Don't trust electoral college tracking maps based on whim and prayer

Today, CNN launched its 2020 electoral college tracking map. It makes the race look very close, despite its own polling showing Biden 14% in the lead. That's because the map isn't based on polls, but the hunches of insiders:

This map is not meant to be predictive of what it will look like in November. It is an inaugural snapshot based upon conversations with Democratic and Republican operatives across the country, campaign aides and officeholders about how they all see the current landscape

Polls are, contrary to rumor, generally accurate. In 2016, Clinton won the overall vote by the margin suggested by polls and her loss came down to electors from "battleground" states where most polls had the candidates within the margin of error. By the end, for example, Clinton was leading Trump by 1% in Pennsylvania, and lost to him by less than 1%. Trump's win embarrassed pollsters not because their numbers were significantly wrong, but because they got into the habit of elaborating those numbers with their own punditry. They fell victim to the demand for constant posting that their generally accurate real work could not feed.

Just for the hell of it, here's an electoral college map based on current state-level polling averages.

I'm not saying anything about it, other than to point out that polls change fast and that it nevertheless tells a very different a story to the one news editors are generally interested in. Read the rest

Pentagon to remove Confederate names from military assets within 3 years

Some breaking news on this Thursday morning, as Black Lives Matter protests around the country tear down racist Civil War monuments in cities like Richmond, Virginia. Read the rest

Trump brags of "ANTIFA" being "handled VERY easily by the Guard, D.C. Police, & S.S. "

President thanks "The SS" for violence against citizens

In crazy tweet, Donald Trump claims police spied on him

Yes, it's that time again, the time when we ask: What hot garbage did impeached president Donald Trump spew on Twitter this morning. Read the rest

Justifying police violence, Trump lies about Buffalo man bleeding from ear after police attack

The president is nuts.

Biden leads Trump 14 points in new poll, but we've been here before

Biden soars to 55%-41% in the latest CNN poll of voters, with Trump's approval rating falling and less than a third of respondents approving of his handling of the George Floyd killing and subsequent protests.

In the race for the White House, among registered voters, Trump stands 14 points behind Biden, who officially secured enough delegates to win the Democratic nomination in CNN's delegate estimate on Saturday. The 41% who say they back the President is the lowest in CNN's tracking on this question back to April 2019, and Biden's 55% support is his highest mark yet.

Alex Burns summarizes similar polls from last week:

2020 polling over the last week: ABC/Post: Biden +10 Monmouth: Biden +11 NBC/WSJ: Biden +7 Fox: Biden +8

This can obviously change, but this is not currently a close race or one in which the Electoral College is a reasonably good insurance plan for Trump.

Here's the thing. About this time in 2016, Clinton led Trump in these polls thusly:

ABC/Post: Clinton +14 Monmouth: Clinton +8 NBC/WSJ: Clinton +14 Fox: Clinton +10

Things are looking good for the Democratic Party's candidate, but remember that whatever follows "This can obviously change, but..." will never be anyone's famous last words and no-one will ever have to eat them. We're all getting paid here. Read the rest

Roger Stone proclaims support for Britney Spears in this weird new video

Roger Stone was convicted of witness intimidation and lying to Congress.

'NO KNEELING!' — Donald Trump, who couldn't kneel if he tried

Yes, we regret to inform you that Large Adult President Donald Trump said something stupid again on the Twitters. Read the rest

Trump lied about 2018 Mattis resignation, former Chief of Staff John Kelly says

Donald Trump's former Chief of Staff John Kelly today confirmed that Trump was lying when he said he demanded the resignation of former defense secretary Jim Mattis. Read the rest

'It sickened me', says fmr Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Mike Mullen on Trump's church gassing stunt

Former Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen said today in an interview with ABC News anchor Martha Raddatz, "We are at an inflection point, and the events of the past few weeks have made it impossible to remain silent." Read the rest

Google says China- and Iran-backed hackers hit Biden and Trump campaigns

Google official says “no sign of compromise” of either campaign

Trump doesn't trust Secret Service to keep him safe

After cowering in the White House bunker didn't work out for Trump, nor the ridiculous photo-op that followed it, the building itself is being surrounded by shabby fortifications: a fence to prevent protestors getting too close to the executive mansion.

"More fencing going up around the White House complex early this morning," writes CNN's Betsy Klein. "In addition to the new fencing, which now extends past the EEOB down 17th Street, @abdallahCNN reports that additional concrete barriers have been installed behind existing fencing at 17th and Pennsylvania Ave. NW."

From Stonekettle: "We've reached the 'Walling yourself off so enraged citizens don't drag you out of the palace' stage of Making America Great Again."

The funny thing about Trump is that you know that he has asked for a moat. Less funny is that he doesn't trust the Secret Service to keep him safe. Read the rest

Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis denounces Trump as a threat to America, compares him to Nazis

Jim Mattis was Trump's first defence secretary, serving from 2017-2019. He quit and promised he would not be quiet forever, but also said it would be improper to criticize a sitting president. When protests over George Floyd's death at the hands of the police sprang up, many wondered if he would finally speak. He finally spoke.

The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values—our values as people and our values as a nation. We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution. ...

Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us.We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children. ...

Instructions given by the military departments to our troops before the Normandy invasion reminded soldiers that ‘The Nazi slogan for destroying us … was “Divide and Conquer.” Our American answer is “In Union there is Strength.”’ We must summon that unity to surmount this crisis—confident that we are better than our politics.”

Read the rest

Latest Trump publicity shot looks like scene from The Omen

The White House released this photo of the Trumps in a church. The idea is to show Donald and Melania as serious Christians after the bungled Bible photo-op, but they just look like characters from a reboot of The Omen.

Read the rest

Ferguson, Missouri elected its first black mayor who is also the first female mayor

Yesterday, Ella Jones became the first black, and first female, elected mayor of Ferguson, Missouri where an uprising kicked off in 2014 after a white police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, and was not indicted. From the New York Times:

Ms. Jones, 65, and her opponent, Heather Robinett, 49, had both vowed to continue changes enacted after the 2014 shooting of Mr. Brown, including a federal consent decree, a legally binding agreement requiring reforms to a police department.

“I’ve got work to do — because when you’re an African-American woman, they require more of you than they require of my counterpart,” Ms. Jones said after her victory, in a video (below) posted online Tuesday night by the journalist Jason Rosenbaum of St. Louis Public Radio. “I know the people in Ferguson are ready to stabilize their community, and we’re going to work together to get it done.”

image: Ferguson City Council directory Read the rest

Steve King loses Iowa Republican Primary

Steve King, the Republican congressman who openly embraced white supremacy, will not be the party's candidate in November's general election. Sen. Randy Feenstra defeated him in Tuesday's five-way primary race.

Republicans in northwest Iowa ousted Rep. Steve King in Tuesday’s primary, deciding they’ve had enough of the conservative lightning rod known for making incendiary comments about immigrants and white supremacy throughout his nearly two decades in Congress.

The nine-term congressman, shunned by his party leadership in Washington and many of his longtime supporters at home, lost to well-funded state Sen. Randy Feenstra in a five-way GOP primary. The challengers argued that King’s loss of clout, even more than his continuous string of provocative and racially-charged statements, was reason enough for turning on him.

Some on the left thought it would be better strategery for King to have won as he was so widely hated, but the district was unlikely to turn blue this November even with a white supremacist on the GOP ticket: the party still led 51%-40% on a generic ballot poll in March. So this can be seen simply as a slightly reassuring preference among Republicans for less blatant racists. Read the rest

Video: Trump asks Melania to 'smile' during today's fascist photo op

In this video, you can see Donald Trump appearing to ask First Lady Melania to 'smile' during today's fascist photo op.

Nah, man, you have to pay extra for that. Read the rest

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