The forcing out of ‘family member’ Brad Parscale didn’t take long

I wrote earlier that it was only a matter of time before the Trump campaign ditched former campaign manager Brad Parscale after his arrest and hospitalization and just two days later came news that he has left the campaign, probably forced out. The campaign initially issued messages of support and said that they considered Parscale a ‘member of the family’ and it seems like that they are right, because just like other members of the Trump family, Parscale is accused of being a grifter.
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Pope Francis snubs Trump’s attempt to exploit him

No doubt in an effort to woo Catholic voters by trying to appear as if Pope Francis was friendly with the Trump administration, secretary of state Mike Pompeo attended a conference on religious freedom organized by the US embassy to the Vatican. But Vatican officials not only declined to take part in the event held on its very doorstep, the pope declined to even meet with Pompeo.
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Maybe he should have worn the cassock differently

The president of Notre Dame University John Jenkins, a Catholic priest, has tested positive for the coronavirus. He had attended a reception at the White House on Saturday and was seen not wearing a mask and shaking hands with people.

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What does the Trump hospitalization mean?

As often happens, the White House is leaking out the bad news about Trump’s condition in dribs and drabs. First he tested positive but had no symptoms. Then they said that he had mild symptoms but nothing serious and would be ‘working’ from his residence. Given that Trump’s ideal workday consists of sitting in his bed in his pajamas and watching Fox News while eating cheeseburgers and drinking Diet Coke and tweeting endlessly, that seemed like he could easily manage that.
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Oh, the irony!

The wildest presidential campaign in modern US history just got even wilder with the news that Trump and his wife Melania have tested positive for covid-19 and are showing symptoms. Given that he constantly downplayed the dangers of the pandemic, mocked taking safety precautions like wearing masks, while at the same time boasting about how well he had dealt with the pandemic, this development has to come as a serious blow to that strategy. The news followed close Trump aide Hope Hicks testing positive yesterday after showing symptoms on Tuesday when she was part of the entourage that went with Trump to Cleveland for the debate. Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows said that the Trumps’ symptoms are mild but given the low credibility of Trump spokespeople, one can be forgiven for not taking those words at face value. Trump is very overweight and is 74 years of age, two big risk factors when it comes to the severity of the disease.
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Future debate plans and schedule

The next debate on the schedule is between the vice-presidential candidates Kamala Harris and Mike Pence to be held on October 7 at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Usually the vice-presidential debate does not generate much excitement (with the possible exception of 2008 when Sarah Palin was debating Joe Biden and people wanted to see if she knew where Europe was) but given the utter disaster of the first presidential debate and no indication that Trump will behave any better in the next two presidential debates, this one might be the only chance to have anything approaching a substantive discussion of the issues. Harris is sharp and aggressive and quick on her feet and it will be interesting to see how Pence will defend his indefensible boss.
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Trump’s transition plans

There has been much speculation about whether Trump will accept the results of the election if he loses, speculation that has been deliberately fueled by Trump himself. As I have said before, this is just bluster, designed to sow fear and chaos. Joe Biden was right to dismiss that possibility in the debate. If Trump loses, he has to leave office because the only way he can continue is by a military coup and there is no way that the military is going to be part of that scheme. He may hope that the US Supreme Court will declare him the victor but that option is also a highly remote one unless the results are hair-splittingly close.

Tom the Dancing Bug 1506 donald and john – transfer of power

(Tom the Dancing Bug)

Scott Atlas is exactly the kind of ‘science expert’ Trump likes …

… because he tells Trump what he wants to hear. But the real scientists among the government’s top health advisors are now openly sounding the alarm about Atlas’s outsize influence with Trump that he is using to spread wrong information.

Dr. Anthony Fauci on Monday joined fellow White House coronavirus task members Dr. Deborah Birx and Centers for Disease Control Director Dr. Robert Redfield in expressing his concerns that President Trump’s new favorite COVID-19 adviser, Dr. Scott Atlas, is feeding the President misinformation amid the pandemic.

On Monday, NBC News reported that while on a flight from Atlanta to Washington D.C., Redfield was overheard criticizing Atlas — a neurologist who hasn’t practiced medicine since 2012 — by proclaiming that “everything he says is false” on COVID-19.

Redfield’s reportedly dim view of the President’s favorite COVID-19 adviser comes a week after CNN reported that Birx, another prominent task force member who has managed to stay in the President’s good graces, has become “distressed” over Trump’s admiration of Atlas.

According to CNN, Birx views Atlas as “somebody who matches what (Trump) wants to believe” as the President continues offering a rosy picture of his administration’s COVID-19 response amid the country topping more than 200,000 fatalities from the novel coronavirus.

Trump loves people who can gauge what he wants to believe and then tell him that same thing.

What to look for on election night

The election system in the US is under attack as Trump seeks to preemptively discredit the process so that in the event that he loses, he can claim that the system was rigged against him, despite the manifestly obvious fact that he and the Republicans have gone to great extents to disenfranchise those groups of people whom they think might vote against him (people of color, the poor, and the young) and tilt things in favor of those whom he thinks like him (old, white, religious, suburban, and well-to-do).
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