The First Debate – A Report.

              About six minutes into the debate, I started keeping track of how many times each guy interrupted the other guy. I didn’t count it as an interruption when Joe said something and Trump made a face or a wisecrack, or vice-versa.  I only counted when one of the two said something which forced the other guy to stop talking until the interruption came to an end.

              I started keeping this count when at roughly six minutes into the program, Trump interrupted Biden for the third or fourth time and Biden turned towards Trump and said, “Why don’t you shut up?”

              I have been sitting in front of my TV for the last four years and I think that just about every evening during the news I have found myself saying the same thing to Donald Trump. But obviously, he couldn’t hear me telling him to shut up; he certainly heard it when it was said by Joe.

              Trump behaved exactly the way he always behaves in any situation where he is talking to an audience, whether the audience is a rally crowd or whether it’s a one-on-one exchange. He talks endlessly, he wanders from subject to subject, and he almost always has an angry belligerent tone, particularly when he thinks he’s being criticized or otherwise verbally attacked.

              By my count, and this is of course unofficial, at the end, Trump interrupted Biden at least 30 times.  Not that Joe didn’t give as good as he got, until about the last ten minutes of the program he often replied in kind and I counted him interrupting Trump 13 or 14 times.

              But you know what?  I watched the debates between Hillary and Trump in 2016, and Trump behaved the same way during those debates as he behaved last night. He was verbally hostile and abusive, he made obviously untrue statements again and again, and he interrupted Hillary almost as frequently as he interrupted Joe.

              So I sat there during the 2016 debates waiting and hoping that Hillary would at some point stop  being so polite and tell Trump to shut it down. She never did. When I turned on the TV last night I knew that Trump would go on the attack again, but I never thought I would hear Biden tell him that enough was enough.

              And yet he did. He told Trump to shut up again and again. He called him a ‘clown,’ he called him a ‘liar,’ he called him a ‘racist,’ and best of all, he frequently stated that Trump had absolutely no idea what he was talking about.

              After it ended, the pundits on both sides, because I caught commentary both on NBC and Fox, seemed almost apologetic about how the debate was more name-calling than substance, indeed Karl Rove ended up saying that what he had witnessed was not a debate but a World Wide Wrestling match. Which I thought was a funny comment because Trump used to promote World Wide Wrestling programs at his Atlantic City casino before it went bust.

              I thought it was a great debate. Why? Because it’s about time that someone has gotten up in public and told Trump to shut up. After all, this is a guy who even tonight didn’t disagree when Chris Wallace, the moderator, reminded him that he claimed to have done more for African-Americans than any President with the ‘possible’ exception of Lincoln.

              Know what the word ‘possible’ means? It means that maybe Trump did even more for Black folks than what Abraham Lincoln did for them. And when I first read that statement, I said to myself that this guy has no earthly excuse to be heard from ever again.

              So I’m really glad that Joe told Trump to shut up. I suspect that what Joe really wanted to say was that Trump should shut the f*ck up.  Maybe he’ll say it like that in the next debate.

What Do The Polls Tell Us Today?

              Back in 1937, a Texas high school teacher named Lyndon Johnson decided to run for an open Congressional seat. Now if you know anything about Texas politics in those days, you know that a Congressional election that could be won by either party was a rare event. This was one of those rare events.

              The Sunday before the election, ol’ Lyndon met with his campaign brain-trust out behind the church. And very quickly one of his guys delivered the bad news: “Lyndon, y’all losin’. If we don’ do sumpin’ right quick, the campaign is done.”

              After a brief and stunned silence, ol’ Lyndon jumped up. “I got it!” he shrieked. “We’ll spread the rumor that he f*cks pigs!”

              “C’mon, Lyndon,” replied a member of the group, “you know he don’t do that.”

              “Of course I know it’s not true” said Lyndon, grinning from ear to ear, “but we’ll get him to deny it.”

              Our friend Bob Caro claims that ol’ Lyndon told this joke when he was President almost every day, particularly when he was giving advice to a Senator of Congressman who was behind in his campaign. When Johnson was Majority Leader and later the President of the United States, there was nobody who could count noses and votes as well as ol’ LBJ.

              Obviously, at some point, the current President was told this joke. Because he stopped denying the story about his taxes one day after it appeared in The (failing) New York Times. This morning, his first tweet was a video produced by a group of alt-right scammers allegedly showing a Black guy with a heavy, foreign accent selling his mail-in ballot to someone else for $800 bucks. What was Trump’s tweet? “Rigged Election!” What else?

              This video was the handiwork of Project Veritas, which makes videos for the alt-right social media that are about as honest as what I’m going to tell my dear wife tonight when she asks if I stayed on my diet today. These bums created several totally-fictional encounters with employees of the antipoverty ACORN organization and edited the tapes to make it appear that ACORN was giving out advice on how to bring underage girls into the United States for sex, among other things.

              ACORN ultimately disbanded, but prior to closing down, they were investigated by no less than five law enforcement agencies, including the Attorney Generals in both California and New York. No charges were ever made against the group, but this is who Trump is now relying on to move the conversation away from how much he did or didn’t pay in federal income tax.

              It’s too early to tell what, if any, impact the tax issue will have on the election outcome. But we are now exactly five weeks away from November 3rd, and so far the pre-election polling hasn’t moved in Trump’s direction – not one, solitary inch.

              Here’s how the battleground states look today:

              Trump was ahead in four battleground states on September 21, that’s now been cut to three. In the four must-win states  – Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Wisconsin, Joe’s average in the 4 states is slightly higher at 50.02%, Trump has dipped a bit to 43.55%. And most important, the Sedaris dog-shit number which was nearly 7% is now just above 6% and the Libertarian vote is unchanged at 2%.

              Last week, for the first time since late August, Joe jumped back into the lead in Ohio and the media made a big deal out of this change.  Joe doesn’t need Ohio, okay?

              The race is far from over. Every pollster gives himself a cushion by saying that there’s a 3% ‘margin of error,’ whatever that means. And of course the fact that someone says they are going to vote doesn’t mean they’ll actually mail in a ballot or show up.

              But if Trump believes that there’s going to be a big meltdown on the other side or that somewhere out there he’ll harvest all these unseen votes, as my Grandfather would say, “gai gezinta hai,” the polite meaning is to go in good health, the not-so-polite meaning is to just get lost.

              If we’re lucky, Trump will get lost.

Will Trump’s Tiny Tax Bill Hurt Him At The Polls?

              Here was Donald Trump’s reply to The (failing) New York Times story published yesterday about how he’s not quite the business success he claims to be: “The Fake News Media, just like Election time 2016, is bringing up my Taxes & all sorts of other nonsense with illegally obtained information & only bad intent.”

              Maybe I’m wrong, maybe like Joe Biden I’m ‘sleepy Mike,’ but I thought that the 2016 Trump campaign was kept alive when emails illegally stolen from the DNC server were published following the release of the Billy Bush (“I moved on her like a bitch”) tape. Those DNC emails which cooked Hillary’s goose weren’t illegally obtained?

              The better reaction to The (failing) New York Times story came today from Rush Limbaugh. He accused the paper of committing a “crime” by “meddling in the 2020 election.” Know what? I always thought that negative reporting about Trump might some day become a crime. After all, it’s only one step away from being ‘fake news.’

              Obviously, those of us who don’t like Trump and don’t want to see him around beginning next year enjoyed reading the article; I read it twice. Obviously, the timing wasn’t accidental; if nothing else it will give Trump something else to think about before tomorrow night’s debate.

              On the other hand, I’m not really sure that the disclosure that Trump paid $750 in federal taxes in 2016 and 2017 will make any difference in how things are going to turn out on November 3rd. In fact, I suspect that his tiny tax bill will if anything, firm up his support.

              Remember Ronald Reagan and the Cadillac being driven around in 1980 by the ‘Welfare Queen?’ Reagan’s campaign narrative focused on one thing, namely, that the federal government was your enemy, not your friend. Why was the federal government an outfit whose tax obligations should be avoided at all costs? Because after spending money on national defense, everything else the government pays for is one kind of welfare program or another. In other words, the money goes right down the drain.

              Last night one of the CNN spielers said that Trump’s non-payment of taxes meant that he was refusing to engage in the behavior which unites all Americans, namely, making sure that we can pay the costs of government programs that people really need. She then ticked off such essential federal outlays as payments for education, wildfire relief, medical care, disability and a few more.

              Now this woman (I forget her name) and the rest of the liberal media may think that everyone agrees with them about the importance of all the various government programs. I happen to know lots of folks who consider themselves conservatives (remember, I’m in the gun business) who would just as soon want their federal tax bill to be as low as Donald Trump’s.

              The GOP has been hammering away about government ‘waste’ and government ‘inefficiency’ for lo, these past 40 years. And now they finally have a Presidential candidate who is really draining  the swamp by making sure that none of his money flows into the swamp itself.

              The media is reporting that, based on this story, Trump will soon be facing the repayment of more than $200 million in personally-guaranteed debt, the reports are usually given in a rather gleeful tone. But this certainly isn’t the first time that Trump has found himself unable to pay his business debts. What about all those Atlantic City casinos? How about Trump Air? And let’s not forget the World Football League, okay?

              Trump is the only real estate developer who has used the projects he builds to promote his own name. I briefly lived in a New York City apartment on West 57th Street built by a real estate tycoon named Seymour Durst. Know when I learned that I had lived in one of his properties? When his son Robert was arrested in 2015 and now awaits his trial for murder in 2021.

              As of this morning, Joe’s lead in the 4 battleground states which he needs – NH, MI, PA, WI – is holding steady even though the national aggregate poll has him down a little bit. The good news is that everyone seems to think that the electorate has more or less made up its mind for how they are going to vote.

              We’ll see what happens tomorrow night.

All Of A Sudden, Trump Changes His Tune.

I told you so. I predicted it yesterday and I’m right. Once I saw Trump standing behind Ruthie’s coffin wearing a mask, I knew he was going to pivot again and try to make up some lost ground. And since he can’t move any further to the Right, he’s moving a little bit to the Left.

Note the picture above. Note who’s wearing masks.

Every…single…person…sitting…behind…Trump…is…wearing…a…mask!

Wasn’t it just back at the end of June when Trump did a big rally in Tulsa and nobody wore a mask? That’s right. The Tulsa rally is where his good buddy Herman Cain wasn’t wearing a mask and a week later ended up dead.

Wasn’t it just a week or so ago that Trump said for the 345th time that he believed that wearing a mask was actually a health risk?

But don’t worry. Trump has now decided to go positive about the virus and launch a $300-million ad campaign before the election which will promote the idea that all we need to do is stay positive about the way our lives have changed and everything will work out just fine. This campaign, incidentally, was the brainchild of the CDC’s PR guy, Michael Caputo, who just disappeared from public view after he accused scientists at the CDC of ‘sedition’ because the goal of their research was to undermine Trump.

So last night I decided to watch Trump’s speech at the Harrisburg rally just to see whether or not my prediction about a slight shift back towards the political center would turn out to be correct. It was correct in spades. And if you don’t believe me, just look again at the picture above. From now on, or at least for another couple of weeks until Trump changes his tune again, all of a sudden he’s now a big fan of masks.

And what’s really great is that the masks are just like the hats. They are official MAGA masks, which are already on sale for a paltry $19.99. And guess who gets the profits from the purchase of these masks?

What’s most amazing about Trump’s sudden embrace of public health is that he didn’t say one word about the pandemic in his speech last night. To the contrary, he spent the entire 45 minutes or so basically extolling everything he’s accomplished and bashing the liberal media. He particularly had it in last night for Lester Holt and the NBC Nightly News, claiming at least a half-dozen times that Holt had completely ignored the ‘fact’ that Trump was ‘nominated’ for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Know how many people were nominated this year for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize? Try 318. That’s what being ‘nominated’ for the Nobel Peace Prize really means. It means nothing. But Trump went on and on about how he was victimized by NBC because they only report ‘fake,’ not ‘real’ news.

Trump then spent another 20 minutes or so talking about the ‘tremendous’ progress being made on the Mexican wall. Back in May, he said that 182 miles had been finished; last night the number was 300 miles. The border is only 1,200 miles long, Trump says they are adding 10 new miles every week and that the whole project would be finished ‘soon.’ 900 unfinished miles divided by 10 means the job will get done by 2024. I guess that’s ‘soon.’

Of course during this segment of his speech, Trump led the crowd in his ‘build the wall’ chant. At least when he mentioned Nancy Pelosi’s name to some scattered boos, he didn’t direct the audience to do the ‘lock her up’ chant. That one’s still reserved for Hillary,

Meanwhile, for all the bullshit and all the bluster, the pre-election polls continue to drift the other way. The national aggregate poll ticked up another notch this morning – the gap now stands at 7.3 percent for Joe, and the highest-rated poll of all, the ABC/Washington Post poll came out this morning and reported that the gap is now up to 10 percent.

The poll did contain a bit of disconcerting news, namely that the two dog-shit candidates, together now represent a bloc of 7 percent – 4 percent for the Libertarian, 3 percent for the Green. But assuming that some of the Libertarians will break for Trump and some of the Greenies will make a last-minute switch to Joe, right now this is not yet a big deal.

The most interesting thing about Trump’s speech is that he didn’t seem all that interested or engaged. I mean, how many times can you get up and say the same thing again, and again, and again? Which might be energizing if it resulted in an upward boost for the campaign.

So far, the dynamic of the campaign hasn’t changed at all.

All Of A Sudden, There’s A New Trump On The Campaign Trail.

Yesterday I talked about how Joe’s 7-pojnt lead both in the national, as well as most state-wide polls, hasn’t really changed since the end of June. The size of the Sedaris dog-shit vote also keeps going down.

So Trump has been behind in this campaign from the day that Biden became his chief opponent, and typical of Trump, he immediately started off by attacking Joe. After all, calling Hillary a ‘crook’ worked in 2016. Why not try it again?

So Trump started saying that Biden was also a crook because he set up his son, Hunter, for all kinds of illegal payoffs in the Ukraine.

When that didn’t work, Trump then began saying that ‘sleepy Joe’ was to demented or senile to be President. That didn’t work.

By now, in late July, the corona virus was beginning to take a toll in red states. So Trump started telling everyone that his Administration deserved an A+ for their efforts to protect us from the virus, and by the way, we would shortly have a vaccine.

When that didn’t work, Trump decided to ‘get tough’ on crime, a message that Republican Presidents have more or less copyrighted since Nixon invented his ‘silent majority’ in 1968.

Trump even began using the phrase ‘silent majority’ in his tweets. But it didn’t work. The polls didn’t change. In fact, after he did some photo ops in Racine, Wisconsin where protestors had burned some commercial properties, his state-level numbers in Wisconsin went down.

When the ‘tough on crime’ messaging didn’t help, Trump started pushing the idea that the election would be a ‘scam’ and he wouldn’t accept the results. This one also went over like a lead balloon, even though the mainstream media is trying their best to keep this nonsense alive.

So then he pivoted to another message, which basically said that things were tough but he would lead us back to things being even better than they were before. This was a riff on Make America Great Again, but the words Make America Great Again Redux don’t fit on the front of a baseball cap.

Want my prediction for the messaging that Trump will trot out next? Believe it or not, he’s going to come out with some kind of spiel that moves him slightly towards the political center and puts just a little distance between him and the beloved alt-right. Why is he going to do this? Because the latest polls don’t give him any other choice.

On Thursday, Fox News published a poll which showed that Joe was now leading in Ohio – that’s Ohio – for the first time since August 16th. Now this isn’t a poll conducted by The (failing) New York Times, or CNN, or one of those other liberal media operations. It was conducted by Fox News which, by the way, is a highly-rated polling operation, according to Nate Simon and his 538 team.

It’s not just that Joe has jumped out to a small lead in Ohio that’s important to understand. It’s that the Sedaris dog-shit vote is down to 3 percent and worse, eight percent of the voters who voted for Trump in 2016 have decided to pull the paper lever for Joe. In other words, Joe’s lead in Ohio is based on bleeding votes away from Trump!

So here’s what Trump is going to do. Mark my words, he’s going to start describing himself as some kind of nice, compassionate, understanding guy who just wants the best for everyone in America, even if he has been running a campaign which until now has appealed to the absolute worst.

Why do I say this? Because Trump not only went to pay his respects to Ruthie although he was too busy to show up at Elijah Cummings’s funeral, but he also then appeared in public – ready? – wearing a mask!

You wait and see. Trump is going to try this new script for a couple of weeks. And he’ll receive nothing but unquestioned plaudits from the ‘enemy of the people,’ i.e., the liberal media and the ‘lamestream’ now mainstream press.

What Will Happen If Trump Loses? Nothing.

              Yesterday I posted a comment about how the liberal media is trying to promote the idea of a Trump-led subverted election process based on Barton Gellman’s article in The Atlantic Monthly magazine. Today I received my weekly copy of The New Yorker magazine which contains another article about what will happen if Trump loses the election but then tries to stick around by challenging the results.

              In this latter piece by Jeffry Toobin, we are told that Trump will make such a big deal out of his claim of a ‘rigged’ election that it will make the 2000 contest between Bush and Gore look like a “mere skirmish.” Toobin then goes on to say that Trump’s provocative language might very well mean that “anything short of a landslide for either Biden or Trump could lead to chaos.” In other words, the election as an apocalyptic electoral event.

              As we head towards Armageddon, let’s take a look at the surveys. As of today, Joe leads Trump in the national surveys by 7 percent – 50% to 43%. Joe has been ahead by 7 to 9% since – ready? – mid-June. During those 100 days, he has dipped below 50%, all the way down to 49.9%, exactly twice. Nobody can point to a single, national campaign which has been so stable over such a long period of time.

              Now let’s look at those critical swing states. The media keeps telling us that there are somewhere between 9 and 12 states that could go either way. In fact, no matter how you slice it or dice it, Joe needs to win exactly 4 of those battleground states – Michigan, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, and PA.

              In Michigan, Joe’s up 49.7% to 42.8%, a lead of 7 points. The Wisconsin numbers are 50.3% Joe, 43.8% Trump. Pennsylvania’s the close one – 49.6% for Biden, 44.9% for Trump. In New Hampshire it’s 49.7% Biden, 43% Trump spread. In all 4 states, Joe’s lead has been consistent since at least the beginning of July.

              Now let’s pretend that the election takes place next Tuesday instead of on November 3rd. Both the national and the statewide polls set the votes going to the Libertarian and Green candidates at 3%, which means that another 4% would be split between Biden and Trump.

              Worst case scenario: Trump gets 60% of the final dog shit vote. So he would wind up with a national total of 45.5% of all votes, a number that would basically be the same in the 4 battleground states. In other words, the gap between the two candidates both in the overall count as well as in the battleground states would be somewhere around 6%.

              I keep hearing from all the liberal experts like Gellman, Toobin, et. al.,  that because the election is so close and because the results won’t give our side a decisive win, that we can expect Trump to do all kinds of illegal things to prevent an orderly transition of power from taking place. He’ll gum up the USPS, his rifle-toting militia will challenge voters at the polls, he’ll file all kinds of crazy lawsuits, he’ll bring the political process to its knees.

              Last night, Toobin was interviewed by Wolf Blitzer on CNN at 6 P.M. At 6:30, the story about how Trump was going to refuse to leave office peacefully and quietly then became the lead story on the NBC national news. So Trump completely dominated the news cycle yesterday by taking the click-bait nonsense promoted by the liberal media and pretending that he intends to save America from another political ‘scam.’

              There’s only one little problem. In fact, if it were to turn out that the actual election ended with Joe getting 6% more votes than Trump, the 2020 results wouldn’t be close at all. Of the 18 Presidential elections that have been held since 1948, know how many gave the winner an edge of 6% or more of the popular vote? 

              Try four: 1956, 1964, 1972 and 1984.

If the November 3rd results wind up at or near how 14 of the past 18 Presidential elections have turned out, it will be a landslide for the blue team. The idea that Trump could convince anyone that an electoral results of such proportions was ‘rigged,’ is a joke.

Once Again The Liberal Media Gives Trump A Pass.

              Three weeks ago, The Atlantic Monthly magazine published an article alleging that Trump had mocked the deaths of U.S. troops when he visited a military cemetery in France. The article was truly a bombshell and the magazine promised more such assaults in the weeks to come.

              Yesterday the promised piece came out and in every respect it demonstrates to me just how craven and unreliable the liberal media has become.  The current article is a piece about how Trump and his minions are cooking up a big scheme to ‘subvert’ the results of the 2020 election through a combination of voter intimidation, electoral-college interventions and disqualifying mail-in voting; all measures justified by charging the Democrats and/or the Deep State with fraud.

What’s the difference between calling the Presidential election a ‘scam’ and saying exactly the same thing about the Mueller report? There’s no difference. It worked once, why not try it again?

              What I find both interesting and disheartening about this article is the degree to which the liberal media continues to let and even encourage Trump’s ability to establish the public political narrative on his own terms. And if the narrative is total bullshit and has absolutely no connection to any reality at all, so what?

              There’s a remarkable anecdote in Michael Cohen’s book where he describes a meeting between Trump and a group of Evangelical leaders in 2012. The purpose of the meeting was to begin laying the groundwork for a Trump campaign, and the confab ended with a ‘laying on of hands’ ceremony in which the ministers all gave Trump their blessings because he promised to fight for their most cherished issues; i.e., school prayer, tax exemptions and ending abortion ‘rights.’ [See pages 125 et. seq.]

              So the meeting ends, the Evangelicals walk out of Trump’s office and Trump turns to Cohen and says, “Do you believe that anyone believes that bullshit?” And that moment perfectly and completely sums up what the Trump presidency is all about.

              There is absolutely nothing Trump says that necessarily connects to anything he either thinks or does. But if he says it more than once, it becomes the rhetorical framework in which the entire political narrative is then defined – by the media on both sides! Which is perfectly exemplified by The Atlantic Monthly piece.

              Here’s the statement around which the entire article revolves: “Trump’s state and national legal teams are already laying the groundwork for postelection maneuvers that would circumvent the results of the vote count in battleground states.” And this groundwork consists primarily of various voter-suppression efforts in the battleground states based on the alleged recruitment of 50,000 GOP volunteers who will be at all the polling stations to challenge ‘suspicious-looking’ individuals (read: Blacks) who show up to vote.

            Where does the author of The Atlantic piece, Barton Gellman, get his information about the formation of this poll-watching army that will appear at various polling locations on November 3rd? He gets it from an article published in The (failing) New York Times back in May which was based entirely on statements made by operatives from the Trump campaign.

Meanwhile, when a reporter for New York Magazine went out to Harrisburg in August to interview the staffers who were organizing the grass-roots Trump effort in the all-important battleground state of Pennsylvania, she couldn’t find one, single meeting that was held to recruit and train these dedicated volunteers.

Did Barton Gellman bother to go out to rural Pennsylvania to validate the claims that Trump had a 50,000-strong army getting ready to pounce on anyone suspected of trying to vote for the Biden team?  Of course not. What he did was sit in his office and talk to a couple of liberal academics who know what’s going on in the boondocks because they have written books about various voting issues that have come up in the past.

The liberal media falls for it every time. They take the totally false messaging from the Trump campaign, compare it to evidence-based, academic research that has to be true because, after all, it’s evidence-based, and then compare the two versions as if anyone should be taking anything said by Trump seriously at all.

Trump’s comment to Michael Cohen about how anyone could believe such bullshit could have been a comment made not just about Evangelical ministers, but about liberal media as well.

Why Does The Media Report Lies As If It’s News?

              Remember when Ronald Reagan did TV commercials for General Electric? If you’re not my age, and I’m 76 years old, you probably don’t remember those commercials that Reagan made for GE beginning in 1954, but every commercial ended with Reagan smiling and telling the viewers that “progress was the most important product” for GE.

              And how could you argue with that idea? After all, the 1950’s was the first time that a majority of Americans owned their own homes, their own cars, their own TV sets, and their own washers and dryers.  That’s not progress? 

              The only problem was that once GE developed an enormous consumer market for electric appliances, everyone else jumped in, and a company that had owned this market in the 1950’s, found that by the 1980’s, all they owned was a lot of debt.

              Enter Jack Welch.  He was CEO of GE from 1981 and 2001, and during this period the company’s stock went from $1.50 a share to almost $60 bucks.  Welch built a new company by moving GE out of home appliances and into credit, leasing, and other financial pursuits. He also began to buy other companies so that GE’s bottom line no longer depended on washing and drying machines.

              Right now the company’s stock is sitting at $6.22 and investors are waiting to hear any day now that Chapter 7 has been filed in some federal bankruptcy court. What was the veritable straw that broke the veritable camel’s back? The company’s decision to get into natural gas production and distribution right when the natural gas market began to contract.

              And why has the natural gas industry fallen on hard times? Because of the falling cost of – ready – renewable energy, as in all those wind turbines and solar panels which increasingly dot the landscape all over the place.

              Know what industry has suffered even more from renewables than natural gas?  Try coal, which is shortly on its way to being completely put to bed. Coal first started being mined and used in large quantities beginning in 1885. By 1918 annual production was 500 million tons, went up and down over the next 80 years and by 2008 hit more than one billion tons each year. Know what the production was in 2016? Try 728 million tons, which is back down to where it was in the early 1980’s.

              In other words, coal is basically finished as a primary energy source, and its use will continue to decline as renewable energy and green energy distribution continues to expand. And anyone who tries to deny this slow but sure shift away from coal is either lying, or dumb, or both.

              Want the name of an individual who is making a pro-coal argument that is a complete lie? Try the 45th President of the United States who will say anything to drag a few more votes into his column to win a second term. Wyoming, West Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, and Pennsylvania account for 70% of all U.S. coal.  Montana, Texas, Indiana, North Dakota, Colorado, Ohio, New Mexico, Utah, Alabama, and Virginia account for just about all the rest.

              Note that of those 15 states where coal mining and production still means jobs, nine of those states are reliably red states, but three other states – Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Texas – are states which Trump better win or he’ll be out on his fat ass come January 2021.

              So what is Trump doing? He goes around to these coal-rich states, presents himself as a great ‘friend’ of coal miners and simply lies about everything he’s doing to help them keep their jobs. The truth is, he’s not doing anything to revive the coal industry because it can’t be revived. It’s dead and dying, okay? Gone. Or fartig (finished) as my grandfather would say.

              But this reality doesn’t stop Trump from going around and using a completely fake narrative to take swipes at the Green New Deal and/or the Communist Left and/or the ‘Democrat’ Party – it’s all one and the same.

              The liberal media, from The (failing) New York Times on down, should be ashamed of themselves for giving this guy any space at all.

Can Trump Still Win? Difficult, Not Impossible.

              Yesterday I updated the poll numbers and they showed what they have been showing for the past several months, namely, that Joe appears to be on his way towards winning the 2020 campaign. But I would be presenting an overly optimistic view of the campaign if I didn’t also explain why Trump’s path to victory remains fairly clear and certainly can be done.  Here’s how and why.

              There are 23 states that have voted red in every Presidential election since 2000. Together, these states are worth 191 electoral votes (EV). Trump is comfortably ahead in 21 of these states, the exceptions being Georgia and Texas, together worth 54 EV’s. Right now Trump has less than a one-point lead in both those states, so if he doesn’t end up in the W column in both places, he can’t grab the brass ring. But for the moment, let’s assume that he keeps Texas and Georgia red. What else does he have to do?

              What else he has to do is win in a combination of the following states which would add up to 79 EV’s: IA, FL, MI, NV, NC, NM, OH, WI and PA. These are the states that have not always been either red or blue since 2000, and right now Trump is ahead in two of them – Iowa and Ohio – by less than 2 points in each. If he wins these two states along with Georgia and Texas, his EV number goes to 215, which leaves him 55 EV’s short of where he needs to be.

              As of this morning, Trump’s behind in Florida and North Carolina by a total of 3.2 points – two points in Florida, 1.2 in NC. If he pulls ahead in those two states by the end of the campaign, he gets another 44 EV’s. In other words, if Trump wins Iowa, Ohio, Florida and North Carolina, all states where he and Joe are effectively tied, he still needs to win at least one of the following states – Michigan, Arizona, Pennsylvania – in order to claim the big prize. If he wins Wisconsin, he still needs to add another state.

              Right now, Trump is behind by 4.5 points in Arizona, and taken together, the most recent polls find him behind by 7 points. In Michigan, Joe is ahead by 7.5 points, and the polls added yesterday have him up by 10 points. The only one of these states that’s really close is PA, where Joe leads by 4.5 points but the most recent polls show the gap to be less. But even if Trump wins Pennsylvania, he still needs at least two more states.

              What did Al Neri say in Godfather II when Michael Corleone asked him if they could rub out Hyman Roth when the old gangster returned to the United States? Difficult, not impossible. I can’t think of a better way to describe the current state of the Trump campaign.

              If you’re going to mess around with poll numbers, however, there’s one thing you need to understand. Because it’s assumed that every pollster is polling a different group of respondents, the percentage of voters put up for both candidates on any given day is actually an average of what the polls for that state have reported over the previous week. So whatever number I am using to calculate each candidate’s EV’s, it may not be a number which accurately represents the real feelings amongst the electorate on any given day.

              The good news for Joe’s campaign right now is that the Sedaris dog-shit number, both nationally and in most states, is down to 7 points or less, which means that neither candidate can count on a sudden, last-minute flood of votes. It’s also the case that in every competitive state the Libertarian vote is around 2 percent, which means there’s no conservative wiggle-room for Trump in 2020 the way there was in 2016 when Libertarians were 7% of the voters polled before the actual vote.

              In sum, right now I’d rather be Joe than Trump. But ‘difficult, not impossible,’ should remain what we all force ourselves to think every day.

Where Do We Stand With 6 Weeks To Go?

              All of a sudden, there’s only 6 weeks left before the big deal. And while the Supreme Court issue provides a bit of a diversion, I’m also convinced that everyone’s sick and tired of the campaign.  Unfortunately, the latest polls show that the campaign is just getting serious, and that whatever happens between now and November 3rd, the brass ring is still up for grabs.

              Here’s the good news. The national aggregate poll from Nate has Biden at 50.4%, Trump at 43.6%. On September 18, Joe was down to 50.1%, the uptick over the last several days is a good sign. The better news is that the Sedaris dog-shit number is now 6%, the smallest amount of dog-shit recorded since the campaign began. If every, single piece of dog-shit voted for Trump, the Biden-Harris ticket would still win the national, popular vote.

              That’s the good news. Now here’s the not-so-good news.  Overall, Joe continues to run ahead of Trump in the average of all 12 swing states – 47.87% to 45.11%. But on September 1st, he led overall 47.93% to 45.13%. So Trump has lost 2/10ths of a percent, but Joe has lost 6/10ths of a percent in the overall percentage of the 12 swing states.

              Here’s how it looked on September 1st:

              Now you may want to think that I’m just trying to get everyone hot and bothered so that they’ll continue to read my daily posts. But remember this: We have been living through a God-awful pandemic which has now killed more than 200,000 Americans because Trump flipped 3 states by a total of 7/10ths of one(!) percent in the votes cast in those three states.

              There’s a reason why Trump is doing two public rallies today in Ohio, okay? Now these events don’t draw anywhere near the number of people who came out to see him in 2016. And his campaign is indulging in a bit of wishful thinking by calling itself the ‘Great American Comeback’ campaign. With the exception of Wisconsin, where Trump is right now far behind, every other swing state has a mortality rate from the virus which ranks it in the top half of all 50 states.

              But things can always change in the last 6 weeks of any Presidential race. Trump could figure out a way to take credit for a vaccine that might actually start being injected into human beings at the local pharmacy before November 3rd. Or maybe he’ll dig up yet another phony scandal involving Joe or his son. Or maybe the North Koreans will suddenly send a battalion across the demilitarized zone. Who the hell knows?

              Truthfully, I don’t think there’s much, if any chance that any of those events will come to pass. What worries me is one thing and one thing only, namely, that the dog-shit vote appears to be slightly higher in the swing states than in the country as a whole. And worse, it has grown slightly larger from two weeks ago.

While I can’t imagine how any living adult, other than someone who is unconscious and hooked up to a life-support machine could still be undecided about how they are going to vote, I just hope that Joe and Kammie can figure out a way to get some of those swing states back over 50%.