Vicious Trump kills gray wolves. Ends endangered species protections

Breaking News 4.15.2019

Just five days before the election the totally immoral and narcissistic Audience of One Trump has effectively designated North America’s gray wolf population for extinction.

This vile and unconscionable act has one goal.  Appeal to what’s left of his Base as Trump stares into the crosshairs of defeat on November 3.

One of the first things the Biden Administration must do is rescind this murderous and inhumane decision.

The Hill 10.29.2020

The Trump administration removed endangered species protections for the gray wolf Thursday, paving the way for hunting of the species even as environmentalists argue it has not yet recovered.

The rule from the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) lifts protections for the wolves in the continental U.S., except for a small band of Mexican gray wolves present in Arizona and New Mexico.

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The move ends more than 45 years of protections for the species — something that has been opposed by conservation groups and members of Congress.

“After more than 45 years as a listed species, the gray wolf has exceeded all conservation goals for recovery. Today’s announcement simply reflects the determination that this species is neither a threatened nor endangered species based on the specific factors Congress has laid out in the law,” Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said in a statement.

Environmentalists have already said they will challenge the rule in court.

“This is no ‘Mission Accomplished’ moment for wolf recovery,” Kristen Boyles, an Earthjustice attorney, said in a statement. 

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“Wolves are only starting to get a toehold in places like Northern California and the Pacific Northwest, and wolves need federal protection to explore habitat in the Southern Rockies and the Northeast. This delisting decision is what happens when bad science drives bad policy — and it’s illegal, so we will see them in court.”

The gray wolf population was around 1,000 when the species was first listed, and the FWS now says those figures are now closer to 6,000.

A peer review commissioned by the government largely opposed the delisting proposal.

German honeypot engineered to get far-right followers to reveal themselves.

Leave it to the German satirical political mind to make fun of Neo-Nazis and get a reaction from the government.

At a time when neo-Nazi and fascist sympathizers are ascendant it is worthwhile to see how one German group of Germans goes about exposing these foul people.

This article is from the DW archives.

Deutsche Welle 12.6.2018

A group of artists said it created a website for people to denounce their neo-Nazi acquaintances. But the doxing website was actually a so-called honeypot engineered to get members of the far-right to reveal themselves.

German activists took down a controversial website on in late 2018 after revealing that it was a honeypot trap to encourage neo-Nazis to reveal themselves.

A group of artists known as the Center for Political Beauty (ZPS) had previously said that their “Special Commission Chemnitz” campaign was an effort to get people to dox friends, neighbors or colleagues they saw in pictures from far-right demonstrations that took place in the city of Chemnitz earlier this year. The ZPS also promised monetary rewards for the denunciations.

But now the group has revealed that the true nature of the website was to get far-right supporters to supply their own names, which they did by using the site’s search function.

‘Thank you, dear Nazis’

“Thank you, dear Nazis,” ZPS wrote on the site, explaining in detail how they used the searches to discover the identities of at least 1,500 participants in the violent anti-immigrant protests in Chemnitz in August 2018.

“This is the most relevant set of data on right-wing extremism that currently exists in Germany,” ZPS founder Philipp Ruch told German news agency EPD.

ZPS said it recorded search terms users entered, usually a person’s first and last name, to create a list of potential far-right sympathizers. The average visitor searched for the names of 6.7 friends, according to ZPS. By comparing the names a user searched for with a list of names of people thought to sympathize with the far-right, ZPS expanded the network of potential far-right supporters.

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“We built a website with one single goal: To get you to deliver your entire network yourselves without even noticing it,” ZPS wrote on its website. “Using the search function you shared more with us than publicly available sources ever could have revealed.”

ZPS’ initial announcement of the website prompted a flurry of controversy about privacy rights online, and Germany’s data protection commissioner’s office said it was looking into whether the site was acting within legal limits. The German Arts Council also called the site “problematic.”

Shortly after the launch of the site, the ZPS said that an angry mob stormed their office in Chemnitz, and when the police came, they confiscated the group’s posters of far-right demonstrators.

Biden to win. Historian picked every winner since ’84. Including Trump in ’16

A couple of months ago I watched the video by Alan Lichtman predicting the result of next week’s election.  Interesting.

The Hill 10.22.2020

Using an earthquake forecasting model adapted to election forecasting, he uses 13 simple true/false questions, labelled the “Keys to the White House,” with six or more false keys indicating that the challenger will defeat the incumbent. Originally formulated to forecast the popular vote winner, Lichtman’s forecast modifications after the 2000 Bush-Gore election resulted in a correct forecast of Trump over Clinton in 2016.

For the 2020 election, Lichtman classifies seven of the keys to be false, indicating that Joe Biden will be elected the next president, and not just win the popular vote, which is certain to occur without the assistance of any models (think Biden’s dominance in California and New York).

Brandeis Alumni and Friends 10.7.2020

Historian Allan Lichtman ’67 has devised a system that has enabled him to predict the winner of every U.S. presidential election going back to 1984.

His prediction for the 2020 election? Look forward to President Joe Biden in 2021.

For more information on Lichtman and the 13 Keys to the White House, you can purchase his book,

Predicting the Next President: The Keys to the White House

or watch a recent video from the New York Times.

“Donald Trump will become the first sitting president since Bill Clinton beat George H.W. Bush in 1992 to lose in a reelection bid,” Lichtman, distinguished professor of history at American University, told a virtual Brandeis audience on Sept. 22.

More than 800 alumni and friends who tuned in to the virtual event heard Lichtman describe the method he calls the “13 Keys to the White House,” which he has used to correctly call each presidential election for the past four decades. 

Lichtman said the Keys to the White House work in “geophysical earthquake terms.” When there is “stability, the party holding the White House keeps the White House,” and when there is an “earthquake, the party holding the White House loses.”

Each key represents a category on which the candidates are assessed, and when six or more keys go against an incumbent candidate, the rival is favored to win.

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How the system was created is a story in itself. In a chance encounter at the California Institute of Technology in 1981, Lichtman met Vladimir Keilis-Borok, the world’s leading authority in earthquake prediction and head of the Institute of Pattern Recognition and Earthquake Prediction in Moscow.

The two came up with a revolutionary idea to try predicting political outcomes with earthquake prediction theories. The system has correctly called the past nine presidential elections.

The keys themselves range from an assessment of the country’s overall economic welfare and policy changes, to social perception of the current president and the country itself. Lichtman said he strives to keep his own political views out of the process, and defers to the theoretical method of the keys

In the wake of economic and social upheaval, the keys have turned against Donald Trump’s bid for reelection, Lichtman said.

“As of late 2019, less than a year to go before the election, President Donald Trump was down only four keys,” he said. “That’s two key short of predicting his defeat. But then, as we know, everything changed in America in 2020…We were hit with the worst pandemic in 100 years, by far, one that’s still going on,” as well as continued “cries for social and racial justice.”

Citing a famous quote by Herbert Hoover, he said, “‘As President, you get credit for the sunshine, and blame for the rain.’ Well, it’s raining really hard in America.”

Lichtman closed his remarks by recalling the words attributed to Abraham Lincoln: “The best way to predict your future is to choose.” He continued: “And how do you choose this year? Overcome all the barriers, all the rhetoric, all the bombast, and vote. That’s your future.”

Brandeis Trustee Monique Nelson chaired the event hosted by the Brandeis Alumni Association. A recording is available online. For more information on Lichtman and the 13 Keys to the White House, you can purchase his book, or watch a recent video from the New York Times.


Germany: Thousands protest against COVID-19 rules in Berlin

A segment of the German population is unhappy with restrictions imposed on the citizenry in response to The Pandemic.  Ignoring social distancing and shelter in place are the norm.

The difference between Germany and America is simply stated.

The German government led by Angela Merkel, herself a scientist, has taken strong measures to combat the Covid-19 virus. The German government has modified its policies over the months while continuing to keep firm restrictions in place.

In America there is Donald Trump. Nothing more need be said except to point out this country is having a massive increase in the number of daily infections and deaths.

Deutsche Welle 10.26.2020

The German capital,  has one of the nation’s highest infection rates.

Some 2,000 demonstrators gathered at Berlin’s Alexanderplatz on Sunday to protest against the German capital’s coronavirus restrictions, according to local authorities.

German Covid-19 resurgence I 8.27.2020

Berlin police said it deployed 600 officers to disperse the crowd. They said on Twitter that, “for the most part, neither minimum distance nor the obligation to cover one’s mouth and nose was observed.”

Pink heart balloons and protest signs could be seen among the protesters. Many people shouted: “We are here and we are loud because we are being robbed of our freedom” and “we are the people” among other things.

Elderly people and families with children were among the crowd, according to the DPA news agency.

Read more: Coronavirus: Merkel in fresh plea to stay at home amid record infection tally

Protesters were set to march down Karl-Marx-Allee to the Kosmos convention center about 2.7 kilometers (1.6 miles) away.


The venue was originally scheduled to host the World Health Summit on Sunday, but the conference was moved online due to rising infection rates in the German capital.

German Health Minister Jens Spahn and other members of the Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s health authority, were scheduled to speak at the conference.

But after protesters repeatedly ignored orders to socially distance and put on masks, police began dispersing the crowd.

Some demonstrators broke away from the group and gathered at Kosmos, which was closed off with fences.

Counterprotesters could also be seen outside the convention center. Most of them were wearing black clothing and shouting “Nazis out.”

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Berlin has seen multiple protests against coronavirus restrictions, with one at the end of August attracting more than 30,000 demonstrators.

Earlier on Sunday, Berlin authorities said bottles and other incendiary devices were thrown at a building for the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases.

Another demonstration that was expected to draw 10,000 protesters was scheduled to take place on Sunday evening near the Berlin zoo, but police said it was called off.

My copy of “All the King’s Men” and its omen: JFK assassination

Published in 1946 “All the King’s Men” was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1947. It tells the story of a demagogic politician who is assassinated. The fictionalized tale is loosely based on the life of Louisiana Governor Huey Long.  He, too, was assassinated.

In 1963 I was in high school. I had borrowed “All the King’s Men” from the school library in early November. It’s due date was November 22, 1963.  

That day, President John Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. I was so shocked by this coincidence that I never returned the book to the school library. I paid the school $1.85 so I could own it in perpetuity.

An odd fact was its due date – November 22, 1963 – was stamped upside down. A photo of that stamp is pictured above.

Wall Street Journal review of All the King’s Men – Michael Dirda

Half a lifetime ago, I read Robert Penn Warren’s “All the King’s Men” and thought it just breathtakingly wonderful, so much so that I spent money I didn’t have to buy the 1946 first edition in a fine dust jacket. Last week I decided to reread it, partly because the book is widely viewed as our finest novel about American politics. How, I wondered, does this Pulitzer Prize winner look in the tumultuous fall of 2020?

Short answer: It’s still amazing.

As many people know, if only from the Oscar-winning 1949 movie, this is the story of Willie Stark, fictional governor of an unnamed Southern state whose political career loosely recalls that of Louisiana’s real-life Huey Long. Narrated in 1939 by Stark’s chief lieutenant, Jack Burden, the book depicts the transformation of an idealistic backwoods hick into a consummate political operator. While chronicling the rise of “the Boss,” Jack—a former newspaperman and onetime Ph.D. candidate in American history—gradually reveals pieces of his own past, notably his memories of idyllic summers spent with his childhood friends, Adam and Anne Stanton. Structurally intricate, the novel effortlessly segues back and forth among various periods of the 1920s and ’30s, climaxing in a succession of shocks and revelations. When you finish “All the King’s Men,” you feel, like its surviving characters, that your soul has been tried in the furnace.

But when you start the book, the first thing you notice is Warren’s prose, which glories in its showstopping, even showoffy magnificence and virtuosity. There are long, rolling sentences like coloratura arias and passages that would do a tent-preacher proud, as well as conversations among good ol’ boys that are sheer vulgar poetry, and, throughout, an irresistible narrative exuberance riding on an undercurrent of nostalgia and wistfulness. A smidgen of the book’s style can be heard when the Boss orders Jack to dig up some dirt on the upright Judge Irwin. What if there isn’t any? Not possible, says Willie: “Man is conceived in sin and born in corruption and he passeth from the stink of the didie to the stench of the shroud. There is always something.”


Willie Stark rises to power by reminding small-town yokels that he is one of them. He learns to retain power, however, through favors, deals, bribes, threats and blackmail. When one of his appointees turns greedy, he “fixes” the offender so well that “his unborn great-grandchildren will wet their pants on this anniversary and not know why.” When threatened with impeachment, Willie rallies his supporters for a raucous protest march on the capital. He even installs his own yes-men on the state’s Supreme Court. And yet, above all else, this sweating, blubber-lipped rascal yearns to build a completely free, absolutely state-of-the-art hospital.

In this, Willie is utterly sincere. He truly wants to help folks who never got anything but promises from previous elected officials, especially ineffectual, lily-white Southern aristocrats. Unlike them, Willie is willing to get his hands dirty, sometimes very dirty. Thus Warren raises that most fundamental of political questions: Do the ends justify the means? Is Willie Stark a redneck demagogue who regularly flouts the rule of law? Or is he, as all the most sympathetic characters in the book maintain, a great man?

Not that he isn’t a flawed human being: Willie cheats on his schoolteacher wife, crows about the gridiron prowess of his oafish son, and shows himself to be nothing if not ambitious, already envisioning a run for the presidency. He emerges, in short, as that ambiguous American archetype: The romantic dreamer with a ruthless core. “All the King’s Men” belongs on the same shelf as “The Great Gatsby” and “The Godfather.”

To enlarge his book’s scope Warren surrounds Willie and Jack with a picture gallery of Southern “types”: a street-corner evangelist; an aging, much-married belle; a hardscrabble dame with Machiavellian political savvy; an almost saintly doctor. Today’s readers, however, will notice that the only Black characters are nameless “colored” servants. Still, Jack’s transcription of a pre-Civil War diary does partly confront the South’s racist past. In it a slave learns the truth about her master’s death, with consequences that underscore the brutality and horror of her condition.

I mention Jack Burden so often because much of this story is also his. The account of how he and Anne Stanton fell in love and then lost each other may be the most lyrically beautiful piece of writing in all American literature. When Jack does uncover “something” about Judge Irwin, he also learns something about his own past and, following a time of sorrows, frees himself from recurrent existential despair.

Almost 75 years have now passed since “All the King’s Men” first appeared, yet Warren’s book continues to deserve its reputation as a great American political novel. And actually, it’s something even better: a great American novel, period.

ATKM IV 10.24.2020
A photo from the 1949 Academy Award winning movie.  Broderick Crawford, fourth from left won an Academy Award for best actor. The film also won the award for best picture and supporting actress, Mercedes McCambridge





Lincoln Project’s Trump Message to New York. “Suffer…That’s Their Problem”

Every Picture Tells a Story – Ongoing Series

The Lincoln Project, a band of well connected disenchanted Republicans, have been causing more grief for Trump than the Democrats could have imagained. 

The billboard, now emblazoned in New York City, has sent The Republicans in general and Trump in particular into paroxysms of anger, angst and dismay.

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Belgian Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmes in intensive care with COVID-19

The Covid-19 Pandemic is totally non discriminatory in its relentless march around the planet.

Gender, race, age, income are no defense against the encroaching monster as the Pandemic nears the one year mark.

The latest high level government official to be struck down is the 45 year old Belgian Foreign Minister.

Excerpted from Deutsche Welle 10.22.2020

Belgium, a country of 11.5 million inhabitants, has been severely hit by the coronavirus and is currently seeing a sharp rise in new cases. More than 10,000 people have died from coronavirus-related complications in Belgium.

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Belgian Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmes, the former prime minister who led the country’s fight against coronavirus, is in intensive care with COVID-19, her office said Thursday.

Wilmes, 45, who handed the reins over to Prime Minister Alexander De Croo earlier this month and is now Belgian’s foreign minister, announced last week that she had tested positive.

She was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday. Her spokeswoman said Wilmes is in a “stable” condition and conscious and that her “condition is not worrying.”

“She is conscious and she can communicate,” her spokeswoman said.

The announcement of Wilmes’ positive test came after she attended a face-to-face summit with her fellow EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg on October 12. Her Austrian counterpart, Alexander Schallenberg, has also tested positive for COVID-19.

She did not mention the summit when announcing her positive test last Saturday, instead saying she thought she got infected within her family circle.

Wilmes was in charge of a caretaker government when the first wave of infections hit Belgium this spring.

Wilmes became Belgium’s first female prime minister in October last year when she succeeded Charles Michel.

First appointed as a caretaker, she then led a government with special powers to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Born in Brussels, Wilmes started her political career as a local councilor in the Belgian capital and joined the federal government in 2015 as budget minister.

She stepped down earlier this month when De Croo was sworn in after nearly 18 months of complex negotiations among parties divided along linguistic as well as political lines.


Trump threatens to humiliate himself. Release 60 Minutes train wreck interview

I believe that Bess Levin at Vanity Fair is the latter day Hunter Thompson, whose book Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 I referenced in yesterday’s Post.

Bess’ writing is funny, sharp, knowledgeable and politically astute. The following piece about Trump’s take down by Lesley Stahl and its ongoing drama is illustrative of her reportorial skills.

Her reporting is amongst the best of the sordid political effort by Trump to salvage his disastrous presidency.

Excerpted from Vanity Fair 10.21.2020 – Bess Levin

As you’ve probably heard by now, on Tuesday, Donald Trump abruptly walked out of an interview with 60 Minutes’ Lesley Stahl and then failed to return for a previously scheduled appearance he was supposed to tape for the show with Mike Pence. Later he tweeted a surreptitiously recorded video of Stahl not wearing a mask and shamed her for not adhering to the protocols he’s ignored for the past seven months, seemingly trying to damage the credibility of the widely respected journalist before their sit-down aired.

Obviously, none of this is normal; according to the Washington Post, the president was unhappy with Stahl’s tough line of questioning regarding his disastrous handling of the coronavirus pandemic, his feud with Dr. Anthony Fauci, and his attacks on Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer, in addition to the fact that she pointed out how his absurd claims about Hunter Biden, as well as the Obama administration spying on his campaign, are bullshit. And while the interview isn’t set to air on 60 Minutes until Sunday, the president has apparently decided he might just preempt the network and humiliate himself, releasing the train wreck early.

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It’s not clear what “electoral intrusion” is, but it would seem Trump believes that asking legitimate questions of someone campaigning for another four years in office constitutes some kind of crime, and it probably won’t be long before he demands that Attorney General Bill Barr indict Stahl. Per the Post.

When Trump first walked in, Stahl looked at him and said, “Are you ready for a tough interview?” The president believes 60 Minutes will cut the interview in an unflattering way and has been talking all afternoon about how to preempt the footage, said the person familiar with the circumstances. After 45 minutes, Trump looked at staff members and said, “I think we’re done, do you guys agree?” Stahl believed the walk with Pence was still going forward, but Trump left the room and later complained to aides that [Joe] Biden would have an easier interview and that 60 Minutes would “cut it up to make him look bad,” according to an aide.

While three aides told the Post that the president overreacted and someone with knowledge of the interview said it contains no bombshell revelations, Trump reportedly “complained about it all day.” And because he’s a sociopath, he “told aides he wanted to go after Stahl and brainstormed ideas after the session with a group of aides in the Oval Office,” as though he literally had nothing else to do with his time other than plot his revenge on a journalist.

As for why the White House has its own recording of the interview, CBS was told it was for “archival purposes only,” and not that it would be used by a vindictive president who’s worried that people might find out he’s crazy and incompetent right before the election.

The president is now trying to claim he schooled Stahl, or something, by tweeting a photo of her looking at a bunch of blank papers he says show all the work he’d done on healthcare.

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For those of you keeping up at home, this is at least the third time Trump has tweeted photographic “evidence” of something that’s just been a bunch of blank paper, the other times being when he signed “documents” with nothing on them from Walter Reed and when he held a press conference shortly before being inaugurated and claimed a pile of folders filled blank sheets of paper contained his “business plan.” In 2016, he made a big show of signing stacks of papers that he said were his tax returns, and while it’s not clear if the pages were blank, they were most definitely fake considering that was one of the years he paid basically nothing in taxes.

Trump cuts a ‘60 Minutes’ interview short, taunts Lesley Stahl on Twitter.

Is this guy toast or what?  The Audience of One is soon to become the Audience of None.

I just started reading, again, Hunter Thompson’s classic work of political art ‘Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72.’

Feart and Loathing 10.20.2020.jpg

It is a must read as we watch the collapse of the insane Trump presidency.

Hunter S. Thompson, who committed suicide in 2005 at the age of 67, would have been the perfect writer to put his Gonzo journalism to work memorializing this crazy political year. He would be cheering the downfall of the Trump presidency.

Undoubtedly Mr. Thompson will be giving an emphatic middle finger salute to the departing Trump from his place in Elysium.

New York Times 10.20.2020

President Trump abruptly cut off an interview with the “60 Minutes” star Lesley Stahl at the White House on Tuesday and then taunted her on Twitter, posting a short behind-the-scenes video of her at the taping and noting that she had not been wearing a mask.

Mr. Trump then threatened to post his interview with Ms. Stahl ahead of its intended broadcast date on Sunday evening, calling it “FAKE and BIASED.”

The spectacle of a president, two weeks out from Election Day, picking a fight with the nation’s most popular television news program began on Tuesday after Mr. Trump grew irritated with Ms. Stahl’s questions, according to two people familiar with the circumstances of the taping.

Trump 60 Minute walkout 10.20.2020

One person briefed on what took place said that Mr. Trump had spent more than 45 minutes filming with Ms. Stahl and her CBS News crew, and that the taping had not wrapped up when the president’s aides had expected it to.

So Mr. Trump cut the interview short, and then declined to participate in a “walk and talk” segment with Ms. Stahl and Vice President Mike Pence, the people said.

It appeared that Ms. Stahl’s approach did not sit well with the president. Hours later, Mr. Trump said on Twitter that he was considering posting the interview with Ms. Stahl “PRIOR TO AIRTIME!” He described it as a “terrible Electoral Intrusion” and suggested that his Democratic opponent, Joseph R. Biden Jr., had been treated less harshly by journalistic interlocutors.

Mr. Trump also posted a six-second video clip of Ms. Stahl at the White House, writing: “Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes not wearing a mask in the White House after her interview with me. Much more to come.”

In fact, Ms. Stahl had worn a mask at the White House up until the start of her taping with Mr. Trump, including when she first greeted the president, according to a person familiar with the interview. The video posted by Mr. Trump showed Ms. Stahl immediately after the interview ended, as she conferred with two CBS producers, both wearing masks.

The CBS crew was tested for the coronavirus before entering the White House on Tuesday, the person said.

So Mr. Trump cut the interview short, and then declined to participate in a “walk and talk” segment with Ms. Stahl and Vice President Mike Pence, the people said. 

“He’s a like dog they’re trying to keep comfortable in the final days of his life.”

I hope so.

Vanity Fair – The Hive 10.19.2020

Even the president’s own campaign is resigned to its fate. “He’s a dog they’re trying to keep comfortable in the final days of his life.”

If you’d ignored every single poll that’s come out over the last several months predicting the outcome of the 2020 election, and only listened to Donald Trump, you might think the president had a snowball’s chance in hell of beating Joe Biden on November 3. In reality, the outlook for Trump is grim: The latest polls show Biden ahead by double digits and leading in battleground states. What’s more, Trump is down with white voters, who he won by a whopping 20 points in 2016. And while the president talks a big, delusional game at rallies, even his campaign staffers apparently know that come November 3, they’re all going to be unemployed.

The New York Times reports that “away from their candidate and the television cameras, some of Mr. Trump’s aides are quietly conceding just how dire his political predicament appears to be.” Midlevel aides are reportedly asking around about postelection jobs on Capitol Hill, aware that there is unlikely to be a second Trump administration for them to work in.

Trump Ass Kicked I 10.19.2020

In what may be the saddest internal reflection of the president’s prospects, some of his lieutenants are said to be resigned to lose and believe that the best thing they can do in the final two weeks is to “keep the president occupied, happy, and off Twitter as much as possible,” like he’s a dog they’re trying to keep comfortable in the final days of his life. But of course, staying off of Twitter and on message is something Trump is constitutionally incapable of, even if it would be to his benefit:

Instead of delivering a focused closing message aimed at changing people’s perceptions about his handling of the coronavirus, or making a case for why he can revive the economy better than Mr. Biden can, Mr. Trump is spending the remaining days on a familiar mix of personal grievances, attacks on his opponents and obfuscations. He has portrayed himself as a victim, dodged questions about his own coronavirus testing, attacked his attorney general and the F.B.I. director, and equivocated on the benefits of mask-wearing.

Rather than drawing a consistent contrast with Mr. Biden on the economy, strategists say, the president’s preference is to attack Mr. Biden’s son Hunter over his business dealings and to hurl personal insults like “Sleepy Joe” against a candidate whose favorability ratings are much higher than Mr. Trump’s.

“A lot of Republican consultants are frustrated because we want the president’s campaign to be laser-focused on the economy,” David Kochel, a Republican strategist in Iowa told the Times. “Their best message is: Trump built a great economy” and that the coronavirus damaged it, and Trump will do a better job restoring it than Biden. Instead, the president apparently thinks he’s going to win over voters by refusing to denounce a conspiracy theory that claims Democrats are running a Satanic, child sex-trafficking cult and another that accuses Biden of having Seal Team Six killed to cover up the fact that Osama Bin Laden is alive and the Obama administration took out his body double. Or blathering on at length about his opponent’s son and claiming, without a hint of irony, that Biden’s family is a “criminal enterprise.” The base “loves the stuff about Hunter Biden, laptops and Mayor Giuliani,” Kochel said. “But they’re already voting for Trump.”

The problem with having an unhinged, disturbed candidate like Trump running for office is that he’s not just the candidate, he’s also basically running the campaign—and he’s really bad at it!