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Benjamin Netanyahu corruption trial to begin in Israel
« Reply #15975 on: May 23, 2020, 03:03:00 PM »
The Israeli public will see its prime minister in the dock for the first time as Benjamin Netanyahu's long-awaited corruption trial begins. The case against him has divided public opinion — and the country.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was sworn in last Sunday for the fifth time in hislong political career as the head of on Israeli government. This Sunday he will appear in an East Jerusalem district court for the start of a widely anticipated trial on charges of fraud, breach of trust and bribery. Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing and repeatedly described the allegations against him as a witch hunt aimed at him and his family.

"I remember very well when three years ago, the police came to Netanyahu's residence for the first time," said Aviad Glickman, a court reporter who has covered Netanyahu's case from the beginning for Israeli TV Channel 13. "It's like a kind of closure now that it [trial] finally starts. But it is also the first time in Israel's history that a sitting prime minister will be in court."

The trial was supposed to start in mid-March but was postponed because of the coronavirus crisis. In a widely criticized decision, then-Justice Minister Amir Ohana, a close ally of Netanyahu, announced emergency measures to freeze all court procedures except for urgent cases. But now, as courts are resuming their work with some hygiene restrictions in place, a panel of three judges will read out the charges against Netanyahu and three other defendants. A request by Netanyahu's lawyers this week not to require his attendance on Sunday was rejected by the court.

Netanyahu can choose whether to attend future sessions depending on the stages of the trial, legal experts have said.  But the prime minister will certainly have to accommodate additional days in court during the trial.

To do their jobs well, his lawyers have to consult with him all the time and he has to be briefed on every detail when he is not there. This will be particularly important during the phase of cross-examinations and testimonies," said Amir Fuchs, legal researcher at the Israel Democracy Institute.

The Netanyahu files

A special police unit investigated the alleged cases against Netanyahu for several years and recommended indicting the prime minister. Last year, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit published his intention to indict Netanyahu in three separate cases.

In what is known as case 1,000, Netanyahu faces charges of fraud and breach of trust.  He is accused of receiving gifts such as cigars, pink champagne, jewelry and air tickets worth about a million Israeli shekels (€260,00, $283,400) from wealthy friends such as Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan and Australian billionaire James Packer.

In case 2,000, Netanyahu is accused of having attempted to get more favorable coverage from one of the leading newspapers, Yedioth Ahronoth, while offering its publisher, Arnon Moses, to weaken the circulation of another daily in return. Netanyahu's defense team rejects that such attempts were made. The prosecution has indicted Netanyahu for fraud and breach of trust while the publisher faces charges of bribery.

Case 4,000 is considered the most serious among the three cases. It alleges that Netanyahu made regulatory decisions that could have benefitted Shaul Elovitch, a major shareholder in the Israeli telecommunications firm Bezeq. In exchange, Elovitch allegedly ensured favorable reporting on behalf of the Netanyahu family on Walla, a news website Elovitch owns. In this case, the prime minister and Elovitch are both charged with bribery.

Protests for and against Netanyahu

Netanyahu's cases and persona have long divided Israelis. Rami Matan, a retired army colonel, goes out regularly to protest against Netanyahu and hoped to see a different prime minister after the last election.

"Sure, he is innocent until proven guilty. But it's not right and not moral that a PM will lead the government in the afternoon and in the morning defend himself in court," Matan said after a protest of army veterans in front of the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem. "He should fight in court for his innocence, but please, leave the government, leave us and the country alone."

Netanyahu and his supporters have blamed the left, the media, the police and the judiciary for plotting against him.

"On the right, people think it's all fake, it's all to frame him, while on the left, people just want to see him go," says Uri Dromi, director of the Jerusalem Press Club and former spokesperson for the Rabin and Peres governments. "Then you have those who say, 'Ok, there is a court system, we believe in it, now the trial starts, let them do their work and see what happens.'"

It is not the first time that Israelis see a politician in the dock — or even in jail should the cases ultimately end with a guilty verdict. But almost all such officials stepped down before being indicted, as former prime ministerEhud Olmert did. He was subsequently convicted and had to serve a prison sentence. Under Israeli law, ministers have to step down if indicted, but prime ministers are not required to do so until they are found guilty and have exhausted the appeal process.

Netanyahu, who has been prime minister for over a decade, has always refused to step down. After three inconclusive elections within a year and long political deadlock, he still managed to bolster his position as both Likud's leader and as prime minister. His handling of health issues during the coronavirus pandemic afforded him high approval rates in public surveys.

For the next 18 months, he will lead the new "national emergency government" that he formed with his former political rival, Benny Gantz (Blue and White).

The trial is expected to last more than a year.

https://www.dw.com/en/benjamin-netanyahu-corruption-trial-to-begin-in-israel/a-53532187
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

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More than 40 diagnosed with COVID-19 after Frankfurt church service
« Reply #15976 on: May 23, 2020, 03:09:48 PM »
FRANKFURT, May 23 (Reuters) - More than 40 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus following a church service in Frankfurt, Germany's financial centre, earlier this month, the head of the city's health department told a news agency on Saturday.

"Most of them are not seriously ill. As far as we know only one person has been admitted to hospital," Rene Gottschalk told the dpa agency.

The service took place on May 10 at a Baptist church, the department's deputy chief Antoni Walczok told local newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau. On its website https://www.seidheilig.de the church says it holds services in both German and Russian.

"The situation is very dynamic," Walczok told the paper, adding the church did not violate official guidelines aimed at containing the spread of the virus.

Churches in the German state of Hesse, where Frankfurt is located, have been able to hold services since May 1 provided they adhere to official social distancing and hygiene rules.

Frankfurt's health department was not available for comment outside business hours on Saturday.

https://news.trust.org/item/20200523134545-hjpes/
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

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More than 90 countries request IMF bailout
« Reply #15977 on: May 23, 2020, 03:13:03 PM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/A_uTPPUGwBc&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/A_uTPPUGwBc&fs=1</a>
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline Surly1

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Re: Many People Now Have Level 12 TDS
« Reply #15978 on: May 23, 2020, 04:18:55 PM »


This would be even funnier if it weren't so true.
"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

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Re: WHO: South America is new COVID-19 epicenter
« Reply #15979 on: May 23, 2020, 04:25:43 PM »
UK has a population density of 270 people per km2 whereas the Swedes have a density of only 23 per km2. Sweden has the highest number of single person households in Europe which would be another contributory factor to their low infection rate. Finally Swedes have traditionally valued their personal space more than other countries.

I'm no expert but this data point looks pretty significant to me.
"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."

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COVID-19 continues spreading into counties with strong Trump support
« Reply #15980 on: May 24, 2020, 08:03:05 AM »
As more parts of America proclaim themselves open for business, COVID-19 continues to expand into new counties and states in many areas with demographic and political orientations favorable to President Donald Trump. This is especially noteworthy given that the president has pushed for an even faster reopening of the U.S. economy.

Now, for four weeks running, counties newly designated with a high prevalence of COVID-19 cases were more likely to have voted for Trump than for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, according to our analyses. In the latest week of this monitor, such counties favored Trump by a 12% margin in 2016, and, as in recent weeks, they are also much less urban and less racially diverse than places where the coronavirus was most prevalent in March and early April.

This tracking represents our seventh week of monitoring counties that newly qualify as reaching high COVID-19 prevalence (at least 100 cases per 100,000 population based on case data reported by The New York Times and 2019 population data reported by the U.S. Census Bureau). In the most recent week, May 11 to May 17, 176 new counties identified as high-prevalence counties. In the seven weeks between March 29 and May 17, the share of the U.S. population residing in such counties rose from 8% to 79%.





County map

Map 1 makes plain that COVID-19’s spread is continuing southward and westward from its northeastern concentration at the end of March. Counties identified in the most recent week are heavily located in the South (80 counties) and Midwest (68). There is also a high representation in smaller areas, as 159 of the 176 newly identified high-prevalence counties lie in outer suburbs, small metropolitan areas, or outside of metropolitan areas. (Notable exceptions are Florida’s Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, part of the greater Tampa metro area; Wake County, N.C., in the Raleigh metro area; and the Texas counties of Bexar and Collin, part of the San Antonio and Dallas metro areas, respectively.)

Especially noteworthy are the political aspects of this expansion. Among new high-prevalence counties from the week of May 11 to May 17, Trump won 151 of them in the 2016 election. Clinton was the victor in just 25. While it is true that many of the Clinton counties had larger populations than the mostly rural and small metropolitan Trump counties, voters residing in these counties, combined, favored Trump by a margin of 53 to 41.





County map 2

Over the four-week period between April 20 and May 17, 697 new high COVID-19 prevalence counties voted for Trump, compared with just 127 that voted for Clinton. This ratio of over 5-to-1 is larger than the 2-to-1 ratio in the prior three weeks (March 30 to April 19). Moreover, in each of the past four weeks, voters of newly designated high COVID-19 prevalence counties, combined, showed more votes for Trump than for Clinton (See Figure 1 below).

A breakdown of these 697 Trump counties, again, shows high prevalence in the South and Midwest. The largest numbers of southern high-prevalence counties are in Texas (52 counties), Georgia (45), and Virginia (36). In the Midwest, high-prevalence counties are in Indiana (40) and Iowa (37). Also noteworthy are the 101 high-prevalence Trump counties located in the swing states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Florida. Overall, including earlier weeks (as Map 2 depicts), 1,163 high COVID-19 prevalence counties voted for Trump in 2016, compared to 375 that voted for Clinton.

In past four weeks, the number of states where at least 40% of residents lived in high COVID-19 prevalence counties increased from 23 to 46. Eighteen of the 23 new states voted for Trump in 2016—most recently, Arkansas, Kansas, and Wisconsin. Thus, as of May 17, 26 of these 46 states are “red” states, compared to 20 “blue” states.



The overall demographics of persons residing in newly designated high COVID-19 prevalence counties continues to transition away from earlier urbanized, racially diverse, and high-inequality counties. Among those living in counties newly designated from May 11 to May 17, only 15% reside in highly dense urban cores, while over half live in the outer suburbs, small metro areas, and nonmetropolitan areas. These county populations are 65% white—a larger percentage than the nation as a whole (60%) and far greater than the white population share living in such counties on March 29 (48%). Similarly, new high-prevalence counties are home to a lower share of foreign-born residents and high-income households than was the case for new counties in earlier weeks.

There is a clear trend in the works among counties now experiencing a high COVID-19 prevalence for the first time. Compared to the counties where the pandemic first hit, these they look much more like the rest of America, and in particular, reflect the kinds of areas that carried President Trump to victory in 2016. This suggests that rhetoric from some of the president’s supporters against maintaining public health measures may become more muted, as the nation continues to grapple with the many unknowns about COVID-19’s continued spread.

May 14, 2020
For the third straight week, new COVID-19 cases spread to Trump counties

As governors, mayors, and other local officials debate the merits of President Donald Trump’s stance that the nation’s economy should reopen as quickly as possible, COVID-19 cases continue to expand outward, and increasingly to areas that voted for the president. This is confirmed in the latest installment of our regular coronavirus tracking, which shows that—for the third straight week—counties newly designated with a high COVID-19 prevalence were home to more Trump voters than Clinton voters during the 2016 election. The newly designated counties are concentrated in smaller and nonmetropolitan areas in the South and Midwest, and contained a larger share of white residents than in any previous week. In addition, there was a continued spread toward and within less urban states that voted for Trump in 2016.

These results extend our earlier analyses, which have tracked the expansion of high COVID-19 prevalence counties since the end of March, with emphasis on their demographic attributes and political leanings. The results reported here include county data for the sixth week of tracking (May 4 through May 10), with 203 counties newly qualifying for high-prevalence status (at least 100 cases per 100,000 population, based on case data reported by The New York Times and 2019 population data from the U.S. Census Bureau).

As shown in Table 1, the percentage of the U.S. population residing in high-prevalence counties increased to 72%, up from just 8% on March 29. About a quarter of the nation’s population joined these ranks in the past three weeks.





County map

The spread of these counties, depicted in Map 1, shows a westward expansion from the initial Northeast clustering at the end of March. In subsequent weeks, high COVID-19 prevalence counties spread into the Midwest and South, with a broad expansion in the latter region. That began in Louisiana, Georgia, and Mississippi, but eventually spread over most of the South. Aside from a few hotspots such as greater Seattle, the spread to the West was more sporadic and headlined by gains in several populous California counties at the end of April and early May, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Diego.

The most notable trend was COVID-19’s expansion out of dense urban core areas to the outer suburbs, smaller metropolitan areas, and small counties that lie outside metropolitan areas. While many large metro areas in all regions registered high COVID-19 prevalence, there was a bigger shift to populations in smaller places and, increasingly, nonmetropolitan counties particularly in the South and Midwest.



The newly designated high-prevalence counties for May 4 to May 10 amplify some of these trends. South and Midwest residents comprise 70% of all residents in new high-prevalence counties, including those living in 142 small and nonmetropolitan counties that are located in those regions. Likewise, the very small share of Northeast residents in newly designated counties are all located in exurbs, small metro areas, and rural areas. About a quarter of residents in new high-prevalence counties reside in the West, again including smaller counties but also populous ones such as Orange County, Calif. and Multnomah Couth, Ore. Overall, the most recent week of newly designated high COVID-19 prevalence counties impacted the outer suburbs, small metro areas, and nonmetropolitan areas, whose residents comprised half of all new counties’ populations.

These newly designated counties are less racially diverse than high-prevalence counties of prior weeks, with 65% of residents identifying as white. Likewise, the share of residents identifying as foreign born (11.2%) is smaller. And continuing the trend of recent weeks, residents of this new tranche of counties are more concentrated in middle-income categories than earlier ones.

The most notable facet of this week’s group of new high-prevalence counties is their political orientation. In the 2016 presidential election, voters of these counties together favored Trump over Hillary Clinton by a margin of 50 to 44. As shown in Figure 1, this makes May 4 to May 10 the third straight week when newly designated high COVID-19 prevalence counties housed voter populations that favored Trump over Clinton—a reversal from weeks prior.





County map 2

This trend is even more pronounced when examining Trump’s voter advantage in the number of counties that have reached high-prevalence status since the end of March. Of the 59 counties classified as high-prevalence on March 29, Clinton was victorious in more than half. But in the weeks between March 30 and April 19, Trump won in over twice as many new high-prevalence counties as Clinton (440 versus 215), with large numbers in the red states of Georgia (63 counties), Louisiana (43), Mississippi (35), and Indiana (31), and more modest gains in the swing states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Virginia. Three-quarters of these 2016 Trump counties were located in small or nonmetropolitan areas.

For counties that reached high COVID-19 prevalence in the past three weeks—between April 20 and May 10—Trump won over five times more of them than Clinton (548 versus 102) in the 2016 election. These are spread over broader parts of the South and Midwest, in largely red and purple states. While Georgia gained another 40 high-prevalence counties that Trump carried in 2016, Texas and North Carolina added to their totals with 39 and 26 new counties, respectively, as did Tennessee and Kentucky. Midwestern Trump counties reached high-prevalence in Indiana (34 counties), Iowa (31), and in the blue state of Minnesota (20). Among the tranche of Republican-leaning high COVID-19 prevalence counties added in the most recent week, nearly four-fifths were smaller metropolitan or heavily rural counties.

When looking at the state level, it is clear that high-prevalence counties are increasingly representing populations in red states. Back on April 19, 23 states had at least 40% of their residents living in high-prevalence counties. Since then, 19 new states joined those ranks, including 15 states that voted for Trump—most recently, Missouri and North Dakota. There are now 23 red states in which more than two-fifths of the population resides in high COVID-19 prevalence counties, compared to just 19 blue states that have reached this status.

This analysis makes plain that, over the six-week period since the end of March, there has been a broad dispersion of COVID-19 cases into smaller, less dense areas in all parts of the country, comprising populations from a wide range of demographic categories. It is especially noteworthy that, over the past three weeks, more residents of newly designated high COVID-19 prevalence counties voted for Trump over Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. This suggests that, despite recent protests and polling, debates over reopening the economy could turn out to be far more nuanced than a simple red America versus blue America disagreement.

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/the-avenue/2020/05/07/as-states-reopen-covid-19-is-spreading-into-even-more-trump-counties/amp/
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

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North Carolina Reports Highest One Day Spike Of COVID-19 Cases
« Reply #15981 on: May 24, 2020, 08:05:42 AM »
North Carolina has reported its highest one-day spike in new COVID-19 cases, a development that comes a day after the state entered its second phase of re-opening.

In a statement Saturday, the state's Department of Health and Human Services reported 1,107 infections – around 250 more cases than the state's last highest daily tally.

"This is a notable and concerning increase," said the department's secretary, Mandy Cohen. "As we head into a holiday weekend, please practice the three Ws – wear a face covering, wait six feet apart, and wash your hands frequently. When it comes to our health, we need to work together to protect our families, friends and neighbors."

The spike in new cases underscores the challenge that states across the country are facing as they weigh when to ease restrictions designed to stem the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

North Carolina had spent two weeks in phase one of its reopening before entering the second phase on Friday. Phase two lifted the state's stay-at-home order and allowed certain businesses to restart or expand operations in a limited capacity.

In announcing the easing of restrictions, authorities noted that although "overall key indicators remain stable," there remained "continued increases in daily case counts." A statement accompanying Gov. Roy Cooper's executive order, issued on Wednesday, said re-opening would be a more modest endeavor than initially envisioned.

"North Carolina is using the data to guide our decisions about when to lift COVID-19 restrictions, and overall our key indicators remain stable," Cooper, a Democrat, said. "Safer At Home Phase 2 is another careful step forward, and we have to continue taking this virus seriously to prevent a dangerous spike in infections."

The executive order allowed businesses such as restaurants, salons and barbers to be open at 50% capacity with social distancing and cleaning requirements in place. Bars, gyms, and movie theaters were to remained close.

The order also capped mass gatherings at 25 people for outdoor venues while indoor events were limited to 10.

The announcement came as many parts of the U.S. have seen a general decline in new infections and other areas – such as Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C. – are reporting plateaus.

As of Saturday, North Carolina has reported at least 22,725 coronavirus infections.

https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/05/23/861561659/north-carolina-reports-highest-one-day-spike-of-covid-19-cases
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

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The stark front page of today's New York Times, plus three inside pages, consist of two-line obituaries ("Always first on the dance floor. ... Preferred bolo ties and suspenders") for 1,000 of the nearly 100,000 Americans who have died of coronavirus — 1% of the toll:

The big picture: A huge team at The Times drew the accounts "from hundreds of obituaries, news articles and paid death notices that have appeared in newspapers and digital media over the past few months."

    Marc Lacey, national editor, said: "I wanted something that people would look back on in 100 years to understand the toll of what we’re living through."

A sampling:

    Cornelia Ann Hunt, 87, Virginia Beach, her last words were "thank you" • Rita Paas, 88, Comstock Park, Mich., never missed "Wheel of Fortune," "Jeopardy" or "Lawrence Welk" • Lila A. Fenwick, 87, New York City, first black woman to graduate from Harvard Law School • Alice Coopersmith Furst, 87, Kentfield, Calif., in the first class of girls admitted to the Bronx High School of Science.
    Bobby Lee Barber, 84, Buckley, Wash., Seahawks season-ticket holder • Rhoda Hatch, 73, Chicago, first in her family to graduate college • Regina Dix-Parsons, 75, Schenectady, N.Y., stalwart church gospel singer • Lakisha Willis White, 45, Orlando, Fla., was helping to raise some of her dozen grandchildren.
    Barbara Yazbeck Vethacke, 74, St. Clair Shores, Mich., she was known to many as Babs • June Beverly Hill, 85, Sacramento, no one made creamed potatoes or fried sweet corn the way she did • Kimarlee Nguyen, 33, Everett, Mass., writer who inspired her Brooklyn high school students • Kamal Ahmed, 69, New York City, hotel banquet worker and Bangladeshi leader • Israel Sauz, 22, Broken Arrow, Okla., new father.

https://www.axios.com/new-york-times-front-page-covid-19-victims-names-9d26a009-c6c7-4f05-84a2-c12ae6c3a4d3.html
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

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Trump Shares Posts Mocking Stacey Abrams’ Weight, Pelosi’s Looks, ...
« Reply #15983 on: May 24, 2020, 08:22:41 AM »
and Calling Hillary Clinton a ‘Skank’ in Late Night Twitter Spree

President Donald Trump went on a bonkers Twitter spree Saturday in which he shared posts mocking Stacey Abrams, Nancy Pelosi, and Hillary Clinton in a variety of demeaning manners.

In the stunning late night frenzy, the president retweeted a supporter who referred to Clinton as a “skank.”



Trump also shared posts attacking Nancy Pelosi — whom the supporter he retweeted referred to as “polygrip.” In the tweets, the supporter mocked Pelosi’s looks.



And the president also shared a post mocking Stacey Abrams’ weight.



The retweets capped off a shocking day on Twitter in which the president ramped up his attacks on MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough — again pushing the conspiracy theory that Scarborough murdered an intern who worked for him in 2001. Trump also took on, among others, his one-time attorney general, Jeff Sessions.

“You had no courage, & ruined many lives,” Trump wrote.

Trump’s tweets came amid heavy criticism for his hitting the links earlier in the day, with the death toll from the coronavirus pandemic approaching 100,000 in the U.S.

https://www.mediaite.com/trump/trump-shares-posts-mocking-stacey-abrams-weight-pelosis-looks-and-calling-hillary-clinton-a-skank-in-late-night-twitter-spree/
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

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Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

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This is what’s happening right now at the Lake of the Ozarks
« Reply #15985 on: May 24, 2020, 08:37:12 AM »
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

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Biden Taking Votes for Granted Will Cost Him the Election
« Reply #15986 on: May 24, 2020, 08:43:17 AM »
When the Democratic primary process began, Joe Biden was the lazy leader.

His competitors criss-crossed the United States, trying to drum up donors, voters, and some name recognition. Biden took his sweet time getting started, organizing, fundraising, and campaigning.

The former Vice President’s actions spoke like a man who knew he had the nomination in the bag. The game started 39 years ago for him and the scoreboard looked like a blowout, even if his competitors did not know it.

Pete Buttigieg spent the first three months of 2019 building one of the unlikeliest campaigns in modern election history; working tirelessly from prime time interviews to rallies in every town. Joe Biden was at home, still not officially entered into the race.

Bernie Sanders moved from state to state with the vigor of a much younger man, and that was after a heart attack. He built a massive coalition of progressives and young voters. Biden held casual, low key fundraisers and limited his campaign schedule.

Elizabeth Warren made plans for everything when it came to policies and solving America’s problems. Her debate performances read like a job interview she had been studying for her whole life. Biden acted like he had already won and was looking forward to taking on Donald Trump.

Joe Biden’s laissez-faire, laid back attitude toward everything and everyone is going to be his Achilles’ Heel of the election. It will not be the suggested mental decline, the sexual assault allegation, or the newly labelled ‘Obamagate’.

No, Joe Biden will lose because he is running like he has already won; taking everyone’s vote for granted.
The Progressive Wing

This week, news broke that Joe Biden was beginning the Vice President vetting process for former primary competitor and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar. If you read Biden’s Blindside, you know the collective eye roll that occurred after this news became public.

It is not that Amy Klobuchar is a bad choice, or an undeserving, well-qualified candidate. She is a formidable politician and would have been a solid VP choice for a more progressive candidate like Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders. For Biden though, she is merely a hat on a hat.

The chances of Klobuchar actually being the pick for VP are still relatively low. However, the optics alone are a giant middle finger to the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.

While her Midwest roots will improve Biden’s competitiveness in Minnesota and perhaps Wisconsin, Klobuchar does nothing to expand Biden’s appeal to voters. She is moderate, white, and provides no hope to progressives.

Biden believes if he plops himself down in the center lane, he will attract the middle of the country, some independents, and some more disillusioned Republicans. At the same time, assuming progressives and liberals will HAVE to vote for him out of fear of another four years of Trump.

This strategy is a great way to motivate a large subset of your party stay home. Not only was the country’s left wing expecting a female President by now, they were expecting some real representation in the White House.

For Biden to rebuff them with a nominee like Klobuchar, it could cement the likelihood that millions of progressives do not show up for him in November.
The Remorseful Republican

There are some Republicans who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 that now wish they could take it back. This percentage may be as small as 3–5%. However, in an increasingly polarized time, each percentage point can make or break a campaign.

Biden is in the prime position to olive branch red wing defectors. Up until now, he has done very little to appeal to them. While the media claims his candidacy is an appeal to moderate Republicans, you would never know it due to the lack of outreach by his campaign.

This is rooted in the expectation that Trump and his administration is so bad, Biden ultimately does not need to try that hard. A common through-line of Biden’s entire campaign and subsequent nomination thus far.

Biden thinks he will attract the middle and middle-right of America simply because he is not Trump. This is a massive assumption that will likely blow up in his face. An actual effort needs to be made if he expects to win.
Interviews and Town Halls

Watching Joe Biden do interviews with mainstream media is an odd experience. Entitled, defensive, unprepared to field hard questions. Biden’s belief that he already has this whole dog and pony show locked up results in contentious interactions on most occasions.

In his mind, no one has more support than him. No one commands a broader base of voters than him. No one has as strong a record on [insert policy position] than him. He appears insulted when asked hard questions about his qualifications or policy ideas.

Biden’s on-camera interactions with potential voters have had their own pitfalls. At an Iowa town hall in December 2019, Biden called a voter a “damn liar” for asking about his son Hunter’s involvement in Ukraine. Or his “you’re full of shit” outburst at an autoworker in Detroit over gun rights.

You get the sense that Biden does not believe he needs to earn the people’s vote.

Regardless of how personal or intentionally confrontational a question may be, a candidate has to be able to handle these questions directly but professionally. Instead, we often get a Biden that reeks of “How dare you question me, do you know who I am?”
The Black Firewall Is Cracking

For months leading up to the primary contests, Joe Biden assured everyone, despite his sagging poll numbers and overall lack of enthusiasm surrounding his campaign, that communities of color and black Democrats in particular had his back.

In February, reinforcements arrived in the form of a massive endorsement by Representative Jim Clyburn. The legendary representative stated, “We know Joe. But most importantly, Joe knows us.”

Three days later, black Democrats across South Carolina delivered a sweeping victory for Joe Biden. So lopsided, most of his competitors dropped out of the race entirely and lined up behind him for the general election fight against Trump.

A few short months later, after emphatically telling Joe Biden, “We got your back,” black voters across the country are now wondering, “wait, does he have ours?”

On May 22nd, Biden made an appearance on The Breakfast Club, a syndicated radio show hosted by Charlamagne tha God featuring a mostly black DJ lineup. The show has become a destination for politicians to make their pitch to black voters. Second only to the pilgrimage politicians make to Harlem to sit at Sylvia’s and talk with Reverend Al Sharpton.

In Biden’s appearance, Charlamagne did what he does best; needling the guest with hard to answer questions. A majority of the interview covered Biden’s contributions to the 1994 Crime Bill. However, the last 30 seconds are receiving the most media attention.

At the end of the interview, Charlamagne is wrapping up and says, “Listen, you gotta come see us when you come to New York, VP Biden. It’s a long way until November, we got more questions.” A logical, simple comment that alludes to the fact that Biden still needs to earn his and everyone else’s vote.

Biden, attempting to make a joke, responded, “You got more questions, but I’ll tell ya, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”

Now the media has covered this from every angle; the outrage, the disappointment, the veiled racism, you name it. It has been probed to death in less than 48 hours. Since that comment, Biden has apologized.

But what the comment represents is far more detrimental to his campaign. Biden believes he has earned the black vote. South Carolina is his proof of such a statement.

What he fails to realize is that he now has to fight to keep it. Black voters do not belong to him. Just like everyone, they are free to change their mind between now and November. Smugly stating that black voters have nowhere else to go is akin to an abusive relationship.

We already know that Joe Biden is not everyone’s first choice for President. He has more flaws and controversies than you would want in a candidate, especially in the bright lights of social media and 24 hour news cycles.

However, partially due to the fear of what another four years of Trump would do to this country, the majority of Democratic voters begrudgingly cast their vote for Biden, the ‘safest’ choice of all the candidates. This was no time to take a risk.

Despite Biden’s 39 years of service, the desperation everyone feels for ending the Trump administration, and the ease that the electoral process has been so far, Biden needs to understand that things are different now.

Right now, Biden needs to start acting like he is the underdog. Regardless what the polls might say, with Trump’s brand of politics, he is at a severe disadvantage. Biden has never faced an adversary like this; one that commands and directs public discourse with a single tweet.

The scoreboard resets to zero. Biden no longer has a head start or an advantage. He is facing an incumbent and Trump has the high ground. Biden needs to pull himself out of his basement and start campaigning like he actually wants to win; like he actually wants people to vote for him. If not, his basement is going to start feeling a lot like a dungeon.

And his message should not be ‘do not vote for Trump’, but instead ‘you should vote for me and here is why.’ The time for coasting is over. Biden needs to get in the driver’s seat, take control of his campaign, and make the American people believe he is willing to put in the work to earn their vote.

This starts with Biden changing his belief that he’s got the election in the bag; that he already has your vote. Biden needs to convince people he is the right choice, not the only choice.

https://medium.com/the-purple-giraffe/biden-taking-votes-for-granted-will-cost-him-the-election-10f076787c74
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline knarf

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Trump is WEAK!
« Reply #15987 on: May 24, 2020, 08:52:24 AM »
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline Eddie

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Re: Trump is WEAK!
« Reply #15988 on: May 24, 2020, 10:36:01 AM »


Great quotation.       :emthup: :emthup:
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Surly1

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Re: Biden Taking Votes for Granted Will Cost Him the Election
« Reply #15989 on: May 24, 2020, 11:55:52 AM »

This starts with Biden changing his belief that he’s got the election in the bag; that he already has your vote. Biden needs to convince people he is the right choice, not the only choice.

https://medium.com/the-purple-giraffe/biden-taking-votes-for-granted-will-cost-him-the-election-10f076787c74

I recall going to the Outer Banks for a weekend vacation in October, 2016. It's a two hour drive from Norfolk to OBX. During that drive we saw hundreds of Trump yard signs; we saw exactly one Clinton sign. To me the was a physical manifestation of enthusiasm... and lack of it.

A Klobuchar nomination will piss off both progressives and the black vote. I am pretty sure there aren't enough disaffected republicans to elect Biden without core Dems.

Since  the class-traitor Slick Willie days, Democrats have said to their lefty brethren, in effect, "So where you gonna go?" Third party voters elect republicans, so it's half a loaf, or go hungry.
"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it."