In the last 24 hours

A friend of ours has a niece was screamed at while pumping gas because she was wearing a mask . . . Westmoreland Co. PA.

Daughter of our neighbor, a beautiful intelligent woman of color was shopping in a Walmart in Ohio with her daughter and her daughter’s friend, when a security guard stopped her and accused her of stealing a bottle of wine, even though she had her receipt in hand and the cashier vouched for her.  It escalated into a very ugly situation.

My daughter-in-law’s cousin sells honey at a roadside stand in the mountains of PA (Fayette Co). He had 4 customers there and he and all of his customers were wearing masks. A man in a pick up truck (with Trump stickers on it and wearing a dirty NRA shirt) sped into his area, jumped out of his truck and started screaming at them, demanding they remove their masks because this is all a conspiracy.

Happy 4th of July.

Trump descends into madness . . . there is no bottom to his insanity

Trump advisors trying to get him to stop talking about statues

According to a report focusing on Donald Trump’s rally at Mt. Rushmore on the evening before the 4th of July, advisors to the president are attempting to get him to start focusing on bread and butter issues that will get him re-elected instead of harping on statues being pulled down by protesters across the country.

As the Daily Beast report illustrates, their efforts appear to be futile based upon his Friday night speech.

With the president trying to fire up the crowd by insisting, “Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders. They think the American people are weak, and soft, and submissive,” the Beast reported that Trump, “decided to focus heavily Friday evening on protesters and Black Lives Matter activists who want various American monuments, including those honoring Confederate, white-supremacist, and slave-owning figures of history, torn down and destroyed for good. ”

According to the report, several advisors to the president are trying to get the president to move beyond attacks that have nothing to do with presumptive presidential opponent Joe Biden who has raced by him in the polls.

White House sources speaking with the Beast explained that Trump’s obsession with Confederate statues will do nothing to bring more voters to his side, with the report stating, “One of the sources said that they’d already told the president once before in recent days that making statue-defense a cornerstone of his re-election bid—with everything else going on—was a ‘distraction,’ and not the issue that would move and keep the necessary vote in his column, come the election in November.”

You can read more here.

Trump goes from losing to flailing as he sinks into oblivion

On Saturday, Politico reported that President Donald Trump’s campaign is in freefall — and that, despite there still being hypothetical ways former Vice President Joe Biden could snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, the president and his party are in dire straits.

“As recently as one month ago, Donald Trump was merely losing,” reported David Siders. “Now he is flailing, trudging into the Independence Day weekend at the nadir of his presidency, trailing by double digits in recent polls and in danger of dragging the Republican Senate down with him.”

“Trump has privately acknowledged he’s losing, and he is desperate to correct course. Republicans view the debates as an opportunity to gain ground, as Bush did following Dukakis’ emotionless response to a question about the death penalty in the event his wife, Kitty, ‘were raped and murdered,’” continued the report. However, “If anything, the underlying environment may be historically bad for Trump — so bad he may not only get flattened in November, but he might become the proximate cause of a wholesale shift in the American electorate.”

One massive danger sign is the widespread defection from the GOP of suburban voters and the elderly. These defections put Trump at serious risk of losing critical swing states like Florida.

“The tectonic plates are shifting,” said former Bill Clinton aide Chris Lehane. “On June 1, if I had told you that by July 1 the flag would be down in Mississippi, Woodrow Wilson would be off the wall at Princeton, Juneteenth would be a national holiday for companies, Black Lives Matter would reflect the great, not so silent majority, you would question my sanity. That’s all happened in 30 days.”

You can read more here.

GOP scrambling to pay for Jacksonville convention, may have to cancel

According to a report from the New York Times, Republican officials are having difficulties getting donors to pay for the Republican National Convention to be held in Jacksonville, Florida after Donald Trump yanked the gathering out of Charlotte, North Carolina in a fit of pique over COVID-19 health restrictions.

At issue, the report notes, is that millions of dollars were spent in North Carolina where a smaller event will now be held, and now the party is, in essence, forced to pay for a second convention.

Add to that, donors who have already ponied up are reluctant to sink more money into Jacksonville over fears that convention will be called off due to a spike in COVID-19 infections as Florida.

According to the report, “Organizers are trying to assuage vexed Republicans who collectively gave millions of dollars for a Charlotte event that has mostly been scrapped. The host committee there has spent virtually all of the $38 million it raised before the convention was moved, leaving almost nothing to return to donors, or to pass on to the new host city.”

Fear of funding a convention that could contribute to the COVID-19 spread is weighing heavily on some donors who are taking a wait-and-see approach before  writing another check.

According to Stanley S. Hubbard, a Minnesota billionaire who has donated more than $2 million to the Republican Party, “I don’t want to encourage people getting sick.”

According to the Times, “The threat of the virus and the complicated financial entanglements are just the latest problems to beset an event that Mr. Trump upended last month, after concluding that Charlotte could not guarantee the celebratory coronation he covets,” before adding that organizers fear big donors may not come to their rescue.

Edward E. Burr, a real estate developer and member of the Jacksonville host committee, admitted the new convention is a tough sell, and hinted that not everyone agrees that still holding the convention is a good idea.

“It’s certainly a challenge,” he admitted. “This path is a twisty path. A lot of things continue to change. I’ve got plenty of friends who said this is a bad thing to do, but we are doing it.”

Back in Charlotte, local organizers are still fuming about the move.

“There’s deep frustration,” explained Tariq Bokhari, a Republican City Council member in Charlotte. “There are people who’ve put hundreds of thousands if not millions into this. They care that their investment comes to fruition, that our city hosts a major convention and our businesses and hospitality workers get the benefits.”

According to the Times, “Big corporate donors who typically make $1 million contributions do so because they want to capitalize on social and branding opportunities at an event that draws lawmakers, lobbyists and business leaders. But right now, it’s not clear to them what the Jacksonville proceedings will look like.”

You can read more here.

Will Trump cancel his Jacksonville convention for fear of being embarassed by the tiny corwd? Could be.

Trump is expected to cancel his relocated Republican convention in Jacksonville, FL because the Trump campaign is trying to avoid another humiliation.

Gabriel Sherman of Vanity Fair reported:

To console himself, Trump still has moments of magical thinking. “He says the polls are all fake,” a Republican in touch with Trump told me. But the bad news keeps coming. This week, Jacksonville, Florida—where Trump moved the Republican National Convention so he could hold a 15,000-person rally next month—mandated that people wear masks indoors to slow the explosion of COVID-19 cases.

According to a Republican working on the convention, the campaign is now preparing to cancel the event so that Trump doesn’t suffer another Tulsa–like humiliation. “They probably won’t have it,” the source said. “It’s not going to be the soft landing Trump wanted.”

With the coronavirus raging through Florida, a one-third capacity turnout would have been a big number for Trump’s acceptance speech. Trump’s rallies have long been used as an ego-boosting tool, and now that his own incompetence has taken them away, Donald Trump has nowhere to get his cult leader fix.

Jacksonville didn’t want Trump’s convention, and it looks like holding any sort of convention with people attending will backfire on him as the US is setting daily coronavirus case records.

The man who relies on rallies to measure his success may be forced to cancel his acceptance speech because it would have resulted in a fresh round of humiliation in front of a tiny, listless crowd.

The script is being written for a perfect ending to Trump’s failed, destructive presidency. 

Trump’s July 4 speech: Hate, hate, hate, fear, fear, fear

On a very different Fourth of July holiday, when many Americans are wrestling with the racist misdeeds of the country’s heroes and confronting an unrelenting pandemic with surging cases, their commander-in-chief is attempting to drag America backward — stirring fear of cultural change while flouting the most basic scientific evidence about disease transmission.

In a jaw-dropping speech that amounted to a culture war bonfire, President Donald Trump used the backdrop of Mount Rushmore Friday night to frame protesters as a nefarious left-wing mob that intends to “end America.” Those opponents, he argued, are engaged in a “merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children.”
On Saturday in the nation’s capital, the Trump administration has planned July 4 celebrations that ignore Washington, DC, Muriel Bowser’s concerns about public health guidelines, although at least there’ll be some of the social distancing measures at the White House that were ignored in South Dakota, where the President largely acted as if the coronavirus didn’t exist.
Instead, when Trump spoke on Friday night of a “growing danger,” he was talking about an entirely different threat than rising coronavirus cases. He referred to a threat to America’s “heritage” — rhetoric intended to rev up his base at a time when many Americans are attempting to relearn the nation’s history with greater attention to the wrongs inflicted on Black and Native American people.
Repeatedly using vague pronouns like “they” and “them,” Trump sought to play on the fears of a minority — that appears to be shrinking, according to polls — who view the rise of Black Lives Matter as a threat to the historical dominance of White people. He described the goals of protesters who are attempting to right the wrongs of history as “alien to our culture, and to our values.”
One of “their political weapons,” he said, is “cancel culture,” which would drive people from their jobs, shame dissenters and “demand total submission” from anyone who disagrees.
“We will expose this dangerous movement, protect our nation’s children, end this radical assault and preserve our beloved American way of life,” Trump said. He mysteriously described those who would tear down statues of racist leaders from the past as “a new far left fascism that demands absolute allegiance.”
“If you do not speak its language, perform its rituals, recite its mantras and follow its commandments, then you will be censored, banished, blacklisted, persecuted and punished,” Trump said. “It’s not gonna happen to us,” he said to cheers, as he revived his familiar “us versus them” language. “Make no mistake. This left-wing cultural revolution is designed to overthrow the American Revolution.”
“To make this possible, they are determined to tear down every statue, symbol and memory of our national heritage,” he said.
It was spectacle that unfolded before thousands of people, most without masks, who were seated close together in bleacher seats and on black folding chairs that were zip-tied together because of a local fire code, making physical distancing impossible.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, a Republican and close Trump ally, set the tone earlier this week during an appearance on Fox News where she said there would be no social distancing as spectators gathered to celebrate freedom.
Like Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last month — where at least eight Trump campaign staffers came down with the coronavirus and dozens of Secret Service agents were forced to quarantine — the South Dakota event ignored many of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for large gatherings. The lack of any visible effort to keep people safe was effectively an act of sabotage against Trump’s own public health officials, who fear that crowds gathering this holiday weekend could lead to frightening surges in cases and an increase in America’s death toll from the pandemic.
For days now, numerous experts, including the nation’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci and White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, have warned that Americans should not attend crowded gatherings as cases surge in 36 states, with alarming positivity rates in parts of Florida, Texas and Arizona.
Trump, however, has continued gas-lighting Americans about the rising number of cases, insisting they are due to increased testing. In a late Thursday night tweet before playing golf on Friday, Trump inaccurately said that the rise in coronavirus cases is “because our testing is so massive and so good, far bigger and better than any other country.”
“This is great news, but even better news is that death, and the death rate, is DOWN,” Trump tweeted. “Also, younger people, who get better much easier and faster!”

The Republican Party is a cult . . . and a dangerous one at that

Trump has completed the transformation of the republican party from that of a political party to a full blown cult.
That’s not hyperbole. There are few if any significant differences between the modern day republican party and a cult.
Both require absolute fealty to ‘dear leader’. 
Both do not tolerate even the most mild of dissent.
Both operate impervious to facts.
Both want your money.