'Anonymous,' author of White House tell-all book, revealed to be Miles Taylor, former Trump Homeland Security Chief of staff.
Ivanka Trump praises her dad for ‘doing the YMCA’ as Americans die from COVID -watch video below
Michigan Judge Accused of Jeopardizing Safety and Democracy With Reversal of Open Carry Ban at Polling Places
Citing her "sworn duty to protect every voter and their right to cast the ballot free from intimidation and harassment," the Democratic secretary of state vows to appeal the judge's injunction.
Below: Stories that piqued my interest today.
Raging Trump wants the Supreme Court to save him. Here’s why it probably won’t, Greg Sargent, Wash. Post (subscription).
In the Wisconsin decision, the eight-justice court ruled that ballots that arrive after Election Day, but were mailed before, will not be accepted. The ruling from the five conservatives is stirring angst because it suggests more rulings that could tip the election to Trump.
But this will only happen if a series of unlikely scenarios all line up.
Fears of an intervention
One big fear is this could mean the high court will end up overruling a recent Pennsylvania state supreme court decision allowing for the acceptance of mail ballots that arrive up to three days after Election Day.
With Barrett now on the court, there might be five conservative justices now prepared to do this.
But here’s the rub: To do so, they’d have to contradict a principle that Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh articulated in his Wisconsin opinion. He argued that Wisconsin couldn’t extend the period for accepting ballots because this constituted “changing state election rules too close to an election.”
But if the Supreme Court now nixes the extended deadline in Pennsylvania, this would also constitute changing election rules when "an election is imminent.”
But the conservative justices cannot get around the fact that a change now would be undoing a state of affairs that the court itself created for voters, by deadlocking.
An unlikely scenario
It’s also increasingly unlikely that there will be enough late-arriving ballots in Pennsylvania to make the difference.
“You’d have to have enough late-arriving ballots to make a difference in a state and have that state make the difference in the election,” Vladeck said.
Yet another thing to fear
Still another possibility might be that the high court finds a way to halt the counting of mail ballots even if they arrived on or before Election Day. Kavanaugh’s ruling also vaguely declared that if the results aren’t announced on or right after Election Day, it might create “suspicions of impropriety.”
That declaration is absurd, since the whole point of allowing for weeks to pass before certification is to avoid such suspicions. And as election expert Rick Hasen notes, there isn’t any result to cast doubt upon until all votes are counted.
Beyond this, Vladeck notes that such a ruling is unlikely: It would require five conservatives to break with their hallowed principle of state legislative control over voting rules, since those legislatures themselves created vote-by-mail systems.
Two parts of this struck me. 1) That Fox News played the speech and 2) Trump has nothing better to do in the afternoon than watch Fox News. ‘Fake speech’: Trump rages at live television as Fox News gives Obama 30 minutes to rip president
Clinical psychologist Alan Blotcky predicts what life after Trump will be like — and how the president will respond if he loses
Excerpt: It is possible to bring those people back from that (fears promoted by Trump), but Dr. Blotcky says it will come with Biden including them as part of his new administration.
“If you cut off the head, which is Trump, I think there is going to be residual stuff, but I think if Joe Biden keeps talking about being the president for all Americans, and not just Democrats, that’s the strategy. That’s the attitude you have to have — that our new president has to be the president for all of us, and they have to listen to him,” Dr. Blotcky went on. “A lot of his supporters, I see them in the crowds, are people who really have been left behind by this economy and they feel like they are not listened to or valued. And I think one of the major functions of the president is to listen to everybody and have everybody feel like we’re a part of what we’re trying to do in this democracy.”
In the immediate aftermath, Dr. Blotcky agrees that the Trump supporters will still take to the streets and that there will be violence, but that Biden will have the capacity to calm the nation much more so than Trump.
“If [Trump] gets agitated and riled up, you’re going to see a lot of his supporters get agitated and riled up,” he explained.
His fans ‘would follow Trump off a cliff’: 14 key traits revealed in psychological analysis of people who support the president, by Bobby Azarian, neuroscientist
House Judiciary GOP slammed for ‘bizarre and psychopathic’ tweet implying Barrett is a birthday gift for Hillary Clinton
If you watch broadcast TV you've seen these ads. You may have even believed them. Read this: Americans Took Prevagen for Years—as the FDA Questioned Its Safety
Fox News president and top personalities told to quarantine after possible post-debate exposure
Eight days out from a presidential election, the president of Fox News and key members of the network’s election team have been told to quarantine after they were exposed to someone who tested positive for the coronavirus.
Until they test negative for the virus three times in a row, the anchors will be broadcasting their shows from home, according to two people with knowledge of the situation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private health matters.
The infected person was on a flight chartered to transport Fox employees from New York to the presidential debate in Nashville. Those on the flight included Jay Wallace, the network president, Bret Baier, the chief political anchor, Martha MacCallum, anchor of Fox’s nightly news show “The Story,” as well as two other members of the network’s election team, Juan Williams and Dana Perino, who are co-hosts of “The Five.”
With Covid-19 Rife Among VP Staffers, Democrats Says Pence Presiding Over Senate a 'Violation of Common Decency'
"Your presence alone could be very dangerous to many people—not just Senators, but to all the truly essential staff—both Democratic and Republican—who must be physically present inside the U.S. Capitol for it to function."
The cash-hungry Trump campaign has turned to a cheaper strategy to try to remain on the airwaves, flooding TV and radio through local media bookings and back-to-back-to-back rallies.
'Deep down, he's a terrified little boy': Bob Woodward, John Bolton, Mary Trump and others on Trump in The Guardian
The White House Chief of Staff told Jake Tapper on CNN’s State of the Union, “We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics, and other mitigation areas.”
- Here's a look at how Trump and Biden have addressed, or failed to address, the eight themes that Axios has identified as the most critical trends that will last beyond the election.
1) Mind manipulation on social media 2) Artificial intelligence and robotics 3) China 4) Climate change 5) Health care costs 6) Demographic change 7) Capitalism and inequality 8) Structural racism:
Deal trumpeted by Donald Trump cannot go ahead without approval of legislative council – which does not yet exist
Two supposedly "average" voters in a Times story turn out to be hardcore Republicans. And it's happened before
BuzzFeed: This Is How Thousands Of Americans Are Preparing To Take On Trump If He Refuses To Leave Office
Credit the group One Million Moms with spurring me to brave covid-19-struck Washington, D.C., and make a beeline to the grocery store to purchase some Oreo cookies.
I could do no less in light of a scurrilous campaign the organization has launched against Oreo and its parent company, Mondelez International.
Not to be confused with the Million Mom March gun-safety organization, OneMillionMoms.com is an online ministry of the American Family Association, a self-described “conservative, pro-family” organization based in Tupelo, Miss.
One Million Moms is out of sorts because Oreo has joined with the nonprofit PFLAG — an organization of supportive parents, families and allies of LGBTQ people — to release “Rainbow Oreos.” These are described as cookies filled with Oreo cream in the colors of the Pride flag, and the company has launched the new product with a moving ad depicting a daughter and her partner introducing their relationship to her parents.
McConnell Keeps Senate in Session Over Weekend to Shut Down Debate on Barrett, Set Stage for Confirmation Vote
Sen. Jeff Merkley warned that Republicans "are hellbent on ramming through this nomination even if it means torching Senate's traditions, rules, and integrity."
Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is keeping the U.S. Senate in session over the weekend in an effort to speedily shut down debate on Amy Coney Barrett and set the stage for the right-wing judge's confirmation to the Supreme Court as early as Monday, just eight days before the November presidential election.
The rare weekend session—something McConnell would not hold to work on desperately needed coronavirus relief—is scheduled to begin at noon on Saturday after the Kentucky Republican filed cloture for Barrett's dark money-backed nomination Friday afternoon. A procedural vote to end debate on Barrett's nomination is set to take place Sunday, teeing up a Monday confirmation vote that is expected to fall largely along party lines.
"This is not normal," tweeted Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, one of the many civil rights groups opposed to Barrett's confirmation. "McConnell is keeping the Senate in session all weekend to rush through Barrett nomination while 52 million people have already voted and as the American people are struggling amid the pandemic. Prioritizing power over people."
McConnell's moves paving the way for a final vote on Barrett came just a day after Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approvedPresident Donald Trump's high court nominee during a Thursday hearing boycotted by Democrats. Like much of the process that preceded it, the vote Thursday violated committee rules requiring the presence of at least two members of the minority party.
"Republicans just voted Amy Coney Barrett out of committee with no Democrats present. This is further proof that the entire process is an illegitimate sham," Meagan Hatcher Mays, director of democracy policy at advocacy group Indivisible, said in a statement following the vote.
"This nominee refused to say whether or not climate change is real," Mays continued. "She refused to say whether abortion is constitutional. She refused to say whether the ACA is the law of the land. She wouldn't even say whether or not the president can unilaterally change the date of the election. (He can't.) Amy Coney Barrett is an extremist who has no business replacing RBG, and has no business serving on the Supreme Court at all."
In a speech on the Senate floor Friday, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that "by rushing this nomination through the Senate only eight days before a national election, after 50 million Americans have already voted, the Republican majority is steering the Senate, the Supreme Court, and the country in a very dangerous direction."
Schumer proceeded to force the Senate into a closed-door session without cameras or members of the press present in order to "talk face to face about what this might mean for the country." Republicans emerged from the brief session completely undeterred from plowing ahead Barrett's confirmation just ahead of the election.
"As you likely figured out, this didn't work," tweeted Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). "Republicans had no interest in working this out in order to save the Senate. So after a 30 minute break at a crappy rest stop, we are back on the McConnell superhighway to the destruction of the Senate."
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) echoed Murphy, saying that while he can't discuss what specifically was said during the closed session, "you can tell from how briefly we were in there that my GOP colleagues are hellbent on ramming through this nomination even if it means torching Senate's traditions, rules, and integrity."
"Those who care about our country are in anguish," Merkley added. "SCOTUS being corrupted and delegitimized before our eyes. Senate just voted to proceed on Barrett, and McConnell immediately moved to close debate. So much for coverage for preexisting conditions
During the final presidential debate, President Trump made reference to “the laptop from hell,” “AOC plus three″ and “Russia, Russia, Russia” — yes, said three times in a row.
The material was very familiar to — and maybe only familiar to — regular viewers of Fox News opinion hosts such as Sean Hannity.
“I feel like he almost was speaking the language of Fox prime time,” Chuck Todd, host of “Meet the Press,” said on NBC after the debate. “If you watch a lot of Fox prime time, you understand what he’s saying. If you don’t, you have no idea.”
It was a point made over and over again across networks as political commentators and journalists wondered aloud whether Trump’s attacks on former vice president Joe Biden flew over the heads of many Americans who aren’t regular consumers of conservative television, radio and websites.
“Some of the punches he threw at Joe Biden I don’t think landed because unless you were Sean Hannity, you probably had no idea what he was talking about,” CNN host Jake Tapper said.
“You need an encyclopedia to understand what is going on because it’s a series of buzzwords that have meaning perhaps if you’ve been studying the Daily Caller,” said CNN political correspondent Abby Phillip. “But if you’re a regular person going about your life, you’re not going to understand what rabbit holes the president is going down.”
The president delivered the jaw-dropping assertion to Kristen Welker, the first Black woman to moderate a presidential debate since 1992.
Trump's voters loved him in the first debate. But on Thursday, he seemed sour, flattened and all but defeated
The American public is inadequately educated about mental health. It would take a serious, sustained explication, backed by the power and reach of a professional association, to help us understand why the emotional and psychological stability of our leaders matters and can have an impact on all of us. Every day legal experts weigh in on Donald’s unconstitutional or norm-breaking behaviors. Since his covid-19 diagnosis, medical experts have speculated about the course of his illness and the potentially dangerous side effects he may be experiencing as a result of the experimental treatments he’s received. Only the mental health experts have been effectively sidelined.
That doesn’t mean opinions haven’t proliferated about Donald’s mental health. It sometimes seems that everyone but psychiatrists has aired their views: Rick Wilson, a co-founder of the Lincoln Project, once described Donald’s behavior as “a combination of waking hallucinations, verbal tics, lies surpassing even his usual fabulist standard, aphasias and lunatic blurtings.”
This is a problem. Not necessarily because characterizations like this lack validity, but because such assessments can inadvertently undermine the seriousness of the case when experts fail to provide an appropriate context in which to understand the psychopathologies. If we look at the past 3½ years, Donald has lied publicly in excess of 20,000 times; he has impulsively, and against all reason, gone against the advice of experts who could have helped contain the pandemic and protect the economy; he has put private citizens at risk by attacking them on Twitter because they have criticized him; he has proved himself to be incapable of accepting responsibility, changing course or exhibiting empathy. As Courtney Fingar wrote recently in the New Statesman: “The public can observe all these things too, but does so largely without translation or explanation by actual experts. In the end, what was written as a rule to curb speculation has, in fact, allowed it to run rampant.”
Donald’s rhetoric and behavior do have an enormous impact on and play an outsize role in the day-to-day lives of more than 300 million Americans and more in the larger world. We are, in this respect, in a relationship with him, even if it is inevitably one-sided. While it is impossible to diagnose him in the technical sense — because diagnosis is a stringent process that requires certain steps to be followed and certain data to be collected in a very specific way — shifting our focus from the diagnosis to the impact that erratic, impulsive, psychologically disordered behavior can have on those in a relationship, no matter how one-sided or involuntary, is not just useful but necessary.
I am a trained clinical psychologist and have worked as a clinician. If Donald had walked into my office for an evaluation, I would have gathered less information about him from a normal intake interview than I could gather from the countless hours of video available from his decades in the public eye. Usually when self-reports aren’t available — because the patient is either unable or unwilling to offer information — the clinician often turns to those close to the patient in order to fill in the blanks. But none of that is necessary because examples of Donald’s disordered, impulsive, self-defeating and destructive behavior, which are unlikely to present themselves in a clinical setting, have been extensively recorded.
Alan Stone, a Harvard professor of psychiatry, wrote that, as citizens, “psychiatrists enjoy freedom of speech — just not in their professional capacity.” Individual psychiatrists have agency and can speak if they want to. But to have a substantive and effective conversation about Donald’s fitness for office, a foundation must be laid by a governing body that can more effectively communicate the overarching concerns.
Adopting a notionally neutral stance in this case doesn’t just create a void where professional expertise should be — it serves to normalize dysfunctional behavior. Paradoxically, the suggestion seems to be that speaking out about mental illness is the problem. But in truth, it is remaining silent about Donald’s obvious psychological impairment that is stigmatizing. By claiming that its silence is neutral, the APA is essentially granting Donald’s campaign an in-kind contribution while the American people remain subject to his often deranged and unpredictable behavior, without the tools necessary to evaluate it or understand how it renders him unfit for the office he holds.
Donald Trump didn't create the traumatic ideology of white supremacy, says Washington. But he helped unleash it
But in a very real sense people such as Stahl and Fauci actually are the chief opponents Trump must contend with in the campaign’s final days. They are the figures he perceives to be standing in the way of his effort to conduct this campaign in an entirely invented universe that he’d hoped to manufacture for this very purpose.
Trump unloaded on Stahl at a rally on Tuesday night, showing that he’s still stewing about an interview he did with “60 Minutes,” which is set to air on Sunday but apparently went very badly....
Yet The Post reports that what really angered Trump was Stahl’s aggressive questioning about his attacks on Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) and his disputes with Fauci, as one person with knowledge of the interview noted. And there’s this:
Stahl also told him during the interview that allegations about [Joe] Biden’s son Hunter were not verified and that the Obama administration did not spy on the Trump campaign. Many of the questions were about the coronavirus pandemic and his handling of it, said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the interview frankly.
Trump was so upset about the interview that “he complained about it all day,” reports The Post, and his aides believe his public anger “might actually boost the ratings of a tough interview.”
Why might this have enraged Trump? Because Trump has gone to tremendous lengths to manufacture precisely the illusions that Stahl apparently sought to puncture, yet these efforts are failing.
His first day cloaked in presidential dignity he spent disputing photographic proof that his inauguration crowd was substantially smaller than his immediate predecessor’s. Trump’s day of complaining continued at the CIA headquarters, at the wall commemorating those who died serving the agency. His presidency that began with a wallow in self-pity probably will end in ignominy when he slinks away pouting, trailing clouds of recriminations, without a trace of John McCain’s graciousness on election night 2008:
“Sen. [Barack] Obama has achieved a great thing for himself and for his country. I applaud him for it, and offer my sincere sympathy that his beloved grandmother did not live to see this day — though our faith assures us she is at rest in the presence of her Creator and so very proud of the good man she helped raise. . . . And my heart is filled with nothing but gratitude . . . to the American people for giving me a fair hearing before deciding that Sen. Obama and my old friend, Sen. Joe Biden, should have the honor of leading us for the next four years.”
Nothing is going according to plan
Right now, Trump is loudly calling on Attorney General William P. Barr to launch some sort of investigation into the new Hunter Biden pseudo-revelations about emails supposedly discovered on his laptop. This whole scandal is based on largely unverified accusations and false premises.
But the point for our purposes here is that Trump is angrily demanding that top officials in his government announce actions that make this “scandal” seem real. Stahl pointed out that the story is unverified, which is 100 percent correct, but this isn’t what was supposed to happen.
You see, this story was supposed to be “verified” by now, or seem verified. Yet there are no indications that Barr will deliver, and most news organizations are treating it with great skepticism.
Similarly, Trump had expected that Barr would produce major revelations in his “review” of the origins of the Russia investigation, which would make the bogus “Obamagate” scandal seem true, thus proving that his opponent, Joe Biden, belonged to a criminal administration.
But Barr has let it be known that no report is forthcoming in time for the election. Stahl pointed out that the Obama administration didn’t spy on Trump’s campaign, which is true. But this was supposed to be “verified” by now, or seemverified.
Campaigning in a fictional universe
Oddly, it’s almost as if Trump has assumed all along that he can’t win a reality-based argument and a fair election against Biden. Instead, he set about using the government to manufacture fictions that would define the parameters within which this campaign would unfold...
No outcome in which Trump loses the election is legitimate, he now claims. Millions of mail ballots will be coming from who knows where, Trump insists, so how can you trust the counting of them? This means full-scale manipulation in the war over who appears to win the vote count is justified.
And to this day, the entire GOP is required to play along with the illusion that Trump mostly vanquished the coronavirus through his spectacular leadership. The crowning conclusion to this was to be Trump’s success in bulldozing a vaccine through in time for his reelection.
But that too fell apart, cases are again on the rise and Fauci is telling the American people hard truths about what lies ahead. That’s exactly why Trump is raging at him, and Stahl, too, sought to burst this illusion.
It’s doubtful that Trump will end up releasing the full footage of the Stahl interview. But if he does, my bet is that it will dramatically illustrate his rage at Stahl for deflating his fictional universe. The one that by now was supposed to seem true.
Pope Francis has said that gays deserve an apology from Christians for the way they have been treated. He also said apologies were owed to other groups marginalized by the church, such as women and the poor.
BUSTED: Rudy Giuliani tricked by Sasha Baron Cohen into having ‘indiscreet encounter’ with young actress
More than 50 former intelligence officials signed a letter casting doubt on the provenance of a New York Post story on the former vice president's son.
Excerpt Ignore the bullshit story below left:
From The Bulwark: I once went hunting with my uncle as a young man. During our walk through the woods we encountered a raccoon that had become enmeshed in a small length of rusty barbed wire. The raccoon was trying to gnaw off its own leg while also alternately furiously attacking the barbed wire. The results were bloody and unsuccessful.
Will Trump get away with this? Trump Blames ‘Fauci And These Idiots’ For His Own Coronavirus Ineptitude or this? Trump administration facing new investigation over political interference at the CDC and FDA
Misogyny helped Trump in 2016, and he wants to repeat by attacking Gretchen Whitmer — but so far it's not working
Summary of Jennifer Rubin's Wash. Post column on John Cornyn and Republicans like him who ‘deserve to lose’ for fear of standing up to Trump
If Trump is going to ask Biden to reveal info about his family…
Another surprise victory is unlikely to happen again if this election is looked at from the same perspective of neuroscience that I used to account for the surprising outcome in 2016. Briefly, that article explained how our brain provides two different mechanisms of decision-making; one is conscious and deliberative, and the other is automatic, driven by emotion and especially by fear. Trump’s strategy does not target the neural circuitry of reason in the cerebral cortex; it provokes the limbic system. In the 2016 election, undecided voters were influenced by the brain’s fear-driven impulses—more simply, gut instinct—once they arrived inside the voting booth, even though they were unable to explain their decision to pre-election pollsters in a carefully reasoned manner.
In 2020, Trump continues to use the same strategy of appealing to the brain’s threat-detection circuitry and emotion-based decision process to attract votes and vilify opponents.
But fear-driven appeals will likely persuade fewer voters this time, because we overcome fear in two ways: by reason and experience. Inhibitory neural pathways from the prefrontal cortex to the limbic system will enable reason to quash fear if the dangers are not grounded in fact. The type of street violence Trump rails against now was not the norm during the Obama and Biden years. Nor was fear that Biden would turn the U.S. into a socialist state an issue even a year ago. On the contrary, Biden defeated the self-described “democratic socialist” candidate Bernie Sanders in the presidential primaries.
A psychology- and neuroscience-based perspective also illuminates Trump’s constant interruptions and insults during the first presidential debate, steamrolling over the moderator’s futile efforts to have a reasoned airing of facts and positions. The structure of a debate is designed to engage the deliberative reasoning in the brain’s cerebral cortex, so Trump annihilated the format to inflame emotion in the limbic system.
The New York Post’s front-page article about Hunter Biden on Wednesday was written mostly by a staff reporter who refused to put his name on it, two Post employees said.
Bruce Golding, a reporter at the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid since 2007, did not allow his byline to be used because he had concerns over the article’s credibility, the two Post employees said, speaking on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retaliation.
Coming late in a heated presidential campaign, the article suggested that Joseph R. Biden Jr. had used his position to enrich his son Hunter when he was vice president. The Post based the story on photos and documents the paper said it had taken from the hard drive of a laptop purportedly belonging to Hunter Biden.
Many Post staff members questioned whether the paper had done enough to verify the authenticity of the hard drive’s contents, said five people with knowledge of the tabloid’s inner workings. Staff members also had concerns about the reliability of its sources and its timing, the people said.
The article named two sources: Stephen K. Bannon, the former adviser to President Trump now facing federal fraud charges, who was said to have made the paper aware of the hard drive last month; and Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, who was said to have given the paper “a copy” of the hard drive on Oct. 11.
Mr. Giuliani said he chose The Post because “either nobody else would take it, or if they took it, they would spend all the time they could to try to contradict it before they put it out.”
Paranoid Trump compiling enemies list of conservatives who are turning on him: Summary of Daily Beast report This will be a diversion until he loses. After that we may look back and think that we thought he was off-the-rails cray-cray then but he could end up so unmoored from reality Pence will have to initiate the 25th Amendment.
If President Donald Trump loses his reelection bid in November, it will be in part because of his fundamental misunderstanding of the beliefs of "suburban women," whom he has tried to win back with a series of bizarre and racist appeals that seem more targeted to a stereotype from the 1950s and 1960s than the American women who actually live in those areas today.
Many of the female voters who have abandoned Trump recoil from his divisive language and disapprove of both his handling of race relations and the pandemic. But he has tried to convince them to support him through a campaign of fear and xenophobia, with claims about the Democratic agenda that plunge deep into the realm of the ridiculous and would be believed only by the most naïve, low-information voters.
The history of prophetic movements tells us that if Trump fails to secure a second term, a variety of reactions are possible. Some will blame him and begin to withdraw their identification. Others will fight the cognitive dissonance and blame dark powers. The prophets will develop a new timeline for the restoration. Some Christian nationalists may for a time refuse to "stand down," but eventually they will develop other perspectives. There is no one-size-fits-all method of de-conversion from a religious or ideological position. The best way to limit post-election violence would be to give his supporters a face-saving way to back down from their prophecy-inflated reality. It may not work all at once, but it's the first step in beginning to heal the schisms upon which Trump has so cannily capitalized.
Watchdog group accuses Amy Coney Barrett of “unconscionable cruelty” in teen rape case - she is truly Aunt Lydia from Handmaid's Tale
‘Worst American President’: New York Times Flames ‘Racist Demagogue’ Trump Summary from Huffpost.
Above images from The NY Times
The nation's top political reporters actually focused on the extreme contrast between the candidates, not spectacle
Breaking news: Trump claims that his $421 million debt is “tiny.” He apparently owes more than twice that amount
WASHINGTON – NBC moderator Savannah Guthrie prodded President Donald Trump Thursday during his town hall when talking about him retweeting conspiracy theories, saying he's not just "someone's crazy uncle."
Guthrie pressed Trump on his penchant for tweets that spread disinformation, including one post he retweeted that contained a conspiracy theory that former Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama orchestrated a cover-up that included the Navy SEAL Team Six faking the death of terrorist Osama bin Laden.
"That was a retweet. That was an opinion of somebody and that was a retweet. I'll put it out there. People can decide for themselves. I don't take a position," Trump said in defending his tweet.
"You're the president," Guthrie responded. "You're not someone's crazy uncle who can retweet whatever. USA Today
Six takeaways from Trump and Biden's dueling town halls - they are really false equivalents - The Hill
1. Trump’s smorgasbord of misinformation and false choices — deftly called out
2. Biden had the steady showing he needed with the clock ticking down
3. Trump steps into another non-denouncing minefield — on QAnon
4. Biden opens the door further on court-packing and says he’ll confirm a stance soon
5. Trump’s last negative test before his coronavirus diagnosis: Still clear as mud
President Trump spoke positively about an extremist conspiracy-theory group, expressed skepticism about mask-wearing, rebuked his own F.B.I. director and attacked the legitimacy of the 2020 election in a televised town hall forum on Thursday, veering far away from a focused campaign appeal. Instead, he further stoked the country’s political rifts as his Democratic opponent, Joseph R. Biden Jr., pushed a deliberate message anchored in concerns over public health and promises to restore political norms.
Mr. Trump’s defensive and combative performance came on a night that was supposed to feature a debate between him and Mr. Biden, but that morphed into a long-distance study in contrasts on different television networks after the president declined to participate in a virtual debate.
On the central issue of the election, the coronavirus pandemic, the two candidates appeared to inhabit not just different television sets but different universes. Mr. Biden has made the full embrace of strict public health guidelines the centerpiece of his candidacy, while Mr. Trump has continued to defy even the recommendations of his own government on matters as basic as the use of masks — a pattern that persisted in their opposing events on Thursday.
Mr. Biden lashed virtually every aspect of the president’s handling of the health crisis, including his language on masks.
“The words of a president matter,” Mr. Biden said. “When a president doesn’t wear a mask or makes fun of folks like me when I was wearing a mask for a long time, then, you know, people say, ‘Well, it mustn’t be that important.’”
In perhaps his most incendiary remarks, Mr. Trump repeatedly declined to disavow QAnon, a pro-Trump internet community that has been described by law enforcement as a potential domestic terrorism threat. The president professed to have no knowledge of the group, and as a result could not disavow it, but then demonstrated specific knowledge of one of its core conspiracy theories involving pedophilia that is entirely false.
"You're the president," the Today show anchor told Trump about his false Osama bin Laden tweets. "You're not someone's crazy uncle who can retweet whatever."
The World Health Organization said the antiviral drug remdesivir — one of the many drugs President Donald Trump was given to treat his coronavirus infection — has “little to no effect” on mortality for patients hospitalized with the coronavirus, CNN reported.
The WHO looked at four therapeutics in a study covering more than 11,000 coronavirus patients in 30 countries. Along with remdesivir, the study analyzed the use of hydroxychloroquine; a combination of the anti-HIV drugs lopinavir and ritonavir; and interferon.
“For each drug in the study, the effect on mortality was disappointingly unpromising,” WHO said. The study hasn’t been published in a peer-reviewed journal but the WHO published the results themselves.
The disappointing result differs from an earlier study in the U.S. that found that remdesivir shortens recovery time by about a third in those hospitalized with serious illness.
— Liza Hearon