On Biden, Press Conferences and Cuomo

Joe Biden has been president for nearly two months, and it would seem his honeymoon with the media (if there is such a thing) has ended, with criticism coming from all quarters for his lack of press conferences and for his staying on the sidelines of the trainwreck that is Andrew Cuomo’s gubernatorial career.

First, the fact is Biden held two town halls since the election where the questions from regular people were thoughtful and meaningful — a refreshing contrast to the White House press corps’ attempts to illicit a gotcha. He also regularly responds to questions hollered at him by journalists as he passes from one place to another.

Finally, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds regular press conferences where she handles media queries with poise, skill and little prevaricating, if not some expected deflection. That’s a far cry from her predecessors in the same position in the Trump administration who, when they did give a rare press conference, mainly just repeated their boss’ lies and took questions only from friendly representatives of conservative media outlets.

On the Cuomo question, Biden and his team have been consistent in witholding judgement pending a complete investigation of the allegations against New York’s governor. The attempt to paint Biden into a corner as the only person who can prevent a damaging rift between the Democratic Party and Cuomo is ludicrous. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have already done that — with Gillibrand’s trigger finger being only slightly less itchy than when she called for Sen. Al Franken’s resignation BEFORE an investigation of sexual harrassment allegations. Cuomo is only hurting Cuomo, not the Democratic Party, and his political party is in no greater danger from his truculence and intractability than the Knights of Columbus are from his Italian lineage.

But think for a moment — what if Donald Trump were still president.
[…]

Hilarious Twitter Posts on Trump’s Presser at the Other Four Seasons

As if you weren’t feeling great enough this morning following the incredible event last night featuring our new president-elect and the country’s first female vice president-elect. Maybe we’re still giddy but the posts on Twitter following Trump’s announcement of a big press conference at the Four Seasons — no, not THAT Four Seasons…well anyway, see for yourself.

[…]

Reporters are Starting to Probe Trump’s Covidgate and the Questions are Disturbing

Although the word has been used in other contexts, “Covidgate” is now the suspicion that the White House could be covering up that Pres. Trump himself is the one who spread the disease to so many in his inner circle, at Republican fundraisers, and countless numbers of those people’s contacts. The facts remain to be proven but reporters, who have also been exposed, are investigating.

There is no question that Trump continued to expose others after he had the virus.* The only question is did he mean to? When did he know he had COVID and how many lives did he choose to put at risk?

CNN’s Jake Tapper posted a Twitter thread that asks repeatedly when Trump last tested negative. This is a question the White House, and Trump’s medical team, including his osteopath, Navy Commander Sean Conley, is refusing to answer. It’s an alternate way of asking when Trump tested positive.

We know Trump arrived for the first debate too late to be tested before taking the stage with Biden. Was this on purpose to cover up because they already knew what the test results would be, or was it simply typical of his chaotic movements? And why is the White House refusing to do contact tracing after the superspreader event for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett? Is it because they already know who the results will trace back to?

Trump had famously been tested multiple times a day, as had those allowed to enter his airspace at the White House. Why did this abruptly stop? Check out Tapper’s musings on the subject.

[…]

Trump Got the Debate He Wanted, But Will it Help Him?

The day after the debate
Does it feel like something changed at that first presidential debate of 2020? Putting aside that it was exactly the kind of debate that the year 2020 deserved, it felt like during all that bellowing, bullying, heckling, and lying, Trump pushed a few more voters away.

I’m not a pollster. My observations are just that: the most elemental of research, what I see and hear around me.

The day of the debate, I heard Trump supporters talking about recording the show like it was a ball game their team was likely to win. I heard laughter about Biden. On a neighborhood walk, I saw mostly Trump/Pence signs. They appeared early and continued to outnumber Biden signs.

The day after the debate, I heard no chortling about how well Trump did. In fact no one mentioned the debate at all, the subject just too painful. When I came home, it seemed that my neighbors’ yards filled with Biden signs overnight. No matter where my eyes fell, there was a Biden/Harris sign in view.

The official polls reflecting post-debate sentiment won’t be out for awhile. But I’m cautiously optimistic they’ll back up what I’m seeing and show that Trump is sliding just a bit, losing support every time he opens that tight, pursed mouth to let all that anger out.

Watching Trump live-tweet Biden in person was hard. But it might be what it takes to turn enough Americans away from his nightmare presidency.

Trump in 2016: Us Against Them. Trump in 2020: Us Against Us.

Thanks to Janine Robinson for sharing their work on Unsplash.

It took almost four years but here we are.

Trump used to rally his base with innuendo about shadowy others who threatened America: Mexicans are rapists and members of obscure, violent gangs. A Muslim travel ban would keep out terrorists. Orphaning the children of parents fleeing Central America by locking them away and concealing them from their families would ensure that only Americans would receive benefits from paying taxes.

Where we are now was a gradual and incremental shift but it’s easy enough to look back and see it coming. After all, Trump made his mark on the political scene by questioning Pres. Obama’s legitimacy and refusing to acknowledge that Obama was born in Hawaii, not Kenya.

We know the cascading inflection points ever since. Good people on both sides. Pardoning Sheriff Joe Arpaio before he could be sentenced for what the U.S. Dept. of Justice called “sadistic punishments” of Latino inmates. Trying to shut down the NFL because Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem in response to police killings of Black people. Calling Elizabeth Warren Pocahontas. Labeling a free press the enemy of the people. Saying the members of “The Squad,” four Democratic congresswomen, should go back to their countries although all but one were born in America. Calling Jews who vote for Democrats “disloyal.” Retweeting white supremacists. The list is endless and neither of us has that much time.

Now, as Poltico’s Michael Kruse, Renuka Rayasam, and Myah Ward note, Trump is no longer talking about us versus them. He’s ginning up the base by making it us against us. […]

Trump: If Dems Win, the Nation Will Become Minneapolis

“I feel that if the Democrats get in we are literally going to end up in a recession-slash-depression the likes of which you’ve never seen. There will be tremendous negative growth, tremendous bedlam all over the place, there won’t be law and order. You’ll have a Seattle, you’ll have a Minneapolis like you’ve never seen before. The whole country will be Minneapolis.”

— President Trump, quoted by the Washington Post, during a 20-minute interview with Donald Trump Jr. on his online show “Triggered.”

Biden Leads Trump by Nearly 10 Points Nationally

50.5% to 41.3%

FiveThirtyEight launched its polling averages for the 2020 presidential race: “Biden currently leads Trump 50.5% to 41.3% in national polls, according to our average — a 9.2-point lead. … Biden also leads Trump in swing states such as Michigan, Wisconsin and Arizona — although his lead in many swing states are not as wide as his margin in national polls, suggesting that the Electoral College could once again favor Trump in the event of a close election.”

Biden’s Lead Up to Double Digits Over Last Two Months

10.2%

Nate Cohn explains that every high-quality national poll with proper education weighting had Joe Biden leading Donald Trump two months ago by an average of 6.2%. And nearly every one of them have him leading by more today, by an average of 10.2%. Vox notes that Biden’s lead is not only larger than Hillary Clinton’s in 2016, “it’s more secure.”