000 Americans every day. More than 80 guys and gals in four different states who went to the Harley rally in Sturgis have now been infected with the virus, by the way.

              Joe’s the perfect candidate for a time of national anxiety precisely because he’s always been boring, that’s his shtick. But Trump is now guilty of committing the same crime and with him it just doesn’t fit.

              Incidentally, the latest African-American athlete to go alt-right and appear on the GOP cavalcade last night is the former running back, Herschel Walker, who turned pro in 1983 and first played for a team called the New Jersey Generals in the United States Football League. The league went defunct and Walker ended up having a good career with four teams in the NFL.

              Know who owned and then took the Generals into bankruptcy? A guy named Donald Trump.

Can We Trust The Polls?

              If you’re addicted to politics like I am, every four years you also get addicted to political polls. And since my undergraduate minor was stat, beginning in August I begin every day by looking at the numbers and trying to figure out whether the polls are really saying what they appear to say.

              Right now what they appear to say is that Joe is ahead in the national popular vote by somewhere between 3 and 13 percent. Wait a minute, you say, all the aggregate pollsters show Joe with a lead of 8 or 9 points, somewhere around 50-51% for Biden, 42-43% for Trump. But if you read the fine print at the bottom of the page, you’ll notice that virtually every poll says something about having a ‘margin of error’ of 5 percent.  If you deduct 5% from Joe’s number he’s down to 48%.  Add 5% to Trump’s numbers and he’s up to 45%. Get it? Good.

              A 48% to 45% margin for the popular vote is exactly how things ended up for Hillary and Trump in 2016. But that’s the easy part. Now things get a little more complicated.

              You’ll notice that every poll says that the respondents were either ‘registered’ voters or ‘likely’ voters, but never both. The registered polls tend to be earlier in the season, the polls answered by likely voters are mostly what starts to be published right around now.  I guess this is because asking someone whether they plan to engage in any particular activity four months before it is  scheduled to take place, is asking them to make a prediction about their own behavior which may or may not actually occur.

              I happen to think that grouping voters in either category is basically a waste of time, if only because the fact that someone says they are intending to vote doesn’t mean that when they show up they will actually spend more than two seconds thinking about which lever to pull down. And I have yet to see any pre-election poll which asks respondents to divulge just how much time – hours, minutes, seconds – they have spent thinking about how they are going to  vote.

              Then there’s a bigger problem when we look at the daily voting trends published by aggregators like Silver’s 538, 270towin, Real Clear Politics (RCP) or Huffington Post. Very few pollsters run their polls more than once a week, sometimes even less frequently than that. So unless you aggregate the results of numerous polls together, you won’t have any new data to publish except once a week. Which means your website will go stale very quickly, which means your clicks will start dropping like flies.

              On the other hand, if you aggregate a whole bunch of polls every week, how do you know that the pollsters aren’t measuring responses by using duplicate answers from the same respondents, whether they even know it or not? If you’re an aggregator, how do you adjust the numbers to take into account an unintended bias that will impact your trends from duplicate counts? You can’t.

              I try to deal with these problems by trusting one pollster who polls very frequently, in this case I reference Morning Consult, which claims to run a national poll every day. Here’s their aggregate national poll from May through today:

              Joe is at 51%, Trump at 43%. Note how little the results have changed over the last 90 days. I’m hardly the first person to notice that the numbers for both candidates have been basically unchanged over this period of time. In 2016, Hillary was under 42% on July 1st, pulled back up to 45.7% at the beginning of August, was just over 42% as September came around and moved between 45% and 46% over the last 30 days. Here’s how Clinton and Trump looked from the beginning of June:

              I have left the numbers for Johnson and Stein off the graph, but note that not only does this graph show much greater day-to-day variation for Clinton and Trump, but more than 13% of the queried voters said they wouldn’t vote for either of them at the end of the campaign. Right now the Sedaris dog-shit number for 2020 in half of what it was in 2016.

              That’s where things stand at the national level but it’s the state-level polls that we still need to see. That’s tomorrow’s column. Stay tuned.

‘Build The Wall’ Is A Perfect Scam. Well, Almost Perfect.

              Why is it that every time someone wants to scam money through some connection to the Trump campaign, they always seem to get started in Florida?  Maybe it’s because Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club is a nice place to meet, I really don’t know. But remember those two Russians, Fruman and Parnas, who are going on trial next year for ‘campaign finance violations,’ which is a polite way of saying that they laundered money through the Trump campaign?

              Now we have another bunch of scammers who were floating Trump’s name around to stuff their pockets with cash. This bunch includes Steve Bannon, the former domestic-policy adviser to the Trump campaign and then to the White House itself, along with a disabled Florida veteran, Brian Kolfage, and a so-called entrepreneur and Bannon buddy, Andy Badolato, both of whom happen to live somewhere around Tampa Bay.

              Badolato is a real piece of work. He’s filed at least 2 personal bankruptcies and has been named as a defendant in at least 23 lawsuits alleging fraud, non-payment for goods and services, the usual stuff. There’s internet talk about child molestation, multiple tax-evasion charges by the Feds, pink-sheet violations, sale of unregistered stock and plenty more.

              This particular scam appears to have been the handiwork of Kolfage, who put up a GoFundMe campaign in December, 2018, to raise money to build a piece of the Mexican wall. Using a controlled website to raise money was the first mistake. Note this statement from the GoFundMe website: “Notwithstanding the foregoing, we take possible fraudulent activity and the misuse of funds raised very seriously.” How long did it take for the Florida Attorney General to get interested in this fundraising campaign? Less than one month after the whole thing started up because the donations amounted to more than $17 million in the first week!

              The problem facing Kolfage right from the git-go was that he didn’t have any way to either use the money for actually building a section of the wall or of holding the money in some kind of legal, escrow account until someone could be found who would build a section of the wall on private land.

              Enter Bannon and Badolato, who evidently took over the entire operation almost from the moment it started and created a not-for-profit corporation which would hold the funds until they were dispersed. Except the monies were actually dispersed into the pockets of Bannon, Badolato and Kolfage to the tune of several million dollars, including covering personal expenses and a $20,000-monthly salary to laundered by Bannon to Kolfage which he never declared. Meanwhile, Kolfage was telling donors both in emails and personal appearances, that every, single penny collected by the campaign was going to be given to contractors who were building the private wall.

              Want to enjoy reading about the details behind this scam?  You can download the indictment right here.

              To his credit, when Trump was asked about the latest indictment of a yet another high-level member of his staff (read: Cohen, Stone, Manafort, Gates, Flynn) he not only denied any connection to the project but said he was against private efforts to build his beloved wall. On the other hand, his idiot son Donnie-boy Junior showed up at a fundraising event held by the group last year and praised the effort as “private enterprise at its finest,” a statement he now claims to no longer believe.

              Meanwhile, yesterday Bannon said that the indictment was an attack on “American sovereignty” and another Deep State scam. Tomorrow morning his lawyer will no doubt start negotiating a plea.

              I just got an email from the publisher of a new book, Disloyal, which says the book will ship on September 8th.  That’s the so-called ‘memoir’ by Michael Cohen. I just pre-ordered the new Woodward tell-all book, Rage, which will ship on September 15th.

              As long as Joe holds his lead in the polls (I’ll have more to say about the polls tomorrow) it’s going to be a fun September even as I continue my self-quarantine.

Trump Believes In Equal Opportunity. For Crooks.

              I was born in 1944 and until 1956 lived in Washington, D.C.  My grammar school, like all public schools in D.C., was segregated until 1954, following the Brown vs. Board of Education decision. Since the D.C. schools were on Federal property, they had to integrate right away. And once the schools started to integrate, ditto the neighborhoods as well. We lived in what had been an all-White neighborhood in Northwest, it became at least 50% Black almost immediately.

              I really didn’t notice any difference and to this day I don’t register skin color when I meet or talk to someone other than Leonard Mermelstein, who happens to be one of my cats. People are people, it doesn’t matter whether they are White, Black, Brown, straight, gay, LGBTQ or whatever they happen to be. As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t matter who moves into my neighborhood as long as I can drive down to the corner and pick up the takeout from the Chinese. I must say that last night’s spareribs tasted wonderful for lunch today.

              Back to the 1950’s, okay? One of our new neighbors in D.C. was a Black guy who worked downtown in the USPS headquarters building in the Federal Triangle. He had some kind of management position and his son was a student at my public school.

              Many years later, I happened by chance to read his obituary in The (failing) New York Times. When he retired from the USPS, he was the highest-ranking Black official in the organization, having worked his way up from being a letter-carrier in his native city of Richmond, VA. But the reason he got an obit in The New York Times was because during World War II he was the only Black who commanded a warship.

              His command was a 60-man submarine tender that was in numerous Pacific battle zones during World War II. He mustered out of the service in 1945, returned to his native Richmond and got a job delivering the mail. A naval commander delivering the mail.

              This man worked his way up to the top managerial ranks in not one organization, but two. And he did it at a time when Blacks were rarely found at even the lowest ranks of any government organization, never mind an organization as lily-White as the U.S. Navy.

              I thought about this man several times over the last couple of days and my thoughts went like this: How many other men and women could have made the contributions to our country that this man made, had they been given half the chance? When we talk about discrimination, we usually focus on how racism and sexism robs the victims from their just rewards. But the real victims of racial and gender hatred are all of us because we don’t reap the benefits of what people who have been discriminated against might have otherwise achieved.

              It’s all fine and well that my man Barack got up there and talked eloquently and forcefully about preserving American ‘ideals.’ Maybe that’s his agenda, but I’m not going to vote for Joe and Kammie because I want to ‘save Democracy’ or some other high-sounding woof-woof like that.

              I’m going to vote blue because I want everyone to have an opportunity to make a contribution to this civic enterprise known as the United States. And if we have learned one thing from watching Trump since 2016, it’s that the only people getting an equal opportunity with him are crooks like Paul Manafort and Steve Bannon, who use their access to Trump to enrich themselves at the taxpayer’s expense. Which is what the polite term ‘money laundering’ really means.

              I’ll have more to say about Steve Bannon and those pre-election polls next week.

              Right now, please wear a mask at all times, keep your kids out of the classroom and stay safe.

Can We Trust Election Polls?

              Now that both parties have competing tickets from which we can choose who will occupy the White House (and the Vice President’s mansion) for the next four years, I’m going to spend some time trying to figure out what the pre-election polls really tell us, as well as what they don’t.

              I’m doing this in response to the Trump campaign’s narrative that Biden’s consistent lead in both the national, aggregate polls and the in-play state polls is nothing more than a combination of: a) mainstream-media lying, and, b) an under-representation of pro-Trump enthusiasm which will easily close the gap. This latter narrative, of course, being a riff on how Trump has ignited and enlarged a political ‘movement’ to ‘make America great again,’ the likes of which have never previously been seen.

              In certain respects, Trump’s 2016 campaign was a very different and unique approach to national political campaigns.  He held large, in-person rallies every day, sometimes two or even three daily mass events in multiple states. He promoted these rallies with an aggressive, social media assault which was never matched or even anticipated by the Hillary campaign. And he cemented together an independent media ‘team’ comprised of FOX noisemakers like Hannity, Carlson and Ingraham, AM shock-jocks like Limbaugh and Beck (plus local wannabees), all of whom said exactly whatever they were told to say via faxes from Trump’s headquarters and the RNC.

              Most important, he made sure that everyone who attended his rallies was told again and again that they were part of a new and important ‘movement,’ (people like to think of themselves as coming together to create something special) and that they were also members of an ‘oppressed minority,’ i.e., folks ‘left behind’ by the un-American elitists who had sold the country out to Deep State enemies both here and abroad. And in case you didn’t know it, people love to feel that they are members of an oppressed, minority group.

              There’s only one little problem with this narrative. In 2004, the Republican candidate, who happened to be the incumbent, racked up 62,039,073 votes. Twelve years later, Trump’s ‘movement’ delivered 62,984,828 votes. Between those two elections, the U.S. population grew by 10 percent, the Trump campaign increased GOP turnout by a whole, big 1.5 percent. That’s some ‘movement.’ Yea, right.

              One of the big problems in evaluating election polls is whether someone who supports a particular candidate will actually show up and vote on election day. It’s what is known in the polling industry as ‘registered’ versus ‘likely’ voters. When you’re still 3 months away from the date of  vote, it’s too early to say for sure that someone who says he or she is voting for this or that candidate will actually appear on election day. So the polls conducted in August and September tend to use respondents from both groups. Once you get into the last 60 days or so, the ‘registered’ voters as poll respondents tend to disappear.

              Allegedly, the shift away from registered voters and towards likely voters is done because the latter category tends to be biased in favor of blue voters.  Gallup explains it like this: “For a long time in American politics, Republicans have represented those voters who are in the majority (or plurality) demographically. A voter who is white, straight, suburban, Christian, middle-aged and middle income is quite likely to be a Republican. However, a voter who deviates from that profile in some respect — for instance, by being black, Hispanic, gay, Jewish, an atheist, young or by having completed an education beyond an undergraduate degree — is likely to be a Democrat. The majority of Americans deviates from that profile in at least one of those respects. That’s part of why a larger share of Americans have long identified as Democrats rather than Republicans.

              The only problem with this analysis is that there were 12 national polls published a week or less before the 2016 election, and 11 of those polls used likely voters for their sample and every one of these polls had Clinton ahead by 3 to 7 points. And in fact, Hillary ended up by getting 4% more votes than Trump.

              Which meant that the 2016 national polls were correct. Which is why tomorrow I’ll look at the 2016 state-level polls.

This Is What We’ll Get With Donald Trump.

              The first time I watched the nominating roll-call at a Democratic convention was probably 1964. I think I have watched every Democratic convention nominating roll-call since that time. I don’t think I have ever watched a Republican nominating roll-call or even a Republican convention. But that’s because I don’t particularly like Republicans, and I particularly don’t like them right now because of the guy they sent to the White House in 2017.

              What struck me first about last night’s roll-call was the ethnic, racial, gender, and cultural diversity of the delegates representing the 50 states and the non-state territories like American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and Guam. But more important than the diversity of the delegates was the words they used when they talked about Joe. I heard words like ‘dignity,’ ‘decency,’ ‘honesty,’ being said again and again.  I haven’t heard any of those words being spoken in the Oval Office since before January, 2017.

              I don’t think Trump’s a Fascist; I’m not against him because he is attempting to destroy American Constitutionalism or any of the hyper-charged criticisms made by my friends on the blue team.  I’m against him for one, simple reason, which is that he uses language that demeans and degrades the Office of the President, meaning he’s demeaning and degrading all of us.

              The President of the United States doesn’t use profanity. The President of the United States doesn’t insult his political ‘enemies.’ The President of the United States doesn’t call someone a ‘punk,’ or a ‘rat,’ or a ‘low-life,’ or a ‘bum.’ The President of the United States doesn’t talk like some pissed-off old drunk sitting on a barstool in Richmond Hill, Queens.

              If ‘sleepy’ Joe Biden does nothing except continue to speak with the same degree of decency and dignity with which he has spoken over the course of his entire career, then he will do more to move the country forward in the first week of his Presidency than Donald Trump has done in nearly four years.

              I want to vote for our President to know that every time he opens his mouth, he is not just speaking to me, he is speaking for me. This seems to be a basic tenet of Presidential behavior that Donald Trump refuses to understand.

              As opposed to the Democrats, the people planning the GOP convention are playing their cards very close to their vest. They haven’t announced the names of speakers, they haven’t given even a hint at what the convention program will be about. Which leads me to believe that what they intend to do is double down on the most insidious, racist messaging they can get away with, and they’ll use phony video clips and other messaging props to appeal to the lowest, common social denominator, the so-called Trump ‘base.’

              Yesterday, one of Trump’s most loyal political base-tenders, Rush Limbaugh, told his audience that the whole Covid-19 threat was going to disappear, and it was only considered a problem by the corrupt, mainstream media which would do anything to keep the story alive. What was his proof? The number of daily cases in Florida which had dropped from more than 14,000 in mid-July to somewhere above 2,000 the past couple of days.

              What Limbaugh didn’t happen mention, was that on average, the daily number of Covid-19 deaths in Florida has increased from 50 at the beginning of July to more than 150 every day since August 1st. Today, I received a letter from the Trump campaign asking me to donate some bucks, and the text refers to the virus as a ‘ploy’ being used by the Democrats to defeat Trump and prevent him from making America great again.

              First it was the Chinese flu, then it is what it is, now a pandemic which has killed over 170,000 Americans is a ‘ploy.’ But what else can Trump say?  I’ll tell you what he’ll say at his convention next week. He’ll say the craziest, nastiest, most racist things that any President has ever said, because that’s who we elected in 2016.

              That’s what we’ll get – guaranteed..

Everyone Should Demand A Mail Ballot Whether You Use It Or Not.

              After I got over the shock and dismay of 2016, I decided to try and figure out what went wrong. So I bought and read Hillary’s explanation – What Happened? – and then I knew why and how she lost. 

              Hillary begins her explanation for the 2016 debacle with the following words: “I was determined not to repeat the mistake I made in 2008.” What was that mistake? She didn’t have the best and most accomplished staff. And after that opening sentence she goes on for over 30 pages describing the wonderful, senior staff that she hired for 2016. They were the best, the brightest, the most accomplished, you never saw such a bunch working on any political campaign.

              She then explains that the only reason she could have lost with that stellar lineup is because Trump ‘stole’ the election with some help from Putin, from WikiLeaks, etc., etc., etc. And this idea that Hillary should be President right now except the other side didn’t play fair continues to be a standard narrative to explain 2016.

              There’s only one little problem. She happens to be full of s*it. And the good news is that she’s finally shut up and disappeared. Of course, she’s giving a spiel at the DNC on Wednesday night – remind me not to watch.

              Let’s go back to April, 2016. With all the great talent Hillary assembled for her team, she was still slogging through a difficult primary campaign against a guy whose entire effort was based on swiping the Occupy Wall Street email list. By April 1st, on the other hand, Trump was basically the titular GOP candidate, like it or not. Who was the senior staff around Trump on that date?

              First and most important was the schmuck son-in-law who had absolutely no prior experience or involvement in political campaigns at all. Then there was schmuck son-in-law’s wife whose credentials consisted of the fact that she was Trump’s kid. Then there was Trump’s son, who is so friggin’ dumb that even Trump has let it be known that he never lets this kid make any decision on his own.

              The two ‘professionals’ on the staff were: a) a Washington lobbyist known by everyone as a crook whose entire campaign portfolio consisted of selling access to Trump at the inauguration if their campaign actually won; and, b) a volunteer fireman from New Hampshire whose entire campaign experience consisted of running a primary campaign for an incumbent U.S. Senator who – lost!

              With all the great credentials and all the experience of her senior staff, Hillary lost the 2016 election because she never (read: never) spent one friggin’ minute in 3 swing states which together she lost by 77,000 votes. Her losing margin in Michigan was less than the number of Michigan votes racked up by the Green Party candidate. How do you explain that? You create a completely false explanation and then you get some friends in the media and the DNC to repeat that nonsense for the next three years.

              Guess what? This time around Trump is stealing a page from the same playbook, except he’s not waiting until after the election takes place, he’s running with another version of how this election will get stolen by the Democrats right now.

              How are Democrats going to rig the voting? Through mail-in ballots, that’s how. I heard this argument from Glenn Beck and some other alt-right noise machine this morning; Rush was pushing it yesterday as well.

              I think everyone should immediately request a mail-in ballot, no matter where they live. I think we need to reply to this ‘rigged election’ nonsense by making it clear that we can and will vote legally in whatever manner we choose.

              And by the way, the fact that you have a mail-in ballot doesn’t mean you can’t show up at the polls and vote the usual way. Just hand the blank mail ballot to one of the poll watchers, preferably the person working for the GOP, then step into the booth and pull the Joe-Kam lever and away we go.

Weekly In-Play State Polls: Trump Keeps Rolling Along – Nowhere.

              Next week and the week after that, I’m going to skip publishing a report on how the polls look in the in-play states for the simple reason that I don’t trust any poll about anything conducted the last week of August when everyone is thinking about resuming whatever they are planning to resume after Labor Day. And the fact that the situation in schools is still unclear only makes what people will be thinking about next week even more difficult to understand.

              So our next report will appear on Monday, September 7th, which will not only be Labor Day so whatever you needed to do before Labor Day is either done or not done; plus, the polls beginning in September will also take into account the ‘bounce’ that candidates get from their conventions, which start this week.

              That being said, the poll results currently show Joe increasing his lead bit-by-bit in the in-play states, with the current numbers looking like this:

              Note that Joe is at or near 50% in 7 seven states; last week it was 1 state. Note he has hit the 50% in 3 states, last week it was 1 state. Joe’s overall average in the 12 in-play states is 48.4, our wartime President’s average is 44.8. Joe has pulled even or slightly ahead in Ohio, he’s 2 points behind in Texas, 1.4 points behind in Iowa – he doesn’t need either state. Assuming Joe wins all the Communist states, he only needs Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire to put him and Kam over the top. Except for Pennsylvania, where’s he’s 6 points ahead, Joe’s ahead by 8 points in the other 3 must-win states.

              Joe’s even up by a point in North Carolina, which a month ago, nobody thought he could win. But maybe an 8-point lead at this moment doesn’t mean that Joe is ahead. Last week our Commander-in-Chief told the sycophantic New York Post that because of crime and high taxes, his campaign was going to put New York “into play.” After my sister tipped me off to this loony statement I checked the polls and Trump is only behind in New York by 25 points – 63% to 38%. New York’ in play – yea, right.

              Now here’s the real news. For the 12 in-play states, the Sedaris Dog-shit vote is now down to an average of 7.8.  In New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, it’s down to 5.5. In those two states, every, single voter could make up their minds to vote for Trump between now and November 3rd, and he still couldn’t win. The dog-shit vote in Michigan and Wisconsin is somewhat larger, but unless 90% of the dog shits went for Mister Dog Shit himself, he couldn’t carry either of those states on November 3rd.

              Incidentally, with the exception of New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan all have no-excuse, absentee voting. In other words, voting by mail. Now you know why Trump is making those claims about mail-in voting equals voting fraud. I love how he is now blaming Amazon for financial losses suffered by the Post Office; pretty soon he’ll be claiming that Amazon is also spreading the virus into all 50 states.

              I can’t recall one, single day in the last 3 ½ years when Trump didn’t blame someone for something. And if this guy thinks that blaming anyone other than himself for not taking the Cobvid-19 virus seriously, is what a ‘wartime President’ does when the country is under attack, then all I can say is that he wouldn’t know how to be a ‘wartime leader’ any better than he knew how to run an airline or start a new football league.

              The only problem with any political poll is what w call the ‘black swan’ effect, namely, that no matter how many times we think we know how people are going to do something, there’s always a chance they’ll do it differently the next time out.

              Which is why good poll news to the contrary, just remember what Al Capone said: Vote Early, Vote Often.