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By Robert A. Vella

Today’s Sunday topics include the explosive blowback against President Trump for commuting the prison sentence of convicted felon Roger Stone, the forecast of a wave election in November by the previously mainstream news organization The Hill which was taken over by Trump loyalists in 2017, new COVID-19 cases break records worldwide and in Florida, Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos demands the full reopening of schools despite the obvious health risks from the out of control coronavirus pandemic, and racial injustice news highlighted by the Seattle Police Department’s overt threat to fire the majority of non-white officers if the city cuts its budget (yes, you read that right folks).

In the Roger Stone story, former Special Counsel Robert Mueller was so disturbed by Trump’s latest affront to the rule of law that he felt it necessary to speak openly on the matter.  The forecast of a “big blue wave” in the 2020 election is very surprising coming from that news organization which is owned by the widely criticized as biased Jimmy Finkelstein.  Also surprising is a new poll from Texas showing Joe Biden leading Trump by five points (caveat:  individual polls are far less reliable than the aggregate of polling, but this one from a red-state is nevertheless indicative of Trump’s fading election hopes).

Roger Stone

From:  Mueller breaks his silence to defend Russia investigation and Stone prosecution

Former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III broke a nearly year-long silence Saturday to defend his office’s prosecution of Roger Stone and his larger investigation of the 2016 Trump campaign, writing an op-ed piece to publicly push back against attacks from the president and his supporters.

[…]

“We now have a detailed picture of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election,” Mueller wrote. “We also identified numerous links between the Russian government and Trump campaign personnel — Stone among them. We did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government in its activities. The investigation did, however, establish that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome. It also established that the campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts.”

In asserting Stone had links to the Russian government, Mueller appears to reference private messages the political consultant and longtime Trump friend had with an online persona known as Guccifer 2.0 in August 2016. U.S. officials have said Guccifer 2.0 was not the Romanian hacker he claimed to be but a front created by Russian intelligence agents. Stone said at the time that he did not believe Guccifer 2.0 was Russian.

[…]

“We made every decision in Stone’s case, as in all our cases, based solely on the facts and the law and in accordance with the rule of law,” Mueller wrote. “The women and men who conducted these investigations and prosecutions acted with the highest integrity. Claims to the contrary are false.”

See also:

In op-ed, Robert Mueller says Roger Stone is a convicted felon and ‘rightfully so’

Former Top Mueller Deputy Wants Roger Stone Hauled Before Grand Jury in New York

Attorney General Barr told Trump he shouldn’t grant Roger Stone clemency

‘Big mistake’: Barr, White House officials tried to keep Trump from getting involved in Stone’s sentencing

Trump Blasts GOP Senators Romney, Toomey Over Stone Criticism

Chuck Todd: Did Trump help Roger Stone out of fear of what Stone knows?

Stone Walks Free in One of the Greatest Scandals in American History

Related stories:

New York judge gives Trump deadline in lawsuit over tax returns following major Supreme Court ruling

New records released in Flynn case as appeals court issues stay of dismissal

A big blue wave

From The HillThere’s a big blue wave coming

There’s a wave coming. A blue wave like the one in 2018. Only bigger. Much bigger. Big enough to sweep away President Trump and the Republican majority in the Senate.

We’ve seen wave elections before. There was a Democratic wave in 1964; Republican Barry Goldwater ended up carrying just six states (five in the Deep South and his own state of Arizona). He got 38 percent of the popular vote. 1972 saw a Republican wave; Democrat George McGovern carried only one state (Massachusetts) and the District of Columbia. He got 38 percent of the popular vote. At this point in 1992, the first President Bush was at 38 percent job approval. A few months later, he lost his bid for-re-election. What’s Donald Trump’s latest job approval rating in the Gallup poll? You guessed it – 38 percent.

The anti-Trump wave is building. Every national poll taken over the past month shows Democrat Joe Biden leading Trump; the average margin is approaching ten points. Yes, Hillary Clinton was leading Trump in the polls at this stage of the 2016 campaign. But by smaller margins. Moreover, Biden is leading in all of the battleground states, including Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – where Trump won razor-thin victories in 2016.

Moreover, Biden is not as unpopular as Hillary Clinton was.

[…]

Harry Enten of CNN has examined the thirteen presidential elections involving an incumbent going back to 1940. His conclusion? “No one in an incumbent presidential election has been polling above 50 percent at this point like Biden and gone on to lose.”

See also:

Poll Puts Joe Biden Ahead of Donald Trump [by 5 points] in Texas

COVID-19 records

From:  WHO reports record daily increase in global coronavirus cases, up over 230,000

(Reuters) – The World Health Organization reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases on Sunday, with the total rising by 230,370 in 24 hours.

The biggest increases were from the United States, Brazil, India and South Africa, according to a daily report. The previous WHO record for new cases was 228,102 on July 10. Deaths remained steady at about 5,000 a day.

From:  Florida shatters coronavirus records with almost 15,300 new cases

Florida shattered previous records for any state’s biggest single-day recording of new coronavirus cases on Sunday, announcing almost 15,300 new cases.

Florida added 15,299 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, to its constantly-rising total, outpacing New York’s previous daily record by more than 3,000.

Betsy DeVos

From:  Betsy DeVos Can’t Promise Teachers and Kids Won’t Get Sick After Reopening Schools

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Sunday morning couldn’t promise teachers, students and parents that they wouldn’t get sick from coronavirus if schools fully reopen this fall, as the Trump administration has been aggressively pushing for in recent days.

DeVos and President Donald Trump launched a pressure campaign this past week to force and threaten state and local school districts to fully reopen schools for full-time, in-person learning. DeVos herself has said she wants all schools to commit to being open five days a week and steer clear of remote learning, even as the pandemic rages to record levels in the country.

Interviewing DeVos on CNN’s State of the Union, host Dana Bash kicked off the lengthy and at times contentious conversation by immediately pressing DeVos on the fact that the vast majority of states now are seeing higher rates of coronavirus than when schools shut down in March.

See also:

Johns Hopkins doctor: Issuing ‘ultimatum’ for schools to reopen is ‘wrong approach’

Superintendent for one of US’s largest public school systems has a message for DeVos: ‘You can’t put every kid back in a school’

Full Hogan: ‘We’re not going to be rushed into’ school re-opening

Miami-Dade mayor: ‘It won’t be long’ before hospitals reach capacity

Los Angeles County orders closure of garment manufacturer after 300 employees contract coronavirus

Houston reports rise in people dying at home as coronavirus surges

COVID-19 surge pushes US toward deadly cliff

More than 20 US states are now requiring residents to wear face masks when in public

Racial injustice

Seattle Police Department Says They’ll Fire Most of Their Non-White Officers If the City Cuts Police Budget

LAPD officers falsely labeled people as gang members, prosecutors say

Massachusetts police narcotics squad routinely used excessive force: DOJ

Car drives through closure, strikes multiple protesters on Seattle highway

The Observer view on racism within the police

4 thoughts on “Sunday Topics: Roger Stone, a big blue wave, COVID-19 records, Betsy DeVos, and racial injustice news

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