Friday, November 13, 2020

Trump Has Checked Out, Tweeting His Delusions As His Legal Challenges Quickly Fizzle; He Almost Said "Biden Administration" Today In A Short Public Statement; The US Set A Single-Day Record Of 90,000 New COVID Cases Two Weeks Ago; Today, There Were 181,000+ (With Holiday Travel About To Begin)

Donald Trump has completely checked out, abandoning even the pretense of being president. He knows he'll be out on his ass on January 20, so he's decided not to do another goddamn thing except hide in his room, watch Fox and OAN, and tweet his many delusions.

In the past two days, Trump has lost several court challenges and two prominent law firms have bailed from representing the campaign's legal efforts.

Trump's case in Arizona has been especially embarrassing. First, his lawyers admitted that even if the judge ruled in their favor, it would have no effect on Biden winning the state.

Second, attorney Kory Langhofer conceded today he was "not alleging fraud" or claiming "that anyone is stealing the election" — quite a difference from Trump's tweet (also today): "This Election was Rigged" — only that there was a "limited number of cases" involving "good-faith errors". 

Third, Trump's witnesses, far from citing actual fraud, stated they didn't know if any alleged irregularities existed. When asked by the lawyer for the Arizona Democratic Party, each one admitted they had no idea:

"Do you have any basis to believe your vote wasn't counted?" Arellano asked voter Mia Barcello.

"Uh, I'm not sure," Barcello replied with a laugh.

When pressed about it further, Barcello replied: "No."

Ms. Barcello had plenty of company, with another witness responding "I couldn't say" to the same inquiry, and another replying "That's correct" when asked if he did not know one way or another whether his vote was counted . . .

Oh, and Georgia:

(306-232. That's the exact electoral vote count of Trump's 2016 win, which he could not stop describing as a "massive landslide".)

Radical pro-Trump extremists are so desperate to believe fraud exists, they are being easily duped by pranksters on the internet. A video appearing to show an election official destroying a Trump ballot (a single ballot?) was viewed hundreds of thousands of times on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, and shared by several prominent conservatives — before the video's creator revealed on Facebook that it was a joke.

The cognitive dissonance required to believe this nonsense is mind-boggling. While Trump is claiming that fraud is rampant across the nation, the Texas governor has offered a $1 million reward for anyone coming forward with any evidence of fraud. (So maybe it ain't that widespread . . .)

Trump's legal efforts are being quickly tossed out of court because they have no merit, with a judge in Michigan ruling that the supposed claims of fraud were "not credible". In other cases, Trump's lawyers, when asked directly, have admitted that Republican poll watchers were able to view the various certifications, exposing Trump's claims as complete lies.

Trump's campaign claimed four dead people voted in Georgia. But at least two of them were easily found, still alive:

Trump is 1-for-15 in court (and the one has very little effect on anything), which is also pretty much what he did on the baseball field

Meanwhile, law firms are rapidly deserting the campaign. Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, the firm which had been leading the campaign's efforts in Pennsylvania, has withdrawn and is no longer representing the campaign. Snell & Wilmer has withdrawn from representing the Republican National Committee in Arizona and a statement from Jones Day this week emphasized that the firm was not representing the campaign in any election challenges. (Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for the campaign, said Team Trump "is undeterred and will move forward with rock-solid attorneys to ensure free and fair elections for all Americans".)

Aaron Blake, Washington Post:

It's not clear why the law firms have sought to withdraw from the cases, nor should we expect them to elaborate, given that such firms will never acknowledge publicly that they didn't believe in the claims of their clients or submitted to public pressure. But the withdrawals are difficult to separate from how the cases have been going — especially given the pressure that has been brought to bear in light of Trump's baseless claims. They also suggest it will be difficult to retain top-tier lawyers to continue to push Trump's case . . .
Trump emerged from hiding today, making a short, low-energy statement, unable to do anything different from his campaign rallies. He got his ass kissed by various toadies and played the same old tired hits (testing causes cases, etc.) He took no questions.

Is this as close to a concession speech as we'll get? The Snowflake-In-Chief had chatted with Geraldo Rivera in the morning.

Meanwhile, the pandemic that Trump has deliberately allowed to kill more than 250,000 Americans is raging more out of control than ever, with 160,000 new cases in the United States on Thursday. Since Election Day, the US has set single-day records for new cases seven times (November 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13). New highs were also set on October 28, 29, and 30.

A record 81,757 new cases was reported on October 28. Today, just over two weeks later, the record is over 181,000. At least 25 states reported that their seven-day average of new cases was up 30% from the previous day. Cases are increasing in all 50 states, with at least 10 states recording all-time highs. In midwest states like Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, and Ohio, hospitals are reaching capacity and will soon force doctors to triage care, having to ignore some patients (who may die) while treating others.

The red dot is meant to mark April 15, the day on which Trump confidently announced the worst was over. The US had "passed the peak of new cases".

The Trump White House continues to be a virus hotspot, as more than 130 Secret Service officers (roughly 10% of the agency) are now under orders to isolate or quarantine, according to the Washington Post. Also, eight staffers at the Republican National Committee have the virus. If Trump can't be bothered to keep the people who work around him safe, what makes anyone think he gives a shit about the rest of the country?

It's not the first time the Secret Service has been hit hard by the virus. Over the summer, dozens of agents fell ill or were forced to quarantine after Trump's not-sold-out rally in Tulsa and Mike Pence's trip to Arizona. Of course, Trump's insistence on holding rallies simply to boost his ego and his extreme reluctance (or outright refusal) to alter his routine puts numerous agents at high risk. Nothing will ever change his childish insistence on getting his own way, and his inevitable tantrum when he cannot.

Trump's only public statements in the last week have been via Twitter, yelling in ALL CAPS about fraud that election officials from both parties have repeatedly said does not exist in any way, shape, or form. Trump has also demanded to be crowned the winner of states he decisively lost.

Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post notes that many of Trump's tweets have been flagged by Twitter as "misleading":

The tweetstorm is an effort to provide the illusion to his supporters that he still has a chance to win reelection as his team pursues lawsuits falsely claiming election fraud in a variety of states and he refuses to concede the election.

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