By Robert A. Vella
Despite all his bluster, things aren’t going very well for President Donald Trump. Like General George Armstrong Custer in the 1876 Battle of Little Bighorn, he must be feeling incredibly insecure these days as his fascist invasion of America is being outnumbered and surrounded by a broad coalition of opposing forces. His predicament is looking so dire that he is touting – rather embarrassingly – a cognitive test he supposedly took to counter recent criticisms of his psychological condition. That test is not a measure of intelligence nor an evaluation of mental health, and is instead a simple medical tool used to detect dementia (see: Cognitive Test. Trump. Biden. Campaign. Flashpoint.). Trump’s niece Mary, who is a clinical psychologist and wrote a damaging tell-all book about him, asserts that his obsession to demonstrate mental competence reveals deep self-doubt (see: Mary Trump: President Trump is ‘insecure across many dimensions’).
Trump apparently has good reason to doubt himself. Yesterday, he abruptly cancelled the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville, Florida (which he moved from the original venue in Charlotte, North Carolina) after much resistance from local residents and officials (see: Trump cancels Republican convention in Florida after coronavirus spike). Now, with just a few weeks left on the campaign schedule, the GOP is rapidly running out of time to put together an event for his presidential nomination. New state polls show Trump losing badly to Joe Biden in swing states. The Senate overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan defense authorizations bill which includes provisions for renaming U.S. military bases honoring historical Confederate figures. A federal judge has ruled against his use of paramilitary forces to suppress racial justice protests, and the Department of Justice inspector general is investigating those unconstitutional activities in Portland, Oregon and Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C. Another federal judge has ruled that the DOJ illegally sent former Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen back to prison in retaliation for writing a tell-all book about him. Also, journalists uncovered a public health warning from Dr. Deborah Birx to several U.S. city leaders which the White House tried to keep secret.
A new Quinnipiac University survey finds Trump trailing Biden by 13 points in Florida after a previous survey from April found Biden ahead by only 4 points.
Biden leads by 20 points or more on the two big issues of the day – response to the coronavirus and addressing racial inequality. The president holds only a 3-point advantage over Biden on the economy, which is his biggest talking point.
A St. Pete Polls survey released on Thursday found the race to be closer, but Biden’s advantage is still outside the margin of error. Biden leads 50 to 44 in that poll. The Democrat holds a 14-point lead among the independents that powered Trump’s 2016 victory.
Republican governors four states with surging coronavirus case numbers have seen their approval ratings sink in recent weeks, according to survey data obtained by Axios.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp all had disapproval ratings of 55 percent or higher in the survey taken between July 13 and July 19.
Ducey and DeSantis have the highest disapproval rating among the group, at 62 percent and 58 percent, respectively. All four governors are in the middle of their terms, which expire in 2022.
WASHINGTON – The Senate overwhelmingly passed a massive defense bill Thursday that includes the removal of Confederate names from military bases, defying President Donald Trump, who opposes renaming the bases.
The bill passed by a lopsided count of 86 to 14, well above the number that would be needed to override a presidential veto.
The bill, which authorizes $736.9 billion in military spending, includes a provision to form a commission that would devise a plan for renaming the bases over the next three years.
Trump’s paramilitary forces
Federal officers must not target journalists or legal observers at the anti-racism protests taking place in Portland, Ore., a judge ruled, extending a prohibition that had already been in effect for local police and delivering a win to local activists.
Judge Michael Simon issued a temporary restraining order against the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Marshals Service late on Thursday in a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of individuals who were observing and reporting on the demonstrations.
Simon said in the order that the tactics that have been used by federal officers, including evidence that they had specifically targeted journalists and legal observers who were clearly identified and not violating the law, raised serious questions about potential violations of the First Amendment.
(Bloomberg) — After weeks of criticism from members of Congress and the public, the Department of Justice announced it was opening probes into how its personnel have handled protests and civil unrest in Portland, Oregon, and Washington D.C. The department’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz, said Thursday a use-of-force investigation would be coordinated with the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, whose agents have clashed with protesters in Portland.
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former attorney, will be released to home confinement Friday. A federal judge in New York found that he was sent back to prison as a retaliatory act over his decision to write a tell-all book about his former employer. The self-described fixer for the president was furloughed to home confinement in May because of coronavirus fears in the federal prison system, but was sent back to prison after he refused the conditions of his home confinement. Cohen is serving a three-year sentence after pleading guilty to coordinating payoffs to buy the silence of adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal.
Dr. Deborah Birx
White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx privately told a group of state and local health officials Wednesday about a concerning rise in coronavirus cases in 12 cities as President Donald Trump continues to tout progress amid the coronavirus pandemic at scripted, on-message briefings this week.
“There are cities that are lagging behind and we have new increases in Miami, New Orleans, Las Vegas, San Jose, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Columbus and Baltimore, so we’re tracking this very closely. We’re working with the state officials to make sure we’re responding together, but when you first see that increased test positivity, that is when to start the mitigation efforts,” Birx said during the call according to audio obtained by journalism nonprofit Center for Public Integrity.