Trump’s reckless behavior before and after the debate

It appears that Trump has decided that he is just fine and that he can go about his normal activities. But both he and his doctors have been cagey and inconsistent about the status of Trump’s illness and it is not clear if the doctors are being dictated to by Trump about how he should be treated and what they should tell the media. Dan Froomkin writes that there are whole host of questions that need to be asked from the doctors and the White House spokespersons that they need to provide answers for.
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Trump and the medical VIP syndrome

It is of course no secret that the wealthy get treated differently from the rest of us and the world of medical care is no exception. Doctors often stray from standard treatments when their patient is seen a an important figure, sometimes in an effort to impress the patient that they are doing as much as they can, and sometimes because the patient demands it. This can happen even when the patient is a friend or relative or a fellow doctor. As we have seen, Trump got all manner of treatments that ordinary people would never have received. This phenomenon even has a name, the ‘VIP syndrome’. But it is not clear that this is a good thing even from the patient’s point of view, because it can result in overly-aggressive treatment that can have unwanted side-effects.
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Strong editorials from Scientific American and NEJM

This election and the extreme nature of the Trump presidency has resulted in the breaking of all manner of precedents. In particular, scientific organization which normally stay out of explicit involvement have decided to make endorsements. Scientific American magazine, for the first time in its history, weighed in with extremely strong language on why it was important to vote for Joe Biden.
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Seth Meyers sums up the week’s news

It is disturbing that neither Trump nor his doctors nor White House spokespersons are saying when he last tested negative for the coronavirus, even as he insists that he plans to hold rallies and demands that the next debate on October 15 be held in person instead of virtually as the debate commission has decided. The fact that Trump seems to have later decided against traveling this weekend after saying that he would suggests that maybe, just maybe, wiser counsels have prevailed on him to not be so utterly reckless.

More evidence that the stock market is irrational

I have frequently mentioned that the rise and fall of the stock market seems to have little to do with what is actually going on in the world and this week provided more evidence of this. On Tuesday, Trump in a tweet suddenly broke off talks with Democratic Party leaders who had been negotiating with treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin about another stimulus package. The stock market sank sharply on the news.

Then the next day, maybe in an effort to prop up the stock market which is after all the only economic indicator that he cares about, Trump tweeted would like to provide support in a piecemeal manner to selected industries like the airlines. In other words, he wanted Democrats to agree to just the things he wanted and abandon the things he disliked. This was a non-starter from the get-go and yet the stock market rallied on his words.

This baffles me. It should be clear by now that nothing Trump says should be taken seriously since he just lets loose with what he thinks at that moment even if it contradicts what he said just a moment ago. So why is the stock market responding mercurially to his tweet eruptions, since any stimulus spending requires detailed negotiations with many parties?

What will Trump say about the Wolverine Watchmen?

We know that Donald Trump cannot bear to say anything negative about white supremacists, white militia groups, QAnon crazies, and all the other flotsam and jetsam that can be found in the fever swamps of right wing extremism in the US who see in him the leader they have longed for. So it will be interesting to see his response to the reported plot to kidnap the governor of Michigan and attack the state capital building. (Back in May, Trump was calling on people to “Liberate Michigan” (presumably from their despotic governor who was mandated mask wearing) and spoke of the heavily armed Michigan militia members as ‘very good people’. It was after that episode that this plot apparently started gaining steam.)
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Trump retreats further into his bubble

It appears that Trump is going to guest host conservative talk radio personality Rush Limbaugh’s show on Friday at noon (US Eastern time). I have never listened to the show but as I understand it, it lasts three hours and consists of Limbaugh bloviating about any and all topics without any people calling in but having guests on. Limbaugh will also be there along with a bunch of Trump sycophants.

This is the format Trump loves best, being allowed to talk at length without being challenged and with constant fawning praise. Let’s see what abominations emerge from this love fest.

Listeners have been told they can submit questions to Trump but how that will work is not clear. It is obvious that the questions will be screened before being given to Trump so we can expect questions like, “How did you become such an amazing human being?”

The show reportedly has a listenership of about 15 million. I will not be one of them.

Vice presidential debate notes

Both Kamala Harris and Mike Pence avoided directly answering questions but Pence was far more obvious in the brazenness with which he would avoid doing so. When asked a question that he could not or did not want to answer, he would start by saying that he wanted to first go back to an earlier issue and then use his time to filibuster on that issue. For example, when asked what the Trump ‘health care plan’ (that they keep saying they have but have never presented, which means they do not have one) would do about people with pre-existing conditions, he did that maneuver and asked Harris about packing the Supreme Court. The moderator did not press him to answer and neither did Harris when it was her turn to respond, though on occasion he pressed her to answer a question that she wanted to avoid.
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Voting in California

This will be my first election since moving to California and hence my first encounter with their famously long ballots because of the many propositions that appear on it. I have to say I am impressed with how they run the elections. It started with the delivery by mail of a 112-page voter information guide from the secretary of state that seemed daunting but on closer examination was clear and well organized and easy to get through. In addition to 23 pages of general information about the election and how, when, and where to vote, there are 89 pages devoted to the 12 propositions on the ballot: six pages providing a quick reference guide with the proposition issues clearly laid out, with a summary of what each ballot issue is about, what a ‘yes’ vote and a ‘no’ vote means, brief summaries of the arguments for and against, and where to go for more information; 62 pages that go more fully into each of those same propositions; and 21 pages devoted exclusively to the full text of the bond issue that underlies proposition #14 concerning stem cell research.
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